Tabin Wildlife Resort
Danum Valley and Tabin, Borneo, Malaysia
At a Glance
Just 20 lodges make up this intimate resort
Located in the heart of the rainforest in eastern Sabah
Spot pygmy elephants here, famous in Borneo
Each lodge has its own private balcony, perfect for watching the surrounding wildlife
Sunbird serves up a mix of local and western cuisine
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Like the rest of Malaysia, Sabah’s climate is hot and humid. Expect temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s throughout the lowlands. The state’s rainfall averages about 300cm annually and though it rains throughout the year, the heaviest rainfall generally occurs between October and January. At higher elevations the temperature is refreshingly cool, dropping to colder temperatures at night. Mount Kinabalu has its own climate and, above 3500m, temperatures can drop to freezing.
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Tabin Wildlife Resort is tucked away in the rainforest in Sabah, Borneo. Home to a plethora of wildlife species, it is a paradise for nature lovers. The resort offers a variety of activities, from game drives to hiking through the rainforest.
Located along the Lipad River, with an abundance of wildlife and beautiful surroundings, Tabin Wildlife Resort offers a fantastic base for intrepid travellers who would still like a bit of comfort.
There are just 20 lodges, 10 of which overlook the river and 10 which sit perched on a steep hillside. Each lodge has air-conditioning and fans to keep you cool, as well as a private balcony. Each lodge also has an en-suite bathroom with hot water showers. Dining at the resort is in a large open plan canteen, and all meals are served buffet style.
It is important to bear in mind that the facilities and accommodation here are basic, but what it is lacking in style it makes up for with the wealth of wildlife and extensive nature spotting activities. The experiences at Tabin are what makes it really special. There are game drives, bird watching walks and several hikes, including one up to the nearby Lipad Mud Volcano and another to a nearby waterfall.
As the focus of stays at Tabin Wildlife Resort is to enjoy the wonderful rainforest and river experiences, the hotel facilities are rather limited. However there is a restaurant which serves buffet-style meals.
The plethora of wonderful activities are a real highlight at Tabin Wildlife Resort. One of the more uniques experiences is a trek to the Lipad Mud Volcano. There are good wildlife spotting opportunities here, and the mud is said to do wonders for the complexion! There is also a trek to a nearby waterfall, where you can take a refreshing dip in the pool. There are a number of game drives and nature walks, where you can try and spot some of the amazing wildlife in the reserve, including around 300 bird species, gibbons, orangutans and pygmy elephants.
Victoria Reynolds (Staff)
Tabin Wildlife Resort is situated in a large nature reserve and is home to an incredible variety of bird and wildlife. For bird lovers, you couldn't ask for more - the resort has a variety of excursions during which you may be lucky enough to spot a whopping seven species of hornbills! There is also a terrific trek up the nearby lipad mud volcano which is a must do - the guides will encourage you to coat your skin with the light green mud! Lots of fun and apparently very good for the skin as well! Like many lodges in Borneo, the accommodation is rustic and the food is basic, but hearty. Don't let that put you off - Tabin is beautiful and diverting.
Tabin - Dusk Drive
As the dusk sets in, venture out in the jeep to see if you can spot any of the reserve's daytime wildlife nesting down for the evening, or the nocturnal animals beginning to emerge to search for food and water.
Tabin - Early Morning Bird Walk
Early in the morning, set off for a walk to try and spot some of the wonderful birdlife that can be found around the Tabin Wildlife Reserve.
Tabin - Lipad Mud Volcano
During your stay at Tabin Wildlife Reserve, visit the Lipad Mud Volcano. This active volcano provides an important mineral salt lick for the many mammals and birds in the area.
Tabin - Lipad Waterfall
After breakfast, travel by vehicle to the 'core area' of the reserve, stopping off en route for some wildlife spotting and photography opportunities before starting your trek into the rainforest to visit the Lipad Waterfall.
Tabin - Night Safari
After dinner, take an evening drive into the rainforest to try and spot some of the reserve's nocturnal wildlife. Away from the lights of the lodge, this is also a great opportunity for some stargazing.
Location & directions
Danum Valley and Tabin, Borneo, Malaysia
Tabin Wildlife Reserve is located in the eastern part of Sabah, Borneo.
How to get there
Tabin is a 1-hour 30-minute road transfer from the town of Lahad Datu on the east coast of Sabah. Reach Lahad Datu either by a 1-hour domestic flight from Kota Kinabalu, or by road from the Kinabatangan River or Danum Valley.
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