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Step into The Lost World of Sabah

Visitor Information

Visitors to Maliau Basin Conservation Area are welcome, but access is strictly controlled and permission to enter must be obtained in advance from Yayasan Sabah (see Contacts). It must be remembered that Maliau Basin is a remote, rugged and isolated area with limited access, communications and safety facilities.

Condition Of Entry into the Conservation Area

Maliau Basin Conservation Area is a Class I (Protection) Forest Reserve, under the Sabah Forestry Enactment 1968.

Please remember:

1. Visitors must have insurance cover that includes emergency helicopter evacuation.

2. Visitors must report to the Manager of the Conservation Area or his representative upon their arrival.

3. Visitors must declare their photographic equipment/cameras upon reporting to the Manager of the Conservation Area or his representative.

4. Visitors must be accompanied by one or more rangers when entering the forest, except in designated “Self-guided Nature Trails”.

5. Hunting is prohibited anywhere in the Conservation Areas or Yayasan Sabah Forest Management Area.

6. Firearms are absolutely forbidden.

7. Collection of specimens is absolutely not allowed unless with written permission.

8. There should be no slashing of vegetation or cutting of new trails, unless with permission from relevant officers/staff of the Conservation Area.

9. No graffiti on any surface including but not limited to rocks, trees, signboards or any other structures.

10. Forest fires are real danger and campfires can be lit only under supervision of the rangers.
11. Visitors must inform the Manager of the Conservation Area if they have any health complication that requires special attention.

12. Styrofoam containers and canned foods must not be brought into the Conservation Area.

13. All litter/rubbish must be brought out.

14. Visitors must settle all charges/payments prior to leaving the Conservation Area.

15. Visitors who break any of the above rules will be asked to leave the Conservation Area immediately.

Visitors’ bags are subject to inspection on departure from MBCA.


Maliau Basin Conservation Area is ideal for:

• Adventure jungle trekking & wilderness experience
• Bird watching
• Nature photography
• Night walks
• Night drives to spot nocturnal wildlife along the access roads
• Swimming and recreation


A range of basic accommodation facilities is presently available, including a well-equipped campground at the Agathis Camp and the two-storey Camel Trophy Camp and several more camping areas within the Basin itself.

Camel Trophy Camp

Maliau Basin Studies Centre (MBSC) under construction

The Maliau Basin Studies Centre at the Southeast edge of the Conservation Area will comprise resthouse, hostel, researchers and staff accommodation, as well as the reception and office area, laboratory, conference room, auditorium and interpretation hall.

Other Facilities

There are over 70 km of marked trails in Maliau Basin Conservation Area, and several helipads which can be used for emergency evacuations or by visitors who prefer to fly rather than walk in or out.

A 30 m high canopy observation platform is located at the Camel Trophy Camp and a 4-storey Maliau Rim Observation Tower offers spectacular views and bird watching activities near the access road to Maliau Basin Studies Centre.

Canopy Observation Platform


Maliau Rim Observation Tower
View from Maliau Rim Observation Tower

Another exciting facility is the Maliau ‘Sky Bridge’ – a canopy walkway linking 8 trees just inside the Conservation Area on the banks of Maliau River near Belian Camp.

Maliau Bridge
Maliau ‘Sky Bridge’

Maliau ‘Sky Bridge’

Communications & Safety

There are two communication systems which work in the area. They are the VHF radios, which allow contact between Maliau Basin Conservation Area and the security gatehouse, Luasong Forestry Centre and Tawau. VHF sets must be taken in to the area by all groups and are available for hire from Yayasan Sabah. Telephone communication, via VSAT, will be installed soon.

Visitors enter Maliau Basin Conservation Area at their own risk, and all visitors MUST show proof of Personal Accident Insurance Cover, which includes emergency helicopter evacuation, before permission is given to enter.

How to get there

Maliau Basin Conservation Area is accessible either via Tawau or Keningau, a 4-5 hour journey from both. Four-wheel drive is essential as the latter part of the journey is on logging roads.

Shell Maliau Basin Reception & Information Building (SMBRIB)

Maliau Café inside the SMBRIB


Maliau Basin Security Gate


At Maliau Basin Security Gate, where Shell Maliau Basin Reception & Information Building has been established, an access road leads to Agathis Camp and Maliau Basin Studies Centre. A minimum of 3 days trekking is needed to visit Maliau Falls only and 5 days are recommended to visit Maliau Falls, other smaller waterfalls and the montane heath forest. There are no roads inside the Conservation Area.

Entry passes for each person must be obtained at the Shell Maliau Basin Reception & Information Building (SMBRIB) before entry.