We specialise in group programs for schools, university, armed forces, corporate groups, adventure groups and adventure seeking individuals on a gap year or work sabbatical.
The Longest River in Sabah & Malaysia
A Kinabatangan River Wildlife Safari is a must when visiting Sabah. The Kinabatangan River is home to some of the most varied and easily accessible wildlife in all of South East Asia. The Kinabatangan is Sabah‘s longest river and the second longest in the whole of Malaysia. Rising from the eastern Witta Range of Sabah, the Kinabatangan River begins its 350 mile (563km) north-easterly course towards the Sulu Sea. About 20 oxbow lakes form part of the lower regions of the river. Created over time and separated from the main river as erosion and deposits of soil changed the river’s course, oxbow lakes are paradise for bird watchers.
River People, or Orang Sungei, live in small settlements spread out along the river. It’s fascinating to see their self sufficient, peaceful homes fully operational, making a living through fishing the lakes and rivers and farming vegetables on its banks. They use the forests of the Kinabatangan as a source of building material, firewood food and medicine.
Ten Different Primates in One Location (11 including you)
WWF (formerly known as World Wildlife Fund and one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations) states that this area is one of only two known places on earth where 10 primate species can be found. Some of these include orang utan, proboscis monkey, macaques, maroon langur and Bornean gibbon, most of which are endemic to Borneo.
Bird lovers will find the bird watching incredible. All eight of Borneo’s hornbill species are seen regularly. Occasionally, 2 species of the gorgeous pitas can be spotted too, as well as the storm stork and the bizarre oriental darter also known as the snake bird. Of the 200 other species of birds recorded in the area, 8 of these are on Malaysia’s threatened bird species list.
The Lower Kinabatangan is also home to Bornean pygmy elephants, which are a recently discovered species and endemic to this region.
Planning a Visit to Kinabatangan River?
Most of the wildlife lodges are concentrated around the Sukau area, which is very accessible and offers a wide range of facilities, here our partner is Sukau Rainforest Lodge, an award winning premium lodge with very comfortable accommodation & great food. We also like to travel slightly off the beaten track we have two wonderful lodges located in Kampung Bilit, a tiny village with about 150 inhabitants. The lodges offer very comfortable and clean accommodation and are considered a mid-range option. Bilit village is quiet with very little disturbance made to the surrounding forest and unlike Sukau you don’t have lodge after lodge along the river-bank. The staff at the lodges are mostly from Kampung Bilit and the guides are extremely knowledgeable about the local wildlife, plants and medicine, always ensuring that you are well informed on the diverse ecosystem that surrounds you. Last but not least is our preferred choice in Abai. A little further up-stream, again very quiet. Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort offers very comfortable accommodation in an ideal location.
Kinabatangan River Wildlife Safari
A recommended length of stay for a Kinabatangan River wildlife safari is 2 nights / 3 days. During this time you’re offered various riverboat safari trips all of about 2 hours duration, jungle night walks or night safari riverboat trips. Also offered within the package is a 3 hour hike, to one of the Oxbow Lakes. Our Kinabatangan River wildlife safari can can also be combined with trips to Turtle Island, Gomantong Caves, Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary and Labuk Bay.
On a recent 3D/2N visit to Bilit Adventure Lodge, our mid range partner we saw the following: Silvered Langur (adults and juveniles), Long Tail and Pig Tail Macaques, Proboscis monkeys (adults and juveniles), Orang Utan (mothers and babies) Saltwater Crocodiles, Bearded Pigs, Rhinoceros, Wrinkled and Asian Black Hornbills, Giant Moths, Lantern Bugs, Leaf Insects, Frogs, Scorpions, Field Millipedes and last but not least the Bornean Pygmy Elephants. On our birds-spotted list we’ve noted Scarlet Rumped Trogon, Garnet Pitta, White Rumped Shama, Dollorbird, Stork Billed and Blue Eared Kingfisher, Storm Stork, Jerdon’s Baza, Crested Serpent Eagle, Oriental Darter, Woodpeckers, Purple Heron and Egrets.
Contact our specialist team at Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures to tailor your perfect Kinabatangan River wildlife safari.