The Borneo Rainforest Lodge is situated in the Danum Valley, one of Sabah’s last primary rainforest reserves. The nearest town is Lahad Datu about 97 km from the lodge..
This is daily scheduled transport that leaves for the lodge and transfer is provided by us which will take approximately two and a half hours journey. Most of the ride is on an unsealed gravel road and the scheduled transfer from Lahad Datu to the Borneo Rainforest Lodge is at 9:30 am. The return transfer from the lodge to Lahad Datu is at 1:30 pm.
Lahad Datu is accessible by regular scheduled Malaysia Airlines (MASWINGS) http://maswings.com.my from Kota Kinabalu and by bus or taxi from all other towns in Sabah. Although it is possible to take land transport from Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu, we normally recommend the plane as it saves a lot on travel time.
We recommend the early morning flight from Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu to meet with our scheduled transfer to the Borneo Rainforest Lodge which leaves at 09:30 AM from Lahad Datu town.
Public land transport travel duration are as follows:
- KK to Lahad Datu: 7 hours
- Sandakan to Lahad Datu: 2 hours 45 minutes
- Tawau to Lahad Datu: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Semporna to Lahad Datu: 2 hours
A stay of 3 nights is ideal. However, groups with special interest, 5-7 nights are recommended.
We will do our best to provide your dietary requirement. It would be best to inform us about your dietary preference at point of booking so we can prepare the best way possible to the request.
The rainforest is definitely very different from any urban place, not only for the scenery but also because of the weather, the environment and the facilities. It is advisable for you to be prepared with proper clothes to wear and personal things to take with you, although a few practical adjustments can make your stay very comfortable. Be sure you are prepared for some rain (it is a rainforest!), some slippery surfaces and trials and hot/humid weather. Good walking boots are essential for all outdoor activities in the rainforest as well as light and comfortable clothing (preferably not bright colors). A raincoat, and a hat make up for the rest of the essentials, besides your personal belongings which may include camera, binoculars, toiletries (insect repellant, sun block etc.) and personal medication.
We have a range of activities in the jungle to keep you busy, as the rainforest is our natural showcase. Our main activities are to explore the surrounding lowland dipterocarp rainforest. You usually start with a short introduction walk along on our self-guided nature trail that will provide some basic information about the environment. Your guide will then take you on several walks along different trails. The guide will try to find wildlife and show you different interesting plants and trees.
Make sure that you point out your interests to the guide, so he or she will be capable of giving you a better experience. Besides trails we have a canopy walkway from where you can explore the rainforest at 27 meters height. There is a viewing platform on the opposite of the Danum River overlooking the lodge and the Danum Valley. You can swim (at your own risk) at a small waterfall or go ‘tubing’ down the Danum River.
In the evening, you can spot wildlife on a night-drive safari or night-walk with your guide. If there is time left you probably just want to relax on our verandah, read a book, have a drink or simply enjoy the surroundings.
Normally, a walk will take between 2 to 3 hours. You will not need much more than some light clothing, a raincoat and a camera on your walk. Due to high humidity you will sweat a lot in the rainforest and it is important to keep yourself hydrated. Make sure that you take a bottle of water with you and drink from it before you feel thirsty. Dehydration could be serious, but it can be avoided easily by drinking water on a regular basis. A small snack can be of benefit to keep you going. Binoculars are an extra item you may want to take with you, so you can have a closer look at the wildlife.
Most important is to discuss with your guide where you are going, how long the walk is going to take and what you need. This way you will be well prepared for your walks.
Danum Valley is a primary rainforest and home to an astonishing amount of interesting plants and animals. There are about 200 species of plants found in just one hectare of jungle! Orchids, lianas, ferns, shrubs and many others make up the remaining exceptional flora diversity.
The fauna is not less impressive, with many rare and endangered animals among its habitants and about 320 species of bird recorded so far. There are animals that can be seen quite easily: mouse deer, sambar deer, civets, lizards, butterflies, certain birds (rhinoceros hornbill), several species of primates and a lot of insects. The orang utan is present in Danum Valley in quite big numbers but they are not easy to spot as they do not live in groups and they move around a lot up in the jungle canopy in search of food sources. Elephants are in abundance as you can see their droppings along the road into Danum Valley.
Other more exceptional sightings of animals include clouded leopard, leopard cat, western tarsier and Bornean bristlehead. Though abundance, all wildlife sightings are by chance and the findings is improved with the help of our local nature guides.
Weather in the region is extremely humid and hot with good chance of rain. In general, expect most morning to be sunny and clear followed by short rain followed by short rain showers (less than half hour) in the afternoon. during the day the weather will likely be hot and humid with temperatures in the range of (28 – 30 C). A poncho or light raincoat would be useful. Umbrellas are available in each chalet. Evenings are usually clear and cool and occasionally may even require the use of a light jacket.
