Things to Do in Sabah
Kinabatangan River
4.5
Boat ToursEco ToursPrivate ToursNature & Wildlife ToursPhotography Tours
About
Sabah, Malaysia
Meets animal welfare guidelines

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2023

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Tours and Tickets by Kinabatangan River
Travelers talk about
(21 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles308 reviews
Excellent
234
Very good
54
Average
14
Poor
4
Terrible
3

David C
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
Mr. Aji is a pleasure to be around and I would pay money to just listen to him speak about the natural world, our place and responsibility in it, its inhabitants and their lives, and the thrill of knowing our surroundings... And to think I got to do that AND see the beauty of what inspires him on the Kinabatangan River. Mr. Aji is a genuine naturalist. He has an intimate knowledge of the characteristics of the wildlife, their habits, and their needs. He also has an incredible eye and imitative calls that helped me experience and witness the local wildlife in all its grandeur. His children were great supports and guides as well. Mr. Aji answered all of my questions, provided tours that proved his knowledge of the area and avoided the crowds of other tourists traveling in large groups. I was able to get up close and personal with many different animals, with the highlights being hundreds of monkeys crossing the river right above our heads and a mama orangutan and its baby just above us in a tree outside the Gomantong cave. He is full of beautiful and wise insights and is protector and preserver of our natural world. I suggest embarking on all the extra tours he offers such as the night hike and night cruise. The more time you spend out there with him the better experience you will have. I can’t say enough about the positive influence he has had on my life from being around him only a few days. Thank you Mr. Aji!!
Written March 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Louis
Leeds, UK5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Couples
After reading positive reviews on trip advisor we decided to go with Mr Aji for our river cruise as it seemed like a more personal experience and Mr Aji seemed like he had a real interest in the animals and is a photographer himself as well as being a reasonable price of 550Rm per person. Don’t be put off by his lack of website and advertising as he prefers to keep it this way to keep his tours more exclusive and smaller. He has 20 years experience taking people on tours in the area and a vast level of knowledge on the area

It was amazing from start to finish we loved it. It was a private tour with just Two of us the whole time with Mr Aji and his son Jerry

He met us at Sepilok orangutan/sun bear sanctuary
Where we went through the itinerary and then set off to Sukau. His car tells you everything you need to know with pictures of all the animals he has seen over the years and a picture of him meeting David Attenborough who he has taken on 2 tours in the past

We settled in at the accommodation which was a B&B just next to the jetty where you got on the boat. It was clean and had air con and a warm shower which was all you needed really.
All the meals are provided and included by the local restaurant just over the road which was very tasty and gave us the opportunity to try some authentic Malay food - Jerry was really helpful telling us what the dishes were.

We went out on an afternoon boat tour the first day then a night walk through the jungle which was cool. The 2nd day we did a morning and an afternoon boat safari and then an optional extra night safari which I would recommend (we saw a slow loris, owls, kingfishers). We saw numerous macaques, proboscis monkeys, hornbills, eagles, flying lemur, a 10-12ft crocodile throughout the day. Mr Aji and his son were experts at spotting the wildlife from the water and spotted an orangutan in a tree that all the other tour boats went whizzing past, I think we were the only boat there to see an orangutan and a crocodile because of Mr Aji’s expertise. He really knows how to locate the animals and most of the other boat drivers appeared to come to him for advice. Himself and his son are also very knowledgeable about the animals and were able to answer all our questions and spoke good English.

On the way back to the airport he stops on a small road that runs through the rainforest and gave us the opportunity to see a red monkey and some more orangutans a bit closer. This was also really worthwhile doing and something I don’t think the other tours do (I’m not sure why as it was a great opportunity to see animals)

Saw lots of animals over the numerous activities.
Really great experience - if you are going for the wildlife and to take photos would definitely recommend Mr Aji over the other companies offering tours in the Kinabatangan you won’t be disappointed.

