Kinabalu Park World Heritage Site
Your trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah would not be complete without a visit to Kinabalu World Heritage Park, a premier destination dominated by the 4,095-metre Mount Kinabalu after which the capital city is named. The park holds a significant biodiversity value, being one of the world’s ten richest biodiversity hot spot in the world – was declared a World Heritage Site (Malaysia’s first) by UNESCO in November 2000.
The 75,370 hectares of protected park area is located within the district of Ranau (31,700 hectares), Kota Belud (25,700 hectares) and Kota Marudu (17,970 hectares). It encompass broad range of habitats including lowland rainforest in the region on Poring Hot Springs (around 550-metres above sea level), lower montane forest around the Park Headquarters (1,500-metres above sea level) and travelling higher up the Mt Kinabalu will give way to sub-alpine forest ultimately bare granite summit plateau.
The Park Headquarters on the southern side of the mountain allows visitors to access the accommodation, administrative buildings, restaurants and other facilities provided including the Mountain Garden which assemble wide range of plants as an introduction to some of the flora diversity within the park.
Up to date, 6000 vascular plants have been identified within these areas which equals to 2.5% of the worlds’ plant species. Some 711 orchid species can be found here (10% endemic), 621 ferns species (50% endemic), 27 Rhododendron species (9 endemic), 9 species of Nepenthes with 5 species being endemic to Borneo and 2 species of Rafflesia. The myriad of habitation also provides the perfect home for more 327 species of birds, mammals, insects, fish, amphibians and reptiles. Kinabalu Park offers many bird species that can only be found in the mountainous regions, including strictly montane birds, 17 of which are endemic Bornean species.