The Kinabatangan River snakes through Sabah’s lowlands for 560kms to reach the Sulu Sea. Along its length, a river safari will reveal a mosaic of riparian forest, oxbow lakes, nipah swamp and mangroves which supports a wide variety of mammal and birdlife who have grown surprisingly tolerant of human presence.
Kinabatangan’s vast hinterland is peppered with jungle and limestone caves, including the famed Gomantong Caves, home to millions of swiflets and bats, and a source of edible bird’s nest for centuries.
The sanctuary is one of only two areas in the world inhabited by ten species of primate, four of which are endemic to Borneo. It is also one of two places in the world where four medium-sized colobines inhabit the same place: namely proboscis monkey, silvered langur, maroon langur, and Hose’s or grey langur.
Other fauna found here include: orangutan, long-tailed macaque, pig-tailed macaque, Bornean gibbon, two nocturnal primates – western tarsier and slow loris, Asian elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros, wild cattle and pigs, and deer. Carnivores include the world’s smallest bear, the Malay sun bear, and four feline species: clouded leopard, leopard cat, marbled cat and flat-headed cat. Among the numerous other small mammals are otters, rats and civets, whilst reptiles include reticulated python, tortoise, freshwater terrapin, monitor lizard and crocodile.
Over 200 species of birds are found here. These include eight species of hornbill, oriental darter, several species of egret, Storm’s stork, Sunda ground cuckoo, stork-billed kingfisher, Brahminy kite, crested serpent eagle, greater coucal; plus herons, hawks, ospreys, buffy fish owl, frogmouths, bulbuls, flowerpeckers, spiderhunters, drongos, and more!
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