Kubah National Park

by Audrey Lim, Dec 6, 2001 | Destinations: Malaysia / Sarawak

Continuing with the series on national parks in Sarawak, here is another that promises a great time and is located a short distance away from Kuching. This park is great as all visitors with little time will also be able to enjoy themselves for a day. Kubah National Park is most suitable for a day trip. Although it is such an accessible place, strangely though it is not very popular. Not many people seem to have heard of Kubah National Park. The more popular national parks and the ones that many people know of are like Gunung Mulu, Bako and Niah National Park. Perhaps their history dating back to the years around 1950s and 1970s played a big role in their popularity. This is more obvious as Kubah National Park was only opened to the public in 1996, having been gazetted in the year 1988.

Situated on a small sandstone plateau, this is a relatively small park that is about 2,230 hectares only. Despite the small grounds, Kubah National Park is able to boast of refreshingly clean and crystal clear streams. It also has a number of small waterfalls and clean bathing pools. Just like Lambir Hills National Park, Kubah National Park is a mixed Dipterocarp forest and has one of Borneo's widest selections of palms and orchids as well as a range of interesting wildlife such as the mouse deer, black hornbill, bearded pig and other amphibians and reptiles. However, if your main purpose is to check out the wildlife, then you might be disappointed, as the animals here tend to hide deep in the forest. Kubah National Park is mainly well known for its lovely scenery and flora found in that area.

For those looking for a fun time trekking through the jungle, Kubah National Park offers four jungle trails and one of them leads to the peak of Gunung Serapi. The trip would take about 5 to 6 hours, both ways. Along the way, you will see wooden shelters. There are also wooden shelters on other trails. You might want to check out the main trail - a trail that passes through the forest and enjoins other trails in the park. The first part of the trail is known as Palmarium. Taking hints from the name, you can expect to see lots of palms on the Palmarium route. The Selang trail is a lovely one as it offers you a great view of Matang and the Santubong peninsula. The trail takes about 45 minutes from the HQ and after half an hour, you will come to a steep section where you will have to use the ropes to climb. Once there, you will be able to sit on the provided chairs on a wooden platform to enjoy the breathtaking view. Pretty though Selang Trail may be, yet it is not the most popular one amongst the visitors to Kubah National Park. The Waterfall Trail is everybody's favorite as it passes through the forest and brings you through a number of sections that you will have to cross using plank walkways. You will cross through streams and swamp land. To reach the waterfall, be prepared to spend about 2 hours.

Then, there is also the Ulu Rayu Trail. This trail takes visitors from the park's headquarters to the Matang Wildlife Center. The route to Matang Wildlife Center takes about 3 to 4 hours one-way and is a rather interesting trip. You will go from the main trail and be given the opportunity to admire the scenic rainforest where you will be awed by the huge trees and other beautiful flora. Towards the end of the walk, you will come to a swamp area that emerges into a clear stream and a picnic area at the Wildlife Center. Alternatively, you may take the Waterfall and Ulu Rayu route to reach to your destination.

The Matang Wildlife Center is very much a part of Kubah National Park. Here, the endangered species of wildlife are kept in large enclosed areas of the forest or in cages. The most attractive sight is the Otang Utan training program that teaches young Orang Utan to fend for themselves in the jungles. Come during their feeding time for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Aside from Orang Utan, there are also the Sambar deer, crocodiles, sun bears, civets and bear cats, and three large aviaries that keeps hornbills, sea eagles and other native Sarawak birds.

At the center, you can go for a riverside picnic or go on (another) four jungle trails. Try the Pitcher Trail where you will get to spot pitcher plants scattered all over the forest floor. There is also the interesting Sungai Rayu trail that will bring you back to the Kubah Park headquarters. If you want to check out more waterfalls, then go on the Sungai Senduk or Sungai Buluh trails. The Sungai Senduk trail is shorter though.

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Visitor Information:

Below is information that might be useful for the visitor. The park has an information center, accommodation facilities and a canteen. For those who are interested to check out the animals during their feeding times, here it is:

Animal Feeding Times:
Orang Utan: 9 am daily
Hornbills: 8.30 and 3 pm daily
Sambar deer: 9 am and 3 pm daily
Crocodiles: 2.30 pm every Sunday

Accommodation Facilities:
You may pre-book your accommodation at the Visitors' Information Center in Kuching. It is better for the visitor to get the latest rate and room options from the proper source.

Entry Fees:
RM3.00 (adult)/RM1.00 (child)

Photography Fee/Permit:
RM5.00 (camera)/RM10.00 (video camera)