Sabah and Sarawak are the two states of Malaysia located on the island of Borneo. There are many caves, and some such as those in Gunung Mulu National Park and Niah National Park are known internationally.
There are many caves in the south and east quarters of Sabah. The most famous are the Gomantong Caves which are known for the birds' nest industry. There are two main caves, Simud Putih and Simud Hitam. They are located south of Sandakan. Further south, between Lahad Datu and Tawau, are the Tempadong, Madai, Baturong and Sipit caves. Bukit Tempadong has at least 40 caves, some of which contain coffins. There are about 25 caves in the Madai area, which is inland from Darvel Bay. Baturong Hill has at least 36 known caves. At Sipit there are four limestone hills.
On the southwest side of Sabah is the Sapulut Valley with the famous Batu Punggul. Othere places with karst outcrops include Punan Batu, Sinobang, Batu Timbang and Keningau.
The most famous area is the Gunung Mulu National Park which is a World Heritage site. The adjoining Gunung Buda National Park is smaller but also has some large caves. The Niah Caves complex also ranks high in importance. Other areas include the Bau-Serian area, roughly extending south of Kuching to the Kalimantan border. In the Bintulu area are the Arip, Kakus and Sarang caves. Further east are several limestone outcrops in various areas of the Baram. There are also a few sandstone caves in Sarawak.
The British Cave Research Association has been holding regular expeditions to Mulu since 1980, and to date have held 16 expeditions, with the assistance of the Sarawak Forestry Dept and the Mulu National Park. The latest expedition, under The Mulu Caves project, took place from Jan - Mar 2009.
© Liz Price 2007 - 2009
Last updated 18 Aug 2009