A visit to Tabin Wildlife Reserve is highly recommended if wildlife is the focus of your Borneo trip. A nature and wildlife reserve created in 1984 to preserve Sabah's disappearing wild animals and their habitat, the reserve occupies a large part of the peninsula forming the northern headland of Darvel Bay, located forty-eight kilometers east of Lahad Datu. Tabin is Sabah's largest wildlife reserve, a sanctuary that covers 112,000 hectares, including 9,000 hectares of primary unlogged forest.
Tabin is truly a wildlife hotspot; all eight species of Borneo's hornbills have been recorded here, and on any visit it is likely you will see at least three of them - the resident family of white crowned hornbill, rhinoceros hornbill and wrinkled hornbill. The Borneo pygmy elephant is often seen across the river from the resort, and gibbon calls wake you up in the morning.
Tabin Wildife Resort is the only available accommodation and was set up in 1999 along the shallow banks of the Lipad River. Some of Tabin's most important features are its mud volcanoes that serve as mineral salt licks for a lot of the wildlife, and attract large mammals including elephants, wild cattle (Tembadau), and bearded pigs. During your visit, you will trek to one of the mud volcanoes, visit a waterfall, and go on night drives in search of nocturnal wildlife.
|Accommodation||10 River Lodge & 10 Hill Lodge with private bathroom and shower (hot shower), air-conditioning and private balcony|
|Food||Buffet style. Vegetarians and special diets catered for.|
|Facilities & Services||Eating lounge (set time for meals), electricity via generator 24/7, wifi at eating lounge (ebbs and flow)|
|Guides||You will be accompanied by in-house guides at the resort for walks and 4x4 safaris surrounding the property for wildlife and nature observation.|
We can also accommodate private guide or specialist guide eg. Birding guide requests.
|Meet at Lahad Datu airport at noon. Upon registration at Tabin's office outside the arrival hall of the airport, transfer to a local restaurant in town for lunch. After lunch, embark on a 1.5 hours journey to Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Check in and wander around the surrounding areas - the Lipad river area is home to a surprising variety of birds, insects and small mammals. Discover the rich variety of jungle herbs, some endemic, used for generations by local folks for the treatment of various ailments.|
In the afternoon, trekking from the Elephant trail to the active Lipad mud volcano which provides a mineral salt lick for wildlife, arrive at the elevated bare area of the mud volcano which is frequented by wildlife and birds. Try to identify the multitude of animal footprints here. The adventurous can try the effects of the volcanic mud, said to be responsible for a fine complexion. Trek from the mud volcano back to the main road.
After dinner, go on a night safari in search of wildlife.
|Join the early morning bird walk to discover some of Tabin's rich collection of almost 300 bird species. After breakfast, a drive to the core area for animal's spotting and for photo session before trekking to the Lipad Waterfall through the lush green rainforest known for its rich diversity of plants and animals. Take a dip in the natural pool and enjoy a natural and refreshing shower under the waterfall. Alternatively explore the surrounding vegetation or just relax. |
In the afternoon, try out the Tabin Rainforest Foot Soak made with a natural blend of herbs, to relax tired muscles after long jungle treks. In the evening, a dusk drive to look out for more nocturnal wildlife & birds coming out to look for food during this time of the day. After dinner, go for a night walk along the trail nearby the resort in search of sleeping birds, frogs and nocturnal wildlife.
|After breakfast, free and easy until check out. You may opt to take up a dawn drive or jungle walk to look out for wildlife that is active at this time of the day. (Optional activity not included in package: Dawn Drive and Jungle Walk). Transfer out is at 1.30pm after lunch. You will be back in Lahad Datu by 3pm - 3.30pm for your onward journey.|
|What is Included?||What is Not Included?|
|Accommodation, meals, coffee, tea & drinking water, conservation fees, return transfers from Lahad Datu airport, guide and activities.||Travel to Lahad Datu, additional activities upon request.|
|What to Bring?|
|Head lamp, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, binocular, dry bag, money (no ATM), water bottle, toiletries, basic first aid kit, leech socks, swimming attire.||Departure|
|Daily based on a minimum booking of 2pax per departure.||Recommended For|
|Couples, families, and other travellers keen on wildlife and river cruise. We consider Tabin Wildlife Resort a comfortable jungle lodge with an exclusive destination that is a must for travelers keen on spotting wildlife without too much hiking (some hiking but all safaris are on 4x4 drives). The areas surrounding the lodge is also very popular for birders.|
Be aware that you will be in a reserve area and a sensitive environment. Consider your actions: