Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary – Join a Wildlife Adventure (Kinabatangan Nature Lodge), Sabah, Borneo
The Kinabatangan River is the longest river in Sabah, flowing 560km to the Sulu Sea on the east coast. The lower 70 – 100km of the river form the Kinabatangan Floodplain. In 2005, 26,000 hectares of the Lower Kinabatangan were designated as a Wildlife Sanctuary – known today as the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary protects the area immediately alongside the river – a ‘protected corridor’. This makes it highly likely during river cruises and short treks in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, you will see a wide range of wildlife, including elephants (if they are in the area), orangutans, proboscis monkeys, macaques, gibbons and lots more. The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to 200 species of birds, including hornbills, kites, crested serpent eagles, egrets, blue-banded and stork-billed kingfishers and oriental darters. The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is one of only two areas in the world inhabited by ten species of primate, four of which are endemic to Borneo. The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is also one of two places in the world where four medium-sized colonies inhabit the same place: namely, proboscis monkey, silvered langur, maroon langur, and Hose’s or grey langur. The Sanctuary truly is a special place for a wildlife adventure in Sabah.
Join a Range of Wildlife Encounter Activities during the 3D2N Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary Trip
During your 3D2N Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary Trip, you will join a range of wildlife viewing activities. The first stop on day one will be a visit to the world-famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to watch the morning feeding session. “Natives” to Malaysia and Indonesia, Orangutans are only found in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. After lunch, on day 1, you will then be transferred to your Lodge located in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, where you will join four river cruises, two guided night walks and a guided walk to the Bilit Ox-Bow Lake.
During this 3D2N Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary Trip, you spend two nights at a Lodge along the banks of the Kinabatangan River located in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary (Kinabatangan Nature Lodge located near Kampung Bilit). The Lodge offers comfortable, clean accommodation in private chalets. You will stay in an Agamid Chalet (twin or double bed, aircon and ensuite shower room). If you’re looking for high-quality accommodation for your visit to the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, check out our 3D2N package at the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort.
On the last day of the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary trip, you will visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre – a must-have location for nature lovers. The Rainforest Discovery Centre is an educational and conservation facility located in the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. The centre offers visitors an opportunity to explore Sabah’s diverse flora and fauna and is home to the longest canopy walk in Sabah. Often, Orangutans from Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre can be seen in the rainforest canopy here – cool! You will then be transferred to your drop-off location in the Sandakan or Sepilok area.
If you want even more from your Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary trip, then why not add on an overnight stay at Turtle Island to have the chance to watch a Turtle nesting and turn this trip into a 4D3N Turtle Island & Kinabatangan River Cruise Trip – a great combination for seeing Turtles and wildlife in Sabah, Borneo.
Trip Itinerary – 3D2N Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary Trip (Kinabatangan Nature Lodge), Sabah, Malaysia
Day 1 (Meals: L & D)
Today follows the same outline itinerary as Day 1 of the 2D1N Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge Trip – find a more detailed daily itinerary on the 2D1N Trip page.
If you are flying into Sandakan Airport this morning to join the 3D2N Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary trip, you must book a flight arriving at Sandakan Airport before 8:00hrs.
This morning, you will 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 relatives, the Orangutans. For most visitors to Sabah, seeing Orangutans is at the top of their list. You get to tick this off before lunchtime on day 1 – cool! It’s then time for lunch at a Lodge near Sepilok.
Early afternoon, you will be transferred to the Kinabatangan Nature Lodge located in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, a ~ 2-hour transfer by minibus. You will then start your river cruise adventures with a late afternoon river cruise to search for wildlife and birdlife along the Kinabatangan River banks. Later, after dinner, you will join a guided night trek into the secondary rainforest behind the Kinabatangan Nature Lodge in search of nocturnal birds, insects and wildlife found in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.
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.
