Mulu Caves Bat Watching in Sarawak Borneo


Bat watching at the Mulu Caves is one of the highlights of your trip to the Mulu National Park in Sarawak Borneo. People from all over the world come here just to see this spectacular sight where millions of Malaysian fruit bats make their way out from the caves in search for food. One needs to trek in about 45 minutes to an hour from the park entrance and you will end up at the Bat Observatory of the park. Getting here is quite an exciting nature walk with abundance of flora and fauna to observe. Note that a park guide will always be with you on your way in as you cannot go in without a guide. A fee of RM10.00 (US$3.30) per person is charged on each entry to the Mulu national park.

There is also a certain time when the bats fly out from the Deer Cave and usually it is between 5pm and 7pm. On occasions they have been known to fly out on cloudy days at 4pm. This is according to the park guide where the bats think it is getting dark.


Bats circling at Mulu Caves

Watching the bats come out is amazing but what many people do not get a chance to see is when the bats do a circle just at the cave mouth before proceeding out in a single wavy file. From the bat observatory, you will not be able to see them circling, you only see them flying out in the wavy formation. So, those who come out last from exploring the caves will get a chance to see this amazing sight of bats circling.

The bats will circle for a few minutes and then when everyone is there, they will leave the cave. On one occasion, I actually saw an eagle swoop in to the circle and grab one of the bats.

Video of bats flying out the Deer Cave

Bats leaving the Mulu Cave


Close up of the fruit bats leaving the Deer Cave

Bats on a closer view leaving in swarms

Millions of bats leaving the cave



Bats flying out of Mulu Caves

You can easily spend a good 1 to 2 hours sitting at the Bat Observatory watching them come out batch by batch snaking their way to dinner. The park guide told me that there was an estimate of about 3-4 millions fruit bats that make the Deer Caves their home. This will also explain why the smell of Bat Guano is so strong inside the cave. One might think that they would all come out in one flow but that is not how it works. They will come out in batches. Some short and some really long. So, sit back, relax and watch them fly off. If you have a nice sunset, it would be a bonus.

If the weather does not look good on that day, they have a Bat Viewing TV in the Observatory as there is a Bat Cam located in the Deer Caves to capture live streaming footage of the bats leaving. There is also more info on the Fruit Bat in the observatory for the curious.

Mulu Caves Bat Video

You can also read more about the Mulu National Park where you can find many interesting caves like Deer Cave, Lang Cave, Wind Cave and Clearwater Cave and the best resort there which is the Royal Mulu Resort.

For those of you who have plans to visit Sarawak Borneo, make sure that you have the Mulu National Park as one of the places to visit. Here you can easily spend a good five days till a full week exploring the many caves, hiking and trekking and also visiting some of the Penan Villages along the river. Make sure you have an extra day planned just to do the Mulu Caves Bat Watching in Sarawak.

5 comments