The town of Kapit is the capital of the Kapit District in the Kapit Division, Sarawak, east Malaysia on the south bank of the Rajang River. The district comprises 15,595.6 square kilometers and as of 2002 has a population of 60,200.
Rajah Charles Brooke founded Fort Kapit in 1880 as a garrison town, primarily to prevent the Iban from migrating up-river and attacking Orang Ulu settlements. The fort was later renamed Fort Sylvia, after the wife of Rajah Vyner Brooke, Rani Sylvia Brooke, but the town retained the name of Kapit. Initially settled by Hoklo (Hokkien) Chinese in 1880, additional Ka Chinese immigrants arrived in 1906, and Fuzhou Chinese in 1919. The Chinese grew rubber and pepper and traded treated rubber sheet and forest products. In 1941, at the time of the Japanese occupation, Kapit only had two rows of 37 shophouses. The town was completely destroyed by allied bombing during the war. Kapit today remains as a busy but compact town with a few streets running parallel to the river.
Although accessible only by boat (slightly more than 2 hours from Sibu by express boat) or light aircraft, it is the vibrant commercial and social center for the middle Rajang River catering to the longhouse communities and timber camps. It is an excellent base for exploring nearby longhouses or for arranging trips to the Upper Rejang and Balleh Rivers.