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The Kinabatangan River is the longest river in Sabah at 560 kilometres and the second longest river in Malaysia. It is known mainly for its incredible biodiversity. Kinabatangan consists of secondary riverine forest, freshwater swamp forests and limestone habitats.



The Kinabatangan is home to more than 200 species of birds. Some of the main goals for birders here are the Bornean Ground Cuckoo, Bornean Bristlehead, Ruddy Kingfisher, Lesser Adjutant and the Storm's Stork the rarest stork in the World. Adding to the highlights, all eight species of Hornbills can also be found at the Kinabatangan.


Getting there

BIRDing locations + trails

DSC_1200 Aerial Kinabatangan.JPG

The early morning and evening cruises along the Kinabatangan and its tributaries are the best choice to search for birds. The well known Menanggul River in Sukau is a fantastic place for birds.

There are several places to stay in different parts of Kinabatangan, all offering a variety of packages. Several notable places to stay are accommodations at Bilit, Sukau, and Abai. Depending on one's preference, chalets, basic rooms, and dormitories are all available at different resorts and homestays at Kinabatangan.

Reaching Kinabatangan varies on location. Bilit and Sukau are reachable by car via sealed road approximately 130 kilometres from Sandakan and depending where your accommodation is located, a short boat ride might be required. Abai, Kinabatangan is reachable only via a 1.5 hours boat ride from Sandakan.

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