The 10 Best Nature & Wildlife Areas in Sabah, Malaysia

July 29, 2021 Kandra Bartel

Sabah (Malay pronunciation: [saˈbah]) is a state of Malaysia located on the northern portion of Borneo Island. Sabah has land borders with the Malaysian state of Sarawak to the southwest, and Indonesia's Kalimantan region to the south. The Federal Territory of Labuan is an island just off the Sabah coast. Sabah shares maritime borders with Vietnam in the west and the Philippines to the north and east. Kota Kinabalu is the capital city, the economic centre of the state and the seat of the Sabah state government. Other major towns in Sabah include Sandakan and Tawau. As of the 2015 census in Malaysia, the state's population is 3,543,500. Sabah has an equatorial climate with tropical rainforests and abundant animal and plant species. The state has long mountain ranges on the west side which form part of the Crocker Range National Park. Kinabatangan River, second longest river in Malaysia runs through Sabah and Mount Kinabalu is the highest point of Sabah as well as of Malaysia.

1. Danum Valley Conservation Area

Danum Valley Malaysia http://www.sabahtourism.com/destination/danum-valley-conservation-area
Excellent
84%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 136 reviews

Danum Valley Conservation Area

Reviewed By lazybrilliance

This place is the real deal - virgin rainforest and an amazing lodge. It is expensive but completely worth it. You will not be disappointed.

2. Tropical Research and Conservation Centre

4 Turtle Beach Pom Pom Island, Kudat 91300 Malaysia +60 19-850 5412 http://tracc-borneo.org
Excellent
88%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 8 reviews

Tropical Research and Conservation Centre

Tropical Research and Conservation Centre (TRACC) operates a marine conservation volunteer project near the Tip of Borneo in Sabah, Malaysia. We teach diving and marine conservation as guests help protect and rebuild reefs, turtles and sharks. We stay in tents and spend days doing marine conservation surveys and restoring coral reefs. This site is our main training site, with shallow waters and low currents. We also have a project for advanced divers on Pom POm island in Semporna, Sabah.

3. Mount Trusmadi

Keningau Malaysia
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
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Poor
0%
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Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 3 reviews

Mount Trusmadi

4. Sungai Kapur

Lahad Datu 91100 Malaysia
Excellent
100%
Good
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Satisfactory
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Poor
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5.0 based on 14 reviews

Sungai Kapur

Sungai Kapur – North Tabin is located within the RAMSAR site and referring it to an “off the beaten path gem” is an understatement! Sungai Kapur is by far Lahad Datu’s “2in1”! To conceptualize, it is as if the jungle of Danum Valley and the Kinabatangan River meets and placed in one area. As such visitors to this coordinate can engage at jungle trekking, river cruising and night safari.

Reviewed By once_in_a_while_84

We did a 3D/2N tour of Sungai Kapur through Bike and Tours last month. It was an incredible and memorable experience! Sungai Kapur is a unique place - it's serene and beautiful and about as untouched an area as you can find in Borneo. Our guides - Simon, Dr Teo and two specialist nature guides - were incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the area. Simon and Dr Teo are also working hard with a local village to reduce plastic pollution, which is great to see. We were unlucky in some respects, not seeing the flying foxes or dolphins, but the animal encounters we did have were very special. Finding mangrove snakes curled up on tree branches, seeing fish jumping in our torchlight, a stunning firefly display, and even seeing a helmeted hornbill and a baby croodile, seeing leopard cats and a moon rat on a night drive, etc. The accommodation was much less basic than we expected - en suite bathroom (cold shower, but that's normal in SE Asia), fan, balcony, etc. Towels, bed linen and toiletries are provided. The only down side is that when the generator is off at night, the room becomes very still and humid so it can be difficult to sleep, but it's the trade-off you make for remoteness. I'd like to give the food an extra special mention - it was superb. The best food we'd had in Borneo so far (with great bread for the on-board breakfast sandwiches!). And the provision of decent New World wine was extremely thoughtful - after 1.5 months of travelling teetotal in SE Asia (I'm not a fan of beer), I was in 7th heaven ???? We travelled in a small local motorboat. My partner is pretty tall and broad-shouldered, so we struggled to be comfortable after a couple of hours of boating, especially as there was just one cushion between us (which I think has now been sorted out). Our boat also sat low in the water, so we got quite-to-totally wet during every journey. This is not to put anyone off - it's a glorious experience overall - but next time we'll bring ponchos and dry bags with us! Simon was the soul of courtesy - always asking whether we needed anything. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this tour to anyone who loves wildlife.

