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Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort | 2 Day | Sabah, Borneo

(1 customer review)

From: $373

Choose this 2D1N Package at the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort if you are short on time, the quality of accommodation is important to you, and you want to see wildlife during river cruises along the Kinabatangan River. The Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort provides a feeling of ‘exclusivity’ to its guests and very comfortable accommodation via its Deluxe Chalets.

Please note that the price shown above is for one adult based upon two adults booking together and staying in the same chalet. Child cost is based upon them sharing a chalet with two adults. Once you select the number of persons in your group and your start date. The total group cost will be displayed below the calendar excluding any optional extras chosen.

Prices valid from 1st April 2024 to 31st March 2025.

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KWR - Return road transfer

Let us help you take the stress out of getting to Sandakan Yacht Club (SYC) by adding on a return road transfer from Sandakan Hotel/Sandakan Airport/Sepilok Hotel to Sandakan Yacht Club. Price is per return transfer, per minivan.

Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort – 2-Day Wildlife Package Sabah, Malaysia

If you are planning on visiting the Kinabatangan River during your holiday in Sabah and you’d like to stay at a more secluded Lodge with high-quality accommodation, then look no further than a stay at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort.

The Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort is surrounded by a secondary rainforest reserve, pristine freshwater swamps and mangrove forest. The Resort is located 40km, or about an hour’s boat ride, from Sandakan Harbour. Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort is built on stilts and wooden walkways above ground to preserve the rainforest floors. During your 2D1N Package, you will stay in a Deluxe Chalets, which are spaced perfectly for privacy. Each spacious, comfortably designed Deluxe Chalet is equipped with a fan, aircon, ensuite bathroom, 40” TV with selected Astro channels, and a decked balcony.

Elephant in the Kinabatangan River area with Borneo Dream

Wildlife Encounters and Lovely Accommodation at the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort

During your 2D1N Wildlife Package at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, you will enjoy the following activities – return boat transfers from Sandakan jetty to the Resort, 1 x late afternoon river cruise, 1 x night safari, 1 x early morning river cruise.

The Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort is located in the Lower Kinabatangan Segma Wetlands, which is home to three Forest Reserves. The location is recognised as an internationally important wetland for its undisturbed ecosystems where several rare, endangered species live, such as the Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Proboscis Monkey and Rhinoceros Hornbill. The Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain, which the Resort borders, is home to an amazing diversity of flora and fauna with a record 1000 plant species, 90 fish species and reptilian and 50 mammal species. Bird watchers will also find this place incredible. There have been over 200 species of birds spotted around the reserve.

If you want to see more wildlife during your holiday in Sabah, why not combine this trip with a 2D1N Turtle Island trip and spend a night on Turtle Island, watch a Turtle nest and visit Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary? A lovely combination of wildlife trips in Sabah.

Orangutan in the Kinabatangan River area with Borneo Dream

Trip Itinerary – 2-Day Wildlife Package at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort

Day 1

~ 11:45 Meet the representative from Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort at the Sandakan Yacht Club Jetty (or add on the return transfer option above).

12 noon – Board the boat and start your journey by the river to Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort. The boat transfer to the resort will take ~ 1.5 hours and pass by mangroves and Abai village.

13:30 – arrive at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort. Check in to your Deluxe Chalet, then enjoy afternoon tea and a tasty local snack, ‘goring poising’ or banana fritter.

16:30 – Join your first-ever cruise along the Kinabatangan River. You’ll join a ~ 2-hour late afternoon river cruise in search of wildlife. Hopefully, you will see a wide variety of wildlife to photograph, including Macaques, Proboscis monkeys, orangutans and Borneo Pygmy Elephants (fingers crossed!). On the river cruise back to Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, you’ll get the chance to take photos of the landscape at dusk.

~18:30 – arrive back at the Resort. Time to freshen up and relax, then enjoy dinner at the Resort’s restaurant.

20:30 – 22:00 – After dinner, join a night river safari searching for nocturnal wildlife.

Overnight in a twin / double share Deluxe Chalet at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort.

Crocodile in the Kinabatangan River area with Borneo Dream

Day 2

06:00 – 09:00 – Join an early morning river cruise to enjoy more wildlife and birdlife encounters. You will cruise to the nearby oxbow lake to look for wildlife. You’ll be provided with a packed breakfast to eat during the river cruise. Later on the river cruise, you will also visit the local village, Kampung Abai, a small fishing village and have the chance to interact with the villagers.

09:00 – Return to the Resort for breakfast.

10:00 – Check out from Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort and transfer back by a river cruise to the Sandakan Yacht Club Jetty. Arrive at the jetty around 11:30hrs. Make your own journey from the Sandakan Yacht Club Jetty (or add on the return transfer option above).

Trip Pre-Requisites – 2-Day Wildlife Package at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, Sabah, Malaysia
This trip is suitable for all people.

