With a total length of 560 kilometers the Sungai Kinabatangan river in Sabah is
the second longest river in Malaysia, and flows from the mountains of southwest Sabah the Sulu Sea, east of Sandakan. While the upstream part of the river has been heavily logged, the dual threats of piracy and flooding have kept its lower reaches largely free of development and as a consequence the lower Kinabatangan river area is full of wildlife. It is the largest forested plain in Malaysia and was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1999. The area where wildlife is most easily viewed is close to the village of Sukau, 134 km from Sandakan.
The Kinabatangan River is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world and is home to a remarkable variety of wildlife, including proboscis monkeys, orangutans, pygmy elephants, crocodiles, and a vast array of bird species. The river and surrounding forests are part of a protected area known as the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, which was established in 2007 to conserve the area's unique ecosystem.
How to get to the Kinabatangan river
The small city of Sukau can be easily reached by car from Sandakan. The closest airport is the one in Sandakan.
In Sukau there are a number of guesthouses, lodges and homestays, some bookable via the international booking portals.