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Lahad Datu  >  Places of Interest  >  Gomantong Caves


Gomantong Caves
Gomantong Caves
Largest cave system in Sabah

32 km south of Sandakan, home to over one million Edible-nest swiftlets (sea swallows). These swiftlets' nests are the famous Chinese delicacy, the edible bird's nest, and are very expensive.

Twice a year, February to April and July to September, the bird's nests are harvested by men scaling bamboo ladders.
At Gomantong Caves, there are two swiftlet species the black-nest swiftlet and the more valuable white-nest swiftlet (3 species exist - Collocalia maxima, Collocalia fuciphaga and Collocalia germani).

The first collection takes place early in the breeding season before the swiftlets lay their eggs. The birds then make another nest in which they finally lay their eggs. After the young have fledged, the second collection can be made.

Gomantong Caves System is divided into two parts:
1-  Simud Hitam (Black Cave) at below
2-  Simud Putih (White Cave) at above.


Gomantong Caves
Gomantong
Caves
(The Black Caves & The White Caves)

Largest cave system in Sabah,
110 km by road south of Sandakan
 45 minutes from Sandakan
30 minutes (36 Km) from Sandakan Point to Round About of Sukau Road.
Buy ticket from the Park Office, the from behind the off, proceed on foot along a plankway to the cave entrance. The walking take 5-10 minutes across the jungle.

To find out the exact harvesting times contact :
Wildlife Department Tel: 6089-666550

Gomantong Caves is home to million swiftlets. The swiftlets' nest are collected for the famous Chinese Delicacy, bird's nest soup, and fetch a good price locally and abroad. Twice a year, in the caves men can be seen scaling bamboo ladders to heights of about 90m to collect this delicacy off the cave walls.
The swiftlets’ neighbors are bats, more than a million of them, living above an enormous guano pile. The sighting of bats, swiftlets, birds and butterflies is virtually guaranteed, with the occasional bonus of small mammals, including orang utan.
Harvesting of the nests is a spectacular and dangerous operations which is only carried out twice per year, usually around March to April and August to September.
Two varieties of swiftlets make edible birth nests. Good quality birds nests can fetch more than US$ 1000 per kilo! Although the visit is more spectacular during nest collection seasons, the lime stone cave is most impressive all year round with sightings of animals and insects.


World’s biggest bird’s nest caves
Gomantong Caves, world’s biggest bird’s nest caves, are 45 minutes from Sandakan.
Expert skill is involved as the harvesters climb the bamboo ladder to collect the precious nest of the swiftlet bird, which are used for bird’s-nest soup.


Gomantong Caves
Gomantong Caves

Photo above : Simud Hitam (Black Cave)
The main cave system is divided into two parts:
1) the more accessible Simud Hitam (Black Cave),
2) the larger Simud Putih (White Cave) above Black Cave.

The Gomantong Caves lie about 32 km south of Sandakan, are a home to over one million Edible-nest swiftlets (also called sea swallows). These swiftlets' nests are the famous Chinese delicacy, the edible bird's nest, and are very expensive. Twice a year, February to April and July to September, the bird's nests are harvested by men scaling bamboo ladders.

The cave is also peopled by thousands of bats which produce an enormous pile of guano shit on which you walk into the cave. Cockroaches are everywhere! Gomantong Hill is the largest limestone outcrop in the Lower Kinabatangan area, and contains at least nine caves of which two caves - Simud Hitam (Black Cave) and Simud Putih (White Cave) - can be visited, Simud Hitam is more easily accessible. Drive all the way to the Information Centre and then walk to the caves.

 

Simud Hitam

Black Cave - the more accessible cave with only 10 minutes walk from Park Office ticket counter entrance, This cave is open to the public.
Cave ceiling reach 90 meters in high. Here produced the less-valuable "black saliva" nests. These "Black Nest" contain both feathers and saliva produced by the black-nest swiftlet species.

Simud Putih

White Cave is the larger of the two caves and also more dangerous. Not open to public with special permission is required to enter. A a steep 30 minute climb further up the mountains. The main entrance is located 90meters above Simud Hitam.
Here the more valuable "white saliva" nests are produced by 3 species of more valuable white-nest swiftlet :
1) Collocalia maxima
2) Collocalia fuciphaga
3) Collocalia germani



The Gomantong Caves are an intricate cave system inside Gomantong Hill in Lower Kinabatangan area, in the Malaysian state of Sabah.
Access is in the form of a wooden walkway circuiting the interior. Wear a hat when you go.
Located inside Sabah Parks forest reserve, the caves and the surrounding area are a protected area for wildlife such as orangutans.
Investigation of the guano deposits were first made in 1889 by J.H. Allard of the China Borneo Company
The caves were first mapped by P. Orolfo in 1930.


Gomantong CavesGomantong CavesGomantong Caves


Gomantong Caves
Bat Cave
The cave is also peopled by thousands of bats which produce an enormous pile of guano shit on which you walk into the cave. Cockroaches are everywhere! Gomantong Hill is the largest limestone outcrop in the Lower Kinabatangan area, and contains at least nine caves of which two caves - Simud Hitam (Black Cave) and Simud Putih (White Cave) - can be visited, Simud Hitam is more easily accessible. Drive all the way to the Information Centre and then walk to the caves.


Gomantong CavesGomantong CavesGomantong CavesGomantong Caves





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