Located on the Klias Peninsula, district of Beaufort at about 120 km from Kota Kinabalu is the Klias Wetland, a Mangrove Forest Reserve rich with river wildlife and birds. Among the wildlife that can be spotted on a mangrove cruise on the Klias River are proboscis monkeys, long tail macaques, with some luck silver langurs and of course an amazing variety of birds.
A trip to the Klias Wetlands is usually a day trip which normally starts in the afternoon at around 3.00 pm and departs from the Kota Klias Jetty. Light refreshments are served before the tour starts, and a local, kampung-style dinner will be served upon arrival back at the jetty. It is highly recommended to engage a tour operator for this tour. The operator will provide you with an experienced wildlife tour guide who can give you detailed descriptions of the unique nature and wildlife you see and thus make your tour much more interesting.
One of the major attractions at Klias are the abundance of fireflies which normally appear after dusk. Most often this is treated as a compliments after the tour or during the boatride back to the jetty.
The Klias Wetlands have become popular amongst visitors who do not have enough time to go to the east coast and experience Sabah’s wildlife in Sukau. Klias is much nearer and does not require a flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan. However, the proboscis monkeys in Klias are still “wild” and they are not so much used to see visitors like their cousins in Sukau. The Klias Wetlands should not be treated as an alternative to the east coast, with its fantastic wild life destinations. Klias has its own unique features which must be explored and enjoyed on their own!
Klias is one of the easiest place to access from the capital city, or make a stop if you plan to drive to Menumbok to catch a ferry for Labuan. Other areas that you should visit along with this destination are the town of Beaufort and its market rich in local tropical fruits and the Padas River White Water Rafting Adventure.