Kinabatangan River Cruise | Half Day | Sabah, Borneo


MYR 305.00

If you are short on time during your holiday, and really want to have the chance to see some of the wildlife Borneo is famous for, then the Kinabatangan River Half Day Trip is an ideal choice. During this trip you'll join a late afternoon river cruise along the famous Kinabatangan River in search of wildlife along the river banks, followed by dinner at a Lodge located along the Kinabatangan River. Short & sweet!


Kinabatangan River Cruise - Half Day Tour in Sabah, Borneo

A river cruise along the Kinabatangan River is typically in the 'top 5' for most tourists coming on holiday to Sabah, Borneo. The Kinabatangan River offers a relatively easily accessible, and affordable, option for viewing wildlife along the banks the river and in the rainforest fringing the river banks.

Most visitors going to the Kinabatangan River will join a 2D1N or 3D2N Kinabatangan River Cruise Trip as they offer more river cruise activities and, therefore, increased opportunities for seeing wildlife. If you are short on time during your action packed holiday and only have an afternoon and evening free then this half day trip is an ideal choice for you. During this trip you will join a late afternoon river cruise down the Kinabatangan River. Kinabatangan River Cruise, Sabah, Borneo is famous for its astounding multiplicity of wildlife creatures. As well as being home to several species of primates the river is home to underwater inhabitants, crocodiles. From bird watching to seeing snake coiled up on a branch overhanging the river, this half day river cruise adventure is a match make in heaven for wildlife and nature enthusiasts who are short on time in Sandakan.

Prepare to be amazed on your Kinabatangan River Cruise Half Day Tour

If you want more wildlife encounters during your holiday in Borneo, and have an extra day available, then you should consider the 2D1N Kinabatangan River Trip as an ideal alternative and join to river cruises and a visit to Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary.

Trip Itinerary - Kinabatangan River Cruise Half Day Tour

10:45hrs - 11:00hrs: For those staying in hotels in Sandakan you will be collected for your tour. You will then be transferred to Sepilok area.

11:30hrs -11:50hrs: Customers staying in Resort / Lodges near Sepilok will be collected for the Kinabatangan River Cruise Half Day Trip.

11:50hrs - 12:30hrs: You will stop at Mango Garden Restaurant at Nature Lodge Sepilok where you will have a chance to have lunch (lunch is included for new bookings from 8th August 2018) and have a toilet break. If you do not want to have lunch you can relax in the seated area in the Lodge's large, open reception area.

12:30hrs: You will then be transferred by minibus to Kinabatangan Nature Lodge which is located on the banks of the Kinabatangan River in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, a ~ 2.5 hour journey (including stop). On the way you will make a brief stop typically at Kota Kinabatangan the nearest town from Nature Lodge Kinabatangan, to refresh (toilet stop plus cafe facilities available). During the journey you will pass by small towns, oil palm plantations and local villages. Most of the villagers are the Orang Sungei (derived from the Malay words, "the river people"). Their main source of living income is fishing and, in time of low harvest, they build boats. Some of the locals work on the oil palm plantations. During the harvesting season in Gomantong cave, they work as harvesters for the Swiftlet bird's nest.

~14:45hrs - 15:00hrs (subject to traffic): Arrive at Kg. Bilit and take a short boat ride across the Kinabatangan River to the Lodge, the starting point for your late afternoon Kinabatangan River Cruise. Your Nature Guide will provide a wildlife & conservation briefing in advance of your river cruise (if you arrive at the Lodge after 3:30pm this briefing will happen after the Kinabatangan River cruise. After the briefing you can relax in the Lodge's restaurant area (free flow water, coffee and tea available for free) before your Kinabatangan River cruise starts.

16:00hrs: You will join your late afternoon Kinabatangan River cruise in search of wildlife along the Kinabatangan River (for ~ 2 hours). Life jackets will be provided for your river cruise. The Kinabatangan River is home to at least six different species of primates including the Proboscis Monkey, Leaf Monkey, Long and Short Tailed Macaques, Gibbons and even the Orangutan. During certain times of the year, you will also catch the Borneo Pygmy Elephants at the riverbank. There will also be plenty of opportunities to see bird life such as the White Egret, Oriental Darter, Rhinoceros Hornbills and the Buffey Fish Owl.

18:00hrs: Around 6pm you will return back to the Kinabatangan Nature Lodge. It's then time for dinner at the Lodge's restaurant, set amidst secondary forest. After dinner, there will be a brief presentation on the wildlife in Kinabatangan area and also the conservation programme under taken by Nature Lodge Kinabatangan. You will have the opportunity to contribute the Voluntary Conservation Levy-VCL (RM20.00) which was initiated by WWF Malaysia and supported by the Kinabatangan-corridor of Life Tourism Association (KiTA) which goes towards supporting conservation efforts in the area.

