Bird Watching Locations in Sarawak

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Sarawak Bird Watching Locations

One of the least explored birding destinations in Malaysia is Sarawak, due to the lack of bird guides and bird tours being offered. Well, I have come up with a list of the best bird watching locations in Sarawak for anyone who plans to visit here.

Also, you should note that there are minimal bird guides in Sarawak and most cases, they are always fully booked for birding trips around the Land of the Hornbills.

Bird Watching Locations in Sarawak

As Sarawak is the largest state in Malaysia, almost 70% of the land is still covered in rainforest or palm oil estates, but not to worry as the government does monitor the situation here.

This means that bird watching in Sarawak is one of the best in Malaysia, with so much abundance of natural and secondary rainforest found in abundance over here.

While most would know of common places for bird watching around Kuching and Miri, this list aims to provide you with more birding destinations around Sarawak. And just so you know, I have been to only a few of them with a master mission to explore all.

Most of the bird watching locations in Sarawak are also found at the many national parks, which are well spread throughout the state which is also divided into four main areas which are;

  1. Southern Sarawak
  2. Central Sarawak
  3. Northern Sarawak
  4. Interior Sarawak
Bird Watching Location Kuching
Ash Pond in Kuching is one of the bird watching locations.

Bird Watching in Southern Sarawak

This is probably the most popular place for bird watching in Southern Sarawak. There are many locations found in the vicinity of Kuching and can be done on a day trip and back to the city for a Sarawakian dinner.

The locations below will require transportation to and from best done with a local bird guide, especially if you are non-local.

  • Bako National Park
  • Borneo Highlands Resort
  • Buntal Bay
  • Ash Pond Kuching
  • Kubah National Park
  • Gunung Gading National Park
  • Chupak
  • Semenggoh Nature Reserve
  • Kuching Wetland National Park
  • Maludam National Park
  • Batang Ai National Park
  • Tanjung Datu National Park

Bird Watching in Central Sarawak

One of the least explored regions of Sarawak for bird watching is the central region, which is quite vast in terms of open areas. Not much infrastructure could be one of the main reasons. But there are a few notable places to explore.

  • Bukit Tiban National Park
  • Upper Rajang River to Kapit (via Sibu)
  • Belaga area
Miri Bird Watching Locations
Kuala Baram is one of the northern bird watching locations in Sarawak.

Bird Watching in Northern Sarawak

This is also one of the popular destinations for bird watching in Sarawak.

  • Kuala Baram Wetlands
  • Piasau Nature Reserve
  • Gunung Mulu National Park
  • Lambir Hills National Park
  • LoaganBunut National Park
  • Similajau National Park
  • Niah National Park
Bird Watching Bakelalan
A Fiery Minivet is photographed in Bakelalan, Sarawak.

Bird Watching in Interior Sarawak

The interiors of Sarawak are quite vast, but I have selected the places below due to the infrastructure, accessibility and availability of bird guides there.

  • Bario
  • Bakelalan
  • Paya Maga Wetlands
  • Pulong Tau National Park

Before this birding website, I did some articles on my other main site, Malaysia Asia. You can also read my Bakelalan bird watching trip report from 2019, just before the Covid19 pandemic hit the world.

I have also been birding in Bario, the sister village of Bakelalan, and these are the two popular locations in the interior of Sarawak, Malaysia Borneo.

Some of the more remote bird watching destinations in the interior of Sarawak are harder to get to but requires proper planning and a lot more time. They include the villages of;

  • Long Banga
  • Long Lamai
  • Long Lellang
Bird Watching at Borneo Highlands
Bird watchers at Borneo Highlands early in the morning.

Conclusion

While most of the bird watching locations above are not fully explored, more people will visit them in the next decade or so. But, again, this also falls back on how many available bird guides will be available.

Sarawak Forestry once participated in hoping to train a special batch of bird guides, but I never got around to find out if this project went through. However, as I mentioned earlier in the article, only a handful of bird guides are available in Sarawak for now.

Hopefully, with this article on bird watching locations in Sarawak, more interest and emphasis are paid to training more bird guides.

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