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.
This place has a system that works, for most people. Budget travelers that want to see as much as possible in 44 hours, eat decently, and be herded around on a gong schedule (yes they ring the gong even at 5:45 for the sunrise boat ride...anyway the nearby mosque wakes you at 5:00), and not pay too much, will be satisfied. We were. 4 boat rides and a walking tour (not that great) are included in the price, the night walk (quite interesting) costs $4 more. The guides are good and you will see as much wildlife as from any other area lodge. If you like a more relaxed atmosphere, or sit on a balcony with a river view, or be away from that mosque, look somewhere else (but knowing exactly where to go, and how much to pay, is up to you). We paid RM404 per person for a dorm bed direct through Nasalis Larvatus; call/text Dillent at 013-863-6263 if you can't find another number. (The private rooms were full but we were promised our own dorm room in low season, not a bad deal.) I'm not saying there aren't similar values out there, we didn't shop around too much, but compared to other Borneo tours we did we received good value.
Booked through gogosabah in KK. excellent value, we seemed to get a better deal then others that booked through direct with Nature lodge/Nasalis larvatus. We booked the 3d 2n. Our guide was Rudi who was enthusiastic and knowledgeable, we saw pigmy elephants, wild orangutan, crocodiles loads of birds, proboscis monkeys and many other species. We did have to pay extra to see the elephants as it did involve a slightly longer boat trip. It did rain everyday so nothing dried out. The room was great we had ac and a fan with private bathroom. The room was clean but did look tired. The food was tasty and plentiful. This is an upmarket jungle/ bush camp, but don't expect luxury.
We booked our trip via Nasalis Larvatus Tours. All our emails and enquiries, payments etc were easily dealt with on line. Thank you Connie!!
Staying at the Nature Lodge on a 3D2N package was FANTASTIC!!!
How lucky were we, that the elephants were 'in the area'!!!
Our first trip out on the river found us in front of about 16 elephants along the river bank!! Awesome!!!
A little further on, and two more swimming together!!
The only 'down' side to the elephants being around, meant we were unable to do any day/night walks. In fact, there is an electric fence around the property to keep the elephants out!!!
An extra boat trip made up for the loss of a day walk.
Our guide - Max - was amazing!!!
How DOES he see all those animals???!!!!
Besides elephants, we got to see crocodiles, macaques, hornbills, monitor lizards, proboscis and other monkeys, numerous other birds, a python and other snakes.
It was truly a lovely experience.
We stayed in the deluxe Agamid chalets - clean and comfy and way better than expected!!
The food was adequate and plentiful and meal times, boat trips etc were all well organised.
The staff were all friendly and helpful. Thanks everyone!!
To finish our 3D2N package we had a stop to the Gomatong caves on the way back to Sandakan. (A separate review for that!!)
We stayed at nature lodge kinabatangan for the 3 day 2 night tour as part of our honeymoon. We had arranged transport with the company (Nasalis Larvatus Tours) and were picked up in a minibus at Sandakan airport around 11.45 am. The driver told us it was a 2.5 hour trip to the lodge and asked if we wanted to stop for lunch on the way, which was great as we hadn't had anything since 6am.
Our guide for the weekend was Adi - who was very knowledgeable about the kinabatangan area and was great on the river cruises and jungle walks. The river cruises were great, with the 6am one lasting an hour and the 4pm one lasting 2 hours. Life jackets and seat cushions are provided. We saw lots of different types of monkey, snakes, lizards, birds and pygmy elephants. Jungle walks were also good, although we did not see many animals, but hey, that's nature I guess. Unfortunately on our first night we were 10 minutes into our night walk when the heavens decided to open up on us and we had to head back to the lodge - it really was pouring it down which caused a few trees to fall down so was not safe to walk in. Hey, these things happen, so we sat at the reception area and had a beer (about RM8).
We found the food at the lodge to be excellent (and plentiful) - absolutely no complaints there.
We had booked one of the Agamid chalets and found it to be very comfortable, with a fan, twin beds and it's own bathroom. The lodge supply complementary bottled water in the rooms, which is replenished daily.
Overall we had a great time here and would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to do something a bit different!
Some top tips:
- Take a torch for the night walks
- Rent the gum boots for the duration of your trip (walking shoes would be ok, but would get very, very wet) Note: If you have big feet, rent your boots as soon as you arrive to try and get the pick of the bunch as they do not have many sizes bigger than 44
- Remember you are going to the jungle - don't expect luxury!!!