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Gomantong Caves

Listed under Caves & Caving in Sandakan, Malaysia.

Photo of Gomantong Caves
Photo by Dave Clucas
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The Gomantong Caves make up the most extensive and intricate rock chamber system in the Sabah region. They are concealed inside an enormous limestone hill in a wildlife conservation area, and surrounded by acres of forest that plays host to eagles, kingfishers, orangutans, bats and swiftlets.

The collection of the swiftlets’ nests for use in bird’s nest soup is a sustainable cottage industry in Borneo, and the associated skills of climbing to the roofs of the terrifyingly high caves to scrape the nests from the rock faces where they are fixed has been handed down from generation to generation of local families.

Only licensed collectors from local communities are permitted to gather the nests, and only after the chicks have fledged, from July to September, or in the early Spring, before the eggs are laid in May.

The white nests, which are made of featherless, pure saliva, often fetch up to the equivalent of £1000 per kilogram.

Written by  larapiegeler.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

I've been here. Was definitely worth a visit! Apart from the 20ft mountain of bat poo, dung beetles and cockroaches our tour guide made us climb. Was an experience to remember none the less. Not for people with a dislike to something out of Indiana Jones...

1 Reply

That makes it sound even more exciting - thanks! I'm definitely going to go now!

Hi, Copy photo's if possible

My wife and I visited Gomantong caves. they were fantastic, but just as we entered my battery ran out on my camera. we always make an album up of our trips and have no pictures. we could print paper copies but real photo's would be great. please help Andrew

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