Gunung Gading National Park is one of the most attractive destinations in Lundu. Coming here, you have opportunity to admire the world’s largest flower Rafflesia and other plants. In addition, many interesting activities are wating you in Gunung Gading National Park.
After 10 years as a conservation zone to protect these unusual plants, the park opened to visitors in 1994. Park planners have taken strict measures to allow the public to see the plants without damaging the park’s delicate ecosystem and particularly the young Rafflesia buds springing up all over the forest floor.
These measures include a carefully laid plankwalk so visitors can observe the flowers’ habitat without walking on the ground. The rafflesia only flowers for a few days, but you can make sure of seeing a flower in bloom by calling the park or visitor information centre advance. The rangers monitor the buds and know when one is about to flower. A phone call will ensure that your two-hour drive from Kuching will be rewarded.
It is not only giant flowers that make Gunung Gading worth visiting. The park covers a rugged mountain range near Lundu in southeast Sarawak. Jungle trails will take you to waterfalls and clear jungle streams that make excellent bathing spots.
Accommodation is available with cooking utensils provided. There is no cafeteria. The park’s is very near to the Lundu Town.
Seeing a Rafflesia in a full bloom
The Rafflesia is a rare flower with a short flowering period. Therefore a certain amount of luck is required if your visit to Sarawak is to coincide with a Rafflesia in full bloom. The park staff monitor the progress of the Rafflesia buds very closely, and usually know when a flower is about to bloom, so visitors can check with the park headquarters (Tel: 082-735714) or the National Parks Booking Office in Kuching (Tel: 082-248088).
A plankwalk is situated near the park headquarters in an area where Rafflesia are often found. Park wardens also take visitors on guided walks to flowers that are blooming deeper in the forest. Visitors should take notice of the warden’s instructions and tread carefully, to avoid damaging any buds on the forest floor.
Although Rafflesia have no set flowering season, blooms are more common at Gunung Gading during the wetter months (November to February). They are also more common on the lower slopes of the park’s mountain peaks.
Although most people visit Gunung Gading solely to view the Rafflesia, the park has other attractions, including a series of challenging jungle trails and a number of waterfalls and excellent bathing spots. All jungle trekking trails are colour coded. Official trekking guides are necessary as Gunung Gading is a conservation zone, and only small trekking groups are allowed.
The park includes four mountain peaks – Gunung Gading, Gunung Perigi, Gunung Sebuloh and Gunung Lundu – so most of the jungle treks involve a significant amount of hill walking and a reasonable level of fitness is required. The summit treks are for serious hikers – they can be done in a day but this requires 7-8 hours of hiking, so an early start is essential in order to enjoy the rainforest scenery. Make sure you take enough drinking water and some snacks for lunch.
Gunung Gading National Park is located near the small town of Lundu in Southwest Sarawak, about 2 hours drive from Kuching. From the Brooke Dockyard (Gambier Street) bus station take the Sarawak Transport Company bus to the 3rd Mile bus terminal. From there take the express bus to Lundu – the journey takes approximately one and a half hours. From Lundu, take a van or taxi and ask to be dropped off at the park office. Alternatively, Kuching tour operators offer guided tours to the park.
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