The 5 Best Forests in Sabah, Malaysia

October 2, 2021 Roger Rusk

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. Sungai Kapur

Lahad Datu 91100 Malaysia
Excellent
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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.

2. Deramakot Forest Reserve

Deramakot Fmu, Sandakan Malaysia 6082248000 http://www.deramakot.sabah.gov.my/
Excellent
78%
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4.5 based on 96 reviews

Deramakot Forest Reserve

Reviewed By sukiesue2019

I have just spent 7 days in Deramakot and have to say that the wildlife exceeded all expectations. In reference to the last post, yes the accommodation is basic but we all knew that before we booked so it should not have been any surprise. Whilst there we did suggest that a thorough clean prior to new clients arriving should be instigated, but other than that it was much as expected. As to the food, the cooks we took in with us produced very tasty food, especially given the limited kitchen set up available to them, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And yes we did break down a couple of times - but only for a couple of minutes, and once the battery was sorted there were no further problems. The vehicles may not have been the most luxuriously comfortable, but for being able to see the animals and to photograph them they were ideal. However, you are not at Deramakot for the rooms or food - the wildlife is the draw and this definitely did not disappoint. Our tour leader, Mike (Adventure Alternative Borneo), was a wizard with the spotlight and we had so many great sightings of leopard cats and the highlight was seeing a flat-headed cat posing beautifully on a log. Along with the binturong, orangs, gibbons, three species of civets, colugos, flying squirrels and numerous birds, we were treated to a wonderful collection of the wildlife of the area. I would wholeheartedly recommend Deramakot (and Mike!) to anyone who appreciates wildlife and particularly if you want to see some of the more bizarre animals that you can find in Borneo. I cannot wait to return.

3. Bukit Bongol

Kota Belud 89150 Malaysia
Excellent
67%
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4.5 based on 3 reviews

Bukit Bongol

4. Eko Pelancongan Kg Melangkap Tiong

KG. Melangkap Tiong, Kota Belud 89158 Malaysia +60 16-835 0787 https://www.facebook.com/bombonparamat/
Excellent
40%
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4.5 based on 5 reviews

Eko Pelancongan Kg Melangkap Tiong

Reviewed By humyrahana87 - Ampang, Malaysia

My first time here. Entrance is about Rm3 if I remember correctly and You have unlimited access chilling with the fish. Its a river with crowd of fish. You going to have an experience of Nature Fish Spa. You can bring food, have a picnic . they have few huts where you can do BBQ and it just next to the river.

5. Ulu Kalumpang Forest Reserve

Tawau Malaysia
Excellent
67%
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4.5 based on 3 reviews

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