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Danum Valley is arguably Borneo’s premier wildlife location and boasts all ten of Sabah’s primate species. Early morning is the best time to enjoy the canopy walkway through the surrounding lowland rainforest and view the stunning birdlife.  It also offers maybe the best chance to see orangutan in the wild.

As well as the many primates, this river valley is also home to the rare Bornean pygmy elephant, banteng, Sumatran rhino, clouded leopard, marbled and flat-headed cats and Malay sun bear.

Common species include mouse-deer, endemic Bornean yellow and red muntjacs, and sambar. Early morning walks reward with possible sightings of hornbills, barbets and broadbills, plus the endemic Bornean bristlehead; whilst a night safari offers a window into the secretive world of Borneo’s nocturnal creatures. Chances of spotting orangutan may increase when the durian trees are in fruit.

Some two hours drive – around 80 kilometres – from the town of Lahad Datu, Danum Valley Conservation Area consists of 438 square kilometres of relatively undisturbed lowland rainforest. Before it became a conservation area there were no human settlements, so hunting, logging and other human interference was virtually non-existent. Danum Valley Field Centre is a research establishment for scientific and educational purposes.

Visitors can stay at Borneo Rainforest Lodge and enjoy guided walks and drives on rainforest trails in the early morning and at dusk. Many people come here for birdwatching, as it is the only place where the spectacled flowerpecker has been recorded.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: Asian elephant, Malayan sun bear, banteng, Sumatran rhino, orangutan
  • Where: Sabah State, Borneo

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Borneo Rainforest Photography Workshop

Join acclaimed photographers Nick Garbutt and Alex Hyde to explore Borneo's fascinating habitats and photograph the incredible diversity that lives within them. The forests, rivers and caves of Sabah are home to a huge variety of wildlife that provides no end of photographic opportunities.

  • When to go: Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 18 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £9,595 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Sabah Wildlife Special

Travel to Borneo on a two-week trip that visits the best places to see Sabah’s wildlife. Enjoy boat trips to discover the extraordinary wildlife of Kinabatangan, including proboscis monkey, orangutan, Asian elephant and Sumatran rhino, and four nights at one of our favourite lodges in the Danum Valley.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 14 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,975 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Borneo Rainforest Lodge

The remarkable Borneo Rainforest Lodge lies in pristine jungle in the heart of Sabah’s Danum Valley. Considering the remoteness of its location, this unique, award-winning property offers an extremely high standard of accommodation in a wonderful setting, blending in with the surrounding rainforest.