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Klias River Cruise | 1 Day | Sabah, Malaysia

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From: $55

If you are staying only in Kota Kinabalu during your holiday in Sabah and seeing wildlife, especially the Proboscis Monkey is on your ‘to-do’ list, then the Klias Wetlands River Cruise is your best choice. The Klias River is ~ 2 hours south by road from Kota Kinabalu and is located in Sabah’s largest protected Wetlands Reserve. This makes it a great location from Kota Kinabalu for spotting wildlife as you join a late afternoon river cruise along the Klias River. Your trip ends with a ‘sparkle’ as Fireflies normally come out on display after sunset in the trees surrounding the river.

The trip price is based on having a private 10-seater boat for the river cruise, which offers you the best quality river cruise experience. The price shown above is based upon a booking by eight people. If you want to book a shared boat for the river cruise, please get in touch with us.

If you prefer to go on a 20-seater or 32-seater boat, then this can be offered at RM 200/Adult and RM 160/Child plus a 10-seater minivan return transfer from central Kota Kinabalu for RM 450.

Prices are valid until 31st December 2024.


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Klias River Cruise – The Firefly and Proboscis Monkey Tour, Sabah, Malaysia

A day tour to Klias River CruiseThe Firefly and Proboscis Monkey Tour near Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo, provides a chance to spend an afternoon and evening travelling through a mangrove forest situated on the Klias peninsular. The Klias River Cruise trip is a great and easy way to get a glimpse of the amazing wildlife of Sabah, Borneo, whilst staying in Kota Kinabalu.

The Klias Wetlands reserve, where the Klias River is located, is about 120km south of Kota Kinabalu and Klias Wetlands is located in the heart of the biggest wetland reserve in the state of Sabah – Klias Wetland Mangrove Forest Reserve. It is a humble dwelling place for clans of Proboscis Monkeys – also locally known as “Monyet Belanda”, wildlife such as Macaques, Monitor Lizards or “Biawak” and Water Buffalo can be seen throughout the afternoon wildlife Klias river cruise. For those who are sharp-eyed, spot the Kingfisher birds and the many Egrets along the river banks.

Seeing Wildlife Close to Kota Kinabalu with the Klias River Cruise

Your Klias River Cruise tour from Kota Kinabalu will start early in the afternoon, arriving back at your hotel in Kota Kinabalu by 21:45. There are two highlights to the Klias River Cruise tour – joining a late afternoon river cruise in search of wildlife (especially the Proboscis Monkey), and getting to see fireflies after sunset. During your river cruise through the mangrove forest, you will see apes as they start feeding as dusk approaches.

This trip includes a private boat for the Klias River Cruise tour. With the private boat option, you will be in a small 10-seater private boat, providing you with a higher quality and more personalised Klias river cruise experience. You can enjoy the peace and quiet as you go in search of wildlife along the river banks. If you are on the shared boat option, you will be in a small 20- or 32-seater boat with a group of mixed nationalities.

If you have more days free during your holiday in Sabah, and seeing wildlife is a priority, you should consider joining a 2D1N or 3D2N Kinabatangan River Cruise & Wildlife Trip instead. The Kinabatangan River cruises offer wonderful opportunities for wildlife encounters in Sabah, Borneo.

Trip Itinerary – Klias River Cruise 

13:00 – 13:30hrs: You will be collected from your hotel in central Kota Kinabalu. You will be transferred by coach south from Kota Kinabalu. The journey takes ~2.5 hours, passing through the countryside and villages.

16:00hrs: Upon arrival at The Kilas River Cruise Base Camp, coffee & tea will be served with local, homemade cakes.

16:50hrs: You will board the boat to start your late afternoon river cruise (onboard a comfortable and safe fibreglass boat). The cruise will take ~ 1.5 hours as you journey down the Klias River. Be on the lookout for Macaques, Silver Langur (or ‘Silver-Leaf Monkey’) and the highlight of the river cruise, the Proboscis Monkey.

18:15hrs: On your return to the Base Camp, you will enjoy a traditional Malaysian buffet-style dinner. Catch a glimpse of fireflies slowly lighting up and decorating the mangrove trees. After dinner, you will have the chance to visit the Monkey Souvenir Shop, which sells local handicrafts and gifts.

19:00hrs: You’ll join a second shorter Klias River cruise in search of fireflies lighting up the trees along the rivers’ banks. Please note that this second river cruise is subject to the weather on the day.

19:30hrs: Listen to the crickets singing while you walk back to the coach. Depart back to Kota Kinabalu. You will arrive back at your hotel around 21:30hrs – 22:00hrs.

