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“Amazing experience would highly recommend!”

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Uncle Tan Wildlife Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 27, 2013

We were in Borneo, Sabah in the rainy season & we booked our trip to Uncle Tans for 3 nights. It is certainly a special place, stating with the boat trip down the river Kinabatangan to the camp base. The rooms are super basic (but exactly as they had been described to us by the trip organisers) Just a simple structure with matresses and mozzie nets but no doors/windows so I would say its not for the faint hearted!
When we were there is rained & rained & rained which was all good we didn't mind but the camp flooded very badly & it got to a point where they were on high alert & were going to ask us all to hang out in the main communal area over night in case we needed to evacuate! It was actually super exciting, there were huge thunder storms & we all just sat around drinking beer, swapping travel stories & wondering if we were going to make it through the night!
The staff were amazing, so passionate & really good fun.
Unfortunately the wildlife was a little elusive because of the rain but it certainly didn't take away from this amazing experience. Absolutely loved it!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank katmabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 19, 2013

Stayed here at the end of March with my husband and 7 year old son on the 3d/2n trip.
We had an amazing time- we met great people, saw loads of wildlife, and thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
The camp itself is basic....but Uncle Tan's did not try to make it out to be anything but, so we knew what to expect and the jungle experience was just what we wanted.
The accommodation was adequate, just remember to put any food etc in the bucket provided to prevent rats and squirrels going in your rucksack. Yes...there are rats, this is the jungle!

The staff here were just brilliant, and really helped to make the trip such a great experience. They were friendly, approachable, and put in a lot of effort to make sure everyone had a good stay. They were very knowledgeable about the environment and wildlife in the area and were always happy to share that knowledge and answer endless questions.
The trip was quite an adventure for my son who has never experienced this kind of holiday before, and the staff went out of their way to make sure he got the most out of the trip.

The food was fantastic....there was always loads of choice and delicious freshly cooked food. My son is a bit picky and the staff bent over backwards to ensure there was something for him to eat, even making dishes especially for him.

We were lucky enough to see a big male orang utan making his nest for the night, we saw leopard cats, civets, countless species of birds including several species of eagles and hornbills, lots of macaques (long tailed and pig tailed) and proboscis monkeys.
The boat trips were great and we were constantly amazed at the ability of the guides to spot wildlife from great distances, even in the pitch black of the night safaris!

The jungle itself was not the prettiest I have seen- the camp is set in a swamp so it is mainly flat flood plain with small trees, nonetheless the walks we did we interesting thanks to our guide Leo's enthusiasm and knowledge about the flora and fauna of the area.

If you want a reasonably priced back to basics experience surrounded by lovely people, this is your place. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and were very sad to leave. This place is suitable for anyone- familes, couples, friends or lone travellers....you will not be lonely here. Can't recommend the place highly enough.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank gillydaydream1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013

We were planning to stay here but ended up choosing the day trip through uncle tans instead.
The day trip was ok. I understand it would have been much better had we stayed over as on the day trip you arrive too late to see any wildlife and then have a 5 hour wait before you do the actual river trip which means you waste a whole day.....or as i did, hung about on a hammock being eaten alive by mozzies.
All I could say was I was glad I was not staying there. I understand it is about getting the feeling for the jungle but basic really doesn´t cover it. So if you like any form of privacy whatsoever (ie being able to dress without the whole camp watching) go elsewhere!!! Also no good if you are prone to bug bites.
If you want to rough it then it is absolutely the right place to go!!!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Kim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2013

