Gunung Gading National Park is a protected rainforest reserve located in the northwest region of Sarawak, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. Known for its incredible biodiversity and rare Rafflesia flowers, Gunung Gading offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience untouched tropical jungle and wildlife.

Gunung Gading National Park, Malaysia

Gunung Gading National Park, Malaysia

Overview and History

Gunung Gading National Park covers an area of roughly 4,500 hectares near the town of Lundu. It was originally gazetted as a wildlife sanctuary in 1983 before being designated a national park in 1984 under the National Parks and Nature Reserves Ordinance.

The park gets its name from Mount Gading, which rises up to 947 meters within the park’s boundaries. Gunung means “mountain” in Malay.

Flora and Fauna

Gunung Gading is home to an astonishing array of plants and animals. Over 920 species of flowers, 240 species of birds, and dozens of mammals have been recorded here. The park contains one of the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, as well as majestic old-growth jungle featuring dense groves of bamboo and towering tropical trees.

Visitors may catch glimpses of long-tailed macaques, silvered langurs, Bornean gibbons, civets, mouse deer, bearded pigs, and even the occasional sun bear if they are lucky. Rare birds like rhinoceros hornbills, helmeted hornbills, and the wreathed hornbill can also be spotted among the branches.

Gunung Gading National Park, Malaysia

Gunung Gading National Park, Malaysia

Hiking Trails

Gunung Gading features a network of excellent hiking trails that allow visitors to fully experience the beauty and biodiversity of the rainforest ecosystem. The four main trails are:

Waterfall Trail

  • Moderate 3 hour loop trail
  • Winds through the forest to a scenic rocky waterfall and swimming hole.
  • Opportunity to see long-tailed macaques along the way.

Rafflesia Trail

  • Shorter 1 hour loop to spot giant Rafflesia flowers when in bloom.
  • Rafflesia only bloom for a few days and timing needs to be right.

Summit Trail

  • Challenging 8 hour return hike to the summit of Mount Gading
  • Rewarded by spectacular views over the entire national park
  • Passes by the Three Peak campsite at halfway point

High Canopy Walkway

  • Hour-long trail featuring a 26 meter high tree canopy walkway bridge
  • Provides unique bird’s eye perspective of rainforest environment

Visitor’s Center

At the entrance to Gunung Gading is an informative Visitor’s Center featuring educational displays about the area’s unique flora and fauna. Knowledgeable park rangers are available to answer questions and provide hiking guidance.

The Visitor’s Center also maintains up-to-date information about Rafflesia bloomings so that visitors can time their trip appropriately to see these magnificent flowers. When a Rafflesia plant is close to flowering, it will erect a protective tent-like bud ready to burst into an enormous blossom bigger than a bicycle tire almost overnight.


What makes Gunung Gading National Park particularly special is the richness of its plant and animal species in such a compact area. Nowhere else can you find such biodiversity so easily accessed by the public.

Majestic Trees

Walk along the hiking trails and you will be awed by the towering heights of the jungle’s emergent layer trees. Giant Tapang and Kapur trees soar to over 60 meters tall, while majestic Sengkurat trees spread their buttress root systems widely around their massive trunks. These jungle giants host intricate mini-ecosystems of ferns, orchids and other epiphytes sprouting from their bark and branches.

Rare Wildlife

The remote foothills and valleys of Gunung Gading provide a last refuge for rare and endangered creatures found nowhere else on earth. The vibrant green Broadbill Flycatcher darts among the mid-canopy foliage, while Bornean gibbons whoop haunting dawn songs. Silvery langurs, Sunda clouded leopards, honey bears, pangolins and flat-headed cats all make their home in pockets of this parkland.

Gunung Gading National Park, Malaysia

Gunung Gading National Park, Malaysia

Jungle Medicines

Many plants found in Gunung Gading have tremendous medicinal value for indigenous peoples of Borneo. The fibrous Tumpat wood is turned into poultices to heal wounds. Daun setawar leaves fight malaria symptoms. The ginger-scented bungur flower is brewed into healing tonics. Even today, over 200 species of medicinal plants are harvested sustainably from this forest.

Conservation Efforts

While eco-tourism now plays a major role in promoting conservation aims, Gunung Gading faces serious environmental pressures from illegal logging, clearing for pepper and rubber plantations, forest fires and poaching activity. Extensive patrolling and intervention is required to curb such threats.

Park Rangers

A dedicated team of 25 park rangers actively protects the park in shifts running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Rangers conduct regular perimeter sweeps, apprehend intruders, remove snares, and monitor wildlife populations. During peak seasons, Temporary Protection Teams provide additional enforcement assistance with roadblocks and surveillance.

Gunung Gading National Park, Malaysia

Gunung Gading National Park, Malaysia

Conservation Partnerships

Management staff from the Sarawak Forestry Corporation work closely with scientific experts from the Institute of Biodiversity and Environment Conservation to study and protect Gunung Gading’s fragile web of life. Their joint conservation plan focuses on sustaining wildlife corridors, orchid protection, medicinal plant propagation, and supporting traditional lifestyles harmoniously integrated with nature.

Working together with local communities is vital for the long term preservation of Gunung Gading’s irreplaceable biological treasures. Outreach programs provide environmental education, training in sustainable agriculture methods, and incentives for maintaining vegetation buffers around settlements.

Visiting Gunung Gading National Park

Gunung Gading provides an easily accessible rainforest escape perfect for day trips or overnight stays. Visitors fly into Kuching, then drive two hours to park headquarters.

The peak season with best weather runs from February to September when chances of rain showers are lower. Hiking early in the cool morning is recommended. Insect repellant and good hiking shoes are essential.


  • Main park office with information boards and helpful staff
  • Picnic tables, washrooms and small cafeteria
  • Basic accommodation in hostel or private lodges
  • Camping grounds complete with barbecue pits

Nearby Attractions

After exploring Gunung Gading’s jungle trails, visitors can unwind at the white sand beaches and waterfront seafood restaurants in the relaxed fishing village of Lundu just 14km away.

Cultural sights abound within day trip distance from the park as well. Don’t miss a longboat ride through the mini-Amazon floodplains of Tanjung Datu National Park nearby. Or visit the traditional Melanau tallhouses rising on stilts above the water in Kampung Buntal.

Gunung Gading National Park, Malaysia

Gunung Gading National Park, Malaysia


A standard vehicle can easily access Gunung Gading along the paved park entrance road. Those without private transport can catch buses from Kuching to Lundu, then take a short taxi ride to the park. Due to mountainous terrain, some trails may prove challenging for visitors with limited mobility. However scenic viewpoints and walkway bridges can still be enjoyed along portions of Rafflesia and Waterfall Trails.


Gunung Gading National Park remains one of Sarawak’s most magical destinations. For rainforest lovers, wildlife photographers, jungle trekkers, waterfall chasers, or culture seekers – few places on earth contain such a diversity of life packed into a petite park so reachable for public enjoyment. From tiny endemic orchids shared only in these ancient mountains, to the world’s largest flower blossoming boggly on the forest floor, Gunung Gading’s natural heritage begs to be discovered.

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