Kinabatangan River sustains one of the world’s richest ecosystems. Other than being home to Borneo’s indigenous orang utan and proboscis monkey, the surrounding forest is also one of only two known places in the world where 10 species of primates are found. All the eight species of hornbill found in Borneo make the area their home.
A trip up the river at dawn or dusk is the best opportunity to see the wildlife. You might even sight an Asian elephant wandering through the trees. Optional tours can be arranged for night safaris as well to spot crocodiles, birds and nocturnal animals.
Many major local tour companies run lodges in the Sukau area with packages that include accommodation, transportation, meals and guided tours. Alternatively, you may want to experience the homestay programme which is available at surrounding villages and which provides a good opportunity to truly experience the life of the Orang Sungai. Join in their cultural activities or even try your hand at the local way of farming!
The overland trip from Sandakan to Sukau covers 135km where 42km of the journey is on gravel road through palm oil plantations. A 350km drive from Kota Kinabalu is also possible but will take at least six hours. Transportation can be arranged with local tour operators.