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Nature Lodge Kinabatangan
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Reviewed October 26, 2013

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.


Improvement suggestions:

- 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)!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jump-Our-World
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2013

As part of our 3d/2n tour booked with Nasilis Lavartus tours, we stayed here for the final night of the trip. Our guide, James, and the driver were both very friendly and knowledgable, answering any questions we threw at them. The lodge and room itself were comfortable and there was an effort made to minimize mosquitoes in the room, which was much appreciated! Don't expect the Hilton as it is a nature lodge, but we really enjoyed it!

As we didn't have a working alarm, we liked the idea of the gong to bring everyone together and had a tasty dinner before our night walk. We didn't spot much and were a bit freaked out by the idea of leeches, but it was still a nice way to let dinner settle.

Both the river cruises were enjoyable, though the 2nd one was pretty much a repeat of the first. Our first cruise was the best because we saw a herd of pygmy elephants along the bank and were entertained by a few of them going for a swim!

Overall a great experience - the only tip is to bring something to do in the down time. There are a few local newspapers provided, but very little else to do with lots of time to fill.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Joslyn42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2013

We originally had booked for 3d2n, but after the first night we cancelled our second because we weren't enjoying it.

The gong was terrible, not sure of the purpose of this. I did think I was an adult and quite capable of using a watch to keep track of time, but apparently they do not think this and instead use a gong that sounds throughout the the place (and will easily wake you up at 6am if you choose not to go on the morning boat trip, thanks for that, appreciated after the terrible sleep).

The staff were the best part, they were very nice and lovely and helpful.

The place was in a lovely location, but it just didn't feel right. It felt like it should be a relaxing nature getaway but instead was like a militant school camp. And if you like to eat more than just 3 meals a day (snacks yes please I do get hungry) then your only option is the oreos and chips and chocolate which they sell at the front desk (fruit, please, anyone?!).

The river rides were nice but we didn't see much at all, just some monkeys. I really just came to see the elephants but unfortunately they couldn't tell us where they are :(

Overall our stay was average and this place is WAAAAY overpriced, sorry.

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

Firstly, I would like to warn you that the 2-3 hour van ride to the river from Sandakan was horrible! However, if you don't mind that then you will have a good time on this trip. We took the day trip cruise as we were a little worried about the huts and their toilets. The cruise along the Kinabatangan River was enjoyable and relaxing. Managed to see some birds and monkeys but the most exciting thing about this trip was when we got back to the lodge, a herd pf 40-50 Borneo pygmy elephants were surrounding the lodge! The elephants were very close to us and the sight was breath taking! All in all, it really depends on your luck going on this trip and I am ever so grateful to be so lucky!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Jocelyn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2013 via mobile

I couldn't have asked for more from my 3 day, 2 night stay here. My group ended up with an amazing guide (he'd only been in the job 6 months and knew so much!) and because of him we spotted such a wide and varied amount of wildlife.
The accommodation was ok, I had a 4 bed dorm to myself and this was only a short walk to the toilet/shower block (not so great to walk between in the rain). The staff were friendly but the routine was a little regimental (they had a gong to tell you that it was time for the next activity/meal, but I think this was the only way they could make sure everyone got to see as much as possible.
Some of the animals I was lucky enough to see included proboscis monkeys, macaques, orangutans (one closer than our guide had seen in the wild - his excited face was almost as good as seeing the orangutan itself!), a western tarsier, hornbills, kingfishers, eagles, stalks, crocodiles and monitor lizards.
I would definitely go back!!

Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
Thank Toni C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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