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A relatively small town located 180 kilometres away from Kinabatangan, Sabah, Malaysia, Tomanggong is placed under the jurisdiction of Kinabatangan district of Sandakan division. It is majorly surrounded by forests, wildlife reserves as well as Danum River flowing through the small town. The main economic activities are focused on oil palm plantations, forestry and wood-based industries. By 2010, it is estimated that the population size of Kinabatangan which includes Tomanggong is around 150, 000 people and a significant portion of the demography is made up of the people of “Sungai” tribe, which is one of the Sabah indigenous groups. In present, if visitors want to access Tomanggong by flight, they can only do so from the nearby airports like Sandakan airport and Lahad Datu 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 Kinabatangan and Lahad Datu from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) which are provided by both Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia. Upon touchdown, from the airport, guests can head downtown to Tomanggong using public transportation or rent a car.
People driving from Kinabatangan may drive via Route 13/AH5/AH150 for immediate access to Tomanggong. The journey could take up around 3 hours and 40 minutes depending on the traffic situation.
Similarly, people driving from Lahad Datu may drive via Jalan Lahad Datu - Tungku for immediate access to Tomanggong. The journey could take up around 2 hours and 30 minutes depending on the traffic situation.
Borneo Nature Lodge is definitely one of a kind, to offer a beautiful scenery of the Kinabatangan River while utilizing, adapting and making use of the greenery to give the best experience to the visitors. Situated closely to the riverbank of the Kinabatangan River, the activities organized in the resort are also related to the river and the nearby forest, which include river cruise, jungle trekking, bird watching, village and night walks as well as tree planting. There are accommodations available, therefore visitors can opt to stay over for a night or two after a long day outside.
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. As of the White Cave, it is only reserved to the more experienced climbers. The caves’ high quality edible swiftlet nests have been widely recognized, even more so for the white nests, which could be sold at very lucrative prices on the market. The caves and their surrounding area are protected areas for wildlife, considering them being placed inside Sabah Forestry Department forest reserve. Besides from the swiftlets, bats and bat hawks are also a common sight in the caves.
It feels incomplete to talk about Tomanggong without mentioning the Kinabalu Wildlife Sanctuary. Located closely to the Kinabatangan River, the wildlife sanctuary is home and natural ecosystem to the pygmy elephants, orangutan, proboscis monkeys, saltwater crocodiles, rhinoceroses, hornbills and other various species of flora. Due to a shocking discovery of a decapitated elephant head floating down the river back in 2006, the area becomes gazetted under the State's Wildlife Conservation Enactment of 1997 and placed under the careful watch of Sabah Wildlife Department in order to prevent even more damage to be done to the wildlife and natural resources here.