Danum Valley

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A naturalists’ paradise, Danum Valley Conservation Area is recognised as the worlds most complex ecosystems. A place where new species of birds and plants are still being discovered, it’s not hard to understand why Danum Valley is one of the most sought after rainforest escapes in Borneo.

Covering an area of 438 square kilometres of relatively undisturbed lowland dipterocarp forest, Danum Valley is home to endangered species such as banteng, Pgymy elephant, clouded leopard, as well as a vast range of Sabah’s lowland fauna. Dominated by dipterocarp tress, the canopy reaches heights of over 70 metres in some places, making it the perfect place to spot Orangutan swinging through the trees. Monitored closely by the conservation team, the wild Orangutan here (estimated to be at least 500) are one of the main draws. Learning about the important work being done to protect their environment and understand their behaviour is also a highlight of any Danum visit.

As well as the big jungle residents bird diversity is very high in Danum as more than 300 species of bird have been recorded, including the Bulwer’s pheasant, seven species of pittas, the Borneo Bristlehead and all eight species of hornbill found in Borneo. In addition you can keep your eyes peeled for the rare Wallace Flying Frog, soft shelled turtles, skinks, vipers, a profusion of butterflies, such as the spectacular Rajah Brooke, and the cartoon like bay cats. Creepy critters and fascinating insects come out at night, the perfect time to explore the nature trails with your guide (and a good torch!).

Danum is a must visit in Borneo if budget allows but due to the delicate ecosystem it’s hard to gain access. No unauthorised visitors can access the park so day tours and self drives are not possible. Borneo Rainforest Lodge allows just 60 guests at any one time, all of whom must stay on site, making this an exclusive destination and one we cannot recommend highly enough.

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