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Kinabatangan Wildlife Safaris

The Kinabatangan is one of the two places on earth where ten primate species are found together, including the orang-utan, proboscis monkey and the Bornean gibbon.

−WWF Malaysia

Tour Details

The Kinabatangan River is the longest river in Sabah, flowing for 560km through eastern Sabah to the Sulu Sea on the east coast. The lower part of the river meanders through low-lying ground, forming the Kinabatangan Floodplain, the last forested alluvial floodplain in Asia. It is one of only two places on earth where ten primate species are found together, including the orang-utan, proboscis monkey and the Bornean gibbon. It is also home to over 250 bird, 50 mammal, 20 reptile and 1056 plant species, including Borneo pygmy elephants and all eight species of hornbill found in Borneo.
Our tours seek out the lower Kinabatangan’s incredible wildlife, using battery-powered boats so that we don’t disturb the animals, allowing us to get really close to some of Borneo’s most spectacular inhabitants. We also include a visit to the Turtle Islands National Park, to see green and hawksbill turtles nesting, as well as a trip to the world-famous Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre at Sepilok.

Itinerary - 4 Days 3 Nights

Day 1 – Sandakan – Pulau Selingan Turtle Sanctuary (L D): Meet at Sandakan airport upon arrival in the early morning, transfer to jetty for 1 hour’s boat ride to Pulau Selingan (Selingan Island) in the Turtle Islands National Park. Upon arrival, check in to your chalet and have lunch. Free and easy in the afternoon, for swimming or snorkelling. After dinner, at the ranger’s signal, stroll to the beach to witness the turtles laying their eggs and the releasing of newly hatched baby turtles to the sea. Overnight at island chalet. 

Day 2 – Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre – Sukau – Kinabatangan River Cruise (B L D): Return to Sandakan by boat and proceed to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, where orphaned and injured Orangutans are brought to be rehabilitated to return to forest life. Witness the feeding of Orangutan from a platform in the forest, then watch the video documentary presentation for an insight into the Orangutan rehabilitation process and threats to their survival.

Proceed overland for 2.5 hours to Sukau. Check-in and lunch at your eco-friendly lodge. In the late afternoon, proceed for a river cruise in a battery-powered boat to the Menanggol River, a tributary of the Kinabatangan, to search for wildlife, including the unique proboscis monkey, hornbills, kingfishers and many others. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Day 3 – Sukau – Oxbow Lake – Nature Trek – River Cruise (B L D): Wake up early to the sounds of gibbons and hornbills, and take a pre-breakfast cruise up the Kinabatangan River to Kelenanap Oxbow Lake to view more birds and wildlife. After breakfast, take a nature trek through the Kinabatangan Wildlife Corridor. Return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, take another cruise along the Kinabatangan in search of more wildlife. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Day 4 – Sukau – Gomantong Cave – Sandakan City Tour – Transfer Out (B L): After breakfast, depart for Gomantong Cave. From your vehicle, the cave is a 20-minute walk through unique limestone vegetation and lowland forest. Here you can observe birds and primates, and wild orangutans are occasionally seen. Explore one of the most fascinating caves in Sabah, home to millions of bats, as well as swiftlets whose edible nests are collected for China’s famous bird’s nest soup. Return to Sandakan and visit Pui Jih Shih Chinese temple, located 300m above sea level with a commanding view of Sandakan bay. After lunch at local restaurant, tour historic Sandakan town, including the bustling market and Sim Sim water village, a mixed Chinese and Malay village built from quaint stilt houses. Transfer to Sandakan airport for your return flight to Kota Kinabalu in the evening.

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Please quote Product Code ISB-002-43

Alternative Itineraries

We believe the tour itinerary outlined above offers the best combination of wildlife experiences, comfort, excitement and value for money within a manageable time frame. However, not everyone can spare four days on their busy holiday itinerary, so we can also arrange shorter tours, with one night each at Pulau Selingan and Sukau, and also single destination tours to Pulau Selingan or Sukau only. Alternatively, some guests may have more time and wish to stay longer in these fascinating and beautiful locations, or may have special interests in birding, plant life or particular animal species. Please contact us for further information and suggestions. 

What's Included in the Price?

The tour price is based on a minimum of 2 persons travelling together on a twin-sharing basis unless otherwise indicated. Please enquire for detailed pricing, extensions and large group rates. Check the small print for our terms and conditions.

Tour Price Includes:

  • Accommodation as indicated
  • Meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
  • Transfers to/from Sandakan. 
  • English/Malay-speaking tour guide and boatmen.
  • All permits and entry fees.

Tour Price Does Not Include

  • Flights to/from Sandakan. We can arrange Sandakan flights from/to Kota Kinabalu or KL if required.
  • Tipping for guides, drivers and boatmen
  • Alcoholic beverages

Note: Weather conditions and the water level may force our guides to modify the tour in the interests of safety. No refunds will be offered for any tour or extension sold.

Payment Methods

International Payment Methods:

  • 5% surcharge for payment by PayPal, Visa and Mastercard – we will email you a PayPal invoice that you can use to pay either from your PayPal account or by Visa or Mastercard.
  • Telegraphic Transfer – TT (bank wire) in Malaysian Ringgit to our bank account. You are responsible for all originating bank charges. 

 Domestic Payment Methods (for Malaysian customers and overseas customers already in Malaysia)

  • 5% surcharge for payment by PayPal, Visa and Mastercard – we will email you a PayPal invoice that you can use to pay either from your PayPal account or by Visa or Mastercard.
  • Online transfer to our bank account. 
  • Cash deposit to our bank account at any Maybank Counter/Cash Deposit Machine. 
  • By cheque (Malaysian cheques only, payable to “Suntravel Sdn Bhd”) at any Maybank Counter or Cheque Deposit Machine or by mail to the address shown on the page footer (please allow up to 7 days for clearance). 
  • By cash in person at our Kuching office. 

Bank Details 

  • Bank:  Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank)
  • Branch:  Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Account No:  011 038 810 818
  • Account Name:  Suntravel Sdn Bhd
  • SWIFT Code (for telegraphic transfers):  MBBEMYKL


  • When you deposit to our bank account via cash or cheque, please ensure that you retain the deposit slip and email the scanned image to as proof of payment.
  • If using online transfer, please state your name and invoice number in the comments area.
  • If paying by telegraphic transfer, please note that Malaysian banks do not use IBAN codes. Please ensure you include the SWIFT code.

Hints & Tips

  • Please Bring along: Good trekking shoes, Insect repellent, Sun block, Items of personal use, Swimwear, Water bottle, Torch light/Flashlight, Camera.
  • If you do not bring a good pair of binoculars or a lightweight spotting scope, you will never forgive yourself.
  • Please carry small change and low value notes to buy drinks and souvenirs.
  • If you are vegetarian/vegan or have any food allergies, please let us know when you book so we can make the necessary arrangements.
  • If you do not wish to fly from Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan is also accessible by air from Kuala Lumpur and by road from Kota Kinabalu.

Contact us now to experience Sabah's most fascinating wildlife destinations.

Photo Credits

All photos on this page were taken at Pulau Selingan and the lower Kinabatangan River and its tributaries, and are a fair representation of what you may expect to see. All images © Sabah Tourism Board.

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