We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Danum Valley reserach centre”

Danum Valley Conservation Area
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
3-Day Discovering Danum Valley Bike Tour from Lahad Datu
Ranked #45 of 196 things to do in Sabah
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Level Contributor
36 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Danum Valley reserach centre”
Reviewed July 3, 2013

What an amazing experience this was for us - we were totally overwhelmed with the peace and calm of this beautiful most special and ancient place on the planet.
As keen naturalists we were able to enjoy at least 5 days in this place - we had a superb cook, good basic accommodation and the ancient Borneon rainforest to explore.
We were lucky enough to see 16 otters one early morning on the river banks fishing - many unusual birds and a variety of primates we've never seen before including, the red leaf monkey and the silver leaf monkey with babies, the amazing Gibbon, the unusual buck, butterflies and wild orchids and the highlight the wild orangatangs which we got so close to - a female who was intent on only eating and not too bothered about us. The huge giant hornbill birds were another highlight. The jungle noises are amazing and something out of this world as soon as the sun sets
The pygmy elephants are not so easy to see but we saw those as well on our way out of the jungle. This is a trip of lifetime which comes highly recommended if you enjoy wildlife and have patience and a good camera and a good pair of binoculars. The disadvantages: extreme humidity and leeches is nothing to worry about.

Visited March 2013
7 Thank unicornfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

118 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
29 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Field Center - How to visit”
Reviewed June 14, 2013

Loved it!

Remember, this is not about Borneo Rainforest Lodge, but of DVFC. They are actually almost one hour drive away from each other.

For some reason (maybe because it is meant for researchers or to keep tourists in more expensive Borneo rainforest lodge) this place is not advertised at all. You should also remember that the place is not organized for tourists, so don’t expect to be treated as a guest or a customer. Then again you can meet some awesome people here who can give you a lot of information about nature and the surrounding area.

Don’t expect them to answer phone or email. If you really need to plan your stay beforehand you might get a hold of someone by calling their office in Lahad Datu, but even then they might ask about your university connections before organizing anything.

However Danum Valley field center is open for anyone. It just takes some work to get there. Here is some information about how to do it (June/2013):

Most of the time you can just walk to the office and book your stay. They have two big dorms (male/female) that are basically never full (even with big university groups)

To get Lahad Datu it is easiest to fly. Bus from KK takes about 7 hours but is a bit cheaper option. Field center office is right next to the airport, close to the shell gas station on the other side of the road. Opening hours are 08:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00 (mon-thur) and 08:00-11:30/ 14:00-17:00 fri. Saturday/Sunday closed!

Minibus between Lahad Datu and Field Center operates only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It leaves from Lahad Datu at 15:00 and from FC at 8:30. Takes about 2 hours one way and costs 60RM.

Accommodation options for tourists are private rest houses or the hostel. Bed at hostel cost 90RM a night. Food is available at dining hall, but it is not very special and is very expensive. Hostel has a kitchen next to it, so best option would be taking your own food along. (Using kitchen, having your camera, using internet etc. might cost bit extra, it seems to vary.) If you have university connection, such as biology major you might get discounts

Activities: 4x4 car tours cost 160RM for vehicle and can take max 5 persons. Sunrise/Sunset drives and night drives are available. Longer treks and activities can be arranged with the rangers for 20RM/hour.

However there is also two short treks that you can do yourself including several bird watching towers and an awesome tree canopy platform. Just hanging out at the field center area, sitting by the river or walking by the road is enough to do for several days!

Don’t forget to take your flashlight, drinking bottle and long trousers / leech socks and especially CAMERA! 

My trip: I walked in the office and got transportation for the same day. Stayed for 3 full days and had time of my life! We were extremely lucky to see a clouded leopard and several orangutangs. Don’t expect to see a lot of wildlife here!!! After all it is really wild and most of the animals try to avoid people. Things you could expect to see in few days: Sambar Deer, Hornbills, Macaques, Bearded Pigs, Spiderhunters, Civets, Monitor Lizard etc. If you are really lucky or stay longer you might see orangutangs or gibbons. Remember this is not for average tourists, but for people who really enjoy nature and want to see something special!


Visited June 2013
28 Thank Tropico_MK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Superb Location”
Reviewed March 16, 2013

Go for walks through pristine, untouched jungle. Watch animals in their wild environment. Then return to a hotel to be pampered. See wild Orang Utans close, walk through the treetops of the jungle, float down the river and later in the day, be clean and refreshed with a cool drink and friendly staff.

Visited February 2013
7 Thank DennisGardner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Danum Style”
Reviewed January 18, 2013

What's NOT to like in a magical place like Danum Valley! Lofty trees shrouded in mist, the melodious songbirds, the call of the gibbons, the iridescent butterflies drinking nectar from impossibly beautiful blooms and hornbills feasting on wild figs while cheeky macaques frolic on tree tops - these are a few of my favourite things in the amazing Danum Valley. The highlight is the canopy walk where Prince William and Catherine visited last year in Sept. The lofty boardwalk suspended 26m above the rainforest floor is an exciting experience affording a spectacular view of the verdant jungle. Unmissable! The Borneo Rainforest Lodge offers comfortable and eco-friendly accommodation with efficient and friendly service. If you like nature, this magical place is a must.

Visited December 2012
9 Thank HelenOon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Borneo august 2012”
Reviewed November 11, 2012

We loved this place, and we will comeback. We have never been a more amazing place on earth. All os natural and like i nature as it is purpose to. The staff is great to and so friendly and professional. We stayed in a standard lodge for 2n and 3 days and it was fantastic, we did not want to pay the extra for a deluxe room because the difference are wary little as we saw it, and you dont stay at the room anyway.

It seems expensive but then you get there it is worth every penny!

Visited August 2012
9 Thank Anna_Ida83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Danum Valley Conservation Area also viewed

Semporna, Semporna District
Sandakan, Sandakan Division
Pulau Gaya, Kota Kinabalu District

Been to Danum Valley Conservation Area? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing