The bats and caves of Gunung Mulu National Park

The bats and caves of Gunung Mulu National Park

A wander at dusk down to the cave entrances at Gunung Mulu National Park is not for anyone with the fears of the young Bruce Wayne: literally millions of bats pour out of the cave system every evening in a fluttering black stream, before dispersing to hunt throughout the forest. Though if you do have a bat phobia, stand with your head tilted up to watch, hear and feel this almost nightly mass exodus, and you’ll likely get comfortable with bats soon enough. After all, they’re more interested in insects and fruit than blood. The park is home to twenty-seven different bat species, including an enormous colony of wrinkle-lipped bats living at Deer Cave, one of the largest single colonies in the world. Watch them teem out and swirl up into the night, and experience another of the grand wildlife displays of Borneo.

Looking up from the boulder-strewn floor to the souring cavern roof of the Wind and Clearwater Caves far below the forest of Gunung Mulu National Park, you’ll be overcome by the sheer immensity of this 100 kilometre-long underground cathedral. Much of the caves and their subterranean river system remain unexplored, even the largest of the world record-sized caverns, but with light streaming down from the odd portal to illuminate the massive stalactites and stalagmites, and in swimming in the crystal clear river, you’ll get a healthy dose of the spirit of adventure for which Borneo is world-famous. Arguably the best cave experience in the world.

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