Borneo Rainforest Lodge
Lahad Datu, Sabah, Borneo
Lahad Datu, Sabah, Borneo
We are at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum valley, one of the best locations in Borneo to experience Borneo’s diverse wildlife. There are over 300 species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians including the orang-utan and proboscis monkey which are found only in Borneo. The valley is now increasingly known also for its birdlife in the rainforest.
See A mother orang-utan climbs down a tree and sits with her baby not far. Our guide stands between us and the orang-utan, as we take shelter behind another tree. There is nowhere to run as the jungle is thick but there is no reason to run either. “The orang-utans don’t attack humans” our guide assures us “but don’t try and get too close to them” he warns. “Although they are friendly, you can still get hurt by their nails” he says.
We stand firm and admire their extraordinary prowess in tree-climbing and their splendid acrobatic display of upside-down vine-dangling with their arms stretched like rubber bands in almost any direction. Surprisingly, the mother orang-utan shows no concern of our presence, while the baby plays nearby. She sits nearby and inspects us with a soulful gaze. No other primate looks at you like an orang-utan does.
Look The three-storey lodge is set along the Danum River and made of wood and stone with contemporary, colonial style furnishings. The central lodge is a large, airy building standing on columns of belian, Borneo's famous hardwood, and features a spacious veranda, dining area and well-stocked bar.
Sleep In the room, the comforts are basic but adequate for the rainforest. Each of the 31 chalets has an en-suite bathroom and hot shower. There is no A/C due to the lodge’s sustainable energy policy but a ceiling fan cools the room if you leave the windows open. There are a total of 30 chalets of which 18 deluxe chalets and 2 premium chalets feature a deck with an open pool. All rooms have verandas from which you can sit and watch the roosting hornbills and other birds.
Explore We do two nature walks during the day. In the afternoon we sit outside on the veranda and listen to roosting rhinoceros hornbills. Sometimes monkeys can be seen in the jungle. The board walk nearby crosses a path often used by the elephants. We keep an eye on the path in case we see the herd but for now all eyes are on the mother orang-utan which sits so close to us that we can almost touch her. She scratches herself, looking at us as if bored. Then suddenly she decides to climb the tree and soon the mother orang-utan and the baby were gone.
The meeting with the orang-utans may have lasted between 5-10 minutes but it seemed a whole lifetime to us. We had come to Danum valley to see the bird and animal life but nothing could have prepared us for such a close encounter.
A number of direct international airlines fly to Borneo’s two main airports; Kuching in Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah. The two major airlines; Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia also operate domestic flights linking tourist destinations of interest.
The nearest town to Danum Valley Conservation Area is Lahad Datu in the south eastern coast of Sabah, which is reached via a short 55-minute flight from Kota Kinabalu or overland from Tawau or Sandakan. The Borneo Rainforest Lodge is a 2-hour drive from Lahad Datu on a sometimes rough and bumpy road.
Transfer schedules from Lahad Datu are fixed although special transfers can be arranged at an additional cost. Please note only authorised resort vehicles are permitted into the Borneo Rainforest Lodge.
Transfers from Lahad Datu Airport to the resort – 07:50AM
Transfers from the resort to Lahad Datu Airport – 13:30PM