Thanks to its remote location and the craggy mountain range that surrounds it, the Maliau Basin rainforest has stayed almost entirely unharmed. A science expedition first entered the area in 1982, and large parts of the basin remain undocumented, even today. The research station and its satellite camps will be your base throughout your visit, but don't worry — you'll be in accommodation designed for visitors! Ecotourism helps to sustain the conservation project, and ranges from chalet accommodation to tented camps with kitchens, toilets and showers, connected by well maintained but unobtrusive trails.
The basin contains many other forest habitats besides rainforest, so you'll be able to enjoy diverse scenery with thousands of different trees and flowers. An extraordinary canopy walkway lets you traverse the treetops to enjoy views the likes of which few of us will ever experience, and elevated observation platforms offer birdwatching par excellence. 270 bird species have been recorded so far in the area, and 86 species of mammal… and the research is ongoing, so you may even spot something new, although we can't promise that you'll realise it at the time!
Treks through the rainforest will always be accompanied by an experienced ranger, who can help you recognise animal signs. A thrilling list of mammals have been spotted here, including Sumatran rhinos, clouded leopards, pygmy elephants and Malayan sunbears. Monkey species abound, and keep an eye open for porcupines and pygmy squirrels, too.
Maliau is not for the faint hearted, not least because of the enormous insects — you might want to look elsewhere if you reach for a rolled up newspaper at the very thought of inch-long weevils or moths with 10cm wingspans. Accommodation here is exciting, not glamorous, and we hardly need mention that there's no pool or beauty treatments. You'll have to head to a coastal resort for that sort of thing!
Access to Maliau is strictly controlled in order to protect the place and its wildlife, so you'll be amongst a privileged selection of travellers and researchers who can lay claim to seeing this remarkable vestige of one of the planet's natural wonders.