Kinabatangan River

Location: Sabah

Location Info

Address: Kinabatangan River, Sandakan Sabah,Malaysia

District » Sandakan


The Kinabatangan River stretches at a distance of 560 kilometers from the Crocker Range in the southwest of Sabah to the Sulu Sea in the east. It is at Kinabatangan River where one of the world's richest ecosystems is sustained. The areas surrounding the river are made up of five very different habitats. They are the dipterocarp or dry, freshwater, saline swamp, waterlogged and limestone forests. The largest forest covered floodplain in Malaysia is found at the lower basin of the river and it has the most concentration of wildlife in the South East Asia region.


The Kinabatangan River is a special place indeed as it is not only home to the orang utans and the unique proboscis monkeys, the forest surrounding the river is one of the two places in the world where 10 species of primates can be found. Also, all the eight species of hornbills can be found in the forest around the river too. Getting on a trip up the Kinabatangan River at dawn or dusk is the best time to see the diverse inhabitants of the area. If you are lucky, you might also be able to see an Asian elephant or a Sumatran rhinoceros loitering in the forest. There are also safaris which are optional to watch animals like nocturnal animals, birds and crocodiles.

Many of the major local tour companies run lodges in the Sukau area with packages which include accommodation, meals, guided tours and transportation as well. There is also a choice of experiencing the homestay program that is available all around the villages nearby. The homestay program really provides a great experience of going through the life of the Orang Sungai.

Sabah is a place of beauty and nature. It has attracted many visitors over the years. If you would like to extend your stay in Sabah, it would not be a problem as accommodations in Sabah are adequate and plentiful to cater to the increasing number of tourists.


It is best to drive to Sukau from Sandakan as it covers a reasonable distance of 135 kilometers. It is possible to drive from Kota Kinabalu but it will take at least six hours to reach. Transportation can also be arranged with local tour operators for better convenience.