Kinabalu Park was established as one of the first national parks of Malaysia in 1964 and is Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December of 2000. It is one of the most important biological sites in the world, with more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna. Kinabalu Park consist of 5 types of forest from the tropical lowland rainforest, hill rainforest, tropical montane forest, sub-alpine forest to the scrub forest on higher elevations.
There are 326 species recorded in the Kinabalu Park, and it is the best place in Sabah to search for endemic species. Some of the highlights here are the Whitehead’s Trogon, Whitehead’s Broadbill, Whitehead’s Spiderhunter, Everett’s Thrush, Fruithunter, Bornean Green-Magpie, Red-Breasted Hill Partridge, and the very rare Rajah Scops-Owl. Most of the endemic and iconic birds can be found only at the montane part of Kota Kinabalu National Park.
BIRDing locations + trails
Most of the trails here are rather easy and straightforward and can be done without needing a guide. Although, getting a guide is advisable for those who are new to the area. The Silau-Silau trail and power station road are the best places to search for the Whitehead’s Trogon and Whithead’s Broadbill. Timpohon gate is also an ideal location to search for the Crimson-Headed Patridge, Red-Breasted Hill Patridge and the rare Everett’s Thrush in the early mornings.
In Kinabalu Park itself, accommodations range from private chalets, semi-luxury suites, and dormitories, which are all run by Sutera Sanctuary Lodges.
Kinabalu Park is located 86 kilometres from the capital, Kota Kinabalu, and it is reachable by car or bus via a sealed road with scenic views.