This simple lodge doesn’t have the bells and whistles of a top-end luxury retreat, but it does have something rarer: an instant connection to one of the planet’s wildest and most diverse landscapes. Perched on a curve on the Kinabatangan river, this modest lodge sits unobtrusively on the border between dense jungle and flowing water, with Sabah’s extraordinary wildlife all around. It’s an immediate and solid base from which to explore the river and hike local nature trails.
Wooden stilt cabins are connected by raised walkways, and furnished sparingly but comfortably. It's well worth paying the supplement for the handful of chalets with full air con, as temperatures this close to the river can get pretty sultry. The sheltered pool and riverside terrace provide additional respite and refreshment from the jungle climate, and are perfect spots to relax between river safaris. The whole experience feels basic but honest, and they make no apologies for the lodge’s gentle, welcoming functionality. You’re here for the jungle and the river, and this gateway leads you right there.
On a river bend in Sukau, looking across the water towards the opposite bank and surrounded by the Kinabatangan wilderness, this resort is in a prime location for exploring the river and dense jungle.
Unbeatable riverside location
River boat safaris
You'll probably meet the local wildlife before you even leave the lodge! We learned a lot being out on the trails, and the nature documentary showings were great for filling us in on the background science.
Discover what to expect from staying at Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge
We don’t visit Borneo’s extraordinary rainforests to experience uber luxury; nice though that is, we can get our pampering fix in other places. In the Bornean wilderness, our priority is simply to experience the landscape and it’s unique ecosystems first-hand, and the Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge is located perfectly for doing just this. Its riverside location allows both for boat safaris along the waterways and hikes into the jungle, offering unbeatable access to the landscape. Outstanding.
Being elevated off the ground confers several advantages to the Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge chalets. Firstly, it ensures that they always sit safely above the regular ebb and flow of the river’s floodwaters, keeping a steady guest experience all year round. Secondly, and most excitingly, it gets you up amid the trees where you can come face to face with some of Borneo’s phenomenal flora and fauna. Wander between the chalets on a wooden walkway, keeping your eyes focused on the surrounding trees to spot proboscis monkeys and colourful birdlife amid the greenery.
Cruise down the river on a boat safari, or head into the jungle on foot, in search of the region’s fascinating wildlife, and watch engaging documentaries exploring science and conservation in the region. Relax in the pool or on the sundeck, enjoy delicious meals prepared using locally-sourced produce, and keep your fingers crossed for a glimpse of some of Borneo’s wonderful wildlife, from butterflies to orangutans.
The lodge makes several crucial concessions to environmental sustainability and social responsibility. These include using environmentally friendly bathroom products, sponsoring the further education of local youngsters, filtering and recycling rainwater for onsite use, and ensuring that local produce is used wherever possible when cooking the delicious meals you can enjoy on the riverside terrace.
Explore an untamed habitat concealing endangered animals, rare birds and plants with mysterious medicinal properties; all before steeling away for a remote island retreat.