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“Well organised jungle experience”

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Nature Lodge Kinabatangan
Certificate of Excellence
Australia
Level Contributor
86 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Well organised jungle experience”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

This place runs like clockwork & considering people want to travel to the jungle & see as many animals that they can & get fed in a somewhat limited time & at a very reasonable price this place did a fine job. We went on 4 boat rides, 2 night walks & a 3 hour jungle walk on our 3 day, 2 night package. Our guide Max was very knowledgeable & had eyes like an eagle. We got to see lots of monkeys, a civet, crocodile & the highlight - pygmy elephants as well as assorted birds & creepy crawlies. We were a group of 4 & stayed in a 4-bed dorm, basic but adequate with shared clean bathroom. Food was plentiful, varied & appetising. The even had 24hr electricity & wifi, if somewhat slow but we were in the middle of the jungle.We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here & would recommend it to others,

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Sunaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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345 reviews from our community

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Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2012

We spent two night in the agamid chalets. Transportation was organized very well. The rooms are basic (it´s wat you get in the jungle), but clean and have moskito net on the window. The night walk was great, but the groups were to big. We went out with 15 fellows flashing on the animals like a thunderstorm, but anyway, we saw a lot. Also the boat trips are great, but the boats don´t have a roof. So bring good raincoats. We got totaly wet after a heavy rainsstorm. The good think, thy have warm showers!
Food is not the best, but you will survive. Staff is very friendly and you will have the same guide during you stay, which we found great. All in one sentence: If you want to watch out for animals and spent some time in the jungle go there, but be aware that you won´t be the only one who had the same idea, it could get crowed...

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank W W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington
Level Contributor
35 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2012

At first I thought this place had a Disney feel to it. You were herded, sheep-like to a boat, to lunch, to a walk, with 12 strangers who may or may not even care about what you are seeing. But as time went bye (I extended my 2 night package by 2 more nights), I ignored the chatting crowds, talked with the guides, learned a lot and saw a lot: orang utans, proboscis monkeys, langors, macaques, gibbons, tarsiers, civet cats, bearded pigs, monitor lizards, snakes, and a bunch of birds.

Is this a "real" jungle adventure? Well, sort of. The main reason you see so much, is that there is so little habitat left. The historic logging and recent oil palm plantations have removed most of the native jungle, only to leave a strip along the Kinabatangan River. This confines the animals that need jungle to this same strip making them very accessible for viewing from the river (and great photos). The best activities for me, were the boat trips and the night walks, in that order. Okay, enough about wildlife...

I stayed in the dorms, one room, two bunk beds. Probably 10 of these rooms made up one large building under a common roof with a wide, furnished porch running all around. It was surprisingly quiet due mostly to the fact that you finished the day around 9:30pm and started again at 5:30 am. Had a dorm room to myself for my entire stay. It was clean, comfortable, roomy (though probably a little tight with 4 persons), had a fan, but no other furniture. Towel, pillow, and bottom sheet were supplied, but no top sheet. There might have been a light blanket, but I don't recall since I used my own sleep sheet and bag. Dorms are co-ed here, no segregation of men/women unless you request it. Chalets are available and they look very nice. I didn't go in any.

The communal bathrooms were relatively clean but with cold water in all but one stall. The water was good enough for bathing, but I would use bottled to brush my teeth. The food was pretty good, varied, and generally with enough choices that vegetarians were easily accommodated. I don't recall them running out of anything in the buffet, so late comers got fed too. Wifi was very slow and available in the reception area only. Celcom phone coverage was poor to non-existent, both of these things make planning your next step a bit difficult.

