Tambunan Rafflesia Reserve
Tambunan Rafflesia Reserve information
Near the top of the Crocker Range, next to the main highway 20km from Tambunan, is this park devoted to the world's largest flower. The Rafflesia Rangers can guide you into the jungle reserve for the day for RM100. Keningau-bound buses will stop here if you ask the driver to let you off, but getting back to Tambunan will require hitching on the highway. A round-trip taxi from Tambunan costs RM120, which includes waiting time.
The Rafflesia is a parasitic plant that grows hidden within the stems of jungle vines until it bursts into bloom, at which point it eerily resembles the monster plant from Little Shop of Horrors . It emits a stench of rotting flesh mimicking a newly dead animal, to attract carrion flies that help with pollination. The large bulbous flowers can be up to 1m in diameter. The 12 or so species of Rafflesia here are found only in Borneo and Sumatra; several species are unique to Sabah, but as they only bloom for a few days, it's hard to predict when you'll be able to see one.