The Borneo Rainforest Lodge is situated far away from any town and not accessible to public utilities and therefore has to be self-sufficient. We may not be able provide all the convenience of a city hotel or resort, however our lodge are installed with utilities that would make your stay comfortable to our best abilities.
Our generators supply electricity for the lodge 24 hours in a day. We pipe in water from a nearby stream to a storage tank. Filtered and cooled drinking water is available at the main lodge for guest.
For telecommunication, we rely on a satellite connection. Mobile phones are provided in the rooms for front office services and local calls. Fax and emails can be arranged from the reception office.
Our chalets are built with high ceiling to make use of natural ventilation and by keeping the sunlight out. All garbage and waste are taken out of the conservation area for disposal.
Yes, we have free WIFI available at the main lodge. Telephone with Maxis (local mobile provider) will be the only mobile connection on 2G. However due to remoteness of our location and our satellite communication setup, the internet and telephone connection are not too reliable.
You may also find that downloading or uploading of large files can be very slow due to the limitation of satellite-based bandwidth.
Please be assured that if you need to be contacted during your stay, it is best to contact our reservations office number at +6089 843 107 or the Duty Manager’s mobile number +6017 897 3787 or email to email@example.com.
Though our jungle activities are considered mild and of moderate level, we recommend to keep in check with the level of fitness before taking up any of our nature activities. Our nature guides will normally brief guest before the start of any activity on the safety aspect and the trails interpretation. It is advisable to take plenty of drinks, food and rest as you do need more energy when walking in the jungle and to bring along personal medication. However, if unwell, do let our staff know as early as possible so they are able to assist with a remedy.
In the event of an emergency whereby a doctor’s consultation and or an admission to a hospital is required, our staff will arrange for an evacuation by land transport or by helicopter depending on the seriousness and urgency. All our guides and most of our in-house staff are first aid trained and will be able to help you up to their best capability.
There are ‘predators’ among the animals in Danum Valley, however, they are naturally shy and stay away from humans. It is uncommon for animal to attack without any causes and usually such episode only happens when animals are frightened and trying to defend themselves. So far, we have not had any animal-related accidents and we like to keep it that way.
However, we do keep our distance and stay cautious all the time as this will make you and the animals feel more comfortable. Besides, keeping the distance will usually allow a longer viewing time and more photo opportunities.
A word of cautious must be said about the smaller but sometime more dangerous stingers like centipede, scorpion, bees/wasps and snakes. It is advisable to stay away from these potentially dangerous animals that can give a painful sting or bites.
Yes, we do have leeches in Danum Valley as tropical rainforest is their natural habitat. There are two common species of leeches found in Danum Valley: the tiger leech and the brown leech. The brown leech lives on the ground and the tiger leech on leaves, usually about one or two feet from the floor. Leeches are usually more active when it is wet or after rain. Leeches are not dangerous at all. In our shop we sell leech-socks which will keep the leeches out of your shoes/pants. Although leeches can not penetrate through the leech socks there is still a slight chance that they may bite you on other spot. If bitten don’t panic: it’s only a leech! They can be easily removed by flicking them a few times. They will feel uncomfortable and release themselves from their bite.
You do not really need to use a cigarette, lighter or salt to remove them. A leech bite is not considered to be dangerous or harmful as they do not carry bacteria as we have no record of infection or diseases resulting from leech bite. These creatures will leave you with a clean wound. A leech uses an anesthetic to reduce your pain from the bite, except for tiger leech. Also, leeches usually inject a protein called hirudin, which works effective as an anticoagulant to enable blood flow freely. After removing the leech, you may experience bleeding from the wound for a while. If bitten, you can get a ‘blood donor certificate’ at the reception desk for a small fee.
Although there have never been recorded cases of malaria in Borneo Rainforest Lodge, we cannot guarantee that there is no malaria present. Danum Valley is considered to be a low risk area for malaria transmission, therefore we advise all our guests to take all necessary measures preventing mosquito bites especially during dusk to dawn. To minimize the risk of being bitten, it is advisable to wear clothes that cover most of your skin and use insect repellent on exposed area. Also it is advisable to keep you veranda door close from dusk to dawn to avoid mosquitoes entering your room. All rooms are installed with mosquitoes netting and supplied with ‘Mosquitoes Repellent Mat’.
For more information on malaria and prevention it would be advisable for you to contact your doctor for expert advice. The following websites provide good reference and lots of information on malaria and its prevention: www.malaria-ipca.com, www.who.int/ith/ and www.cdc.gov/