Stay inside Borneo's Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Tabin protects all manner of rare and endangered species, and is arguably one of the most vibrant habitats on Borneo. Three of the largest mammals of Sabah, nine species of primate, three species of protected cat and over 220 different types of bird make their home here - a few days exploring this area of outstanding beauty and diversity lets you encounter a fantastic array of wildlife in its natural tropical home.

What to expect from Tabin Wildlife Reserve...

The fantastic Tabin Wildlife Resort sits within the 460 sq miles of lowland rainforest that comprises the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. The resort was established in 2004, and offers an exclusive opportunity to experience the rich biodiversity of Sabah’s legendary rainforest through an interesting range of activities.

You’ll get stuck in immediately, with a short trek to the rather squelchy and dramatic sounding Lipad Mud Volcano. Don’t worry - technically it’s not a volcano, and they’re usually quite dry! Active mud volcanoes are a feature of the area, and their mineral-rich mud is vital to the forest’s ecosystem, attracting all kinds of exotic birds and animals, all keen to get their mineral fix.

At Lipad, an elevated observation tower overlooks the mud bath, offering a perfect vantage-point for taking in all the sights and sounds without disturbing the wildlife. On a three night stay, you can ‘camp’ in a hammock in the viewing tower, and stake out the mud volcano by torch light. Pretty basic facilities and food, but adventurous and certainly different!

After dinner at the lodge, you’ll get the chance to learn more about Tabin and its treasures with a nocturnal adventure, searching the local area for animals and birds that prefer to come out after sunset. It never fails to amaze us - there's so much to see, right on your own forest doorstep. And we mean literally - Simon even saw a baby python on his neighbour’s front porch during a recent stay!

The rest of your stay will be somewhat weather dependent, but talk to us at the planning stage about whether you want to trek into the forest, take a dip in the Lipad waterfall, or simply relax by your lodge with a pair of binoculars, soaking up the forest atmosphere - there will be something  to suit, and expert resort staff will on hand throughout your stay to help point out the wildlife.

Accommodation at the Tabin Wildlife Resort is not as glamourous as Borneo Rainforest Lodge, but the area is arguably more diverse in wildlife terms, and excellent value – 20 authentic Borneo wood lodges, spacious yet cosy and intimate. Each lodge has either a river or hill-side setting and is connected to the resort’s Sunbird Café by a timber boardwalk.

Location: Sabah, Borneo

Duration: 2-3 nights

Accommodation: Tabin Wildlife Resort

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Simon recommends...

‘Make time after breakfast one day for a waterside walk. There's an easy loop from the lodge, with rewarding bird-watching opportunities – early morning is a great time to observe birds in Borneo – a bouncey walk over a suspension bridge, a waterfall, and waterpools where elusive otters can be spotted... and you'll be back in time for a lovely breakfast.’

Important to note...

The journey to the resort can vary from 1.5 hours (from Lahad Datu) to 4 hours (from Kinabatangan River, it’s worth every minute on the road – the array of wildlife is truly breathtaking making Tabin one of the nature highlights of Borneo. 

Images courtesy of Tabin Wildlife Resort.

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