Sabah formerly known as North Borneo is the wildlife destination of South East Asia, and the Kinabatangan River area is known to have the highest concentration of wildlife in Borneo, Malaysia. Sabah is also home to the extremely cute Orang Utans, and the very unique Proboscis monkeys. Last December some 60 diplomats from around the world voted Sabah as the best tourist destination in Malaysia. These votes do speak volume, and finally the world has come to recognise Sabah as a top tourist destination.
To visit all the tourist destinations of Sabah, one will probably need a month to do so. If time does not permit below is a seven day itinerary tour programme by Wildlife Expedition, which combines the best of west and east coast of Sabah. Guest will travel by air, canoe, boat, and coach to reach various interesting places. The followings are excerpts from a Wildlife Expedition brochure.
Day 1 Kota Kinabalu / Kinabalu Park
Depart from Kota Kinabalu and travel two hours along the ridges of the Crocker Range to Kinabalu Park. Enjoy the superb mountain views as you travel to the Park which is at 1524 metres. Explore one of the many trails that leads through the tropical Montane Oak, and Chestnut Forest. Kinabalu Park is a botanist’s paradise with over a thousand species of orchids, numerous different rhododendrons, and pitcher plants. The bird life is equally fascinating with most species being montane, including a number of endemics. Stay over night at Wildlife Mountain Lodge.
Day 2 Poring Hot Springs / Kinabalu Park
Proceed by road for an hour to Poring Hot Springs at the Southern end of Kinabalu Park. Lowland dipterocarp forest makes up of the vegetation at Poring, and it is an excellent place to view lowland birds and some mammals. A short trek into the forest to the Canopy Walkway for a bird’s eye view of the tropical rainforest. The Canopy Walkway is suspended between trees at the height of 40 metres and it offers an excellent opportunity to observe wildlife in the canopy. Return to an overnight at Wildlife Mountain Lodge.
Day 3 Gomantong Caven
Drive overland easterly to the (district) of Sandakan. The drive will take 4 hours passing through scenic countrysides. Visit the Gomantang Caves where the bizarre edible bird’s nests are harvested as they have been for hundreds of years. The caves are also home to more than a million bats. The birds around the cave are particularly rich, with crested serpent eagles, kingfishers, asian fairy birds and leaf birds often sighted. Continue the journey to a village of Sukau at the Kinabatangan River where the grestest concentration of wildlife in Malaysia and all of Borneo, can be found. Stay overnight at the riverside traditional style Sukau River Lodge.
Day 4 Kinabatangan River
Boat trips for the day at the river to view numerous species of wildlife such as orang utans, macaques, red and silver leaf monkeys, elephants, hornbills, crocodiles, civet cats, otters, and the famous creature, the proboscis monkeys. Found only in Borneo, the male of this species has large pendulous nose, fat belly, thick white tail, and webbed feet. The bird life includes egret, kingfisher, oriental darter, bee-eater, hornbill and many more. Stay over night at Sukau River Lodge.
Day 5 Libaran Island
Drive two and a half hours to the district of Sandakan before taking an hour boat ride to Libaran Island. Enjoy the tropical shoreline vegetation, especially the mangrove trees, with numerous species of wildlife. Upon arrival, visit a local fishermen village to see the traditional way of life on the island. A boat trip to the mangrove in the afternoon will be rewarded with sighting of squirrels, monkeys, bearded pigs, pangolins, sea eagles, hornbills, green herons, and pipers, pigeons, bulbuls, babblers, flycatchers, swiftlets, and sunbirds. Stay overnight at Libaran Island Lodge.
Day 6 Selingan Turtle Island
Take a cruise on a glass bottom boat or snorkel in the blue Sulu sea for colourful corals and fishes of the tropic. Enjoy the spectacular environment when the turtles might be seen swimming and mating in the sea. Boat ride to Selingan Island where the most important turtle breeding Marine Park is found in all of South East Asia. It is a rare experience to watch huge green turtles lumber ashore every night, dig a hole with their flippers and lay eggs to the tune of around 100. The rangers will transfer these eggs to a hatchery for incubation for 50 to 60 days before hatchlings breakout of their shells and scramble up through the sand and make their way to the sea. Only 3% are likely to survive, they will return in 20 years or so to the very beach where they themselves were hatched to repeat the cycle. Stay over night at Selingan Island Lodge
Day 7 Sepilok Orang Utan Centre / Kota Kinabalu
A boat ride back to Sandakan mainland, and take a short drive to the famous Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. Founded in 1964 the Centre helps once captive orang utans learn to climb and fend for themselves in the wild with the hope of one day they may return to the forest. The semi-wild orang utans may return to the platform provided by the centre for milk and bananas twice a day during the process of returning to the forest. Visitors will get a close up view of these orang utans and have the chance to photograph them at close range. Transfer to Sandakan airport for an afternoon flight back to Kota Kinabalu for an onward flight home.
Note: All trips included Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner.
For more information on this tour package, do contact Wildlife Expeditions.
Wildlife Expeditions SDN. BHD.
Lot G-16, Ground Floor, Wisma Sabah,
Jalan Tun Razak, Kota Kinabalu,
Tel: +6088 242 911
HP: +6017 810 6233
Fax: +6088 234 460