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The Tabin Wildlife Reserve is the largest forest reserve in Sabah at approximately 122,539 hectares. Tabin was created in 1984 as an essential area to preserve Sabah's disappearing wild animals.


GBF_Blue Banded Pitta by Gary2A.JPG

Tabin is home to more than 300 species of birds. Some of the highlights here are the endemic Blue-Banded Pitta, Black-Crowned Pitta, Bornean Banded Pitta, Blue-Headed Pitta, Bornean Banded Kingfisher, and the Black-Throated Wren-Babbler. Tabin is also the best place to see all 8 species of Hornbills, including the critically endangered Helmeted Hornbill.


Getting there

BIRDing locations + trails


Birding can be done on several trails and locations in the reserve, but a guide from the Tabin Wildlife Resort is compulsory. An early morning walk at the core area road of the reserve is a fantastic place for birding, and an evening dusk drive is also highly recommended. A couple of trails claimed to be an easy trek are the Lipad Waterfall trail and Lipad Mud Volcano trail. However, on rainy days, it can be muddy and packed with leeches. Both these trails are good places to find lower to medium canopy birds such as Trogons and Pittas.

To explore this wildlife reserve, visitors are required to stay at Tabin Wildlife Resort. Packages are available on their website and a 4 days 3 nights stay is the most suitable for birding.

Tabin is located 48 kilometres east of Lahad Datu and reachable by 4WD vehicles via sealed and gravel roads.

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