Situated on the banks of Sungai Sepulot (Sepulot River) in the remote interior of southern Sabah, not far from the Kalimantan border, Batu Punggul is a limestone massif with amazing views over the jungle from above and with caves below. Accommodation is available at a rustic resort nearby which offers anything from a Murut longhouse or native huts (called sulap), to a hostel or guesthouses, complete with modern facilities.
Cave exploration is an exciting treat of unusual stalactites, stalagmites and bats. The Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower, can be found about 25-minutes’ walk from the caves. The area is also home to wild orchids. It is possible to climb to the top of the massif for panoramic views of the surrounding forest. At night, there is impressive music coming from the ‘jungle symphony’…
As limestone massifs are normally found in coastal areas, the existence of Batu Punggul deep in the interior of Borneo is a source of geological wonder to scientists visiting the area.
Bring long trousers and proper walking shoes for the scramble up the peak and for some protection while caving. Also, the journey to Batu Punggul may take the whole day and it is advisable for visitors to spend the night there before heading back to town.
How to get there
By Road and River
From Kota Kinabalu or Keningau, drive up to Sepulot or Kampung Labang before proceeding to Batu Punggul via motorised boat. The journey by boat takes about two to three hours up the winding Sepulot River.
There is just one basic resort in this remote corner of the Sabahan jungle. Camping, though not forbidden, is ill-advised.