A naturalists’ paradise, the Danum Valley Conservation Area, located around 80km away from Lahad Datu town, is renowned for its intricate ecosystem and is officially designated as a Class 1 (Protection) Forest Reserve under the Sabah Forestry Enactment 1968. The enchanted forest functions as a habitat for a diverse array of flora and fauna, including but not limited to the banteng, clouded leopard, orangutan, slow loris, proboscis monkey, and the critically endangered Bornean pygmy elephant.
Danum Valley is also the home to the Yellow Meranti tree species (Shorea faguetiana), which has the distinction of being the tallest tropical tree in the world. With a measured height of 100.8 meters or 330.7 feet, the colossal tree referred to as ‘Menara’ (derived from the Malay term meaning Tower) stands a mere 21.2 meters shorter than the renowned Tun Mustapha Tower located in Kota Kinabalu.
Visitors desiring to immerse themselves in this region’s marvels can partake in various activities, including guided treks, bird watching, and night drives. Numerous remarkable observations have been documented by visitors who have been present in the vicinity. In addition, visitors can see an ancient burial site, complete with belian coffins and porcelain spirit jars. A total of three burial sites have been uncovered within the vicinity of Danum Valley. Specifically, two of these sites are located in close proximity to the field centre, while the third site is situated beneath the cliff, providing a vantage point overlooking the Borneo Rainforest Lodge.
Prominent individuals that have graced their present in this area include Prince William and Catherine Middleton, The Prince and Princess of Wales, esteemed natural historian Sir David Attenborough, actress Dame Judi Dench, and renowned lifestyle guru Martha Stewart.
Within the spanning 43,892 forest reserve area, there exist two tourism facilities that offer public access, allowing anyone keen to immerse themselves in the remarkable natural features of Sabah’s lowland dipterocarp forest. The two establishments are the Borneo Rainforest Lodge and the Danum Valley Studies Centre (DVSC).
The Borneo Rainforest Lodge (BRL), situated alongside the Danum River, is a renowned eco-lodge that has received international recognition for its exceptional standards. The premium villas and chalets provided by the establishment provide individuals of all age groups with an exceptional experience and a high level of comfort, allowing them to relax comfortably amidst the forest surroundings while enjoying a luxurious touch.
The property is designed with focus on environmental consciousness, aiming to achieve sustainability and limit its impact on the natural environment. The comfort amenities provided, such as room fragrance, hand wash, shampoos and soaps, are made using natural components including usage of eco-friendly cleaning agents. In addition, the operation incorporates an organic composting routine and a waste segregation management system.
The Borneo Rainforest Lodge provides a comprehensive package that includes full board accommodations and various engaging activities, catering to the interests of both adult and young travellers alike. The experience can be customised to accommodate the preferences of individual guests. The program includes activities such as jungle trekking, nature walks, night drives, scenic observation at viewpoints, visits to Fairy Waterfall, river tubing, and the opportunity to explore the lodge’s canopy walkway. The walkway features viewing platforms situated 27 meters above the forest floor, providing panoramic views of the surroundings. Despite its remote location, the BRL establishment consistently delivers exceptional hospitality services to its visitors.
The Danum Valley Studies Centre (DVSC), formerly referred to as the Danum Valley Field Centre, is a globally recognised scientific establishment that was founded in 1986 with the primary objectives of conducting research, providing education and training opportunities, and facilitating outdoor recreation activities. The collaboration between The Royal Society of United Kingdom’s South East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP) and the Danum Valley Management Committee, known as DVMC is a testament for the long-standing partnership established since 1984.
DVSC provides many accommodation options for guests, including chalets, resthouse, and hostel amenities. Among the activities that can be organised here include guided walk, bird watching, nature photography, camping, swimming, and dawn observation and more.
In the past, these facilities were exclusively designated for researchers; however, they have since been made accessible to visitors seeking modest accommodations while engaging in exploration activities inside the Danum Valley Conservation Area.
In order to access Danum Valley, it is necessary to make prior arrangements to acquire permissions and ensure the availability of transportation and accommodation. Access to the premises is restricted exclusively to vehicles that have been officially registered. The duration of tour packages range from 3 days 2 nights up to 5 days 4 nights with an option for night extension. These packages may be conveniently arranged through direct coordination with the product owners or tour operators offering these packages for sale.
For bookings and enquiries contact:
Danum Valley Studies Centre
Conservation and Environmental Management Division,
Yayasan Sabah Complex,
12th Floor, Tun Mustapha Tower,
88817 Kota Kinabalu,Sabah
Tel: +6017 488435
Borneo Nature Tours Sdn Bhd (Borneo Rainforest Lodge)
Block B, Lot 11 &12, 3rd Floor,
KK Times Square, Off Coastal Highway,
88100 Kota Kinabalu,Sabah, Malaysia
Tel: +6088 251 636