Bario/Kelabit Highlands: General Information
Bario, Ba'Kelelan, Long Seridan, Long
Llelang and the Penan Settlements.
Bario in the Kelabit Highlands
of Sarawak is also a favourite optional trip for those keen on jungle trekking; with no
roads in or out of Bario, you have to go as everyone else does - on foot! The cooler
climate and hilly landscape combined with the friendliness of the people make this a
High up in the mountains,
beyond Mulu and close to the border with Indonesian Kalimantan lie the Kelabit Highlands,
named after the predominant tribe in the area.
There are no roads in and out
of Bario and many of the other villages, only jungle trails. Distances are measured in
hours or days on foot; all luxuries like petrol ($15 a gallon!) or Coca-Cola have to be
flown in by air. This is a rural air service operated at present by the Twin Otter
aircraft of Malaysian Airlines, and a new charter service just started using a similar
Dornier light aircraft.
Facilities are quite primitive
by "modern" standards and the food is mostly rice and home grown vegetables.
Wild boar is hunted and eaten most days when in season. There are superb walks in and
around Bario (you will meet almost everyone if you stay a few days!) and good jungle
trekking to nearby Kelabit villages and Penan settlements. Reckon on 4 - 8 hours walking
per day, if going to other villages and longhouses, some of it inevitably in rain and mud.
But the climate is so much cooler (around 22 to 25°C in the daytime and quite chilly at
night). Sometimes the odd night has to be spent at jungle shelters en route if the
distances are too great. Suitable (rubber) walking shoes can be supplied for the slippery
Superd walks and
The Kelabit people