Mount Kinabalu National Park is located in the Northern Sabah region of Borneo. [Elevation: 13,435feet (4,095 meters)] Mt Kinabalu, which lies in Sabah in northern Borneo, is at 4095 m the highest peak between the Himalayas and Papua New Guinea. It was one of the first national parks opened in Borneo in 1964. It covers an area of 754km². To conquer Mount Kinabalu at least once is every climbing enthusiast’s quest and desire. The 3 day journey displays the incredible mountain backdrop of gully, cliff, plateau, gorge, peak, projectile and points! Visitors will enjoy Sabah’s most famous hot water spring, which located among the foot hills of Mount Kinabalu near Ranau. Visitors can enjoy a refreshing dip in the swimming pool or soak in sulphurous water channeled from the hot springs into tiled pools and tubs.
The park headquaters itself are located at 1,585m above sea level.It is 83km from the city of Kota Kinabalu.
The obvious attraction is the mountain itself as it is one of the easiest mountains to climb. With many people climbing it to watch the sunrise at the peak. The mountain is famous for its many carnivorous plant and orchid species, most notably Nepenthes rajah. Its is also home to a multitude of endemic animal species, including the Kinabalu Giant Red Leech and Kinabalu Giant Earthworm.
In 1851 Sir Hugh Low, then the Colonial Secretary for the British crown colony of Labuan, was the first person to climb the mountain.It took him nine days to reach the summit plateau, travelling in a group of 42 people. The summit of the mountain is now known as Lows Peak, although Low reached the summit plateau, he did not reach the peak that now bears his name. John Whitehead was the first person to reach the summit in 1888.
MOUNT KINABALU’S TOURISTS
Most tourists who visit the park come to admire the mountain, try the shorter trails around the park and some attempt the summit trail. Within the last few years an increasing number of people have come to enjoy more strenuous activities, including the Mount Kinabalu Climbathon, mountain running and mountain biking.
The mountain is the main attraction to the area and as long as it stands people will want to come to see it. Management have tried to improve the summit trail so that the chance of injury can be reduced i.e. putting in more banisters on steeper parts, widening the steps and in some cases putting steps in. The involvement of the local community with the park keeps the relationship with local people harmonious and also helps to bring business to them if the park carries on being successful.
FACTS AND FIGURES
- In 2004 more than 415,360 visitors and 43,430 climbers visited the Park.
- Only 10% of the annual visitors reach the summit of the mountain.
- More the 250 bird varieties have been recorded. Several bird varieties including the Mountain Bush Warbler, Kinabalu friendly Warbler, palefaced Bilbul and Mountain Blackeyes.
- Daily temperature here varies from 20 degrees centigrade to 13 degrees at night.
- The park headquaters itself are located at 1,585m above sea level.