Top 10 Waterfalls of Sabah

Sabah's Top 10 Waterfalls
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The mountainous terrain of Sabah makes us the land of waterfalls. There are thousands of waterfalls in Sabah forest, most are waiting for explorers to name them. Looking at waterfall can calm our minds better than watching the whirling movement in washing machine. So I compile a list of Sabah’s Top 10 Waterfalls for those who want to enjoy heavy doses of negative ions.

location map of top 10 Sabah waterfalls
Pic: the location of Top 10 Sabah waterfalls.

Besides Scale, this waterfall ranking is also based on Popularity, Accessibility and Travel Experience. That’s why some giant waterfalls are not listed. For example, though Kadamaian Waterfall is the highest waterfall of Sabah, it is too difficult to get there. Please note that most height measurement is by estimation.

No. 10. Kiansom Waterfall

Location: Inanam, Kota Kinabalu
Height: 7-Meter (23 Feet)
Kiansom Waterfall
Yes, I know, Kiansom is the smallest waterfall in the top 10 list. It is listed because it is the most famous, accessible and visited waterfall in Kota Kinabalu city. I can’t exclude the waterfall that everyone loves.
» Read more about Kiansom Waterfall…

No. 9. Gelas Waterfall

Location: Tawau Hills Park, Tawau
Height: 12 Meters (40 Feet)
Gelas Waterfall
Gelas Waterfall is situated in Tawau Hills Park, a lush rainforest zone and source of five rivers. Hiking to Gelas Waterfall is a pleasure to nature lovers, as they can visit the tallest tropical tree in the world and soak in sulphurous hot springs in the park.
» Read more about Gelas Waterfall…

No. 8. Tawai Waterfall

Location: Tawai Forest Reserve, Telupid
Height: 95 Meters (311 Feet)
Tawai Waterfall
Tawai Waterfall is the least-known waterfall, but its view is so spectacular that it will blow you away. The area around this waterfall is full of Borneo pitcher plant. Denmark’s biggest television network, Tv2, has chosen this waterfall for filming of “Girls Off The Beaten Track”.
» Read more about Tawai Waterfall…

No. 7. Madai Falls

Location: Madai-Baturong Forest Reserve, Kunak
Height: 40 Meter (131 Feet)
Madai Falls
Madai Falls is probably the first Sabah waterfall visited by human, maybe a caveman about 28,000 years ago. I’m not joking. Archaeologists say Madai-Baturong has the oldest human settlement of Sabah. I believe stone-age people love waterfalls as much as we do.
» Read more about Madai Falls…

No. 6. Fairy Waterfall

Location: Danum Valley, Lahad Datu
Height: 27 Meters (89 Feet)
Fairy Waterfall
This shy Fairy Waterfall is hiding deep inside the 130-million Borneo rainforest of Danum Valley. The photo here may not look impressive because it was taken during prolonged drought. Danum Valley will be nominated as the next UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sabah/Borneo.
» Read more about Fairy Waterfall…

No. 5. Fefukan Waterfall

Location: Long Pasia
Wide: 20 Meters (66 Feet)
Fefukan Waterfall
To see Fefukan, Travellers need to hike a long way to the Heart of Borneo, making it the most remote and least visited waterfall in my list. Camping next to this waterfall is one of my most unforgettable experience. Lucky visitors would see blooming rafflesia around there.
» Read more about Fefukan Waterfall…

No. 4. Mahua Waterfall

Location: Tambunan
Height: 17 Meters (55 Feet)
Mahua Waterfall
As part of the Crocker Range Park, Mahua Waterfall is protected as a water catchment area. Hence, visitors can enjoy cooling and refreshing water from clean mountain stream. On the way to Mahua Waterfall, you may drop by Tambunan Rafflesia Center to check if you are lucky enough to see a blooming rafflesia.
» Read more about Mahua Waterfall…

No. 3. Imbak Falls

Location: The Heart of Sabah, Tongod
Wide: 30-Meter (98 Feet)
Imbak Falls

Imbak Falls
Even though Imbak Falls is only 6 Meters (20 feet) high, it is the widest waterfall of Sabah. I just love sitting in the river, as the strong current turns its waterfall pond into a Jacuzzi bath area.
» Read more about Imbak Falls…

No. 2. Langanan Waterfall

Location: Poring, Kinabalu Park
Height: 120 Meters (394 Feet)
Langanan Waterfall
Located in Poring Hot Springs, the most popular destination of Sabah and 1st UNESCO World Heritage Site of Malaysia, the majestic view of 120-Meter-tall Langanan Waterfall is only saved for those visitors who are keen to hike nearly 4 Kilometers (2.3 Miles). It is more enjoyable to soak yourself in the hot spring after a long walk in the jungle.
» Read more about Langanan Waterfall…

No. 1. Maliau Falls

Location: Maliau Basin, Tawau
Height (of the highest tier): 28-Meter (92 Feet)
Maliau Falls
Here you go. The No.1 Waterfall of Sabah is the 7-tier Maliau Falls in Maliau Basin, Sabah’s Lost World. To see Maliau Falls, you need to trek 2 days on the treacherous relief and pass through miles and miles of dense pristine rainforest.

