Bako National Park, established in 1957, is the oldest national park in Sarawak, eastern Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. It covers an area of 27.27 square kilometres at the tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula at the mouth of the Bako and Kuching Rivers. It is some 37 kilometers by road from Kuching. Millions of years of erosion of the sandstone have created a coastline of steep cliffs, rocky headlands and stretches of white, sandy bays. Wave erosion at the base of the cliffs has carved many of the rocky headlands into fantastically shaped sea arches and seastacks with colored patterns formed by iron deposition. The park can only be reached by a 20-minute boat ride from Kampung Bako and is often visited as a day-trip from Kuching. This was the final pit stop of The Amazing Race Asia 1.
Bako is one of the smallest national parks in Sarawak, yet one of the most interesting, with its rainforest, abundant wildlife, jungle streams, waterfalls, interesting plant life, secluded beaches and trekking trails. A well maintained network of 16 colour-coded walking trails, from easy forest strolls to full day jungle treks, allows visitors to get the most out of this unique environment. There can be very few places in the world with so much natural beauty in such a limited area, and its range of attractions and activities have made Bako one of the most popular parks in Sarawak.
Bako contains almost every type of plant life found in Borneo, with over 25 distinct types of vegetation from seven complete ecosystems: beach vegetation, cliff vegetation, kerangas or heath forest, mangrove forest, mixed dipterocarp forest, padang or grasslands vegetation and peat swamp forest. The unusual plant life includes a variety of carnivorous plants (pitcher plants, sundews, bladderworts) as well as a huge variety of tree and other plant species.
Bako is home to approximately 150 endangered proboscis monkeys, endemic to Borneo. Other animals include long-tailed macaques, silvered langur, monitor lizards, plantain squirrels, Bornean bearded pigs, and otters. Bako is also home to a number of lizards and snakes, most of which are harmless. Bako is a fascinating place for bird watching, with over 150 species recorded. Bako's nocturnal creatures include the flying lemur, pangolin, mouse deer, various species of fruit eating and insect eating bats, tarsier, slow loris, and palm civet cat.