Sabah » Sabah Tours


Sukau and Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Tour Code: TAB2

Duration - 5 days/4 nights

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

Day 1

On arrival at Sandakan Airport, you will be met and transferred to Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre for an audio visual presentation in the theatrette. Walk ten minutes through the rainforest on timber boardwalks to witness the feeding of the orang-utans 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 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. Return for solar heated hot shower, candle light dinner and slide show conducted by naturalist guide.

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. 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 room
New Accommodation at Sukau Rainforest Lodge
New Accommodation at Sukau Rainforest Lodge

A herd of Elephants on the river bank near Sukau
A herd of Pygmy Elephants on the 
							river bank near Sukau

Day 2

Elephants near Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Elephants near Sukau 
                               Rainforest Lodge

Wake up to the calls of gibbons and hornbills. A 06.00hrs morning river cruise up the Kinabatangan River to view more birds and wildlife. Proceed to the Kelenanap ox-bow lake for a short jungle walk (if weather permits). The area is known for its herd of Asian elephants. Experience the wilderness of Borneo. 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. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

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 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.

Birdlife is especially rich here including eight species of hornbills, kingfishers, egrets, darters, owls, kites, eagles, broadbills, doves, storm storks, herons, hawks, ospreys, falcon, pheasants, parakeets, bee eaters, woodpeckers, pittas, bulbuls, forktails, babblers, warblers, flycatchers, orioles, flowerpeckers, spiderhunters, among others.

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 on gravel road 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. (Lunch and Dinner included)

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. (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 back to Lahad Datu for your flight to Kota Kinabalu, or road transfer to Tawau. (Breakfast included)

Tour CodeDestinationDurationInclusions1 Person2 People3 People
TAB2Sukau and Tabin5d/4nFull Board - excludes airfares$3,060 $1,537 $1,537
Prices per person in Australian Dollars and valid 01 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 (E.O.E.) Refer to General Booking Conditions
Peak season surcharge applies 01 July to 31 August - $49 per person (twin share)

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