DANUM VALLEY CONSERVATION AREA
Danum Valley Conservation Area comprises 43,800 ha (108,186 acres) of virgin forest. It is a vast reserve of lush tropical lowland forests rich in Sabah’s unique flora and fauna. The area has been recognized as one of the world’s most complex ecosystems. Serving as a natural habitat for a number of endangered wildlife species such as the Pygmy elephants, Orangutans and Proboscis monkeys.
In 1986 the Sabah Foundation, entrusted with the conservation of the Danum Valley established the Danum Valley Field Centre, tropical rainforest research, and environmental education station. Accommodation at this centre is exclusively for researchers and scientists on assignment. If you wish to visit the centre you need to obtain permission from the Sabah Foundation at their Lahad Datu office.
Danum Valley’s wonders are accessible to the public. Located another 35 km from the Field Centre is the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, established in 1994 to cater specially for visitors to this conservation area and offers luxurious accommodation and exciting excursions in the equally luxurious and exciting environment of Danum Valley. Built with local timber and river stones, the chalets are designed after the traditional Sabah Kadazandusun dwellings.
The 300-meter-long and 27-meter-high canopy walkway offers a spectacular sight of the rainforest. Birdwatchers will find it delightful as the place not only offers a range of newly discovered fauna species but also rare and exotic birds. Naturalist and ornithologists will find this place very rewarding. The recent discovery of ancient burial sites within the conservation areas has only confirmed to spark more interests, especially anthropologists.
The journey to Danum Valley is by air and land. You will have to take a flight from Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu in the morning, and then travel another 2 to 3 hours overland before you reach the prestigious Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Another option would be to stay at the Field Centre area but it’s mainly limited for researchers. An overnight trip will allow you to join a night safari where you could stand a chance to spot nocturnal animals.