This is the essence of Borneo: protected primary forest harbouring untold indigenous animals, plants and insects. Danum Valley offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the rainforest and learn about the unique biodiversity that exists within the dense forest foliage. Checking into a luxury rainforest lodge resets your senses, as you unwind on the terrace and listen to an orchestra of insects serenade you into the evening. See a side to Sabah that has existed since time began: a forgotten world of jungle giants.
Obviously there's a lot more, this is just to get you started...
This is Borneo's wild side, protected from the logging and palm oil industries. Wildlife lovers will be in their absolute element catching sight of indigenous animals known to be living within the thick primary jungle. If you were simply walking through the forest on your own, with a pair of binoculars, you might get lucky and see one or two macaques; with a local guide, your experience will be enhanced tenfold. They know all the tell-tale signs of life that us city dwellers will often miss. From pygmy elephants, Sumatran rhinos and orangutans, to tree frogs, civet cats and Malayan sun bears; you can't guarantee that you'll see any of these animals, but you might. And therein lies the thrill.
The closer you get to Danum Valley the smaller you’ll seem. Trees broaden, leaves expand, creepers extend, and the canopy stretches skywards into the clouds. Trekking here is like stepping into a land that time forgot. In certain places, the darkness becomes really intense. You're less likely to see creatures than you are to hear them: croaking frogs, the constant throb of insects, and gibbon calls that are as loud as car alarms. Trekking guides will explain what you're hearing. It would become quite scary if they didn't! An equally enthralling area for trekking is the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Tabin’s landscape is relatively sparse compared to Danum Valley, so you can expect to see more animals, especially from the observation tower overlooking the park's mineral-infused mud 'volcanoes'.
There's nothing more enjoyable after a day’s safari in Sabah than sipping a chilled glass of something fizzy whilst sitting on a wooden veranda overlooking the Danum River. Booking into a luxury ecolodge surrounded by jungle allows you to do just that. Stilted wooden chalets and bungalows provide comfort and privacy as well as access to rainforest trails, tropical gardens and a suspended canopy walkway. Evenings at open-sided restaurants offer the chance to socialise or enjoy candle-lit meals for two, whilst nocturnal jungle walks round the day off on a high.
Explore an untamed habitat concealing endangered animals, rare birds and plants with mysterious medicinal properties; all before steeling away for a remote island retreat.