20:00hrs: Start your transfer back to your hotel in Sandakan city. Estimated time of return to Sandakan city is 2200hrs.

Trip Pre-requisites - Kinabatangan River Cruise Half Day Tour

The trip is open to all. Minimum 2 persons per booking.

Trip Inclusions

  • Return transfer from Sandakan or Sepilok area to Kinabatangan Nature Lodge (by road).
  • Return short boat transfer from Kg. Bilit to the Kinabatagan Lodge.
  • 1 x late afternoon Kinabatangan river cruise. The Kinabatangan River cruise included with this trip will travel as far upstream as ~7km to Pontian Point and downstream maximum ~ 10 km to Tenegang Besar Point.
  • Meal: Lunch (for new bookings from 8th August 2018), Dinner.
  • Refreshments: free flow water, coffee and tea in the restaurant at the Kinabatangan Lodge.
  • Guiding by a licensed Nature Guide (English speaking).
  • 0% Sales & Service Tax on the tour price as applicable from 6th May 2019.

Trip Exclusions

  • Personal spend
  • Other meals no stated. Alcoholic or soft drinks at the Lodge.
  • Single supplement if you book this trip on your own (and no other customers are booked on the same trip).

The Kinabatangan River Cruise trip price is based on a shared trip basis - surcharges are applicable if you would like a private boat for the river cruise, or private land transfer via minibus.

Recommended Packing List For The Trip - Kinabatangan River Cruise Trip

Comfortable clothing for a tropical climate, binocular for viewing wildlife, insect repellent, raincoat, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses. Please take you passport with you on this trip - your passports will be checked at the Kinabatangan Lodge.


If weather, or other factors (e.g. land slide), makes an activity unsafe the Lodge will adapt the trip itinerary for safety reasons. There will be no refund if a trip itinerary needs to be adapted on the day due to safety reasons.

The Kinabatangan River Cruise half day trip price is valid for trips taken up to 31st December 2020.

Myself, wife and son have recently completed a Kinabatangan River tour and feel compelled to write to confirm what an exceptional experience the whole event turned out to be. Our driver Alan was prompt and very courteous picking us up from the Sheraton hotel in Sandacan and taking us to the lodge for lunch (which was excellent) and the return drive late on in the evening. He was exceptional.

The trip to the river jetty was a little arduous with at times poor road conditions and was hard driving but Alan was an accomplished driver and he remained very courteous throughout the 2 hour journey and felt safe with him

On reaching the River we were impressed with the staff on the lodge side if the river who made us feel very welcome. After a brief tour of the facility we were taken to the River where our guide and ‘pilot was Ramsan. There were a number of competing boats on the river at the time but Ramsan seemed to have an added insight into where the best spotting places were and boy did we see some wildlife. We had the right guy here! When we returned we were treated to another cracking meal prior to departure back to the hotel.

Ordinarily I do not write tour reviews however the experience which we had on our river trip on the day was such that I just had to give praise to those guys that made it such a great day for us.

We very much enjoyed our trip, thank you very much. It was the perfect trip for a flying visit, as we’re already now into day 2 of our Hong Kong stop. The half day trip was perfect for us although I’d hope to do a couple of nights next time we’re in Borneo!

We were overjoyed to see the wildlife that we did. Our guide Beatrice was lovely and personable, and tried hard to find every type of wildlife possible for us.

The pick up and drop off were right on time, it was all very smooth and easy. The meal was delicious and our dietary requirements were catered to well. The atmosphere was great at the lodge and we met lots of nice, friendly people.

Kinabatangan River Half Day Trip - We did the Kinabatangan River Half Day Trip and it was very well organised. It took about 2 hours from Sandakan and we were picked up and dropped off at the hotel. Definitely bring a light raincoat & sunscreen with you as the weather is changeable on the river, Also a pair of binoculars is a must. You will be supplied a life jacket. Whilst on the river we were extremely lucky to see Proboscis Monkeys, Long and Short Tailed Macaques, Borneo Pygmy Elephants, Rhinoceros hornbill and even an Orangutan. It was a buffet for dinner and the food was good, the toilet facilities are undercover, reasonably clean, but are basic and expect a few spiders. Overall a nice trip but you will see over 2 hours of palm oil plantations ( this really does make you consider the use of palm oil at home) so I would bring a book or something to read.
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