• Climbing Mount Kinabalu, Borneo

Highlights and main attractions of Mount Kinabalu

Highlights and main attractions of Mount Kinabalu

Located just 90 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu, Mount Kinabalu sits majestically at 4,095 metres above sea level within the Kinabalu National Park, un-surrounded by any other mountains. It has become a place of curiosity for travellers on a Borneo holiday, enticed by the prospect of scaling its peak and the promise of watching the sun rise over the Sabah as they reach the summit.

The Kinabalu National Park covers an area of approximately 750 kilometres and is an area of stunning biodiversity that earned the area UNESCO world heritage status in 2000, with as many as 6,000 plant species, over 300 bird species and 600 butterflies. You will find a bigger variety of species on the lower slopes of the mountain and foothills, whereas more indigenous species to the area are found at the higher sections of the mountain at altitude or on specific areas, which makes it a place of intense interest to wildlife experts and botanists alike.

Climbing Mount Kinabalu, Borneo

Location and Activities

To climb the mountain, which is actually a huge granite dome that rises about 5mm per year, you would usually require a two night stay in basic camp accommodation in the foothills of the mountain, such as the eco-friendly Pendant Hut, located at 3,270 metres above sea level. After spending the night here you would set off early the following morning for the final stretch of the ascent. Should you decide to trek to the summit, you need not be an experienced climber as such, and you will be guided by experts along the way until you reach the highest point between the Himalayas and New Guinea. A good fitness level is essential as the high altitude, plus the physical exertion mean it’s not exactly an easy ride and you will learn some interesting facts as you go. Local legend also tells of a dragon guarding treasure near to the summit, and there is a strong sense of spiritual connection between the mountain and the indigenous people that reside nearby.

The more active traveller will enjoy the trekking and walking that the Kinabalu National Park offers and these activities can also be enjoyed on a day trip for those not wishing to overnight in the park, with some excellent walking trails and the Poring Hot Springs, which can refresh and revitalise after a busy day of walking and hiking. Miki’s survival camp is a great option whilst in the area and something we have always worked closely with as it is ideal for that more adventurous family holiday. Located in the foothills, the camp is rustic and you help to set up your own camp area. Having nearly sold his land a few years ago, Miki decided to set up the camp as a means of conserving the area through tourism related activities and is now one of the principle incomes – providing fees for a majority of electricity required the village. A stay here is not only a wildly fun and educational experience, but you are really benefitting the local community.

At Miki's camp, nights are spent under the stars and you have the opportunity to learn about Bornean culture, as well as having a go at using a blowpipe and making bamboo cups.


Contact one of our Destination Specialists to start planning your journey to Borneo. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.

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