Gunung Mulu National Park, island of Borneo, Sarawak.
(3°57' N, 114°47' E)
All year daily 9:15.
Per Person MYR 443.
Porter MYR 150 plus Park Entrance Fee MYR 15 and night accommodation MYR 10 per night.
|Gunung Mulu National Park, Borsarmulu Park Management Sdn Bhd, No 11, Pekan Mulu, Mulu, 98070, Sarawak, Tel: +6085-792-600/601/602/603, Fax: +6085-792-605. E-mail:
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Gunung Mulu is a limestone karst, and quite typical for tropical karst it is a tower karst. There are hills made of limestone with steep walls protruding from a plain with tropical rain forest. The massive rains dissolve limestone on the surface producing karren, long vertical structures, channels which were dissolved by the rain water. Karren are quite common and can be seen all over the world. But there is one form of karren which is rather unique, it is called stone forest or pinnacles. Single pinnacles are actually not rare, but a masive number of such pinnacles at one spot is quite rare.
Gunuing Mulu has such a stone forest on a northern flank of the Gunung Api (1,750 m asl). And it is actually named pinnacles. That's like naming your dog dog. However, it is one of the most impressive stone forests of the world.
It is actually not possible to to visit the pinnacles, they are inaccessible. But it is possible to climb the Gunung Api which offers a great view on the pinnacles. To do so is very difficult as the whole area is in the middle of native jungle and very inaccessible. There is an official tour which is the most expensive tour of the park and takes three full days. It starts with a long boat ride on the Melinau River. On the way it is possible, but optional, to visit Clearwater Cave. From Kuala Litut a 9 km walking trail leads to Camp 5, where you sleep on raised timber platforms with a roof and half walls.
On the second day the hike to the summit of Gunung Api begins around 06:30, it is only 2.4 km long but rises 1,200 metres to the viewpoint. The last section is almost vertical and there are ropes and ladders. The ascent is quite difficult and even physically fit visitors often refuse to climb the last section. But if you reach the summit, it is a great view. And then the descent is even more difficult than the ascent. The ascent and descent each take up to five hours. So this is the second full day.
On the third day you walk back the 9 km trail and the boat ride takes you to the headquarter. All three days are guided, otherwise you would not be able to find the trail. And it is possible to hire one of the locals as a porter, to carry up to 17kg of equipment for you. Probably a good idea if you have heavy equipment, for example photography equipment. This is a three day jungle expedition and is quite strenuous and requires appropriate equipment. Make sure to follow the detailed checklist provided by the park.