Sabah » Sabah Tours


Sukau, Tabin and Danum Valley Jungle Lodges Tour

Tour Code: SUK3

Duration - 7 days/6 nights - begins about 08.00 hrs from Sandakan Airport or your Sandakan hotel

Orang-utans on the feeding platform
orang-utans on the feeding platform

Day 1

On arrival at Sandakan Airport around 08.00 hrs, you will be met and transferred to Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre for an audio visual presentation in the theatrette (note that if you are already staying in Sandakan, we will arrange to pick you up from your accommodation). Walk ten minutes through the rainforest on timber boardwalks to witness the feeding of the orang-utans which takes place at 10.00hrs. You will have plenty of time to watch the orang-utans until they disappear back into the jungle. You can then visit the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre to learn about conservation of the world's smallest bear, and second rarest species of bear, after the giant panda.

Male Proboscis Monkey
Male Proboscis Monkey
Return to Sandakan for lunch, and then head to the jetty for a 2 1/2 hr boat trip to Sukau Rainforest Lodge, travelling along Sabah's longest river, the Kinabatangan River, with opportunity to view birds and wildlife in virgin mangrove, wetland and rainforest habitats. Check into the Lodge on arrival.

In the late afternoon, take a river cruise using boats powered by electric motors, in search of some of the 10 primate species, including Proboscis monkeys, as they settle down on treetops for the night along the Kinabatangan River. The Sukau area is home to Borneo pygmy elephants, orang utans, proboscis monkeys and all eight species of hornbill found in Borneo.

Return to the lodge for solar heated hot shower, candle light dinner overlooking the bank of the river, and slide show conducted by naturalist guide. After dinner an optional night safari cruise (at a surcharge) spotting nocturnal animals, crocodiles and birds.

Overnight at Sukau Rainforest Lodge. [Lunch and Dinner included]

Please note that Sukau Rainforest Lodge underwent extensive renovations to upgrade all its facilities in 2010.

The lodge is currently in the midst of some extension works (December 2016). The works include the construction of a new restaurant/jetty adjacent to our existing restaurant/jetty and also the expansion of the kitchen. The lodge continues to operate normally as the existing restaurant and kitchen are not affected by the work.

Any noise and visual disruption to guests will be kept to a bare minimum wherever possible. It is hoped that the works will be completed by the end of March 2017.

The new Sukau Rainforest Lodge offers guests added facilities to enhance their jungle experience.

New Accommodation at Sukau Rainforest Lodge - day room
New Accommodation at Sukau Rainforest Lodge - day 
New Accommodation at Sukau Rainforest Lodge
New Accommodation at Sukau Rainforest 

Day 2

Elephants near Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Elephants near Sukau 
                               Rainforest Lodge

Wake up to the calls of gibbons and hornbills. Depart the lodge at 06.00 hrs on a morning river cruise up the Kinabatangan River to view more birds and wildlife. Proceed to the Kelenanap ox-bow lake. If time and weather permit, you may be able to participate in a short jungle walk. The area around the lake is known for its herd of Asian elephants which you might be lucky enough to see while in the area. Experience the wilderness of Borneo.

Return to the lodge for a late breakfast, then take an educational tour on the Hornbill Boardwalk which is located behind the lodge, with the in-house naturalist.

You have the option to participate in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Corridor Regeneration Programme (KWICORP) by planting trees on some 25ha of land.

In the afternoon, proceed on another river cruise in search of more wildlife. Wild Orang-utan are often encountered on this cruise. After dinner, an optional (at a surcharge) night safari cruise spotting nocturnal animals, crocodiles and birds.

Overnight at Sukau Rainforest Lodge. [Includes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]

Sukau Rainforest Lodge

Courtyard at Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Courtyard at Sukau Rainforest Lodge

The 20 rooms, multi international award winners, is managed by Borneo Eco Tours. It was originally built in 1995 in traditional Malaysian architecture using several Borneo hardwood species. It was rebuilt in 2010, offering upgraded facilities. It is built on stilts with a lounge, gift shop, education centre, Hornbill Boardwalk with two elephant passes, three open deck for wildlife viewing, an enclosed garden, a riverside Melapi restaurant, open sun-deck, river jetty. Electricity is supplied by acoustic generator, and hot water by solar heaters. All rooms are twin bedded, with ceiling fan, mosquito netting, attached bathroom, hot shower and toilets. River tours are conducted by boats powered by electric motors and four stoke outboard engines. The lodge was named by National Geographic Adventure Magazine in 2009 as one of the top 50 jungle lodges in the World.

Day 3

Rear of Simud Hitam Cave
at Gomantong

Rear of Simud Hitam Cave at Gomantong

Transfer from Sukau to Tabin Wildlife Reserve A stop can be made along the way at Gomantong Caves (at a surcharge) - please ask about the caves at the time of booking.

