The KadazanDusun, Sabahs largest ethnic group, believe that the mountain is the sacred resting ground of the spirits of their ancestors. The KadazanDusun practice shifting cultivation on the hill slopes and serve as reliable guides an porters to visitors trekking up Mt. Kinabalu.
The gateway to the mountain is the Kinabalu Park Headquarters, situated 1,563 meters on its southern boundary. A variety of accommodations, restaurants and an exhibition center are available here. This is also where you pay the entrance fee to the park and register if you are an overnight visitor or a climber. Popular attractions here are the Mt.
Kinabalu Botanical Garden and the Mountain Garden. After viewing the slide shows on the parks rich history and biodiversity, you can explore the gardens on your own, or join the parks naturalist on a guided walk.
Getting to Kinabalu Park
Kinabalu Park is located about two hours or 90 km from the international gateway of Kota Kinabalu. It is accessible by car, van, coach, four-wheel drive, taxi and even chartered helicopter. There are also regular buses and minibuses plying the 83-km route between Kota Kinabalu
and the park. About five km from the parks main entrance, you will find the town of Kundasang, home to the local Dusun farmers. Here you will find many stalls selling everything from vegetables galore to souvenirs and handicrafts.
All climbers up Mt. Kinabalu must engage the services of a registered guide on their climb. You can hire a guide and porter by registering at the Park Headquarters with Sabah Parks or Sutera Sanctuary Lodges. Walk-in bookings at the Park are subject to availability, so pre-booking is advisable.