He dropped us off at the airport and worked around to fit our schedule with our flight.
Written November 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eliza E
15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Couples
Mr Aji and his son (Jerry) were absolutely brilliant, and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
Please, if you are visiting the Kinabatangan River, contact Mr Aji (via email - mr.ajisdk@gmail.com ) and book. Responded quickly and kept in touch often leading up to the trip.

During our 2D/1N stay, he showed incredible knowledge of the local animals and where and when is best to find them. We had 2 boat rides and a night walk with him, plus a birdwatching walk, which was a particular interest for us that he tailored to. The boat rides each lasted several hours, and the trip was great value for money.

We were very lucky and got to see elephants, orangutans and a wide range of birds (including hornbills). Luck was obviously a factor, but Mr Aji knew where to find the elephants and we had half an hour with them before the 10+ boats full of other tourists arrived. It was a magical experience, and we have so much gratitude for Mr Aji and Jerry.
Written May 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christine B
Fordingbridge, UK1,429 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
I did a 2 night/3 day trip with Mr Aji on the Kinabatangan River.
It was an incredible experience.
Mr Aji & his son are so passionate about the area & wildlife. Mr Aji is clearly very upset about the palm oil situation which has devasted the area.
Our tour was just 6 people in total so it didn't feel as though we were 'just a number'.
We saw lots of wildlife but no pygmy elephants sadly (it was wet season so they didn't need to come down to the river).
We saw lots of monkeys/orangutans & other wildlife.
The night hike was OK but nothing to shout about.
The night river safari was much better & we saw several sleeping kingfishers sitting in the trees (great photos!).
Everything ran to time & we knew exactly what to expect at each stage.
Very well organised.
Accommodation at Temengong View B & B was excellent & meals were taken in the cafe across the street, overlooking the river.
Very happy with my tour & would definitely recommend Mr Aji
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lauren N
Glasgow, UK35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Couples
What an amazing experience from start to finish. We were recommended by a friend to book with Mr Aji and we’re so glad we did. He only takes out 8-10 people max and we were lucky enough to be the only 2 for a full day. Felt like such a private tour compared to the other big companies and for half the price!

He knows the best spots to take you, has a keen eye for spotting animals and knows each animals calling to try get them to interact. We seen lots of Proboscis monkeys, Hornbills, Crocodiles, Orangutans etc.. In total we did 4 boat cruises, a night walk and a day walk which is GREAT value for money. We were always first to the viewing sights with other boat companies either following him or turning up too late to see the animals. Mr Aji is always out in the boat first to have the best chance of seeing animals.

He is a wealth of knowledge and highlights the key issues in relation to deforestation due to the palm oil plantations. He is so passionate about what we does and the wildlife it’s very refreshing. The fact he’s taken David Attenborough and his crew out twice just shows you!!

His son Jerry who took us on the night walk is highly knowledgeable also about animals, particularly ones seen on the night walks. Their bond is great and it’s nice to support a small family business.

The accomodation is great in the small town, gives you the unique experience of mingling with the locals and the restaurant where you get lunch and dinner makes very nice food! You get picked up and dropped off without a bother, and can stop along the way for a coffee or toilet break.

All in all, such a great experience that we were sure we wouldn’t have had if we went with another company. So thank you Mr Aji and sons, very much!
Written September 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ellie
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
Had the best time with Mr Aji and his sons. They all had so much knowledge and were unbelievably good at spotting wildlife. We saw orangutans, crocs, wild cats, and so much more!!! We were even lucky enough to see an elephant. We went for 2 nights and three days. Would highly recommend to anyone going to the Kinabatangan River.
Written February 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

trailgirl10
Windsor, UK140 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
We thoroughly enjoyed our 3D2N tour with My Aji based in the Sukau town on the Kintabagan river. Our trip was very good value and included transfers from Sepilok, 4 boat cruises, a jungle night and day walk, plus accommodation in a basic B&B (including air conditioning and hot shower) and meals in the attached restaurant overlooking the river - there were a lot of noodle and rice options. There were just 7 in our group.