Trip Inclusions

  • Accommodation in a Deluxe chalet (twin / double beds, fan, private bathroom – indoor and outdoor shower) at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort
  • 3 x river cruises in Abai, Kinabatangan (1 x morning, 1 x night safari, 1 x afternoon)
  • Land and boat transfers, as stated in the itinerary
  • Meals – afternoon tea and dinner on day 1, breakfast on day 2.
  • Guiding by an English-speaking licensed Nature Guide.
  • 0% Sales and service Tax on the tour price as applicable from 6th May 2019

Trip Exclusions
Transfers to Sandakan Yacht Club, Flights, alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages, travel insurance, meals not stated in the itinerary, tips

Recommended Packing List For The Trip
To get the most from this trip, please bring with you a raincoat, cap/hat, insect repellent, sun cream, comfortable trekking shoes, comfortable cotton T-shirt, long sleeve top, long or short trousers, binocular for observing wildlife, head torch for night river safari, camera and personal medications (if needed), essential toiletries, towel. Please take your passport with you on this trip – your passports will be checked at the Kinabatangan Lodge.

Notes – 2-Day Wildlife Package at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, Sabah, Malaysia. All activities are subject to weather conditions.

1 review for Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort | 2 Day | Sabah, Borneo

  1. English

    Rona Hill

    The Wetlands experience was absolutely fantastic. What an amazing place.
    We were very lucky with regards to the animals, we saw everything we wanted to!
    Our guide was very charming and knowledgeable.
    The accommodation here was first class (although the pillows were very hard).
    Excellent food and delightful staff.
    Altogether a wonderful experience.
    We would thoroughly recommend booking with Borneo Dreams.

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Kinabatangan River

  • Is Kinabatangan River safe to visit?

    As far as we know looking at local papers and government announcements There has never been any history of a security or criminal acts in the Kinabatangan area. This also includes Danum Valley, Tabin, Selingan island and Lankayan Island. However, there was a very small isolated incident on the outskirts of Sandakan.

  • How far is it from Kinabatangan River to Danum Valley Feild Centre Office in Lahad Datu?

    The route to the Danum Valley Feild Centre Office in Lahad Datu is 124 kilometres and takes approximately 1 hour 54 minutes. Here is the normal route:

    Take Jalan Sukau to AH150 for 32 min (36.8 km)

    Follow AH150 to Lorong Fajar 1 in Lahad Datu for 1 hr 19 min (87.0 km)

    Take Lorong Fajar 2 and Lorong Fajar 6 to Lorong Fajar 9 for 2 min (190 m)

  • How far is Kinabatangan River from Sandakan Airport?

    The journey from Sandakan Airport (SDK) to Kinabatangan River (Bilit) is 156 kilometres and takes 1 hour 57 minutes approximately. The route it takes is:

    Follow Jalan Airport and Jalan Lintas Labuk to Jalan Ranau – Sandakan/Jalan Sapi Nangoh/Route 22 for 8 min (5.1 km)

    Follow Jalan Ranau – Sandakan/Jalan Sapi Nangoh/Route 22 and Jln Sandakan-Lahad Datu/AH150 to Kinabatangan for 1 hr 13 min (73.9 km)

    Take Jalan Sukau to Jalan Kampung Bilit for 32 min (36.8 km)

  • Where can I see orangutans in Borneo?

    Seeing an orangutan in its natural habitat is one of the top reasons for coming to Borneo. In Borneo, there are around 11,000 orangutans in Sabah and 1,600 in Sarawak. In Sabah, the top three places to see orangutans in the wild, along with other wildlife encounters on offer, are the Kinabatangan River, Danum Valley and Tabin Wildlife Reserve. 

    Kinabatangan River, Sabah

    the Kinabatangan River is one of the best wildlife-watching destinations in Southeast Asia. If you spend a few days here joining river cruises you will have a very good chance of seeing an orangutan in the wild. Wildlife watching on the Kinabatangan is done from boats making this location suitable for a range of ages and fitness levels. The Kinabatangan River is the easiest and most ‘comfortable’ option in Borneo for seeing Orangutans in the wild.

    Danum Valley, Sabah

    Danum Valley is the best place to see wild orangutans in pristine, undisturbed forest. Sightings are not ‘guaranteed’ but there is a pretty good chance of seeing an orangutan if you spend a few days at Danum. You will join guided treks into the forest in search of wildlife (including orangutans). The trekking is relatively easy so you don’t need to be super fit. 

    Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah

    Tabin Wildlife Reserve is a large protected forest area covering 122,500 hectares. At Tabin, there are reasonable chances of seeing an orangutan by joining guided treks into the forest but they are not as high as Danum or the Kinabatangan. 

    Alongside these ‘seeing orang-utans in the wild’ options, you also have the chance to see orangutans at the world-famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. At Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre illegally captured, orphaned and injured orangutans are taught to survive in the wild again. The Centre has two feeding sessions a day which is open to the public during which you can go to a raised platform to watch the orangutans come in from the surrounding forest to be fed.

