Kinabatangan River: An Introduction
The Kinabatangan River is the longest in the state of Sabah, and home to an impressive array of wildlife. It’s a real highlight for most visitors to Borneo - as the name suggests, you will indeed be travelling on water, and much of your time here will be spent on small, open-top boats. These are perfect for wildlife-spotting as you journey through backwaters and some of the smaller tributaries of the River.
The Kinabatangan connects a broad variety of fascinating habitats, from the mangrove swamps, with their population of Saltwater Crocodiles, to the coastal wetlands, home to orang-utans (and plenty of conservationists).
If you’re into nature documentaries, you may be familiar with the limestone Gomantong Caves complex. Alongside thousands of bats, these are home to swiftlets, whose edible nests were, until 1968, the key ingredient in birds nest soup.
As you glide along the river, you’ll probably hear hooting gibbons, and see proboscis monkeys peering from the treetops. At night, out comes the lorris, whose enormous eyes shine like headlamps in your torch beam. You’ll see a huge variety of birds; all 8 species of hornbill live here, with beautiful kingfishers and the Crested Serpent Eagle making reasonably regular appearances.
Of course, it won’t be like a trip to the zoo, but we’re guessing you don’t want that anyway. These are wild animals, and they’re not stupid - humans represent a huge threat to their survival, so they may make themselves hard to spot. But, despite the logging, there’s so much wildlife here - you will see many species. Our guides are experts, and will make sure you’re given every opportunity to do so.
You’ll be accommodated in our favoured, and very comfortable, riverside lodges, ensuring you stay close to the action. They also help take the sting out of the early morning starts, which are essential to see the best of the wildlife!
...far from gone. Lucky visitors get to see the enigmatic pygmy elephant.