An unforgettable opportunity to trek through primary Borneo rainforest, experience the historic natural beauty of the Salt Trails and interact with local communities.
Ex-Kota Kinabalu The Salt Trail in Sabah’s Crocker Range of mountains is a jungle trekking route that was traditionally followed by native village traders who, for hundreds of years carried their fresh products & hand-made items across the Crocker Range to the coastal villages where they engaged in barter trade for salt.
Several “salt” routes were established traversing stunning thick primary forests, paddy fields and many rivers.
Although some of the easier accessible villages are now connected by roads, the Salt Trails are still the only access route to some of the more remote villages in the range, particularly those near the upper part of the Papar river and near Tambunan.
Covering approximately 140,000 hectares and rising to 2050m above sea level the Crocker Range was gazetted a State National Park in 1984. It is compulsory for those wishing to trek along this historic route to engage the services of guides, obtain the necessary permits and insurance and go prepared. Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures have been taking adventure groups through the Crocker Range for several years and have expert local knowledge of the routes and what is required to complete a successful expedition into them.
The route is unique and a true privilege for people to enjoy. Stunning scenery, genuine cultural interactions and natural beauty without hoards of tourists. Its an unforgettable experience.
- Jungle Trekking through Primary Rainforests
- Cross Rivers & Climb Mountains
- Experience a Historical Site
- Interact with Local Communities
- Climb Mt Kibambangan
At a steady pace the Salt Trails requires 3 nights in the jungle, making use of the hospitality of villagers or staying in structures with basic facilities along the way. There are no beds, only camping mats.
Officially, the jungle path is said to be 34km long, which consists of some serious jungle trekking across mountain peaks, through muddy river valleys and through some dense Borneo Jungle.
The Salt Trail jungle trekking adventure is ideal for people who want to enjoy rugged, Borneo jungle and experience the beauty of nature.
Although a village homestay is part of the itinerary, and you will get a unique glimpse into a slice of village life, the trail is all about nature, which will dominate your days in the jungle.
Depart Kota Kinabalu at 11am for a 2 hours drive to the starting point. Lunch en-route. Spend the afternoon at one with nature, take some playing cards or self entertainment as there are no TV’s ! Assist your guides in preparing a local dinner. Overnight on camping mats at the Ranger Station.
After breakfast which is prepared by your local guides, begin the trek. The trail is approximately 11km long and a 7 hour walk is to be expected. The path starts off with a muddy path and a few small river crossings before following the path along the river. Along the way you will pass through small farm holdings where villagers grow everything from Sabah veggie and pineapples, to ginger and pumpkin. The surrounding vegetation here is lush, with large dipterocarp trees lining the path. It said that on very rare occasions, the very lucky trekker could still spot orang utan in the wild.
The trail then ascends the ridge, there’s a rest hut, which is at the base of a steep ridge separating the west coast from the interior. The trails descend this ridge where you will cross another river and continue on for another 2 hours of reasonably flat trial trekking along the Ponobukan river. Packed lunch en-route.
Arrive at the Kampung (village) and overnight on camping mats in a communal room at the community church. Your guides will prepare your dinner.
After breakfast which is prepared by your local guides, begin the trek of approximately 10km with an expected trekking time of around 7 hours. The crossing of the Papar river at this stage is quite a sight to behold, wide and potential raging if it rains. If traversing on foot it not possible we can cross by way of suspension bridge. Later downstream, however, there are no bridges for the multiple crossings and the crossing can be quite challenging, especially when the river is swollen due to recent rains
The trek flattens out before decending on the approach to the overnight rest stop.
Arrive at the Kampung (village) and overnight on camping mats in a communal room at one of the villagers house. The villagers here will be very pleased to see you, you will be welcomed into their community. Go easy on the rice-wine which is incredibly alcoholic as you have a very long day of trekking the following day. Dinner will be prepared by the villagers and guides.
After breakfast which is prepared by your local guides, begin the trek. The walk is approximately 10km long and should take about 7 hours to trek before reaching the last station. The trail descends and follows a suspension bridge river crossing.
Probably the most challenging stretch is to come, Mt. Kebambangan’s highest peak is about 801m (2,630ft) above sea level and lies in the southern part of the mountain and is surrounded by thick jungle, which has to be navigated before reaching the ending point.
After Mt Kibambangan at 727m (2385ft) your final descent will bring you to the ending point where you will meet our driver, collect your certificate and return to your hotel at KK City
** Breakfast, Packed lunch en route and dinner at each station is provided and prepared by your local guide.
- Return transfers to trail starting & ending points, permit & conservation arrangement fees, guide fees, accommodation fees, full board meals, drinking water. Use of lunch box & utensils, camping mat, mosquito nets.
- Sleeping bag (can be rented at MYR 50.00 for 4 days). Porters are available at MYR 50.00 per day per 10KG. Other items not explicitly stated.
- Walking shoes, rucksack with waterproof cover, walking clothes including waterproof jacket, sleeping clothes, camera, itnsect repellent, leach socks, sunscreen, sunglasses, energy snacks, water bottles (suggest 2 x 1.5 ltd bottles that can take boiled water). Please request a full up-to-date packing list
Due to weather conditions, activities may be subject to re-scheduling to best meet operations, as well as clients health and safety. A thorough briefing will be conducted at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Head Quarters prior to the expedition. You will be asked to complete liability forms and sign yourself as fit for the trek. Those people with serious allergic reaction to bee stings must carry their own epinephrine since evacuation time can be up to 4 hours to a medical facility.
The Salt Trails route is physically & mentally challenging. You will sleep un-comfortably, be dirty, smelly & wet, eat foods that are foreign to your pallete.
So why go ? For the hundreds of clients that we have bought into this amazing location they tell us it was life changing. You will push your comfort zone past its limits which is how we grow ! You will also have a story to share over your dinner table for years to come!