Danum Valley - The Jewel in the crown of your Borneo Safari
Danum Valley - An untouched paradise with wildlife riches beyond compare!
Nowhere in Borneo or Sabah is more evocative and reflective of the current state of Borneo's rainforests, than the pristine Danum Valley Conservation Area. The protected area of approximately 440sqkm is dwarfed by the huge Sabah Foundation timber concession; which consists of 10,000sqkm put aside since the 1980's as a Class 1 Protected Forest Reserve. In reality this means selected logging and palm plantations surround the lowland rainforest of Danum Valley and the sight of Lorries laden with freshly cut timber as you drive into Danum Valley is a common one. Looking on the bright side, you are about to enter one of the most beautiful rainforests in SE Asia, with more than 340 bird species recorded, 120 mammal species and you will have the 'chance' to see incredibly rare Borneo wildlife, such as Pygmy Elephants, the Sumatran Rhino (extremely rare!), Orangutans and Proboscis Monkeys.
Where to stay in Danum Valley
I'm afraid that unless you get special permission to stay at the Danum Valley field centre, there is only one Borneo Rainforest Lodge to 'stay in town' at Danum Valley and we can only be thankful that this dominant position in the wildlife tourism market has not made them rest on their laurels. Yes, due to the increased popularity of Borneo safaris and wildlife tours it now attracts more mainstream tourists and not just full on wildlife enthusiasts, but once you get behind the 'Disney welcome' you will find a warm and knowledgeable team of managers and naturalists, ready to answer your questions and ensure you maximise your experience while staying at the lodge.
How to maximise your wildlife encounters at Danum Valley
90% of visitors to Borneo Rainforest Lodge will simply join the group tours during their stay at Danum Valley and indeed there are a wide variety of wildlife activities on offer. These include jungle treks, canopy walks, nocturnal drives, bird watching and a visit to Danum Valley field centre. Wildlife Trails prefers to either book a specialist wildlife guide to accompany our guests from Sandakan to Borneo Rainforest Lodge, or to book a private guide for our clients at the lodge itself. Either approach provides a lot more flexibility and intimacy, when it comes to wildlife safaris and excursions in Danum Valley. You can start earlier in the morning for birding or follow less visited trails with your private guide in the hope of seeing Orangutans or other primates.
Where to see Wild Orangutans in Borneo?
For sure the Borneo Rainforest Lodge in the Danum Valley is a great location to see Orangutans in the wild. However visitors need to have realistic expectations about the type of sighting they will have; especially if they have recently visited Sepilok and photographed the captive Orangutans which are habituated to the sight of humans. Orangutans can be shy in the wild, especially if approached by a large noisy group of tourists and may choose to stay high in the canopy or away from the most popular trails. Speak with your private wildlife guide about a ‘stealth’ approach to your nature walks and head off early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Often it is just a matter of luck that an Orangutan with a baby is on the forest floor feeding; although this type of encounter is more likely to happen during the fruiting tree season from July to September.
Best time to travel to the Borneo Rainforest Lodge