Kinabatangan is a town and also a district which is placed under the jurisdiction of Sandakan division, state of Sabah, Malaysia, where the district office is located in the town. Kinabatangan is surrounded by forests, wildlife reserves as well as being in close proximities with the Kinabatangan River. Therefore, oil palm plantations, forestry and wood-based industries are major economic activities here. By 2010, a Sabah indigenous group, the people of “Sungai” tribe made up a significant portion of the demography, where it is estimated that the population size of Kinabatangan is around 150, 000 people. Kinabatangan is served by Sandakan airport in addition to the land roads available. The area is typically wet and humid. In addition to that, there are swampy lowlands which are home to Sabah’s more representative birds and mammals, such as hornbills and proboscis monkeys. The limestone outcrops being scattered all over the place and inside the caves become the natural habitat of swiftlets too.
There are flights to Sandakan from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Kota Kinabalu Airport which are provided by both Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia. Upon touchdown, from the airport, guests can head downtown to Kinabatangan using public transportation or rent a car.
People driving from Sandakan may drive via Jalan Ranau-Sandakan/Jalan Sapi Nangoh/Route 22 and Jalan Sandakan-Lahad Datu/Route 13/AH/AH150 for immediate access to Kinabatangan town. The journey could take up around 1 hours and 20 minutes depending on the traffic situation.
Sukau Rainforest Lodge is one of the lodges to offer a deep insight into the Kinabatangan River and the forest nearby. It has strong ecotourism ethos and strives to preserve it by making sure its supplies are sustainable, using renewable energy and nature-based. All these are tuned to give an unforgettable experience to the visitors. Situated closely to the Kinabatangan River, the activities organized in the resort are also related to the river and the nearby forest, which include wildlife safari, rainforest exploration and bird watching. Visitors can also choose to stay over for a night or two after a long day out on the field trip.
Gomantong Caves are an elaborate cave system located inside the Gomantong Hill in Kinabatangan, Sabah. Accessible via a wooden walkway, the hill itself is the largest limestone outcrop available in the area of the Lower Kinabatangan. The main cave is divided into the more accessible Black Cave and the larger White Cave located way above. The cave names refer to the type of nests produced by the swiftlets. Only the Black Cave is open to the public while the White Cave is only for the more experienced climbers. The white nests is said to be sold at very lucrative prices on the market. Rest assured, the caves and their surrounding area are protected areas for wildlife, considering them being placed inside Sabah Forestry Department forest reserve.
Another interesting place to come over when in Kinabatangan Town is the Danum Valley. Located 78 kilometres away from the Kinabatangan, this site is unique in a sense that human settlements are almost non-existent here even from before the conservation status is awarded. Therefore, this area is free of hunting, logging and other human interference. Managed by the Sabah Foundation, the area is 438 square kilometres big. One can expect to find a lot more diversity here in the context of tropical flora and fauna, including such unique species as the rare East Sumatran rhinoceros, Bornean orangutans, gibbons, mouse deer, clouded leopards and over 270 bird species.
Located at Kampung Bilit, the Kinabatangan Jungle Camp is a four-star hotel that is close to the nature. The atmosphere is calming and pleasant with a variety of facilities and services like bathtub, shower, motor boat ride, airport transfer, laundry service, breakfast and tours.