Kinabalu National Park 

Kinabalu National Park is the most popular mountain climbing spot in Malaysia.  The park located on Crocker Range on the western coast of Sabah. It is within the district of Ranau, within the West Coast Division. It covers an area of 754 sq km with it main feature is Mount Kinabalu or Gunung Kinabalu. 

Vegetation of the Mount Kinabalu summit plateau Creative Commons License
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Mount Kinabalu is at 4,095.2 meters, is the highest mountain on the island of Borneo and one of the highest among South East Asian Mountains.  It is one of the youngest non-volcanic mountain in the world which was formed within 10 to 35 million ago and it is still grows at a rate of 5 millimeters a year. In 2009 the park attracted more than 250,000 visitors and with about 47,000 challenged to capture the peak.

The highest peak of the Mount Kinabalu called Low’s Peak was named after the British colonial administrator and naturalist Hugh Low who led an expedition from Tuaran to the region in 1895. Hugh Low was the man became the first recorded man to reach the peak of Mount Kinabalu.  

Malaysia vacations would be the best experience by visiting Kinabalu National Park which was established as one of the first national parks of Malaysia in 1964.  It is Malaysia's first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its "outstanding universal values" and it role as one of the most important biological sites in the world with more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna, including 326 bird and about 100 species of mammal. The park has nice and cooler climates.  

Rajah Lodge accommodation by Mgiganteus1

Park Headquarters

Sabah tour would not be completed without visiting to Kinabalu National Park Headquarter the main entry point to the park.  The HQ located about 92 km on the Kota Kinabalu east coast highway lying at an elevation 1,520m above sea levels. The Park Administrative Center, Research and Education Office located in the ‘Conservation Center’ building. 


The climate of Kinabalu Park is tropical at the lower and very cool temperatures at the summit.  

Mount Kinabalu Entry Point

There are two main starting points for the climb.  Timpohon Gate located 5 km away from the Kinabalu Park. Another alternative route is Mesilau Trail located 15 kilometers away from Kinabalu Park HQ.  The two main entrance points meet about two kilometres before Laban Rata.

Park Entry Fees

Malaysian Adult RM3, below 18 RM1, Non Malaysian Adult RM15, below 18 RM10. 

Climbing Permits for Mount Kinabalu

Malaysian Adult RM30, below 18 RM12, Non Malaysian Adult RM100, below 18 RM40. 

Climbing Insurance

All visitors intending to attempt the summit need to purchase climbing insurance at RM7 from the park. 


Engaging guide is compulsory for those to make the summit climb. The cost ranges from RM128 to RM150 depending on the size of the group. For visitors information there is a restriction on group size.

Where to stay

Kinabalu National Park is administered by Sabah Parks.  Besides a lot of Kota Kinabalu accommodation, the park also has several chalets near the headquarters. All booking such as accommodation and mountain climbing guides only available through a private company Sutera Sanctuary Lodges which is also known as Sutera Harbour.  

At this time Sutera requiring hikers to stay one night at their lodge at Laban Rata the entrance point. The cost to stay at Laban Rata is much higher than at lodging outside the park.  It is including a compulsory of buying of meals and others. 

Climb Mount Kinabalu

The suitable time climb Mount Kinabalu about April.  During the months of November and December it will get rain.  Depending on the weather, the temperature ranges from about 20-25°C at the main park and near the top it will come close to freezing.  It is best if hiker, climb during the full moon as it helps illuminate the white rope that marks out the climbing path.  Hikers are advised to take windproof gear and appropriate warm clothing. 

Flora and Fauna

Kinabalu National Park is Malaysia lonely planet is home of more than 4,500 flora and fauna species.  It is home of plants such as orchids and carnivorous pitcher which are infrequent be seen along the trail can be observed in botanical trail near park headquarters. Other several beautiful floras in the park also can be viewed in the botanical trail. 

The landscape ranges from lush, green rainforest at the park's lowest altitudes. Up the mountain you can see a widespread of rhodendron and coniferous. Further up hiker can see small plants growth at the highest altitudes and small marsupials live in harsh surroundings.

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Nepenthes raja, a giant pitcher plant is the most famous among the pitcher plants which is common to Kinabalu National Park. Nepenthes raja can hold more than three litres of water. There are a number of other species of pitcher plants in the park, and these can be seen just off some of the tracks in the park. 

Rafflesia flower, the largest flower in the world also can be found in Kinabalu National Park.  The flower potential weight about 10 kilograms and it diameter could be up to one meters.  This blooming of Rafflesia is an event awaited by botanists around the world. Other famous wildlife animal species found in the park is orangutan.

The park also crowded with a variety of birds, insects, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. It is also home to a large number of widespread animal species, including the Kinabalu Giant Red Leech and Kinabalu Giant Earthworm. 

Tourist who not interested to climb Mount Kinabalu, there is still a lot to enjoy from a visit to the park such as climb Low’s Peak. The Low’s Peak is quite easy to climb by a visitor with good physical condition.  No need of climbing skills and climbing equipment. 

Low’s Gully is a remarkable feature of the park. It is on the side of the mountain peak which stretching about 10 kilometers and about 1.6 kilometer deep canyon. 

More information about Kinabalu National Park and booking at Sutera Sanctuary Lodges, a private company, Tel: +60-88-303917 Fax: +60-88-317540, Kinabalu Park, Tel: +60 88 889086, Laban Rata, Tel:  +60 88 267289, Mesilau Nature Resort, Tel:  +60 88 871519. 

The presence of the Mount Kinabalu, the variety of Borneo wildlife animal, bird, insect, plant life, tourist trails, activities of climbing Kinabalu Mountain and un-spoilt paradise for rare flora and fauna are the factors that Kinabalu National Park is very popular for Borneo holiday.

Related links:

Sabah Holidays

Sabah Map

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