The Eco Camp falls under the MESCOT Initiative that was designed to empower and build local capacity, and plan ecologically sustainable community based ecotourism activities in the villages of Batu Puteh, Menggaris, and Perpaduan, which are all wildlife hotspots in the lower Kinabatangan.
One of MESCOT’s main goals is to create an alternative source of income that will benefit the conservation of the remaining rich natural forest resources and biodiversity in the area. First started in 1997, based on the core idea of the involvement of local community through participatory planning, the MESCOT Initiative has come a long way in establishing itself as one of the more succesful community-based tourism projects in Malaysia, first establishing a homestay program, followed by the Eco Camp and Supu Camp. All programs are run entirely by the communities in the three villages through a village cooperative.
The Eco Camp sits on the banks of an Oxbow Lake – the pristine Tungo Lake – and is the only accommodation on the Kinabatangan River that is located in a forest reserve. If you are a no-fuss traveler and comfortable being in nature, the Eco Camp is for you. Built with the environment in mind, the camp aims to have a zero-waste, zero-chemical, zero-energy spreadsheet and maximum water conservation. Your stay also supports the lake restoration (salvinia removal) and orangutan habitat restoration (tree planting project) through the MESCOT Initiative.
The camp offers basic yet lovely facilities, electricity is available at night, and low voltage LED bulbs light in the walkways and common areas. Each raised A-frame hut sleeps two people comfortably, with a spacious platform outside for nature and wildlife observation. Each hut has a private bathroom with a western toilet and shower, and meals are served buffet-style at the eating lounge by the lake. Wildlife aside, you will have the chance to visit a forest restoration project, along with other programs run by the community in trying to preserve their sensitive environment. There are also extensive forest trails surrounding the area.
10 A-frame raised huts (mattress on the floor – all bedding including mosquito net provided) with a private bathroom and shower.
Communal eating – vegetarians and special diets catered for.
Eating lounge (set time for meals), electricity 6:00 PM-midnight via generator and low voltage LED light bulbs
You will be accompanied by in-house community guides in small groups at the camp for river cruises and walks surrounding the property for wildlife and nature observation.
We can also accommodate private guide or specialist guide eg. Birding guide requests.
Pick-up from your hotel in Sandakan or Sepilok at 11:00 AM for the 2 hour journey to the welcome center. Upon arrival, briefing on orientation and local culture followed by registration, welcome drinks and lunch. After lunch, short transfer by boat downriver for check-in at camp. Settle in and chat with your guide about the day’s program and at late afternoon, depart on a wildlife river cruise to spot wildlife along the river. Return to Eco Camp before dark. After dinner, embark on a night walk within the camp area for chances of spotting nocturnal wildlife such as tarsier, slow loris and sleeping birds.
Early morning wake at 6:00 AM for birdwatching on the boardwalk at the camp surroundings. After breakfast, visit the local forest restoration project site by boat and participate in tree planting. Learn about the community effort in their forest restoration project. Return to camp for lunch. After lunch, spend time relaxing or go fishing with the local boys. In late afternoon, depart for another wildlife cruise on the river. Upon return, dinner will be served and embark on another night walk after dinner.
Early morning wake for a river cruise. Return to Ecocamp for breakfast and proceed with transfer to welcome center for check out at 10:00 AM followed by land connection to Sandakan or Sepilok for another 2 hours.
Return transfers from Sandakan/Sepilok, accommodation, conservation and community fees, activities and fullboard meals, freeflow coffee, tea and drinking water, return boat transfers from welcome center, guide.
Tips and gratuities, carbonated drinks.
Head lamp, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, binocular, dry bag, money (no ATM), water bottle, toiletries, basic first aid kit, leech socks.
Daily based on a minimum booking of 2pax per departure. Single supplement applies for solo travellers.
Couples, families, groups of friends, solo travelers and others keen on wildlife and river cruise in a basic, natural setting. We consider Eco Camp a basic-range accommodation on the river so it is suitable for those wanting to experience the river in a fuss-free, environmental-friendly set-up with hiking options (rare for properties on the river), and access to the local community of the area.
Support one of the oldest community-run tourism initiatives in Sabah and play a part in the conservation of the Kinabatangan floodplain. Your trip costs support the local economy and create an alternative livelihood for the local population.