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Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort | 3 Day | Sabah, Borneo

(2 customer reviews)


Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort offers the opportunity to enjoy river cruises along the Kinabatangan River, very nice accommodation staying in the Resort’s Deluxe Chalets and small groups per Guide. Choose the 3D2N package at the Resort to maximise the number of river cruises and wildlife encounter opportunities. If the quality of accommodation matters to you whilst getting close to wildlife in its natural habitat then Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort is your ideal choice!

Please note that the price shown above is for one adult based upon two adults booking together and staying in the same chalet. The prices are for bookings from the 1st April 2023 to the 31st March 2024. If you want to book this trip before these dates, please contact our sales office for a better rate.

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Choose your occupancy *

Please select the number and arrangement of persons staying your room. Chicldren are those aged 10 years or less.

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 – 3-Day Wildlife Package Sabah, Borneo

A 3D2N stay at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort ticks two boxes – providing a range of opportunities for viewing some of the spectacular and often endangered wildlife of Borneo in its natural home and staying at a lovely high-quality Resort along the Kinabatangan River.

During your 3D2N Wildlife Package at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, you will join the following wildlife viewing activities – 2 x late afternoon river cruises, 1 x early morning river cruise, 1 x night river cruise, 1 x guided night walk along the boardwalk. Optional activities are also available to add onto your 3D2N package at the Resort, such as supporting a tree-planting project, learning prawning or the local fishing technique (at a surcharge).

Enjoy fantastic wildlife in comfortable surroundings – 3D2N Wildlife Package at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, Sabah, Malaysia

The Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort is located in the midst of a rainforest reserve and surrounded by pristine freshwater swamps and mangrove forests. With a focus on protecting and conserving the rainforest, the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort is built on stilts and raised wooden walkways. You will be staying in a very comfortable and roomy Deluxe Chalet. Each Deluxe Chalet is equipped with air conditioning, a bathroom, a TV with selected Astro channels, and a decked balcony area.

If you want to visit Sepilok Sanctuary during your holiday in Sabah Borneo, why not add on a Half Day Sepilok Sanctuary Trip in the morning before you start your 3D2N Wildlife Package? Or, for a 6-day wildlife adventure, you could combine this package with the 3D2N Danum Valley Package and go trekking in an ancient rainforest in the Danum Valley Conservation Area.

Crocodile in the Kinabatangan River area with Borneo Dream

Trip Itinerary – 3D2N Wildlife Package at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, Sabah, Malaysia

Day 1

Today follows a similar itinerary as Day 1 of the 2D1N Wildlife Package at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort – find a more detailed daily itinerary on this 2D1N Trip page.

~ 11:45 Meet the representative from Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort at the Sandakan Yacht Club Jetty (or add on the return transfer option above). At 12 noon, you will board the Resort’s boat for your transfer to Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort located in Abai, Kinabatangan. At ~14:30, upon arrival at the Resort, you will check into your Deluxe Chalet. Late afternoon you will join a river cruise along the Kinabatangan River to search for wildlife along the river banks. If weather permits, we shall continue to observe the fireflies shimmering in the trees as the evening falls before we cruise back to the resort. Once back at the Resort, you will have time to freshen up before enjoying dinner in the midst of the jungle. After dinner, you will join a guided night walk along the boardwalk to spot nocturnal creatures. Overnight at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort.

Day 2

06:00 – Wake up to the sounds of the rainforest and start the day with an early morning river cruise for more wildlife sightings. Enjoy your packed breakfast during the river cruise. Towards the end of your river cruise, you will visit the local fishing village, Kampung Abai. Interact with the local Orang Sungai (River People) and observe the daily activities in this tiny fishing village.

09:30 – Return to the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort for breakfast.

13:30 – Enjoy lunch in the Resort’s restaurant.

14:30 – After lunch, you can choose to explore the resort’s grounds or chill out on the balcony of your Deluxe Chalet. **You could choose to add in one of the optional activities (at a surcharge)**

16:00 – Go for afternoon tea and enjoy some tasty local snacks.

16:30 to 18:30 – Join a late afternoon river cruise adventure along the small Kinabatangan River tributaries in search of more wildlife.

~19:00 – Enjoy dinner at the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort.

20:30 to 22:00 – After dinner, join a night river safari along the river in search of nocturnal wildlife.

Overnight at the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort.

Day 3

09:00 – After breakfast, you are free to explore the nature boardwalk around the lodge area. Take your binoculars with you as you may see some interesting wildlife and birdlife in the trees near the Resort.

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 Sandakan Yacht Club Jetty (or add on the return transfer option above).

Elephant in the Kinabatangan River area with Borneo Dream

Trip Pre-Requisites – 3D2N 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.
  • Activities:- 4 x river cruises in Abai, Kinabatangan (1 x morning, 2 x afternoon, 1 x night river cruise), 1 x guided night nature walk.
  • Land and boat transfers are as stated in the itinerary.
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary.
  • 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 trek, 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 – 3D2N Wildlife Package at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, Sabah, Malaysia

The area you will be staying in is located in a low-risk Malaria area. However, we advise our clients to visit their physician/doctor for the latest recommendations on protection against Malaria. All tours are subject to weather conditions.

The prices shown are valid for trips up to 31st March 2024. For trips to the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort after this date, please contact us for a quote.

Orangutan in the Kinabatangan River area with Borneo Dream

2 reviews for Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort | 3 Day | Sabah, Borneo

  1. English

    Trina & Bruce Moore, New Zealand

    Truly an experience of a lifetime, just Wow!! We traveled by fast speedboat 1.5hr into the jungle to stay in our luxury Lodge at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, completely isolated from anywhere, no other way in but boat. We were so lucky to have seen so much wildlife in their natural habitat, crocodiles, snakes (lots of them, although got use to seeing them), only 1 big spider (thank god) fluorescent scorpions, turtles, squirrels, flying squirrels, frogs, Proboscis Monkies, Silver leaf monkey, Albino silver leaf monkey, Long tail Maques, mouse deer, bearded pig, wild boar, civets, kingfishers, eagles, Hornbills, rhino beetles, colourful butteries lots of frigging mosquitoes and YES… Wild Orangutan!!!!, such amazing creatures and something I will remember forever. Didn’t get to spot the pygmy elephants or the leopard. Did some night tours with our guide – the heart races a bit as the noises in the jungle can be a little intimidating, however seeing the river banks twinkling like Christmas trees with the fireflies under the perfect night sky was magical.

  2. English

    Tammy (Melbourne, Aust)

    Stayed as a group of 3 families consisting of 6 adults and 5 kids aged 8-12. Our stay was amazing – well above all expectations. We witnessed a huge array of animals in their natural habitat, ate delicious and plentiful food (even for fussy kids), enjoyed spacious, comfortable rooms (loved the outdoor shower), appreciated the wealth of knowledge of our guides and loved experiencing the natural beauty of the rain forest. We were even treated to an amazing thunderstorm which we woke to. The friendly service and attention to detail from staff was impeccable. It truly was a wonderful life experience for all within our group. I’d definitely recommend and would readily rate it 5 out of 5. Thank you for a magical stay!

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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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