Posted by: Ross Gardner | January 28, 2018

To the mountain

Kinabalu Mountain lodge view (scaled)

An agreeable view from Kinabalu Mountain Lodge

Borneo bound and the Malaysian state of Sabah on the north of the third largest island in the world.

After a 32 hour door to door journey, first to Kuala Lumpur, then (including a 7 hour wait for the connecting flight) on to Kota Kinabalu, we reckoned that lower reaches of the mighty  (4,101 metres above sea level) Mount Kinabalu would be a good place to spend a few days while dealing with the jet-lag and acclimatising to the humid heat of Borneo.  Staying at the Kinabalu Mountain Lodge at around 1500 metres meant that the temperature was a good few degrees cooler than in the sweltering lowlands and also ensured a none too shabby view of the forested slopes.  It also offered a splendid, initial opportunity to experience some of Borneo’s famed biodiversity.  Without even leaving the lodge we could watch huge  birdwing butterflies and a variety of bird life, such as the strikingly plumaged Temminck’s Sunbird, the endemic Bornean Treepie and the abiding Ashy Drongo.

Bornean Treepie (scaled)

The Bornean Treepie (Dendrocitta cinerascens), an endemic bird of the montane forests of Borneo.

And the moths, oh the moths!  A single outside light was all that was need to create a superb moth wall.  Geeky bliss indeed!  And what fraction of the total was the mere 70 or so species observed? What beauties to.  From the cryptically coloured noctuid and lean-winged geometers instantly recognisable as relatives of their European counterparts, to the huge, leaf-shaped Eupterote and others still unidentified.  Chuck in a few mantid and stick-insects and a gecko or two and there was scarcely any need to leave the place.  But leave it we of course did.  The Kinabalu National Park was, after all, a few minutes down the road……

Moth Wall at Kinabalu Mountain Lodge (scaled)

Moths glorious moths……

Eupterote asclepiades in hand (scaled)

…… including the impressive Eupterote asclepiades.


  1. […] rich forested slopes around the Park HQ at around 1500 metres. Endemic birds we did see – the Treepie of a previous post, Bornean Whistler, two species of laughing thrush and Bornean Forktail among […]

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