Trip Pre-requisites – Klias River Cruise, Sabah, Malaysia

This Klias River Cruise is suitable for all people. If you have young children, you should be prepared for a late finish. Minimum two persons booking together.

Trip Inclusions – Klias River Cruise – The Firefly and Proboscis Monkey Tour, Sabah, Malaysia

The following are included as part of your Klias River Cruise tour:-

  • Return road transfers by minibus or coach (shared transfer).
  • An English-speaking Licensed Nature Guide will look after you during your trip.
  • Join a one-afternoon river cruise (private 10-seater boat).
  • Dinner – buffet style with a selection of tasty Malaysian dishes.
  • Conservation & entrance fees.
  • 0% Sales & Service Tax on the tour price.

Trip Exclusions

The following are excluded from your Klias River Cruise tour:-

  • Items not stated above.
  • There will be a pick-up surcharge for Hotels / Resorts north of Kota Kinabalu (e.g. the Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort).
  • There is the option to add on a private return transfer from Kota Kinabalu (at a surcharge).

Recommended Packing List For The Trip

Raincoat, cap/hat, insect repellent, sun cream, comfortable shoes/footwear, comfortable cotton T-shirt with long or short pants, binoculars, camera and personal medications (if needed). Bring small change in case you wish to buy souvenirs or a cold Tiger beer during dinner from the shop at Base Camp located alongside the Klias River.

Please also take a copy or photo of your passport with you in case there are police checkpoints on the way to Klias Wetland Mangrove Forest Reserve.

Notes – Klias River Cruise – The Firefly and Proboscis Monkey Tour, Sabah, Malaysia

Please note the Fireflies may not be seen if there is heavy rainfall.

The prices shown are valid for trips up to 31st December 2024. For Klias River Cruise trips after this date, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a quote.

1 review for Klias River Cruise | 1 Day | Sabah, Malaysia

  1. English

    David Aldridge, UK

    This looks just fantastic, I will send you guys an email tonight 🙂 David

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Kota Kinabalu tours

  • Is it easy to get from the city centre to Jesselton Point Jetty?

    Most watersports trips depart from Jesselton Point Jetty (https://g.page/JesseltonPoint) in central Kota Kinabalu. If you are staying at a city centre hotel or guest house you will often find it far quicker to walk to Jesselton Point. If you are staying at hotels or resorts such as Shangri-La Rasa Ria or Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa then I would certainly grab a taxi.

  • How far is Kota Kinabalu from the Airport?

    The Kota Kinabalu International Airport KKIA (airport code BKI) is located to the south of the city and is 8.5 kilometres from the city centre. This journey can be easily done by private car, taxi or shuttle bus. A taxi will charge around RM 30 each way for a pre-booked taxi. Arrivals are on the lower level with departures on the upper level. At busy times allow 30 minutes from the city centre to the airport.

  • What is there to do in Kota Kinabalu in 2 days?

    Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, is the starting point for most holidays to Sabah. From Kota Kinabalu, most visitors go to explore other parts of Sabah whether it be on a tour from Kota Kinabalu (to go rafting, biking, climbing Mount Kinabalu etc.), or via a short internal flight to visit other parts of Sabah like the Kinabatangan River or Danum Valley. If you have a couple of days free in Kota Kinabalu during your holiday then there is surprisingly quite a bit you can do and see on your doorstep.

    On the first day, you can explore the city with its many attractions. At the start of the day visit the Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site, a bird sanctuary close to the city centre. You could then choose to walk up Signal Hill to enjoy views out over the City from Signal Hill observatory platform, visit the Sabah State Museum for a walk through Sabah’s history or explore the handicraft market located on the waterfront. Visit the Atkinson Clock Tower, the oldest building in Kota Kinabalu, or one of the famous Mosques in Kota Kinabalu – Kota Kinabalu City Mosque (‘Floating Mosque’) or the State Mosque. Later in the day watch the sunset from Tanjung Aru Beach before heading back into the city centre for a spot of early evening shopping. Finally, choose from one of the many local cafes and restaurants for a tasty meal to end the day. 

    For your second day visit the local islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. The Marine Park is located in front of Kota Kinabalu and easily accessible via a boat transfer from Jesselton Point Jetty. You can choose to join an organised day tour to help you get the most from your visit to the Marine Park whether it be a Snorkeling Trip or going scuba diving to explore the tropical waters. You could also choose to visit the islands independently via an island transfer service and chill out on one of the public beaches on the islands in the Marine Park. Sun, tropical sea, sand – a perfect way to spend a second day in Kota Kinabalu.

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