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5 Days East Coast Wildlife Adventure in Sepilok, Kinabatangan River, and Danum Valley, Malaysia

Nature Lodge Kinabatangan, Malaysia

Malaysia Wildlife Tour

This guided 50-day trip will show you the best of what Sabah's East Coast has to offer in terms of wildlife. The ultimate nature lovers trip combining the wildlife-rich Kinabatangan river and Gomantong caves, the pristine rainforests of Danum Valley, along with the orangutan and sun bear sanctuaries in Sepilok. The East Coast Wildlife Adventure departs from Sandakan / Sepilok each Monday and Thursday and is a guided trip with a maximum of 8 people per guide.

Key information

  • Group safari
  • Maximum group size: 8 people per guide
  • Children and teens under the age of 18 years old are allowed to participate under the supervision of a parent or guardian.
  • Starting point: Sandakan / Sepilok
  • Ending point: Lahad Datu
  • English speaking guide
  • Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sun Bear Sanctuary, Gomantong caves, Danum Valley entry and conservation fees are included.

Highlights

  • 4 guided night walks to see the nocturnal animals
  • Two morning and one afternoon boat cruise on Kinabatangan river
  • One trek along the river in Kinabatangan and two early morning walks in Danum Valley
  • Visit Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sun Bear Sanctuary, Gomantong caves, and Danum Valley
  • Chance to spot pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, hornbills, orangutans, and many nocturnal animals
  • Transfers Sandakan airport - Sepilok - Kinabatangan - Danum Valley - Lahad Datu
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals

Styles


5 activity days in English
Spoken languages: Malay, English
The maximum participants in the group is 8
Airport transfer included: Sandakan Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
08:00
Check-out Time:
13:00

The first 2 nights will be spent at a Nature Lodge on the Kinabatangan River and then you will stay at Danum Valley Field Centre for the next 2 nights. Accommodation options at each location are private ensuite room or dormitory.

Program

Day 1: Sandakan / Sepilok to Kinabatangan

Pick up from Sandakan airport at 8 a.m. (alternative pick up points in Sandakan and Sepilok are available). For guests flying in same day River Junkie Tours recommend flights Air Asia AK6492 or Malaysia Airlines MH2042 from Kota Kinabalu.

You will head first to the orangutan sanctuary to watch the younger, playful orangutans in the nursery before catching the 10 a.m. feeding. Around 11 a.m. your guide will take you to the sun bear sanctuary to watch the sun bears (the world’s smallest species of bear) from raised walkways. After a lunch stop at a local restaurant, start your journey to the Kinabatangan river around 1 p.m., stopping off on the way to witness the swiftlet nests in Gomantong caves.

After check-in, welcome drinks and an orientation to the lodge you’ll join your first boat cruise in search of wildlife and bird-like along the banks of the Kinabatangan river into your river. Return to the lodge for dinner and then choose to either relax at the lodge or join the night walk in search of nocturnal animals.

  • Included meals: lunch and dinner

Day 2: Kinabatangan river

As day dawns, join the early morning boat cruise in search of pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, hornbills, orangutans and more before returning to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast, join a trek along the river banks looking for wildlife before returning to the lodge for lunch and the chance to relax surrounded by nature. Once the afternoon sun cools down, join the cruise boat for more wildlife spotting opportunities. After a buffet dinner there will be another chance for a night walk looking for tarsiers, frogs, insects, flying squirrels, and other nocturnal wildlife.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 3: Kinabatangan to Danum Valley

Wake up to the sounds of hornbills and gibbons and take your last chance to join the boat for a final wildlife spotting dawn river cruise or enjoy a well deserved lie-in before breakfast. Depart from the lodge around 8.30 a.m. and begin your journey to Danum Valley, arriving around 12.00 p.m. for check in.

After lunch, your guide will give you’re an orientation to the field centre and you can then relax or take an afternoon siesta before going on a mid-afternoon walk. The area surrounding the center teems with wildlife and it is not unusual for you to spot resident orang utan, hornbills etc. Return to center before sundown and enjoy dinner at 7 p.m. After dinner, go on an included night walk with your guide or arrange for an optional 4x4 night drive.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 4: Danum Valley Conservation Area

Wake up early for an early morning nature walk near the lodge to see the forest come to life. Alternatively, you can also pre-arrange a 4x4 drive to Bukit Atur for a breathtaking sunrise experience atop a canopy of trees - please tell your guide in advance that you are interested in this and he can assist with booking accordingly.

