Kinabalu Mountain range

Kinabalu National Park or Taman Negara Kinabalu in Malay (754 km2), in the State of Sabah on the northern end of the island of Borneo, is dominated by Mount Kinabalu (4,095 m), the highest mountain between the Himalayas and glaciated peaks in New Guinea. Designated in 1964 as one of Malaysia’s first national parks, owing to its high biotic diversity and endemism, Kinabalu was chosen as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under criteria IX and X in December 2000 for its “outstanding universal values”. Inscription on this list confirms the exceptional universal value of a natural or cultural site which deserves protection for the benefit of all humanity.

The altitudinal and climatic gradient from tropical forest to alpine conditions combine with precipitous topography, diverse geology and frequent climate oscillations to provide conditions ideal for the development of new species. This world heritage site is blessed with astonishing variety of flora and fauna that ranges over four climate zones; from rich lowland dipterocarp forest through the montane oak, rhododendron, to the coniferous forests, to the alpine meadow plants, and to the stunted bushes of summit zone. The Park contains representatives from more than half the families of all flowering plants and is famous for its many carnivorous plant and orchid species. It has been designated as a Centre of Plant Diversity for Southeast Asia and is exceptionally rich in species with examples of flora from the Himalayas, China, Australia, Malaysia, as well as pan-tropical flora. The majority of Borneo’s mammals, birds, amphibians and invertebrates (many threatened and vulnerable) occur in the park. Its is also home to a multitude of endemic animal species.

Today, the allure of this awe inspiring mountain and its great heights act like a powerful magnet and challenge, which attracts eager climbers from all corners of the world. Despite its intimidating size, Mt. Kinabalu is considered as an “easy” mountain to climb as no special skills or equipment are needed. Thus each year about 30,000 people scale the mountains top peak including more than 10,000 foreigners.

Keep in mind, however, that the ascent is a physically tough and a challenging climb, requiring a minimum of two days to reach the summit – but it’ll be a hike of a life time.

Back to Home
Designed by Ruchira Somaweera (University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka). Oct 2007.