Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK)
Real wonders of the world
Plunge into the deep, dark, bat-flapped caves of Malaysia.
Every night, three million bats form a dense curl of smoke in the sky above this Unesco-listed park in Sarawak, Borneo. Valued for its beauty, geology and biodiversity, the park’s home to 3,500 species of flower, 270 types of bird and 81 mammals, including civets, giant porcupine, racer snakes and the Mulu horned frog.
But as well as the bat exodus – best viewed from outside Deer Cave – visitors can join a night walk to see fireflies and fluorescent fungi, or climb a 30m-high hide for a dawn chorus of birdsong. You may also spot monkeys from the park’s 480m suspension bridge, one of the world’s longest; the park also boasts the Earth’s largest cave chamber in Good Luck Cave, while Clearwater Cave, at 220km long, is another record breaker – access it by longboat along the Melinau River.
Visitors looking for something more hardy can join a tough overnight tour of the Pinnacles – barbs of limestone that protrude from the forest floor like shark fins. Because in Gunung Mulu, the extraordinary and wild is never far away, whether spiking out of the ground, hiding under it or fluttering through the night sky.
DID YOU KNOW? The park has 15 species of carnivorous pitcher plants, which were featured in an episode on jungles in David Attenborough’s 2019 documentary, Our Planet