I booked the day I arrived with no trouble. Called their number, determined that because I wasn't on their pickup route, that I'd have to get to Billit myself. Arrived at the jetty and was received without any problems. The room was better than expected, and the service and management excellent. Everyone was very friendly and many were using my first name within a day of my arrival. The guides were generally quite good, willing and able to answer questions, and up to date on local research. Staff and guides alike truly seemed to enjoy their work. I don't know who is responsible for the atmosphere, but with that many staff, there is someone behind it that I'd like to work for!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank ktp2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed September 6, 2012

It is a lovely lodge well situated near the Kinabatangan river.
It is defintely worth spending some time there as the staff would make evrything to you to discover and see animals during the cruises and the night walk.
However, our dissatisfaction may come from the fact that the booking process was a bit onerous and not that clear. As a result, air conditioning was not ptovided in the room.
Also, boats during the river cruises should be organised: why would you have 20 people on a boat while another one only contains 4?

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Meerkatou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlexanderYee, General Manager at Nature Lodge Kinabatangan, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Thank you for your feed back.

We have since advice our sales department to be more clear on the a/c and fan option when assisting guests with their bokings.

The reason why 4 were on that boat while 20 went into another was because the 4 guets booked a private boat trip. We have boat with different capacity and should our guests wanted a private boat trip, they can always request for a smaller boat and pay a slight fee for it.

Do a have safe onward travel.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2012

We have decided to revisit beautiful Borneo as part of our honeymoon and it was the best decision ever! As we had to fly 3 hs from KL to Sandakan, we didn't want to spend only 3 days in Kinabatangan (most lodges only offer 3D2N packages), so we booked 2 packages at 2 different lodges (it's worth considering); Nature Lodge was the first one and we are extremely happy with our choice! Everything was great: the accommodation (although very hot during the day), the food!!! (3 delicious meals a day!), the day & night jungle walks (but be aware that you might not see loads, especially during the day one) but, most of all, the 2 boat rides that they offer each day! They were fantastic! We saw 5 species of hornbill, including my favourite Rhinoceros Hornbill, elephants (but only managed to spot them in the forest and not crossing the river, as we had hoped for), big & small crocodiles (brilliantly spotted by a truly talented guide called Mohamed), loads of monitor lizards & 3 species of kingfishers, plenty of proboscis monkeys, pigtail macaques, silver leaf languers, and, of course, the ever exciting (not really) long-tailed macaques... :) All the staff work really hard - you'll see it once you're there, as everything is clean, well taken care of and organised. On our last night, they surprised us with a romantic candle light dinner, which really impressed us :D They do care for their guests and this makes Nature Lodge even more special.
Enjoy and make the most of it - it is a unique place!

Room Tip: Go for the Agamid Wing - it's worth the money, as it's very clean, comfortable with hot show...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Roxannasi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camborne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2012 via mobile

This place delivers exactly what it promises - a basic, but exciting nature experience. River cruises are the highlight. Night walk a waste of time and day walk only good for the exercise. Food pretty good with plenty of volume, but little choice. Our dorm was basic and shared bathroom also, but there was a hot shower. We got soaked on one river cruise when the rain came so come prepared. They hire wellington boots and you don't need leech socks. Recommended as good value and knowledgeable guides.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank IaninBourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2012 via mobile

Great experience! If you love wildlife you should definatly go to this place. The guides are very much dedicated and very knowledgeable! We stayed in the dorm for 4 nights and it was fibe. Bring a musquitonet though! it is definatly worth staying more than two nights although the boattrips take the same routes each time you will see different wildlife everytime. You still need some luck though! Great place, great staff and definatly great value for money and very well organized!!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marlies1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nature Lodge Kinabatangan

Property: Nature Lodge Kinabatangan
Address: Kampung Bilit, Sandakan, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Sandakan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Nature Lodge Kinabatangan 2*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rustic chalets and dormitory rooms set in Kampung Bilit Kinabatangan, be ready to watch abundance of wildlife from the comfort of boat rides. Transfers to and fro Nature Lodge Kinabatangan and meals are included in the tour prices. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nature Lodge Kinabatangan Hotel Sandakan
Nature Lodge Kinabatangan Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

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