Firstly I would like to thank Lan and his team for making our three night trip so memorable .Lan is passionate about looking after and making sure that his guests have the best time ever. He and his team obviously love sharing their knowledge of the jungle, helping everyone see the maximum amount and diversity of animals, birds and plants. He also added cookery classes before dinner, extra fishing trips,singing, football and general good humour.( any hotel management students out there, forget the five star hotels and get down to Uncle Tans if you want to learn about customer service! ) We were a group of twelve , two families with eight kids between us ages ranging from 10 to 20 years old . As described in other reviews this is basic camping , during our trip the water level rose and we had to wade knee deep along the board walk to the toilet , this actually added to the fun and the sense of adventure. The food was good fresh varied and there was lots of it ( important for hungry teenagers) Don't expect to have a rest at Uncle Tan's , They will make sure that everyone is on time for the 6 am boat trip and you won't regret getting up early , we were lucky enough to see orangutan everyday. This is one of those places that you will be sad to leave, this is what holiday memories are made of. We left the camp feeling happy, damp and extreamly smelly and we would all love to go back.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Sarah L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

We recently went to Borneo and did the 3 day 2 night tour with Uncle Tan's. There were many different tours to choose from, but the reviews from Uncle Tan's were great (as well as the cost) and they were spot on. We arrived at Uncle Tan's hostel and starting point, which is close to Sepilok, and went to Sepilok for the morning before going back to Uncle Tan's hostel for lunch. We then had an hour bus trip to the river and then an hour boat ride to the jungle camp, which was great as there was quite a bit to see. Arrived at the camp and got shown around and briefed by our guide Leo whom was excellent. The lodging is very basic with a matress on the floor covered by a mosquito net (a blanket is provided but no pillows) inside a very open hut. The bathrooms were quite basic and needed a bucket of water to flush and the bucket could also be used with a ladle as a shower in the bathroom (you'll need to take a towel). We were in hut 1 which is very close to the main area, but also close to the roosters which start at 5 am. Huts 7 & 8 are closest to the bathrooms. The food was very good and tasty and always lots to eat. The next couple days flew by with boat cruises and jungle treks, which were all different and great (and the guides could spot things from a mile away!). The afternoon river cruise was the best as saw all the different types of monkeys, crocodiles, birds and wildlife. We saw the orangutans on our last morning cruise, which we were lucky to do as there was quite a few people, and we even got out of our boat and had a look at the orangutans nest. We didn't see too much on the treks, but the guide pointed out several species of insects, birds and plant life. You definitely need long pants, long shirt, socks and shoes due to the leeches and it being quite muddy. Overall, a really good experience and one I'd recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Unknown_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2013

Me and 7 friends did the 3day 2night tour and absolutely loved it. We saw wild gibbons, orange tans, lizards, crocs and a wide variety of other creatures. The team are hard working honest guys, who love playing football; the tourist vs guide Borneo cup was a brilliant couple of hours. The fishing trip was good fun. I can't say enough positive things about this place. I would say brace yourself as the accommodation is very spartan but what can you expect from a nature lodge in the one of natures last strongholds (palm plantations are beginning to encroach on the biodiverse jungle). It's a nature trip, not a resort!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Lurch2k2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

We did the 3D2N trip and it was brilliant and great value! 2 jungle treks and 3 boat safaris (we even got an extra boat safari as the next group was small so there was room for us to go again!) Although it rained constantly it was a great experience.

Unfortunately we didn't see any orangutans but still saw plenty of other cool animals, gibbon, probiscous monkeys, birds, lizards etc! The guides were all amazing, really knowledgable, really care about the animals and really want you to have the best experience. The food is really amazing! They have loads of choice and cater well for veggies and even gluten free if you let them know in advance! They even got a birthday cake brought in for a guys birthday (had his name on it and everything!) which was so lovely!

The toilets and rooms are very basic but what do you expect, it's a rainforest! There was a huge Wolf spider in one of the toilets and our guide showed us a scorpion in a tree just outside the bit where you eat!

Would highly recommend this trip to anyone as long as you are prepared to slum it for a few days.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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1  Thank Kelly R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Uncle Tan Wildlife Camp

Address: Danau Girang | near the Lokan River, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 31 Specialty Lodging in Sandakan Division
Also Known As:
Uncle Tan Wildlife Camp Hotel Sabah

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