Return to center for breakfast and embark on a trail in the area if you wish. Spend late morning resting before having lunch. After lunch, take a dip at the Ulu Segama river before heading off for another trek with your guide. Return to the center in late afternoon, in time to watch the sky change colour as the sun sets. After dinner, go on an included night walk with your guide or arrange for an optional 4x4 night drive.

  • Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 5: Departure day

Wake up early for early walk and more wildlife sighting possibilities. Return to field centre for breakfast, and spend the rest of your morning at leisure until check out time at 11 a.m. Arrive at Lahad Datu for onward travel at about 1.30 p.m.

  • Included meals: Breakfast

Included excursions

You will have the chance to visit Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sun Bear Sanctuary, and Gomantong caves.

Location

The Kinabatangan river

The Kinabatangan river is one of the best and most easily accessible places to see wildlife in Asia! The population density of animals on this stretch of the Kinabatangan river is second to none, including so much of Sabah's most sought after wildlife: Orang-utans, proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, langurs, wild cats, crocodiles, amazing birdlife, and much much more! It is recommended you take a 3 day 2 night Kinabatangan river trip as this will give you the best chances of seeing as much wildlife as possible. Over the course of 3 days you will be surrounded by nature, join sunrise and sunset river cruises, trek through the jungle and also get the chance to experience the jungle at night, on night walks. Experienced, eagle-eyed nature guides will be with you throughout to help you spot the critters you may otherwise miss! With varied trip options and accommodation ranging from dorms and private A/C rooms to private villas, the Kinabatangan river trips can accommodate just about all budgets and comfort levels.

Danum Valley

The 472 square kilometers conservation area of Danum Valley is one of the oldest rainforests in the world (130 million years). This primarily lowland dipterocarp forest conservation area is home to hundreds of species of birds, mammals, and insects. The Borneo pygmy elephant, sun bear, orangutan, and clouded leopard are just a few of Danum Valley's inhabitants.

Spend your days trekking through this ancient rainforest in search of wildlife or relax surrounded by nature. Lucky visitors may encounter a mother orangutan with her baby, Wallace's flying frog, Borneon gibbons, rhinoceros hornbill, and much more!

The Danum Valley Conservation Area is about 2 and a half hours drive from the town of Lahad Datu and is accessible via public bus and plane (Lahad Datu airport).

Food

You have daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner included in the price, starting with lunch on day 1 and finishing with breakfast on day 5. Meals provided are basic but plentiful. Any specific dietary requirements can be catered for.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

You can join optional 4×4 activities at Danum Valley such as night safari and sunrise trip at Bukit Atur (these can be shared up to 8 persons for a total price of 160 RM per 4×4)

What's included

  • 4 guided night walks to see the nocturnal animals
  • Two morning and one afternoon boat cruise on Kinabatangan river
  • One trek along the river in Kinabatangan and two early morning walks in Danum Valley
  • Visit Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sun Bear Sanctuary, Gomantong caves, and Danum Valley
  • Daily meals as per itinerary
  • Transfers Sandakan airport - Sepilok - Kinabatangan - Danum Valley - Lahad Datu
  • 4 nights accommodation: 2 nights Kinabatangan river lodge, 2 nights Danum Valley Field Centre
  • Entry fees at Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sun bear sanctuary, and Gomantong caves
  • Danum Valley conservation fee

What's not included

  • Tourism tax: RM10 per private room per night (payable in cash at check-in)
  • Flights / transfers other than stated
  • Drinks
  • Meals other than stated
  • Optional 4×4 activities at Danum Valley such as night safari and sunrise trip at Bukit Atur
  • Camera fees

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

The trip begins in Sandakan. Guests can either take a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, or Tawau with Airasia or Malaysian Airlines, or a bus from Kota Kinabalu, Semporna, Tawau, or Lahad Datu.

The trip ends in Lahad Datu, from there guests can take a flight with Malaysian Airlines to Kota Kinabalu. Buses depart from Lahad Datu to Semporna, Sandakan, Tawau, or Kota Kinabalu.

Additional land transfers are also available upon request.

Airport: Sandakan Airport Airport transfer included: Sandakan Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 30 days before the arrival date.
5 days / 4 nights
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Availability

This tour is available all year round, with arrival on Monday and Thursday.

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