Kinabatangan River Cruise & Danum Valley – The Best Wildlife and Rainforest Adventure in Sabah, Malaysia
This tour takes you to two of the most famous locations in Sabah, Borneo for wildlife sightings – the Kinabatangan River and Danum Valley Conservation Area. The Kinabatangan River is renowned for the diversity of wildlife found in the lower reaches of the River and is home to endangered species such as the Orangutan and Bornean Pygmy Elephant. The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is home to 200 species of birds including hornbills, stork-billed kingfishers and oriental darters. The Kinabatangan River is one of only two areas in the world inhabited by ten species of primate, four of which are endemic to Borneo including the famous proboscis monkey. The Kinabatangan River truly is a special place for a wildlife adventure in Sabah.
You will spend two nights in a Lodge located on the banks of the Kinabatangan River in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (Kinabatangan Nature Lodge located near Kampung Bilit). The Lodge offers comfortable, clean accommodation where you will stay in an Agamid Chalet.
Search for wildlife in the most famous wildlife spotting locations in Sabah – Kinabatangan River and Danum Valley
Following your visit to the Kinabatangan River, you will stay two nights at the stunning Borneo Rainforest Lodge located alongside the Danum River flowing through Sabah’s largest area of protected Lowland Rainforest – Danum Valley Conservation Area. The sheer beauty and rugged nature of Danum Valley will blow you away with its charm, character and teeming wildlife. This pristine rainforest is home to more than 340 species of birds, 124 species of mammals, 72 species of reptiles and 56 species of Amphibians – amazing! Together with the incredible Kinabatangan River, Danum Valley is the place where you are more likely than ever to experience the true beauty of our country in the wild.
Borneo Rainforest Lodge offers high-quality accommodation. The Lodge has 30 individual chalets with en-suite bathrooms, accommodating up to only 60 guests on any one day and on a full-board basis. Choose from a range of Chalet types all offering a very comfortable stay in this remote rainforest location.
This 5D4N Kinabatangan River and Danum Valley Tour really packs a punch and includes many activities to maximise your wildlife encounters including 4 x river cruises, night treks, trekking in Danum Valley Conservation Area, a visit to Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, Sun Bear Conservation Centre and to Gomantong Cave.
If you have more days available then why not add on a visit to Turtle Island at the start of this tour, or extend your stay at Danum Valley? We can help you make the most of your holiday in Borneo.
Trip Itinerary – 5D4N Kinabatangan River & Danum Valley Tour
Day 1 (Meals: L, D)
08:00hrs – 09:00hrs: Pick up from Hotel in Sandakan / Sandakan Airport – Flight must arrive at SDK by 8 am latest.
10:00hrs: Visit Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and watch the morning feeding session, followed by a visit to the Sun Bear Conservation Centre. At Sepilok, you will come up close and personal with human’s closest relative, the Orangutans.
It’s then time for lunch at a Lodge near Sepilok.
13:00hrs: After lunch, you will start your transfer to the Kinabatangan Lodge (a ~ 2-hour transfer by road), with a stop on the way to visit Gomantong Cave.
Arrive at the Kinabatangan Nature Lodge and check in to your chalet.
16:00hrs: Join a late afternoon river cruise (~ 2 hours) in search of wildlife along the riverbanks of the Kinabatangan River.
After dinner, at ~20:00hrs join a guided night walk behind the Kinabatangan Lodge in search of nocturnal life.
Overnight at the Kinabatangan Nature Lodge in an Agamid Chalet (with twin/triple / double bed, aircon and ensuite Shower Room). Click here to see photos of the accommodation at the Kinabatangan Nature Lodge located in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.
Day 2 (Meals: B, L, D)
06:00hrs: Join an early morning river cruise (~1.5 hours). Various species of wildlife and birdlife may be seen during your river cruise along the Kinabatangan River such as Proboscis Monkeys, Macaques, Hornbills, Kingfishers and even Orangutans.
07:30hrs: Return back to the Lodge for breakfast at 0800 hrs.
09:00hrs: After breakfast, you will start your trek through the nearby secondary lowland rainforest to the nearby Bilit Ox-Bow Lake. During the trek, you will learn more about the plant life and insect life found in the rainforest in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.
11:30hrs: Return to the Lodge for lunch at 1200 hrs.
13:00hrs: You now have a chance to rest and chill out at the Lodge before your late afternoon river cruise.
16:00hrs: Join another late afternoon river cruise along the Kinabatangan River for more wildlife sight-seeing.
18:00hrs: Return to the Lodge. After dinner, as an optional extra during your time at the Kinabatangan River, you can choose to join a local dance session. The Lodge team will teach a traditional dance from one of the tribes found in Sabah.
~20:00hrs: Join another guided night trek following a different trekking route behind the Lodge.
Day 3 (Meals: packed B, L, D)
06:00hrs: Join an early morning river cruise (~ 1 hour) – your last chance to see more birds and wildlife along the Kinabatangan River.