5. Taliwas in Danum Valley

Lot 62, Taman Hap Heng, Lahad Datu 91100 Malaysia +60 17-293 6376 http://www.danum-valley-taliwas.com/
Excellent
100%
Good
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Poor
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5.0 based on 1 reviews

Taliwas in Danum Valley

Taliwas Rainforest is located about 40km from Lahad Datu. Easily noticeable yet easily missed when one is on the way to Danum Valley! The Taliwas Rainforest was recently classified as a First Class Forest Reserve and offers its visitors a chance to sight the wildlife such as macaques, monitor lizards, wild boar and during the migration season the pygmy elephants.

6. Turtle Island Park

Sandakan Malaysia 6088 248 698 211 732 http://turtleislandborneo.com/booking
Excellent
66%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 715 reviews

Turtle Island Park

Reviewed By AR548739 - London, United Kingdom

We booked direct through crystal quest, it was easy, Fatima was fantastic and responded quickly everytime she was very helpful from begining to end. After a few emails back and forth it was booked and we didnt have to pay anything until the day. Her email is - [email protected] The trip was fantastic, the work they do on the island is brilliant, if it wasn't for them the eggs wouldnt stand a chance.

7. Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

Mile 19, Sankadan Sps 3, Sandakan 90000 Malaysia +60 89-672 133 [email protected] http://www.proboscis.cc/
Excellent
57%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
3%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1,168 reviews

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

Reviewed By Daneli09

Arrived early, had a good meal in the onsite restaurant before going to the feeding platform. Saw dozens of proboscis monkeys and several troops of macaques within arms length on the boardwalk leading to the feeding platform. Travelling between the feeding platforms, we saw hornbills, silver eared monkeys, wild boar and a huge monitor lizard. Great day out.

8. Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Sepilok Malaysia +44 1590 623443 [email protected] https://www.orangutan-appeal.org.uk/about-us/sepilok-orangutan-rehabilitation-centre
Excellent
54%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4,255 reviews

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Reviewed By 663heathera - Canberra, Australia

We went here as part of a tour and it was the highlight. From seeing the young orangutans in the nursery with their very attentive keepers to the feeding platforms where the wild orangutans come in, what an experience to see these marvelous animals. to see them climb and swing through the trees. A must do experience.

9. Kinabatangan Jungle Camp

Kinabantangan River nr. Kampung Billit, Sukau Malaysia +60 13-540 5333 [email protected] http://www.kinabatangan-jungle-camp.com/
Excellent
44%
Good
48%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 50 reviews

Kinabatangan Jungle Camp

10. Rasa Ria Reserve by Shangri-La

Pantai Dalit, Tuaran 89208 Malaysia +60 88-797 888 [email protected] http://rasariareserve.com/
Excellent
59%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 360 reviews

Rasa Ria Reserve by Shangri-La

The Rasa Ria Nature Reserve was established by Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu in collaboration with the State Wildlife Department of Sabah. This protected ecological space aims to facilitate rehabilitation programmes for endangered species of animals as well as those endemic in Sabah. The Rasa Ria Nature Reserve provides a home until they ready to be rehabilitated into their natural habitat. *Following 20 years of joint management between Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) and Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa (RRR), the Orangutan Rehabilitation and Conservation Programme has ultimately reached a successful conclusion. The wildlife conservation programme at the Nature Interpretation Centre continues, with expanded conservation education and activities. Visitors can now trek deep into the nature trails with rangers to learn about exotic plants, native to the area and found throughout the in the 64-arce Nature Reserve.

Reviewed By The_Whittemores - Redditch, United Kingdom

Just spent 9 nights at the Rasa Ria in KK and we had an amazing time. The Ocean Wing was great, the extra touches (mini bar, happy hour, balcony bath) are well worth the upgrade. The Rasa Ria team also made our stay extra special. Particular thanks to Aster in reception and Cenavera at breakfast but the list could go on. So many great people who do everything they can to make your stay fabulous. Would highly recommend the hotel and Borneo. Epic trip.

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