The centre serves as the entrance to the virgin Forest Reserves around it. For those who do not wish to go jungle trekking, the centre provides information on the largest flower in the world. The unique feature of the reserve is the high occurrence of the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia Precei. Jungle trekking and the sight of a Rafflesia in full bloom make the Rafflesia Forest Reserve an interesting place to visit.
The natural vegetation here is of the oak or chestnut types. Large trees, especially of Shoreas, can be found on ridges and slopes. One Shorea with a girth of just under 600cm was found at an elevation of 1350m.
The Rafflesia takes a long time to bloom, and when it does, it stays in bloom for just seven days, after which it rots and has an extremely pungent smell. You may end up smelling a wilting Rafflesia before you see it.
How to get there
From Kota Kinabalu, take a Tambunan or Keningau minivan to the reserve. The journey takes about 30 minutes and the minivans run frequently until dusk.
While there is no accommodation at the centre, there are two very nice and affordable resorts nearby.