Day 2 (Meals: B, L & D)
06:00hrs: Join an early morning river cruise and see the wildlife as they awake from a night’s sleep. Various species of wildlife may be seen during your river cruise in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, such as Proboscis Monkeys, Leaf Monkeys, Macaques, Gibbons and even orangutans.
07:45 hrs: Return 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. You will be led on the trek by your Nature Guide, who will explain 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 can 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 sightseeing in the ‘corridor of life’ alongside the river’s banks, the protected area forming the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.
18:00hrs: Return to the Lodge. Dinner will be served at the Lodge. After dinner, as an optional extra for your Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary tour, you can join a local dance session. The Lodge team will teach a traditional dance from one of the tribes found in Sabah, such as Sumazau (a KadazanDusun dance) or daling daling (a Bajau dance). An opportunity to learn more about Borneo’s rich culture and have a bit of fun!
~20:00hrs: Join a guided night trek following a different trekking route behind the Kinabatangan Nature Lodge.
Overnight at the Lodge – stay a second night in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.
Day 3 (Meals: B)
Today follows the same outline itinerary as Day 2 of the 2D1N Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge Trip – find a more detailed daily itinerary on the 2D1N Trip page.
It’s an early start today with the last early morning river cruise of your 3D2N Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary trip. After breakfast at the Lodge, you will be transferred to visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre before continuing your journey back to Sandakan (if you are catching a flight from Sandakan Airport at the end of the trip, it is recommended you catch flight AK6497 ETD 2.50 pm or later).
Trip Inclusions – Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary Trip
- Return road transfer from Sandakan or Sepilok area and return boat transfers to the Lodge from Kampung Bilit.
- Meals (2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunch & 2 Dinner).
- Visit (and entrance fees) the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sun Bear Conservation Centre and the Rainforest Discovery Centre.
- At the Kinabatangan River, located in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary: 4 x river cruises (2 mornings & 2 late afternoons), 1 x guided trek to an Ox-Bow lake, 2 x Guided night nature walk. The Kinabatangan River cruises included with this trip will travel as far upstream as ~7km to Pontian Point and downstream a maximum of ~ 10 km to Tenegang Besar Point.
- Two nights accommodation in an Agamid chalet (twin/double/triple beds, ensuite shower room and toilet, aircon) within the Agamid Wing of Kinabatangan Nature Lodge.
- Guiding throughout your trip by an experienced, friendly and English-speaking licensed Nature Guide.
- Access to free-flow coffee/tea and fresh water at the restaurant at the Kinabatangan Lodge.
- 0% Sales and service Tax on the tour price as applicable from 6th May 2019.
Camera/video conservation fee at Sepilok Sanctuary (RM10 per item), Sun Bear Conservation Centre (RM10 per item) and the Rainforest Discovery Centre (RM10 per item), soft drinks or alcoholic drinks, flights from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan. If you book this trip on your own, there is a single supplement on top of the trip price (for single sharing a Chalet). The new Tourism Tax – The Tourism Tax is currently set at a flat rate of RM 10 per room per night and will be charged to non-Malaysian or foreign tourists from 1st September 2017.
The Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary Tour price is based on joining a shared trip – surcharges are applicable if you add on a private boat for river cruises, a private Guide or private minibus transfers.
Recommended Packing List – Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary Trip
To get the most from this trip, please bring with you a raincoat, cap/hat, insect repellent, sun cream, good walking shoes, a comfortable cotton T-shirt, long sleeve top, long trousers (long trousers are required for the Oxbow Lake trek), long shorts, binocular for observing wildlife, head torch for night trek, camera and personal medications (if needed). Please take your passport with you on this trip – your passports will be checked at the Kinabatangan Lodge.
Notes – 3D2N Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary Trip (Kinabatangan Nature Lodge), Sabah, Malaysia
If weather, or other factors (e.g. landslide), 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 Wildlife Sanctuary headline trip price shown is valid for trips taken up to 31st March 2024.