    Which one of these options is best for you for seeing orangutans in Borneo depends upon your budget, how to fit you are, how much time you have and the way you want to go in search of orangutan (by foot, boat or 4WD safari). Choose one, or more, of the above options to have the best chance of seeing an orangutan in Borneo.

  • Where can I see pygmy elephants in Borneo?

    The pygmy elephant (or Bornean pygmy elephant) are the smallest elephants in Asia and are endemic to Borneo. With only about 1,500 Bornean pygmy elephants left on Borneo, they are classified as critically endangered. For those visiting Borneo to see wildlife, the Bornean Pygmy elephant is likely to be in your top 5 of things to see. Encountering a herd of these elephants is unforgettable, and often once in a lifetime, experience. Whilst Borneo is big (it’s the third-largest island in the world) the pygmy elephant can only be found in a limited area in the forests of northeastern Borneo (with most found in Sabah, Borneo). The pygmy elephants migrate throughout the year, following a traditional corridor, and the top three places to see pygmy elephants in Sabah, Borneo are as follows:-

    Kinabatangan River

    The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is a narrow corridor of Protected lowland rainforest along the banks of the Kinabatangan River. Herds of the Bornean Pygmy elephant migrate through this sanctuary and when they are passing through they can be seen for a few days along the banks of the river as they forage for food. If you are lucky to be visiting the Kinabatangan River whilst they are in the area you will have the privilege of being able to watch the elephants during morning and afternoon river cruises. As with all wildlife encounters, sightings cannot be guaranteed but the more days you spend at a Lodge on the Kinabatangan River (and therefore more river cruises you join) the increased chance of seeing the rarer wildlife finds like the pygmy elephant. 

    Danum Valley

    Danum Valley, or Danum Valley Conservation Area, is one of the largest protected areas of primary rainforest in Sabah and offers a ‘safe-haven’ for the pygmy elephant and other wildlife found here. Elephants can often be seen along the access roads into Danum Valley, as well as roaming through the forest. There are two locations tourists can stay at in Danum Valley to see wildlife – Borneo Rainforest Lodge and Danum Valley Field Centre. At both locations, you are able to join guided treks into the forest, and guided night drives, in search of wildlife including the Bornean pygmy elephant.

    Tabin Wildlife Reserve

    Tabin Reserve is considered to be the largest wildlife reserve in Malaysia and covers an area of lowland forest of approximately 300,000 acres. It is home to the Bornean pygmy elephant as well as many other endangered wildlife species. Similar to Danum Valley, the access roads and guided treks into the forest provide the best opportunities to see pygmy elephants. There is one location tourists can stay at in Tabin Reserve – Tabin Wildlife Resort.

  • How do you get to the Kinabatangan River?

    At 560 kilometres long, the Kinabatangan River is Sabah’s longest river with the lower reaches of the River being home to a rich concentration, and diversity, of wildlife. This makes the Kinabatangan River one of the most popular places for tourists to visit during their holiday to Borneo. The simplest way to get to the Kinabatangan River is too join an organised tour. As the Kinabatangan River is located towards the east coast of Sabah the starting point for most tours to the River is from Sandakan (Sandakan Airport or from a hotel in Sandakan). 

    How do you get to Sandakan?

    Sandakan is a middle-sized city located on the east coast of Sabah and well connected to Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur. The main ways to travel to Sandakan from within Sabah are by plane, by public bus or by private transport.

    By plane

    Internal flights operate daily from Kota Kinabalu (BKI) and Tawau to Sandakan Airport. Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines operate daily flights from these airports to Sandakan. You can also fly direct from Kuala Lumpur Airport (KUL) to Sandakan Airport on a daily basis. Flying to Sandakan is an easy, quick option and if flights are booked well in advance you can typically pick up low price tickets with the airlines.

    By public bus

    A slightly cheaper option than flying is to catch a public bus to Sandakan Bus Station. You can catch a public bus from bus stations in Kota Kinabalu, Semporna or Tawau to Sandakan. The most popular bus route is from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan. In Kota Kinabalu, you will need to go to the northern bus terminal (located in Inanam). There are several buses here going to Sandakan on a daily basis. We’d suggest you try and catch the first buses to depart in the morning as it’s a long journey to Sandakan bus station (a ~ 6 – 7 hour journey). 

    By private transport 

    This includes hiring a car to drive to Sandakan, using a local taxi or via an organised private coach transfer. 

    How do I get to the Kinabatangan River Independently?

    For independent travellers wanting to arrange their own way to the Kinabatangan River, there aren’t any direct public transport services to the two main villages on the river which provide access to Lodges on the Kinabatangan River – Bilit & Sukau. You would need to use local bus service and ask to be dropped off at Sukau Junction, followed by catching a transfer with a local van from Sukau Junction to either Bilit or Sukau (a ~ 45km journey). For this option, you still need to have booked a stay at a Lodge near the Kinabatangan River and arranged a transfer with the Lodge from your drop off point. This option may be a cheaper alternative to an organised tour but is a lot more hard work and involves more time for the amount you may save.   

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