Fodor's Expert Review Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary
An irony of deforestation and plantation development is that surviving forest areas become home to a wide variety of wildlife that once occupied a far larger range. The Kinabatangan River flows through rain forest, freshwater swamps, and mangroves, harboring monitor lizards, reticulated pythons, pigtailed macaques, proboscis monkeys, orangutan, and even elephants. Bird life includes such spectacular creatures as the Asian paradise flycatcher, stork-billed kingfisher, brahminy kite, and several species of hornbill venerated by Borneo's indigenous people. Several tour operators offer Kinabatangan trips via Sukau, a village about two hours from Sandakan by boat or road.