Botanical Garden (Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, 2009)

The Botanical Garden at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is an excellent place to have picnic, and spend a relaxed afternoon with friends.

Botanical Garden at the far end of the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is an excellent place to have picnic, and spend a relaxed afternoon with friends. A short walk from the entrance of the Botanical Garden, after passing the Ginger garden, and the Nepenthes Garden, visitors will come to a small area that has six nicely built huts. Tall trees of various species, 30 to 50 feet high, surround these huts. These tall trees also help to filter out most of the sunlight, and only friendly light is allowed to come in, making the temperature at this area much to the delight of the park visitors. The sound from a small stream, with clean and clear water, can be heard running through the area which makes this place even more serene and peaceful. At times the scent or aroma of herbs and plants from the therapeutic garden can be smelt too.

Each hut consists of a wooden garden table and two to three garden chairs. Park visitors can even BBQ here, as the park management has built a well equipped cement BBQ stove beside each hut. A small pool with water of knee deep is located at one end of the huts, and visitors can enjoy a cool dip for their tired feet after a long walk visiting the many wild animals at the park. The Botanical Garden also has a 30 minute trail with a loop that hikes up to the nearby forest hill and down.

What’s new at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, 2009. The park has a new tram system that will help park visitors to travel around the 99 hectares wildlife park at ease. The tram stops at four stations: Station One is where the elephant and canteen are, while Station Two is at the Aviary, Station Three is at the Botanical Garden, and the last stop, Station Four is at the the Orang Utan and Gibbon area. Each ride will last one hour, and only cost a small fee, RM 2 per person. The tram starts at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park entrance and is not far from the ticket counters. The tram daily schedules are at 10:00 am, 11:15 am, 2:00 pm, and 3:15 pm. Note that there will not be any tram service during heavy down pour.

The Borneo Pygmy Elephants are known to be relatively tame and mild temper compared to other Asian elephants. The Borneo Pygmy Elephants are also the world’s smallest elephant species. The new additions are two small babies Borneo Pygmy Elephants, they seem to follow their mothers every where. Many of these elephants have their heads shaking repeatedly and at times a few of them even do it in unison. A few readers pointed out from my previous youtube elephants video that the shaking of the elephant’s head show that they are in stress, may be still traumatised from their previous bad experiences. Many of the elephants in this park are believed to be rescued from captivity, and the park rangers here try their best to take care of them.

Not to be out done, the ever popular orang utans also have a new baby orang utan. Although still tiny, it can be seen climbing here and there with its mother. At the deer section, many more deer can be seen now compared with last year. Other new animals seen are the pony, and banteng, the second largest land mammal in Sabah. The canteen next to the elephant area is now fully functional. Park visitors can have a light meal, or have a refreshing cold drink while having a short rest at the canteen.


lorises

Small Primates Kingdom is home to the lorises, ring-tailed lemur, and brown monkey. Lorises are small-sized primates with a very short tail. Its fur is soft and thick, and comes in various colours, from grey-brown to reddish-brown covering from head to base of tail. It has a life span around 10 years, and usually found in lowland dipterocarp and secondary forest.


ring-tailed lemurs

The ring-tailed lemur shares a common ancestry with Africa’s monkeys and apes, but were isolated from those species probably 50 million years ago when Madagascar separated from the African continent. The Ring-tailed lemur can only be found on the east African island of Madagascar. Females are normally dominant to males. The ring-tailed lemurs love to sunbathe with legs and arms spreading wide.


brown capuchin monkey

Brown or Tufted Capuchin Monkey is found in every South American country except Uruguay and Chile. The Tufted Capuchin Monkey is all brown with darker legs and feet. Capuchin Monkeys are highly active animals, spending about 80% of the daylight hours moving through the forest. They are playful and mischievous animals in deed, even in captivity they don’t stay still for a photo shot.


sunbears taking a nap

For those who are interested in history here is a brief account on this park area. Some part of the land in this park was a rubber plantation, The Lok Kawi Rubber Estate, which was owned by a British company. It operated from 1909 to 1965, and during its hey day it employed up to 450 labourers of Chinese and Javanese origin. Labourers’ average monthly pay was RM 10.20. Around in 1912 the estate also had one of the best hospitals on the west coast of British North Borneo, and the hospital can accommodate up to 50 patients at any one time. Today the estate is gone, but the remnants of matured rubber trees from the past cultivation are still visible at various part of the park’s forest area.

How to get there? Contact tour operators or taxi from Kota Kinabalu. On every Sunday and Public Holidays bus service from Donggonggon to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is available. Depart from Donggongon Station at 9:30 am, and return from Lok Kawi Wildlife Park at 12:00 pm, bus fare is RM 2.50. There are half hourly bus services from Kota Kinabalu to Donggongon at the city centre bus station, bus fare is less than RM 2.

Other article on this park:
Lok Kawi Wildlife Park

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park
tel: +6088-765793 / +6088-765710
fax: +6088-765762.

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