The Danum Valley Conservation Area is
one of the last remaining preserves of primary lowland rainforest in Asia.
Within its 438 square kilometers is to be found a rich diversity of animal and
plant life. A sanctuary to over 110 mammals, including the rare Sumatran Rhino
and ten primate species among which are the Orangutan and the Proboscis
monkey. The valley is also home to over 275 bird species and numerous
reptiles, amphibians, fishes, countless insects and other fascinating
As one of the premier research centre in South East Asia, it oversees research
projects, controls forest enrichment planning sites, education, training and
wilderness recreation and is a meeting place for naturalists from all over the
Some of the Wildlife found here includes - Orangutan, Western tarsier, Flying
lemur, Leopard cat, Yellow barking deer, Mousedeer, Sambar deer, Bearded pig,
Malay civet, Long-tailed macaque, Slow loris, Clouded leopard, Giant flying
squirrel, Lain pygmy squirrel, Malayan sun bear, Bateng, Smooth otter,
Silvered langur, Proboscis monkey, Sumatran rhino, Asian elephant, Bay owl,
Bill fletcher, Crested fireback pheasant, Great argus pheasant, Black-backed
kingfisher, Lesser green leafbird, Bornean flycatcher, Blue-headed pitta,
Crimson sunbird, Asian fairy bluebird, Grey-breasted spiderhunter, Spectacled
bulbul, Buffy-fish owl, Helmeted & wreathed hornbill Bushy-crested & pied
hornbill, Rhinoceros hornbill.
Danum's insect colony is mostly harmless and one should take time to find
butterflies like the Chocolate Soldier' and look closely for the cleverly
camouflaged Spiny Stick Insect.To spot nocturnal creatures like the leopard
cat or clouded leopard, one must be prepared to forgo sleep and spend many
hours waiting and watching patiently. For bird watching, sightings usually
intensify during the fruiting seasons between July and August.
Jungle Trails and Walkways
There are over 50km of cool hiking trails through dipterocarp forest and
riverine habitats. Also available are many viewing platforms perched on high
plateaus and observation decks attached to mighty tropical timbers that allows
vistors panoramic views and closer access into the forest canopy. The 27 metre
high L-shaped canopy walkway gives a wonderful bird's eye view of the forests
and is a perfect vantage point for bird watching. Take particular note that
for their own safety, no visitor is allowed to trek or jungle walk without
being accompanied by a guide
Among the many nature activities provided for are Nature walks with
knowledgeable guides, Jungle wildlife treks, Canopy walkway for bird watching,
Visits to an ancient Kadazandusun burial site, Night safari dives in search of
wildlife, Refreshing swims in rivers and waterfalls, Day trips to Danum Valley
Field Centre, Slide presentations by naturalists, Guided tours to
reforestation and research areas and others.
Danum Valley is located 80km inland from Lahad Datu on Sabah's east coast. The
journey takes approximately 2 hours with the first 15km being the main Lahad
Datu-Tawau road. The rest of the ride is on an unsealed but well maintained
private logging road. While it is possible to take your own transport, permits
have to be obtained beforehand. It's better to use the pick-up services
provided by the Borneo Rainforest Lodge.
The Borneo Rainforest Lodge is the only accommodation facility in Danum. Made
from river stone and core logs, the chalets are designed along the lines of
traditional Kadazandusun dwellings and linked together by walkways. The lodge
is open 12 months a year. A three days, two night stay is recommended.
There is also a camp-bed facility (tented camp) 7km from the lodge where
visitors can spend the night under the watchful protection of a field guide.