07:30hrs: Check out of the Lodge and collect your packed breakfast. Join a private minibus transfer to Borneo Rainforest Lodge office in Lahad Datu, a ~ 2.5-hour transfer.
10:00 am: Arrive at Borneo Rainforest’s Lodge’s office in Lahad Datu. After registration depart on an unscheduled transfer for your 2 and a half hours overland journey on a gravel road to Danum Valley Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Danum Valley has located 80km from Lahad Datu. The journey starts with the first 15km being the main Lahad Datu-Tawau road. The rest of the ride is on an unsealed private logging road.
~12:30hrs arrive at Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Check-in & have lunch.
14:30 – Slide presentation in the Conference Room.
15:00 – Afternoon Trek: Introduction to the forest through “Nature Trails” and the treetop “Canopy Walkway”. The Canopy Walkway is 300m in length and 26m at the highest point, for a close-up observation of the rainforest.
19:00 – Dinner at the Lodge.
20:30 – Night Drive in an open-top vehicle in search of nocturnal animal.
Overnight at Borneo Rainforest Lodge.
Day 4 (Meals: B, L, D)
07:00 – Breakfast at the Lodge.
09:00 – Morning Jungle Trek: Trek to the Kadazandusun burial site – “Coffin Cliff” – before proceeding to “View Point” for a bird’s eye view of the area. Descend to the “Jacuzzi Pool” for a refreshing dip.
12:30 – Lunch at the Lodge.
15:00 – Afternoon Jungle Trek or go for a relaxing session of ‘tubing’ down the Danum River.
19:00 – Dinner at the Lodge.
20:30 – Night Walk in search of nocturnal animals.
Overnight at Borneo Rainforest Lodge.
Day 5 (Meals: B, L)
07:00 – Breakfast at the Lodge.
Guests at own leisure – free and easy to relax at the Lodge.
12:00 – Lunch at the Lodge.
13:30 – Check out & depart for Lahad Datu airport (2 and a half hours drive). The recommended departure flight, to best fit in with the scheduled transfer, is LHD – BKI MH3023 / 1725hrs.
Trip Pre-requisites – Kinabatangan River & Danum Valley
There are no specific pre-requisites for joining this trip, however, for the trekking at Danum Valley, we recommend you are average fitness or above and comfortable at trekking for a couple of hours in tropical conditions. Minimum 2 persons per booking.
Trip Inclusions – 5 Day Kinabatangan River & Danum Valley Tour
- Road transfers during the trip as shown in the itinerary.
- English speaking qualified Nature Guide looking after you during your trip (joining shared activities).
- Visits to (and entrance fees) – Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sun Bear Conservation Centre and Gomantong Cave
- At the Kinabatangan River, you will join 2 x afternoon river cruise, 2 x morning river cruise, 2 x night walk and 1 x Oxbow Lake trek. The Kinabatangan River cruises included with this trip will travel as far upstream as ~7km to Pontian Point and downstream maximum ~ 10 km to Tenegang Besar Point.
- At Borneo Rainforest Lodge you will join 1 x morning jungle trek, 2 x afternoon jungle trek (one can be swapped for a tubing activity along the Danum River), 1 x night drive, 1 x night walk.
- 2 nights at Nature Lodge Kinabatangan in an Agamid Chalet (twin/double/triple beds, aircon, ensuite shower room).
- 2 nights at Borneo Rainforest Lodge (Chalet types include Standard, Deluxe, Premium Deluxe and Premium Villa – chalet type based on availability and price varies by chalet type).
- Meals as stated in the outline itinerary above.
- 0% Sales & Service Tax on the tour price as applicable from 6th May 2019.
Trip Exclusions – 5 Day Kinabatangan River & Danum Valley Tour
- Camera/video camera fees at Gomantong Cave, Sepilok Sanctuary and the Sun Bear Centre.
- Meals not mentioned. Soft drinks or alcoholic drinks during meals, or drinks at other times (not part of meals).
- Tourism Tax – the Tourism Tax is currently set with a flat rate of RM 10 per room per night.
- Flights, travel insurance, tipping (optional) and personal spend.
Recommended Packing List For The Trip – Kinabatangan River & Danum Valley
To get the most from this trip please bring with you raincoat, cap/hat, insect repellent, sun cream, sun hat, good walking shoes, comfortable cotton T-shirt, long sleeve top, long trousers (long trousers are required for treks), comfortable trekking shoes, long shorts, swimwear, binocular for observing wildlife, head torch for night trek, water bottle, camera and personal medications (if needed) and leech socks (for the treks). Please take your passport with you on this trip – your passports will be checked at the Kinabatangan Lodge.
Notes – 5 Day Kinabatangan River & Danum Valley Tour
Please note the timings in the above itinerary are typical timings. The exact timings during your trip can vary due to weather, traffic etc. All activities are subject to weather conditions and your safety. There is no refund in case any activity is cancelled due to bad weather or natural disaster.
Please contact us for a quote for our Kinabatangan River & Danum Valley 5 Day Tour.