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Bako National Park

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Jan 1, 2022

Bako National Park is in Sarawak, Malaysia, and is home to the bizarre, obscene-nosed proboscis monkey. It is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Proboscis monkey

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Bako offers outstanding diversity of natural landscapes in a relatively small area. Its beautifully dense rainforests and stunning beaches are home to many flora and fauna including the rare proboscis monkey. Try and spot them during low tide as they forage in the exposed Mangrove tree swamps. There are 16 color-coded jungle trails as well as lodges for overnight stays – which you have to book early. On the high ground, look out for pitcher plants. And beware of the monkeys, they are very clever and compulsive thieves! (Don’t forget to spot the boar!)

Bako is the oldest national park in Sarawak, established in 1957.

Bako consists of coastal cliffs and rolling hills, and boasts fine sandy beaches surrounded by jungle. Coastal erosion has produced interesting sea stacks and rock formations.

In particular, Bako is famous as a home to around 150 of the highly endangered proboscis monkey. Macaques are more fearless as well as more common, and thus much easier to spot. Another distinctive mammal indigenous to Borneo is the bearded boar. The common monitor lizard, growing up to 2 m long, is the largest of the park’s many types of lizard; flying lizards may also sometimes be spotted

Wildlife is most active just before dusk, which means that an overnight stay may be needed to fully appreciate it.

Bako contains almost every type of vegetation to be found in Sarawak, including highly distinctive carnivourous plants. There are seven distinct types of ecosystem: beach vegetation, cliff vegetation, heath forest (kerangas), mangrove forest, mixed dipterocarp forest, grasslands vegetation (padang) and peat swamp forest

Bako enjoys sunny weather much of the year. Temperature is constant throughout the year, in the lowland range from a cool 23°C in the evening and early morning to 33°C under the shade during the day. But from late November to late January, the monsoon rain may spoil plans for an outing. The hottest months are usually from June to late August, when the tribal farmers do their slash-and-burn land clearing before planting their padi, this has been blamed for the haze that envelops the regions and may cause health hazards. But since the governments of both Malaysia and Indonesia have banned open burning, incidents of haze have been reduced somewhat.

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