This is our first tripadvisor review ever but we (couple in late twenties) just had to do this one.
We got to the lodge with our own car in the beginning of the low season (28th-30th Sept.), stayed for 2n3d and this has been a truly amazing wildlife experience,
especially due to our guide Aljun since he got extensive knowledge about animals and plants AND was sooooo good on spotting animals (even while driving the boat)!
Why did we go?
This package offers the most tours by far. Arrival at 3.30pm, first river cruise at 4pm (~2h), night walk at 8pm (1-1.5h), morning river cruise at 6am (~1h), jungle walk (~3h) at 9am. Every day! If you got the energy you can jump in one of the (few) kayaks in between lunch and the 4pm cruise.
What have we seen? Lots of Urang Utans!!, salt water crocodile, long nose monkeys, long/short tail makakes, lemurs, lizards, tree snake, a whole bunch of birds and on top the rare and georgeous Borneo Tarsier monkey at the night walk (as well as king fishers, Malay badger and a Lori). Without Aljun it would have been only half the experience and we hope he's getting payed good or getting a pay raise since we could not tip him because we spent almost all our cash to pay the package on arrival but we come to that later. The rest of the staff has also been friendly.
Since its been low season we got one 5 bedroom dorm for ourselfs which made it quite convenient (the could have stuffed us in just one or two but they did not!)
Rooms and facilities are basic but totally fine and you don't get the feeling that its dodgy at all.
Food was good and sufficient.
Boats were for sure better than the ones we've seen from other lodges like Bilit.
- credit card payment should really be possible.
- you can rent rubber boots for 10MR but there is not enough of them and the biggest size it 43! I got 46. But not having any conditions I could manage around the mud just fine in my Adidas sneaker...
- the mattresses in the dorms really are paper thin and in our opinion they are ready to be replaced/upgraded!!!!!!!
Since we were alone in the dorm we just put one of the spare ones on top which made it ok for us (2 stars because we couldn't consider the double matress and one matress would really not be ok)
- We didn't need it but some people might miss Wifi for further travel planning...although its a jungle camp!!!
We would definitely do it again (in low season)!
- 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