Explore Danum Valley in Sabah, Borneo, one of the last untouched natural habitats, with opportunities to spot wild orangutan, gibbons and pygmy elephants. The pristine lowland rainforest of Danum Valley is undoubtedly Borneo’s premier wildlife location.
Step into Borneo’s Eden and discover some of this region’s most exotic and exciting flora and fauna. Danum Valley Conservation Area is Sabah’s largest protected area of lowland dipterocarp forest. All 43,800 hectares are managed by Yayasan Sabah for the purposes of conservation, research, education, and training.
At first glance, Danum Valley is a vast green ocean of wilderness with tall trees and hanging vines close in, creating a primordial feel that’s slightly unnerving. The rain forest has more than 200 species of trees per hectares, some of which are the oldest and tallest on the planet. In terms of wildlife, the rainforest comes alive with Orangutans, Pygmy Elephants, Sun Bears, Clouded Leopards, bearded pigs, deer, and mouse deer, just to name a few. It also provides one of the last refuges in Sabah for the critically endangered Sumatra Rhinos.
One of the highlights of the trip is the canopy walkway which offers a bird’s eye view of a nature from a close up prospective.
The canopy walk itself is a long series of elevated walkways made of wood, cable, and rope. It sways up to 26 meters above the ground, offering vertiginous views of the jungle floor below and test the courage of anyone with even a passing fear of heights.
The view of the misty rainforest from the canopy walk is amazing and if Danum Valley isn’t paradise, it’s surely something close.
The adventure in Danum Valley will start with a short introduction walk along the Nature Trail that will provide some basic information about the environment. The following days, your guide will take on several walks along different trails.
No trip to Danum Valley would be complete without a visit to the View Point, the highest elevation nearby the lodge which offers a stunning view of the entire valley.
After the jungle trek, you can opt for the dip in the cool refreshing Jacuzzi Pool. An outstanding natural massage under the waterfall will give you back the energy.
As evening fades to dark, the shy nocturnal creatures come out to prowl. Using a powerful spotlight your guide will point out insects, birds, and mammals in the trees and shrubs lining the road. You might see colugos (flying lemurs), owls, frogs, mouse deer and Malay civets. Particularly lucky visitors might spot western tarsier, leopard cats, and pythons.
The climate in a rainforest is very hot and humid throughout the day. The relative humidity never falls below 80% and temperatures vary little between daytime averages of 31 degrees centigrade and night time lows of 22 degrees centigrade.
Danum Valley is the natural habitat of some rare and endangered species; among them, there are Orangutans, Sumatra Rhinos and Sun Bears. Those attracted to felines can count on the presence of the Clouded Leopard and Marbled Cat, while avid birdwatcher will find themselves in an avifauna paradise which comprises 340 species of birds. There are about 72 species of reptiles including the King Cobra, the sinuous Tree Snake, and monitor lizards. Do not be scared! In fact, only a small percentage of snakes are venomous and they don’t bite the human being unless provoked.
The rainforest in Danum Valley is lush, dense and dark with many large trees heavily overgrown with orchids, fungi, and creepers.
The Danum forest is dominated by dipterocarps trees, particularly Parashorea malaanonan and Parashorea tomentella together with Shorea johorensis and other Shorea species of the Rubroshorea group.