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“Make time for this”

Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC)
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Full-Day Orangutan and Proboscis Monkey Tour from Sandakan or Kota Kinabalu
Ranked #6 of 30 things to do in Sandakan
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: RDC is first and foremost an environmental education centre managed by the Sabah Forestry Department. It has been operating since 1997 but mainly for school visits and organising events for school students and also teacher training courses on environmental education.It was later developed for visitors mainly to sustain the environmental education programme for the future. We formally opened to visitors in August 2007 and is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. However, visitors are allowed to stay until 7 pm for viewing of the flying squirrels at the 347-m long Canopy Walkway, the only such structure in Southeast Asia.The newly revamped Birders Rest is now with a 90 m-long walkway, an open hall, a small centre and toilets. As of Nov 16th 2013, we have a new operator for the Keruing Cafe whom we hope will provide better services for our visitors.
Reviewed May 24, 2013

Just a not so short walk from the SORC this place is well worth a half day ,It has a vistor centre we some very interesting exhibits and gory wow things for the young and not so young.
A walk around botanical garden is very worth while I,m not a tree hugger but even I found it fasinating.
Then the forest canopy walk is worth the visit alone we found it hard to drag ourselves away

1  Thank timberaway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (706)
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Reviewed May 19, 2013

What an interesting place to visit. You can spend days walking around the RDC along the many different signed paths. The most interesting aspect is the chance to climb the towers in the forest and walk in the treetops form a very unusual view. The other good thing is the peace and quiet of the place as when you are walking in the forest there is hardly any noise apart from the natural sounds of the jungle.

Thank andychem18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2013

We took the local bus to this place.......our advice...... pay for a private taxi for the day! That way you get to come and go as you please (no tour time tables to stick to) the car is air conditioned and no hassles.
We arrived on Malaysia election day so the place was very quiet. From memory was 15ringett per person entry fee which was very reasonable.
Take the canopy walk. I dont like heights myself but this was ok, there were only a few places a bit high for me, but l kept walking.
We heard the orangutans from here which was nice to keep a look out for (however we didnt spot any).
There are heaps of birds, but you definitely have to look out for them! We found quite a few very small birds and were lucky enough to see some hornbills.
Nice relaxing walk, and it was slightly cooler as well.
If you are into bird watching you could be here all day!
Worth a visit.

2  Thank natmelb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Lovely walks around the lake and surrounding area. On the canopy tree top walk we came across an orang-utan - we were just 10ft away as he played and swung for 20 mins- he was a bit bored and was happy to see us. Towers to climb and birdwatch. We were wondering what it would be like and were pleased we went.

Thank Tina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

An absolute gem! Easy and affordable access. The Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) is centred around an old reservoir that is now a beautiful lake, on the edge of the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve (where the orang-utans are). It is a well-planned and -constructed educational and research facility.

RDC must be the most birder-friendly location in the whole country because of its many helpful facilities - the metal canopy walkway 10m above ground allows us to experience looking over the tall rainforest trees and observe jungle life at the canopy level; and numerous colour-coded posters giving information about bird sightings, identification and locations.

The canopy walkway is about 343 m long with two towers (named Bristlehead and Trogon respectively) and a single-column shelter (Sunbird Shelter). Two other towers, Broadbill and Hornbill, are stand-alone towers and have yet to be connected to Bristlehead and Trogon Towers. The canopy walkway is wide and feels solid, unlike those in Poring and Mulu.

We trekked the Rainforest Discovery Trail, Lakeside Trail, Belian Trail, Sepilok Giant Bypass, Ridge Trail and Woodpecker Avenue - would rate them as easy treks. Best of all, we did not see any bloodthirsty leeches here. If only we had more time, we would have explored the rest of the jungle trails!

Early morning is surely the best time to observe birds from the canopy walkway (in silence). Have your binoculars ready. We spent almost a full day here and saw the Dollarbird, Streaked bulbul, Brown barbet, Black & yellow broadbill, Oriental pied hornbill, Rhinoceros hornbill, Black magpie, Raffles' malkoha, Bornean bristlehead (endemic to Borneo island), Little spiderhunter, Pacific swallow, Brahminy kite, and a kingfisher, some woodpeckers, bulbul and sunbird that we couldn't quite make out which sub-species. We are by no means bird experts but the posters were really helpful in identifying what we came across. We also spotted squirrels - Least pygmy squirrel and Prevost squirrel.

There were some avid bird-watchers that day and we could feel the intense excitement just by observing the birders' enthuasism and passion. They were not just locals, but also visitors from Thailand and Hong Kong.

The best surprise of all: It is said that it is rare to encounter an orang utan around the canopy walk. But we did!!! It was a female orangutan, with a baby. It was so close ... we could almost shake her hands.

Only downside is Keruing Cafe. The day that we were there, the staff said they had run out of supplies?? Only fried rice was available so we had that. It was expensive considering the ingredients used and a 500ml bottle of mineral water cost a ridiculous RM4! A better alternative for a meal is to walk 5 mins to Sepilok B&B.

Other than that, we really enjoyed this place ...

2  Thank lunarJade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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