Awesome tour packages and great accomodations! I had amazing experiences. Polite, friendly and well trained staff. Will I consider for a come back? Definitely!!
Combined a 2 night 3 day package at Nature Lodge Kinabatangan with a 2 night stay at Nature Lodge Sepilok, booked through the tour company (Nasalis Larvatus) that owns them. We extended the 3rd day in Kinabatangan to add a visit to the Gomangtong Caves at dusk.
Be warned: you are VERY close to nature staying in the jungle! Coming from city life, it’s a bit of a culture shock being so close to all the insects and wildlife and that in itself is quite the experience. We stayed in a “private chalet” (it’s a wooden shack on stilts...) and the room and shower room/toilet was very basic, but had good air conditioning and plenty of insect screens on all vents and windows. If you are not okay with very basic lodging, then this is not the place for you.
All of the boat tours and guided walks were fantastic. Amero (sp?) was an extremely knowledgable local guide and had an amazing eye for spotting wildlife. Cairo (sp?) who took us to the caves was also excellent. The hotel rents out wellies which are vital if it’s been raining - the mud is up to a foot deep in places. Make sure you take leech socks with you as there are leeches everywhere you walk in the rainforest.
We saw everything on our tours: orangutans, proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, multiple species of hornbills, crocodiles, silver leaf monkeys, a Storm’s stork, eagles... it was incredible.
The staff were fantastic - super friendly and helpful. I had a horrible stomach virus during my stay and they took great care looking out for me and preparing fruit outside of meal times for me. They let us stay in one of the empty dorm rooms after check-out time on our last day while we waited for our transfer to Gomantong.
We had an amazing time on the Kinabatangan river, saw a herd of elephants, all sorts of monkeys, a nesting orangutan, crocs, hornbills, just amazing. Our boat guide was good too. But this lodge was not great...not very clean, charge extra for every little thing (like Wellington boots hire), overcharged for a rushed visit to Gomonting caves, kept us captive for an hour after pick up from our hotel in Sepilok at an overpriced restaurant much too early for lunch. Highly recommended staying on the Kinabatangan river, but don't recommend using Nasalis Larvatus tours.
We booked our stay here as part of a packaged deal with Nasalis Larvatus tours and I could not recommend this tour company enough.
I had an amazing time at the nature lodge we had a chalet with privet bath room as I'm traveling with my mum and it was spacious and clean with a modern bathroom!
The dorm rooms looked perfectly nice as well along with the communal bathroom.
The food was excellent and catered for all dietary requirements.
The river cruises are incredible the views and the wild life was just as I had imagined it!
The night time walks were an experience in themselves!
Unfortunately we didn't get to go on the day time trek as a heard of Pygmy elephants were very close to camp! We didn't get to see them but on the night time walk we did see foot prints and could definitely hear the elephants growling!
We got to see all sorts of animals on our stay but unfortunately we didn't see any orangutans which to be honest was very upsetting as seeing these amazing creatures in the wild was basically the reason for my trip to Malaysian Borneo.
However our amazing guide John spotted a mother and baby as we were leaving Gomantong caves the next day
I would highly recommended staying at the nature lodge! All of the staff are friendly and make you feel very welcome!
Pick up by the guide from Nasalis Larvatus from the airport of Sandakan. First expression was that he is friendly and nice. We then head on to Sepilok Orang Utan and along the way, he explained about the itinerary and also what we will see in the Sepilok Centre. It was a little disappointing that we only get to see a few of them because they didn't came in for the feeding time. After that, we went to the Sepilok sun bear centre and we saw a few young bears sleeping on threes, that was nice because they actually have binoculars and let you see them with it and if you have camera with 300-400mm lens, you should be able to take some really good pictures. We had lunch in the Nature Lodge Sepilok and that was really satisfying. Then we were transferred to Nature Lodge Kinabatangan and the journey took us 2 hours to get there. After we check in, which I had a Deluxe Chalet and that was really good. It cost a little bit more but I personally think that It was really worth the money. Some of the guest complained about the mosquitoes in the dorm but actually that was really expected as the dorm didn't have any air conditioning in it. 2 of the guest actually upgraded their room on the second day so that they can have a better sleep. At about 4 o'clock we did a 2 hours river cruise and that was really good. We saw some proboscis monkey and that was really up close. We also saw long and short tail macaque.We even saw some wild orang utan and the guide say that was really rare to see. We even saw them making their nest. We didn't saw any elephants and crocodiles because apparently the crocodiles doesn't come out on flood season. So I recommend guest that wants to see crocodile to go on the dry season. After the river cruise, we had dinner and it was good. 8:30, we started our 1 hour night trekking in the jungle behind the lodge, we saw some really cool birds, even the Borneo dwarf Kingfisher, we also saw a snake that is actually having his meal and he was swallowing a mice. The guide had really good eyesight, he spotted a frog from like 10 meters away, it was pitch black in the forest. He did very good explanations about the animals we saw and I personally think that he is really knowledgeable about the animals. Thats the end of day 1.
Woke up early in the morning and did a river cruise at 6am in the morning, the morning breeze of the rainforest is just amazing and on the jetty of the lodge you can actually see the shrouding forest with thick fog and it was like waking up in paradise. We saw different kinds of Hornbill during the 1 hour cruise and also some monkeys as well. We were surprised that these was so many different kinds of birds to see on the river, from king fisher to the huge sea eagle. After the cruise, we had our breakfast and did the 3 hours long ox bow lake trekking. Along the trek, we saw different kinds of plants and learn a few skills to survive in the wilderness. The guide found a few elephant poop but he said it was probably from a few months ago. We did saw some very big monitor lizards and also the weird looking leech, the tiger leech. I personally recommend long sleeve and long pants for this trek because of the leech and also the mosquitoes. The trail was 30% very muddy but you can rent some boots from the lodge which is very highly recommended to have while doing all the treks. The second evening cruise was fun but disappointing at the same time. It rained really heavily and we were all soaked even our ponchos were ripped by the rain and wind so I think a waterproof jacket will be a lot better. We also had the night trekking on the second night but the trail is too wet and didn't really enjoyed it because of the mud trail.
Morning river cruise again and this time we saw some silvered langurs and even some albino ones. We saw a very big rhinoceros hornbill. After the river cruise, we had breakfast and check out time. After that, we went to the Gomantong Cave and we saw some really interesting bugs inside the cave but it smelled very very bad. We were transferred to the airport afterwards.
Overall: Good trip and learned a lot about the rainforest in Sabah. Good guide and hotel staff was really friendly.