Created in the year 1984, Tabin has been declared a Wildlife Reserve primarily on account of the large number of animals inhabiting its forests, some of which are highly endangered. The reserve comprises a rectangular area of approximately 300,000 acres in the centre of the Dent Peninsula, north-east of Lahad Datu town, south of the lower reaches of the Segama River and north of the Silabukan Forest Reserve.
Some of the largest mammals of Sabah, namely Borneo Pygmy Elephant and Tembadau are found within the reserve; nine species of primate are present -including wild Orangutan, as well as three species of cats all of which are on the protected wildlife list. Of bird species, 42 families representing 300 species have been recorded. One of the highlights of Tabin are the active and mineral-rich mud volcanoes, attracting frequent visits by wildlife for their mineral intake and present an ideal platform for wildlife observation and bird-watching. Orangutan spotting chances are also high in Tabin as the reserve is the location for the release of rehabilitated primates from Sepilok.
Since the availability of accommodation provided by Tabin Wildlife Resort in 2004, Tabin Wildlife Reserve has gained popularity to be one of the best places in Sabah to observe the rich bio-diversity of nature and to part-take in nature-base activities. Amongst the popular things-to-do in Tabin are jungle-trekking, night safari, night walk, wildlife-spotting, bird-watching and rainforest education.