Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort
Hidden deep in the jungle wilderness of Lower Kinatangan, surrounded by freshwater swamps and mangrove forest teeming with wildlife, lies a private retreat offering the perfect base for nature-lovers.
Offering charming wooden chalets in a beautifully remote setting, the resort offers jungle comfort within this pristine and undisturbed wild paradise which is home to rare and endangered species such as the pygmy elephant, proboscis monkey and even the bashfully shy orangutan.
Facilities & Activities
It’s all about stunning scenery and the wildlife here. The area is hugely diverse in terms of habitat; waterlogged, limestone and dry forests along with freshwater and saline swamps are the home to over 200 different types of bird, 1000’s of plant species and numerous and endangered reptiles and mammals such as orangutans, languar monkeys and pygmy elephants (some of which can only be seen here). The raised wooden board walks that run between the homely chalets are designed as the perfect viewpoint for spotting your resident furry, feathered and scaled neighbours as they chatter in the trees above or undergrowth below.
The unique, secluded position of the resort allows for river trips, departing early morning and late afternoon, completely undisturbed by any other tourists. The knowledgeable and friendly staff, who go out of their way to ensure your every need is met, are part of the charm. The days start with hot coffee and banana fritters before heading out on the river waters. Stunning vistas accompany exciting encounters with crocodiles, monkeys, snakes and pygmy elephants and even a wild orangutan if you are fortunate, and the beauty of the position is that the guides are free to go wherever the best chance of sightings are, unrestricted by timetables or competing with other boats on the water. Finish the day watching the shimmering fireflies on the water before a leisurely cruise returning in time for dinner. The wooden boardwalks offer a great opportunity for a stroll before bedtime with the possible treat of blinking eyes in the torchlight.
Please note the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort doesn’t have a swimming pool.
Get In Touch
Feeling inspired? Start planning your next adventure by contacting us today.
Buffet style meals are served in the open hall and offer all kinds of simple but delicious options (typically 2 x meat / fish dishes, potatoes, rice and vegetables with fruit to follow). The staff will also try their best to cater to special requests but do let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.
The afternoon tea with pancakes will be a hit with most children, but it is advisable to bring a few snacks to keep younger guests going!
There are 20 spacious chalets which provide the ultimate in jungle comfort – no small feat considering the location. They are equipped with fans and spacious with king sized beds and large glass windows or large balconies to provide the perfect place for in-style wildlife spotting. The cherry on the top is the large open-air rain-shower; standing in steaming hot water with jungle noises all around you is a must – although you really won’t want to disturb the beautifully folded towels shaped as elephants afterwards!
Please note that there is no kettle but staff can supply jugs of hot water for making tea and coffee. Further there is no mini bar or telephones in the rooms although there are plans to install these so you can call for a refreshing drink on a hot afternoon.
After they’ve got over the excitement of the boat ride in (do you ever forget being waterside a crocodile?) they’ll be excited all over again by the Indiana Jones style board walks out into the jungle and spotting the wild pigs and monitor lizards that amble around the resort. The team are very kid friendly, love to answer the wildest of questions and are extremely knowledgeable about the area and its inhabitants. Older ones can be taken fishing, crocodile spotting and we’ve even heard rumours of speed boat driving. And to top it all off, there are the night walks and cruises. Any excuse to stay up late…..
The chalets are very comfortable and spacious with plenty of space for a family of 4 sharing with a day bed and extra bed in the room. Please note no chalets connect.
And, despite being in the middle of the jungle, there is 24 hours of solar powered electricity, hot water and security personnel at the resort at all times. Did I mention a TV? This also but only a few channels, including National Geographic Wild!
Being located within the protected habitat of the Kinabatangan Wetlands, the resort has sustainability as a high priority. Amongst many initiatives, solar panels generate electricity, and rainwater and river water are filtered, treated and recycled onsite.
The Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain is internationally renowned for its undisturbed eco system of habitats. Only accessible by boat (the adventures begin early here!), it’s an hour and a half’s ride down the river from Sandakan Harbour through quiet fishing villages before arrival at this hidden wooden gem in the wilderness.
Sandakan itself can be reached directly by air from Kuala Lumpur (2 and ¾ hour flight) or stop for a few days at Sepilok or in Kota Kinabalu (a 45-minute flight away) if you’d like to break the journey.