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Past & Present


First discovered by a pilot who almost crashed into the cliff of the Maliau Basin escarpment.The Imposing Northern Rim Of Maliau Basin, Rising Over 1600m. Photo By J.Omar

Geological Survey Department team reached Kuala Maliau outside the Basin but did not enter.

Maliau Basin, as part of the Gunung Rara Class II Commercial Forest Reserve, incorporated into Yayasan Sabah Concession Area.


Forestry Department's Botanical Survey team attempted to ascend the north escarpment but failed to reach the rim.


Sabah Museum team ascended the north rim but were forced to turn back because of illness and lack of supplies.



Yayasan Sabah voluntarily designated the area as a Conservation Area to be set aside for research, education and training purposes. First Yayasan Sabah survey parties dropped off by helicopter on the north rim to demarcate the Conservation Area boundary, cut a trail and construct three helipads.


The first reconnaissance trip into the Basin by Yayasan Sabah, a preliminary visit to plan the 1988 scientific expedition.


Yayasan Sabah designation of Maliau Basin Conservation Area approved by the Sabah State Cabinet.


Expedition team of four entered the Basin from the south-west rim and trekked to Kuala Maliau. The 'Jalan Babi' (Wild Pigs' Trail) first discovered.



BHP Minerals Company undertook extensive geological survey work throughout the Maliau Basin and surrounding areas to assess the likely extent, depth and quality of coal seam resources.




First major scientific expedition to Maliau Basin, jointly organised by Yayasan Sabah and WWF-Malaysia. The report resulting from the expedition outlined findings related to geology, soil, hydrology, geomorphology, climate, plant studies, animal studies and human impacts. From this expedition it was brought to light that Maliau Basin is unique, with several new species records for Sabah discovered in that expedition alone. Besides its research output, this expedition resulted in a widely screened documentary film entitled "The Lost World of Sabah".


Sabah State Government commissioned a Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment of the proposed coal development in Maliau Basin. The study, undertaken by a Canadian consulting company, included significant inventory work on plants and vertebrates in the hitherto unstudied eastern side of the basin. The  finding disclosed that if mining is to be taken even with stringent environmental guidelines, related activities would still have serious impact on the Basin, through increased access to prospectors, hunters, gaharu and rotan collectors, besides wider effects on the Ulu Kinabatangan generally.






Giluk Falls, One Of The Many Smaller Waterfalls In Maliau Basin.Photo Credit By P.MobilikRaleigh International prepared the site of a research field station building, and a helipad on the south plateau.

Camel Trophy Camp constructed with the assistance of Camel Trophy participants.

Raleigh International surveyed and explored the south plateau.Takob-akob, Giluk and Mempersona Falls discovered.

Second Maliau Basin Scientific Expedition, jointly organised by Yayasan Sabah, University Malaysia Sabah and Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Development, Sabah, carrying out a more detailed study of the south-western part of the Basin, making up approximately 10-20% of the total Basin area.



1996 Expedition Team Members Studying Water Velocity. Photo Credit By S.YorathGazetted by the Sabah State Assembly as a Class I Protection Forest Reserve and increased in size from 39,000 to 58,840 hectares to include the outer northern and eastern escarpments and Lake Linumunsut.

Preliminary camp (Agathis Camp) set up near the southern rim of the Basin.

1998: Inter-agency Maliau Basin Management Committee set up.


Security gate and access road constructed.


Work started by Yayasan Sabah and DANCED (Danish Cooperation for Environtment & Development) on the three year preparation of the Maliau Basin Conservation Area Management Plan.


Belian Camp established near the mouth of the Maliau River.


Intensive field surveys started as part of the preparation of the Maliau Basin Conservation Area Management Plan.


First major expedition to Lake Linumunsut in the northern part of Maliau Basin Conservation Area.


Ground breaking for Maliau Basin Studies Centre site by HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark and Tan Sri Datu Khalil bin Datu Haji Jamalul, the Director of Yayasan Sabah.


Opening ceremony for Belian Camping ground by Sow-A-Seed Foundation (IKEA), Yayasan Sabah & Trekforce Expedition.
2004: Publication of the Strategic Management Plan for Maliau Basin Conservation Area.
2004: Official opening of Belian Trail (from Belian Camp to Maliau Falls), and establishment of Seraya Camp and helipad near Kuala Ginseng on Maliau River.
2004: Suspension bridge constructed over Maliau River at Belian Camp.
2005: Completion of Ginseng Camp (satellite camp).
2005: Scientific Expedition by UMS, JICA and YSG to area around Ginseng Camp, Lobah Camp, Camel Trophy Camp, Maliau Falls and Agathis Camp.
2006: Completion of Canopy Walkway ‘Sky Bridge’ at the edge of the Conservation Area near the Maliau River opposite the Belian Camp Ground.
2006: Academy of Science Malaysia & YSG Scientific Expedition at Eucalyptus Camp near the northern rim of MBCA.
2006: Completion of the construction of Shell Maliau Basin Reception and Information Building at Maliau Gate.