The Crocker Range
was designated a forest reserve in 1968. In 1984, Crocker Range Nature
Park was then established in order to protect the water catchment area
which was supplying clean drinking water to the west coast and the
interior of Sabah. It was renamed Crocker Range Park in 1996 and is
managed by Sabah Parks.
The area used by OBS is near the stretch at Penampang District. It consists of
both hills and mountains of 1,200 -1,800 meters high with many species
of flora and fauna endemic to Borneo. OBS has a facility building called
Annex at the starting point of the trek.
There are no
accessible roads here but there are trails used by local natives from
the interior to get supplies from the nearest town. The journey will
pass through a few local villages, walking along the local people's
trail. The trek will take you into the heart of Crocker mountain range,
where the ethnic Kadazan Dusun people still live in simple, agrarian
existence at one with nature.
The journey starts from OBS Annex
building at Mile 28 Jalan Tambunan. This more than getting in tune with the nature and environment. Overlooking
at the Crocker Range valley, you will trek through dense jungle for
about 5-6 hours to the first campsite, next to a stream. Here
you will experience first hand real bush camping and cooking. If you are
having trouble reaching here, consider turning back as the next is
getting deeper into wilderness.
Day 2 - The second day trek could be slightly
tougher as you need to overcome a few hills. Getting into the heart of
the rainforest, don't forget to look around and enjoy nature at its
best. You will reach the first village
(6-7 hours) and get the first hand experience living with the interior natives.
Try to find out about their way of life in the middle of the rainforest!
Day 3 - You will
continue another 5-6 hours trekking with your experienced instructors to
the next village. The trail sometimes become even more fascinating
especially when crossing streams. You will be surprise to find
local primary school in the heart of the rainforest. Look for the
students or the teachers! You can stay in the community hall
or stay with other villagers. If you have left-over Maggi Mee, leave
them with the villagers.
Day 4 - The final end
is a challenging trekking uphill. The temperature and weather is
unpredictable as in mountain weather. It may drop to
10º-15ºC as you will at elevation 5,000ft above sea level.
Exiting at Jalan Tambunan Road, you will get the opportunity to learn
the biggest flower in the region, the Rafflesia. Interestingly, this flower only
found in certain area of Sabah, it grows like a rotten cabbage-look for about
nine months and at maturity, it blooms for about 9 days
and dies off. If you are lucky enough, you might encounter one that is blooming!
The forest provides
services for human communities in cleaning the air and water, the
prevention of natural disasters, resources for traditional agriculture
and livelihood, research, education, recreation and tourism. Many people
are not aware of the benefits until they put themselves in the forest.
One of the
most important ingredients of a memorable adventure is the combination
of some uncertainty of outcome and the possibility of significantly
adverse consequences in the event of an unfavourable result. You may not
see the peak at sunrise but you will see the peak of your own