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An update from Evaneos

Kinabatangan (Malaysia)

Practical information about Kinabatangan

  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • River
4 / 5 - One review
How to get there
2 hours from Sandakan by car
When to go
Throughout the year, but ideally from September to February
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Kinabatangan

Arthur Joffrin Travel writer
38 travel articles

The meeting place for many of the animal species of Borneo. It is a must for lovers of nature, adventure and wild animals.

My suggestion:
Although it is possible to go there throughout the year, I strongly suggest you discover this river during the rainy season. The animal life and the beauty of the place are much more impressive than during the dry season. 

The Kinabatangan River is one of the last wild paradises, on an island where the wealth of animal and plant life is a victim of palm oil farming and massive deforestation. 

560 km in length, it passes through the east of Sabah to the Sulu Sea, winding through the rainforest, mangroves and sometimes, unfortunately, through fields of oil palms. An inexhaustible water resource (although the level decreases sharply during the dry season), it is the environmental lifeline of a multitude of animal species that live in its waters, on its swampy banks or among the tall trees bordering the river.  

I was lucky enough to spend several days in the Kinabatangan area, combining hiking and boat excursions in order to observe this stunningly rich plant and animal life. Both by day and by night, I was able to observe many freshwater crocodiles, several species of monkeys, toucans, rhinoceros, lizards and many other species. In the heart of the wet season, it is not uncommon to cross orang-utans and pigmy elephants during a simply amazing safari.

Majestic rhinoceros hornbill at dawn