Proceed 27 km overland to Gomantong Caves. Trek 20 minutes through the rainforest to the cave entrance. Your guide will brief you on the cave fauna including bats, swiftlets and crabs among others, and their contribution to maintaining a balanced ecology, and the significance of the caves to the local economy. When in season, witness the collecting of birds' nests by the local people using bamboo ladders and poles.

Continue 2 hours overland to Lahad Datu for lunch, followed by a road transfer over gravel roads of about 1 hour to Tabin Wildlife Reserve which is the largest wildlife reserve in Malaysia.

Upon arrival, register and check into the charming Borneon timber bungalow of Tabin Wildlife Resort, which comes complete with private balcony, ceiling fans and hot water shower, a real luxury within the tropical rainforest. Enjoy the splendour of mother- nature and explore the vicinity of the resort. Built alongside the Lipad river and nestled within the rainforest, a variety of birds, insects and even small mammals can be sighted quite easily within the resort.

Lipad Mud Volcano - Tabin
Lipad Mud Volcano - tabin

In the afternoon, visit the Lipad mud volcano which serves as a mineral salt lick for wildlife. After trekking through the jungle for about twenty minutes, arrive at the elevated bare area of the mud volcano known to be frequented by deers, bearded pigs, elephants and birds. Try to identify the multitude of animal footprints here. If you are adventurous, you can experiment withe the volcanic mud which is said to be responsible for fine complexion.

Walk up the observation tower and admire the contrasting landscape of the bare mud volcano area and its surrounding thick forest where birds are commonly sighted.

Return to the resort. After dinner, participate in a slide presentation on Tabin's uniqueness, followed by a trip to search for nocturnal wildlife and birds. Remember to look up at the clear, dark sky of Tabin, identify the constellations above you, and make a wish or two. [includes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]

Day 4

Lipad Waterfall - Tabin
Lipad Waterfall - Tabin

You may opt to join the early morning bird walk (at a small surcharge) as Tabin has a rich collection of about 300 bird species. After breakfast, trek through the lush green jungle known for its rich diversity of plants and animal species to visit Lipad's Waterfall. Take a dip in the natural pool and enjoy the refreshing splash coming down from the waterfall. Alternatively explore the surrounding vegetation or just relax.

Return to base in the afternoon. At dusk, go for bird watching within the reserve. After dinner, there will be night activities to look out for nocturnal wildlife on a different route. [Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included]

Day 5

After breakfast, stroll to the nearby rock pool or river side, where groups of macaques and other small mammals can sometimes be seen. Choose to take a dip in the river or simply listen to the sound of nature before saying good bye to Tabin.

Transfer to Danum Valley through selectively logged forest, cocoa and soft-wood plantations before arriving at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge located beside the Danum River, on the edge of 438 sq. km of undisturbed lowland rainforest. The Lodge is home to the full range of Sabah's lowland fauna, including the rare Sumatran Rhinoceros, Elephants, Clouded Leopards, and Orang-uUtans. So far some 275 species of birds have been recorded in the area. Explore nature trails and the nearby river. In the evening a slide show and if weather permits one can go spotlighting to view some of the nocturnal animals. Overnight at Borneo Rainforest Lodge. (Lunch and Dinner included)

Day 6

Early Morning at Lookout Point
Early Morning at Lookout Point
An early morning bird walk before breakfast. Spend the whole day exploring the forest for birds and mammals, leading up to an escarpment with ancient burial coffins. Trek to the waterfall for a dip in refreshing rock pools. Return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, walk along trails leading to a canopy walkway. Overnight at Borneo Rainforest Lodge. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

Day 7

Morning trek in search of mammals and birds. Return to the Centre before departing for Lahad Datu. Take the late afternoon flight back to Kota Kinabalu. (Breakfast and Lunch included)

Please bring along swim wear, sun screen, hat, personal toiletries, insect repellent, long sleeve shirts and long pants, shorts, drinking water bottle, walking shoes, optional spare pair of shoes (as trails may be wet), binoculars, camera, light raincoat and flashlight (torch).

Tour CodeDestinationDurationInclusions1 Person2 People3 People
SUK3Sukau, Tabin and BRL Jungle Lodges Tour7d/6nFull Board - Standard Chalet (BRL) - excludes airfares$5,740 $2,873 $2,873
SUK3Sukau, Tabin and BRL Jungle Lodges Tour7d/6nFull Board - Deluxe Chalet (BRL) - excludes airfares$5,990 $2,995 $2,995
Prices per person in Australian Dollars and valid 01 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 (E.O.E.) Refer to General Booking Conditions
A high season surcharge of $88 per person (twin share) applies from 15 July to 31 August, $49 from 01 to 14 July and $39 per person (twin share) from 01 -30 April, 01 September through until 15 October 2012, and 01-31 March 2013

Includes tours, entrance fees (excludes camera fees), accommodation and meals as indicated, and English speaking guide.

Photograph courtesy of Phil Youdale, Penny Favilla, and Albert Teo (Borneo Eco Tours)