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cost/booking Kinabatangan River Safari

Need advice on booking / cost of Kinabatangan River Safari in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.
13 years ago, September 23rd 2010 No: 1 Msg: #119550  

Me and my partner are leaving in feb 2011 for a 6-7 month trip around Asia. My dad, stepmum and stepbrother will be coming out to meet us for a couple of weeks and we will be spending 5 nights (28th July - 3rd August) in Sabah , Malaysian Borneo (flying into Sandakan).

We want to do a Kinabatangan River Safari, and i was wondering if anyone could tell me how much this should cost?

Also as my dad has found that a few hotels in Sandakan seem to be already fully booked and so is worried that if we just turn up and try to book a river safari from somewhere local they will have nothing available.

Can any one advise me whether it is better to book this tour in advance or is it pretty safe to just turn up and find a tour guide?

my dad has found the following itinerary and prices online and i wondered if anyone could tell me if this is good value?


Day 1
Pick up from Wisma Khoo Siak Chiew (Sandakan Town) at 11:30hrs or at Sepilok area at 12.30hrs and transfer to the Nature Lodge Kinabatangan which is located at the Lower Kinabatangan River Sanctuary. The journey will take an hour forty-five minutes. Welcome drinks will be served upon arrival. After that there will be a lodge orientation. In the late afternoon you will proceed for the river cruise in search of wildlife and bird-life along the river banks. A guided night walks to enjoy the wilderness of the jungle right after the dinner. Over night at the lodge. (D)

Day 2
At 06:00hrs, Morning River Cruise at Kinabatangan River in search of more wildlife and birds. After breakfast, proceed to the Ox-Bow Lake behind the lodge on foot with our professional jungle guide. Various species of wildlife may be seen such as Proboscis Monkeys found only in Borneo, Leaf Monkeys, Macaques, Gibbons and exquisite insects and birds. One may also catch a glimpse of a wild Orang Utan and the newly discovered “Borneo Pgymy Elephants” (relatively, it’s the smallest elephant in the world). Return to the lodge for lunch after which another boat ride awaits you to cruise along the Kinabatangan River for more wildlife sight-seeing. Return before dinner. Dinner will be served at the lodge. After that, there will be a guided night walk to enjoy the wilderness of the jungle nearby the lodge. (B/L/D)

Day 3
Wake-up to the calls of gibbons and hornbills. At 06:00 hours, another Morning River Cruise awaits for you to view more birds and wildlife. Return to the lodge. After breakfast, we will transfer you to Sandakan Town / Airport / Sepilok (B)


RM 450.00 per person (Dorm Bed)

RM 520.00 per person (Min. 2pax) (Chivet Cabin) : RM 590.00 Single Traveller

RM 640.00 per person (Min. 2pax) (Agamid Chalet) : RM 700.00 Single Traveller
Package Included:

1. return land transfer between Sandakan Town / Sepilok Orang Utan to Nature Lodge Kinabatangan
2. meal - 2 breakfast, 1 lunch, 2 dinner
3. river cruise - 2 morning & 2 evening
4. 2 guided night nature walk
5. 1 guided trekking to ox-bow lake
6. free flow coffee & tea

Any help would be much appreciated! Reply to this

12 years ago, September 29th 2010 No: 2 Msg: #120023  
That sounds a bit more expensive than I recall, I went with Uncle Tan's - similar itinerary, I believe it was about 350RM but I didnt go to Sepilok. I shared a cabin with one fellow traveler. This was in May of 2008 so prices may have changed, I also arranged it on the ground in Sandakan and things are almost always cheaper when you do it like that but you incur the risk of not having it work out that day. If you are flexible with time I would say just arrange it there but then you are going in the peak tourist season so I suppose things could be booked up, I dont know. I have done a few big trips and have never made a single reservation even in the high season and I have never been blocked out of anything. Dont miss the night walks, great experience. BTW we did get lucky and see some wild orangutans, but the pygmy elephants are a long shot - good luck!

I dont know if you are already a diver or not but you will be very close to one of the best dive locations in the world, Sipadan Island, so I would recommend checking that out while you are there. Best to get your certification prior to arriving there as it isnt the cheapest place to get it.

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