Stretching 560km from the Crocker Range in the southwest of Sabah to the Sulu Sea in the east, the Kinabatangan River sustains one of the world's richest ecosystems. The surrounding areas along the river consist of five distinct habitats - dipterocarp or dry, waterlogged and limestone forests, and freshwater and saline swamps. The lower basin of the river itself is the largest forest covered floodplain in Malaysia and has the largest concentration of wildlife in the South East Asian region.
Other than being home to Borneo's indigenous orang utan and proboscis monkey, the surrounding forest is also one of only two known places in the world where 10 species of primates are found. All the eight species of hornbill found in Borneo make the area their home.
A trip up the river at dawn or dusk is the best opportunity to see the wildlife. You might even sight an Asian elephant or a Sumatran rhinoceros wandering through the trees. Optional tours can be arranged for night safaris as well to spot crocodiles, birds and nocturnal animals.
Many major local tour companies run lodges in the Sukau area with packages that include accommodation, transportation, meals and guided tours. Alternatively, you may want to experience the homestay programme which is available at surrounding villages and which provides a good opportunity to truly experience the life of the Orang Sungai. Join in their cultural activities or even try your hand at the local way of farming!
The overland trip from Sandakan to Sukau covers 135km where 42km of the journey is on gravel road through palm oil plantations. A 350km drive from Kota Kinabalu is also possible but will take at least six hours. Transportation can be arranged with local tour operators.
For more info, please refer to directory listing for the list of tour operators.
- Agnes Keith House
- Batu Tulug
- Gomantong Cave
- Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
- Lankayan Island
- Libaran Island
- Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC)
- Sandakan Crocodile Farm
- Sandakan Golf & Country Club
- Sandakan Heritage Trail
- Sandakan Memorial Park
- Sandakan Town
- Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary
- St. Michael's and All Angels Church, Sandakan
- Turtle Island Park
- Balung River Eco Resort, Tawau
- Kawang Forest Centre, Kinarut / Papar
- Kiulu White Water Rafting, Tuaran
- Kota Kinabalu Wetlands, Kota Kinabalu (Capital City)
- Madai - Baturong Forest Reserve Nature Centre, Lahad Datu
- Maga Waterfall of Long Pasia, Sipitang
- Mesilau, Kundasang
- Mountain Torq Via Ferrata, Kundasang
- Outdoor Development Centre (ODEC), Kota Kinabalu (Capital City)
- Rafflesia Information Centre, Tambunan
- Rumbia Information Centre, Kuala Penyu
- Sorinsim Waterfall, Kota Marudu
- Zip Borneo (Kiulu), Tuaran