Madai Caves, Sabah are located in Tawau Division of Sabah, eastern Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. The caves are accessible by land and are the habitat of countless swiftlets. These nests are harvested twice a year by licensed collectors who risk their lives by climbing on top of the roof of the caves using only rattan ladders, ropes, and bamboo poles precariously attached together. This event is like a festival of the local Idahan villagers, who have held the rights to Madai Caves for over 20 generations.
The caves is one of Sabah's historical sites and traces of human existence and inhabitation can be traced back over the past 15,000 years which are preserved in the layers of guano (bat droppings) that can be found inside the caves.
Madai is easily accessible since it is located 1.6kms from the main road. There are a number of wooden houses located outside the caves which are occupied seasonally especially during the months of harvesting. The caves are guarded by a few local residents against illegal harvesters.
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