Mr Aji was passionate about seeking out the wildlife during our boat cruises and clearly cares greatly about the animals and and the impact of change on their habitats and overall numbers. He spent the time ensuring we got the best views. We were lucky to find elephants during our early morning boat cruise and while other boats returned to their lodges, we were lucky to stay and wait for the elephants to cross over the river. It was a magical experience. We also saw countless monkeys, including the proboscis, crocodiles, hornbills, and during the night walk we saw poisonous snake,spider and fireflies.

We emailed Mr Aji to set up the tour: mr.ajisdk@gmail.com.
Written September 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Orion M
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
Seeing wildlife along the Kinabatangan river was one of the best experiences of our entire Southeast Asia trip. I cannot imagine doing it any other way than under the expert guise of Mr. Aji. His wildlife expertise is unparalleled, his passion to protect the rainforest is pervasive and heartfelt, and his attention to detail and personal touch shows through. He’s been coming to the area for over 20 years, and it really shows. He knows exactly where to find the animals, can mimic their calls, and tell you all about them. We were so curious about everything, from flora to fauna, and he answered all of our questions with ease. He also partners with a local family run restaurant in the small village of Sukau, which is where we ate all of our meals (included in the price of the tour). It felt nice to support the local community rather than a large conglomerate or organized tour group. Mr Aji also arranged all transport and accommodations, and he was easy to get in touch with and coordinate with. Overall, the experience was amazing and well worth the money! Reach out to him if you’re considering visiting the rainforest in Borneo: mr.ajisdk@gmail.com
Written May 20, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DayTrip34865490969
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
We wanted to go to kinabatangan river but hadn’t booked it prior to our travels. We stayed at Sabah hotel in sandakan and there was a cruise available with a tour operator for around 300RM pp.

Note this would have required a coach, and dinner after the cruise.

Being vegetarians and going to any set menu/group activities, you usually have limited options.

We had a grab journey back from sepilok and met Rezuan and we got talking. Turned out her carries out all the local tours in Sabah! Not only was it a great price but we were driven in our own car over to kinabatangan, we stopped (whenever we wanted) to use restrooms or grab something to eat.

The river cruise ended up being over 3 hours! The tour operator would have been 2 hours! Our tour guide was adamant to help us see the beauty and wildlife. Thanks to him, we saw rhinoceros hornbills, macaques, proboscis monkeys, monitor lizards, crocodiles, kingfishers, silver leaf monkeys, great egrets, eagles and FINALLY due to their perseverance, Pygmy elephants.

The elephants wouldn’t come out as there were too many boats and noise on the river, but eventually all the boats left… we were the last ones on the river, and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset with the elephants.

We left the river just before 7pm and stopped 30 mins later for a wonderful and incredibly inexpensive and delicious dinner in kinabatangan - we could request food to be made veg with no hesitation. Rezuan got us back to our hotel in next to no time.

I could not recommend this tour enough and if you are staying in sandakan/Sabah/sepilok area, don’t hesitate to contact him
Name: Rezuan
WhatsApp: +60 17-261 0309
Email: midrakishahzuan@gmail.com
Written April 2, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

El L
Singapore14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Friends
Kinabatangan river is a wonderful place to see lots of unique local wildlife in their natural habitat. Thanks to Mr Abdul and his boat captain, I could see lots of proboscis monkeys and macaques, as well as hornbills, cranes, and many more birds I don’t even know names for ;) River itself is very beautiful: with the right timing, you can experience it both in the day and in the early evening, and catch a spectacular sunset there. I had a last-minute change in my travel plans, but Mr Abdul managed to organise this cruise for me in about 10 mins. He was very flexible and accommodated to all my requests. In case you are looking for a reasonable priced with a professional local travel guide, do not hesitate to contact Mr Abdul at +601116695114 or qayyumnasip1994@gmail.com Enjoy the cruise!
Written July 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Kinabatangan River - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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