A visit to Borneo should not be without visiting Sandakan, the eastern capital of Sabah well known for it being a wildlife hub. Wildlife plays a very big contribution to Sabah with even the national airlines offering daily flights directly from the state capital city of Kota Kinabalu and sometimes even directly from Kuala Lumpur. While Sandakan is a humble town by itself, it’s real deal lies outside Sandakan itself.

Make no doubt that Sepilok Orangutan Rehab is probably the first catch in your mind when you are here and if the treatment of Sepilok does not suit your taste then be prepare to savor the unique wildlife ecosystem Kinabatangan has to offer. A full lineup of Proboscis Monkeys along the river banks during dawn and dusk are no myth here. Oxbow lakes offering a great abundance of diversity of flora and fauna. If you are lucky, herds of pygmy elephants, wild orangutans will come to greet you in curiosity. Turtle Island, on the other hand, offers visitors information and exposure to show us the beauty but vulnerable ocean wildlife that surrounds Borneo.


STWA (Sepilok Tropical Wildlife Adventure) offers ‘The Ultimate Sandakan Experience 5d/4n’ for any visitors wishing to experience Sandakan’s best offerings. The first day offers the visitors a full Sepilok Orang Utan Rehab Centre and Rainforest Discovery Centre exposure with an overnight stay at the well known Sepilok Jungle Resort which is only walking distance from both centres.

A Sandakan city trip comprising of a visit to the War Memorial Park, Agnes Keith House, St Michael’s Church and Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple which offers a panoramic view to capture your memories of Sandakan city visit.

And if schedule and where availability permits, you can opt to visit and have an overnight stay at the Turtle Islands National Park to experience the release of turtle hatchlings and turtle conservation exposures. Chalets are very limited so make sure to book in at least 3-4 months in advance. Even so, be prepared as during peak seasons, this place gets fully booked and even local agents are having difficult times assisting travellers.

Your wildlife experiences will be complemented with overnight stays at Bilit Adventure Lodge which is located along the banks of Kinabatangan River. Depending on your trip schedules, you will arrive either by land or by boat. A trip down the Kinabatangan River almost certainly guarantees you several sightings of this large yet surprisingly graceful primate, as it flings itself forcefully from tree to tree, or watches you lazily from a comfortable lofty branch. Activities are inclusive of oxbow lake visits, night walks and evening river cruises.

Download the itinerary here.


A shorter option is also available and offers an option for a tour at Sepilok and Kinabatangan tours done within 3 days. Filling up your first day within the Sepilok’s natural wilderness, you’ll still get to spent ample time at Sepilok Orang Utan Rehab Centre. Birds watchers and nature lovers will definitely appreciate the facilities provided at the Rainforest Discovery Centre.

The package no doubt owes you a visit to Kinabatangan’s wilderness, an overnight stay at Bilit Adventure Lodge with a number of river cruises. The final morning greetings from nearby wild animals will serve as a refreshing call to prepare your final leg of the trip home. The package definitely has Turtle Island off the route as it is mainly tailored to show you the wildest part of Sandakan within a short period.

Download the itinerary here.

STWA operates the Bilik Adventure Lodge and well-known Sepilok Jungle Resort. Both are located on prime eco-tourism locations, making your stay a great chance to experience the natural beauty of Sandakan. The Sepilok Jungle Resort offers a wide range of accommodations, from dormitories to deluxe suites, allowing everyone a chance to stay longer near Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre which just a short walk from the resort. The Bilit Adventure Lodge which is miles away comprises of a handful of deluxe and standard rooms, nestled in Kampung Bilit to enjoy the natural splendour of Sandakan’s wild.

For more information, you may visit or contact STWA for more info.