Maliau Falls
With over 30 waterfalls (and counting), Maliau Basin is also known as the Capital of Waterfalls, and Maliau Falls is the most breath-taking among them. Another feature of this waterfall is its tea-color water, which is caused by plant tannin released from heath forest upstream. The magnificent Maliau Falls will leave a beautiful memory in you, a scene that you like to replay in mind from time to time.
» Read more about Maliau Falls…

Which Waterfall is your Favorite?

Do you agree with the Top 10 Waterfalls list? Please vote for your favorite waterfall below. I would love to see if everyone shares the same view. You can even add new waterfall if your favorite is not in the list.

Headline for Top 10 Waterfalls of Sabah
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Murphy Ng Murphy Ng
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Top 10 Waterfalls of Sabah

Ten best Sabah waterfalls with different features

Top 10 Waterfalls of Sabah | Maliau Falls

7-tier waterfall in Sabah's Lost World

Top 10 Waterfalls of Sabah | Langanan Waterfall

Waterfall in UNESCO World Heritage Site

Top 10 Waterfalls of Sabah | Imbak Falls

Waterfall in the Heart of Sabah

Top 10 Waterfalls of Sabah | Mahua Waterfall

Refreshing water from clean mountain stream

Top 10 Waterfalls of Sabah | Fefukan Waterfall

Waterfall in the Heart of Borneo

Top 10 Waterfalls of Sabah | Fairy Falls

Waterfall in 130-million-year old Borneo rainforest

Top 10 Waterfalls of Sabah | Madai Waterfall

First waterfall visited by stone-age people

Top 10 Waterfalls of Sabah | Tawai Waterfall

Waterfall in pitcher plant garden

Top 10 Waterfalls of Sabah | Gelas Waterfall

Waterfall in hill forest

Top 10 Waterfalls of Sabah | Kiansom Waterall

Most visited waterfall

Below is a montage of Top 10 Sabah Waterfalls (Click it for bigger picture). You may share it in your Facebook.
Sabah's Top 10 Waterfall
Thanks to readers who link to me.

Waterfall Safety

Accident is like winning lottery, we get it when we are least expecting it. Waterfall is an inviting dead trap that takes countless lives (especially over-excited kids). Please pay attention to the following precaution if you want to “play” with waterfall:

  1. Don’t swim near to the waterfall. The waterfall pond can be deep, with unseen swift currents underneath.
  2. Don’t climb to the top of waterfall, as the rocks there are usually slippery.
  3. Don’t stand under the waterfall. Even a small stone fallen high from top can cause severe injury.
  4. During wet season, watch out for flash flood. Flash flood can occur even if there is no rain downstream.
  5. Teachers, if you plan to bring a group of pupils to swim at waterfall, equip yourself with lifebuoy, rope and CPR knowledge.

If you know any nice waterfall around your hometown, please share with us by posting the photo in comment box below.

“Life is like a waterfall, it is always moving and there is always an uneven flow to it.” – SooHoo

Photos taken in Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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By Murphy Ng
  • Gosh! These are spectacular! I think for leisure, Fefukan is real nice. I like Tawai though. Looks a bit ‘intimidating’ and untamed, yet fascinating! 🙂

  • Hi Ennie, Sabah really has a lot of waterfalls. Probably I visit less than 5% of them. I’ll revise the list when I see more better and bigger waterfalls in future. 🙂

  • RD

    Kadamaian Fall

  • Hi RD, I always want to visit Kadamaian Fall, but that’s a restricted area controlled by Sabah Parks. The landslide there also makes that place dangerous.

  • Sio Jack

    Hi Murphy,
    I Just visited Mesisilad and Temburukoi Waterfall yesterday here near Tenom Actually it is a part of Crocker Range Park. Not so big but very clean and nice with deep pond i think. You must pay a visit.

  • Thank you Jack. The waterfalls in Tenom must be very clean and cooling. There has been a long time I didn’t go to Tenom, sure will drop by the waterfalls there someday. Do you have the photos of these waterfalls?

  • Sio Jack

    Yes i have take some photos. I forgot to take proper picture of 1st mesisilad waterfall, only one with me in the frame hehe..

  • Guest
  • Sio Jack
  • Thank you for sharing the photos with me Jack. Both waterfalls are so inviting. I hope it won’t be too cold to sit in the pond and enjoy couple of beer 😀

  • Sabinus

    Tanak Nabalu Homestay have a beautiful Waterfall. I don’t have the foto but I post in my blog. You can see it. So beautiful, but so adventure to going there.

    http://binusewoll.blogspot.sg/2012/08/tanak-nabalu-homestay-camp-site.html

  • Thanks Sabinus. That’s cool. What’s the name of that waterfall?

  • Eddie Chia

    ulu telupid waterfall in ulu telupid forest reserve

  • Eddie Chia

    ulu telupid watrerfall

  • Eddie Chia

    ulu telupid waterfall