The Kinabatangan River and the Importance
The longest waterways in Sabah and the second in the country. It rises from one of the ranges in the western part of the state, where it begins its course 560 kilometers northeasterly, to the Sulu sea in the eastern part.
Known as part of the largest Ramsar Site in Malaysia, the Lower Kinabatangan-Segama Wetland. This important floodplain is fed by two main waterways- the Kinabatangan and Segama- covering 78,803 ha of wetland and intertidal forest. Such an important site provides more than just a natural habitat for myriads of species of flora and fauna; it also provides numerous beneficial services for the people that inhabit close.
The Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is located within this site. This 26,000-ha sanctuary was declared in 2005 to protect the area as it is home to innumerable exotic animals that only inhabit this island. The sanctuary is home to some of the unique and endemic creatures of the world, from the elusive and endangered Bornean Orangutan and the smallest subspecies of elephant, the Bornean Pygmy Elephant, the bizarre-looking primates of the Proboscis Monkey, and the myriads of flamboyant birds species like Hornbills.
It is arguably one of the strongholds for many island wildlife, particularly in Sabah. Many species inhabit this vast hinterland and share with the indigenous tribes along these waterways.
The wild, the endangered and elusive inhabitants
The vast floodplain of the Lower Kinabatangan is home to some of the remarkable diversity of wildlife of this third-largest island in the world.
Here’s some quick info about this wildlife;
Did you know? The sanctuary is one of only two areas inhabited by ten species of primates. Four out of ten species are endemic to the island. Interestingly, it is also one of the two places in the world where four species of colobine monkey (leaf-specialized primates) inhabit the same area; the Proboscis Monkey, Silvery Lutung, Red Langur, and Grey Langur.
Did you know? Eight species of hornbill are found on this island, and all of these species occur and inhabit this area! One species, the Helmeted Hornbill, is critically endangered due to severe hunting and habitat loss.
Did you know? In Sabah, the highest concentration of Bornean Orangutan is in the Lower Kinabatangan. Approximately 800 inhabit this sanctuary, arguably one place that offers the best chances of seeing a wild orangutan in Sabah.
Did you know? It’s one of the last refuges on this island for the smallest elephant sub-species in the world, the Bornean Pygmy Elephant. Approximately 200-250 individuals inhabit this floodplain, and this area is arguably one of the best spots to see this small pachyderm.
Our lodge, Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Perched on the edge of the Kinabatangan floodplain, our lodge is nestled in one of the most important eco-regions, Sabah. It is home to myriads of the island’s iconic wildlife and is known for its high bio-diversity ecosystem.
Sukau Rainforest Lodge is one of the country’s leading eco-lodges. We pride ourselves in embracing sustainable tourism while offering our guests unparalleled wilderness experiences with some luxury. We want our guests to learn more than the environment and the wildlife but also about the locals surroundings and learn how, as a traveler on how to set a positively impact to the place.
Implement and adhere to these green practices and principles.
Here are just some of our lodge’s sustainability principles and ecotourism credentials; Rainwater harvesting, efficient waste management, fleet of electric-powered boat, developing and empowering local communities and more
All lodge facilities adhere to strict green policy guidelines, from our river view restaurant, informational gallery, hall, common area, rooms, and walkway.
Here are some of our lodge facilities;
Melapi Restaurant-an open-air concept restaurant with a stunning river view.
Gecko Lounge-a common area for indoor activities with a bar and shop within the lounge
Plunge Pool-two plunge pools for both superior and villas
Gomantong Hall-where the informative presentations happen. Orangutan talk is one of those presentations
Our award-winning lodge has been the leading force of ecotourism in Sabah. Showcase a perfect example of how ecotourism work- the implementation, the impact, and how we walk the talk.
The River Cruise
Venture into the pristine and rare wilderness of the mighty waterway of the Kinabatangan. Imagine sitting in a boat, cruising along the river while observing the wildlife in its natural setting.
Our boat is equipped with four stroke outboard and an electric-powered motor. The outboard engine produces fewer harmful emissions and is 90% cleaner than the two-stroke engine.
The electric-powered motor will likely cause no harm or disturbance to the wildlife and the surrounding. Minimal noise is produced, almost soundless, and strictly no water pollution threat; mainly used in a small channel with minimal current, it’s a great way to reduce any negative impact on the surroundings and immerse within.
It’s our most popular tour packages!
Most of our tour enquiries are into this package https://www.borneoecotours.com/tours/kinabatangan-wildlife-safari. This river safari packages offer the best experience with the island’s iconic wild inhabitants. As much of the island wildlife can be found here, and the best part of it is that all these creatures can be seen from the comfort of your seat.
As one of the leading tour operators in Sabah, we specialise in wildlife and nature tours. From wildlife watching to cultural interpretation and jungle trekking, we are always ready to give you one memorable holiday experience of a lifetime.
To conclude, wildlife watching here is the easiest and most “comfortable” option here in Sabah.