The Tabin Wildlife Reserve consists of 120,500 hectares of diverse rainforest located on the eastern coast of Sabah near Lahad Datu. Tabin Wildlife Reserve is a dedicated breeding ground for wildlife and birdlife, including the Sumatran rhinoceros and the Borneo pygmy elephant. The reserve was the winner of "The Most Promising Attraction 2003" given by the Malaysia Tourism Awards.
In the Tabin Wildlife Reserve there are over 70 mammal species, including the orangutan, Borneo pygmy elephant, proboscis monkey, and Sumatran rhinoceros. These species, however, are rarely spotted. It is much more likely that a visit to Tabin will yield sightings of sambar and mouse deer, bearded pigs, red leaf monkeys, silver langurs, pig-tailed and long-tailed macaques and monitors. . There are also many species of insect, reptile, and amphibian spread throughout the rainforest.
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A large number of tropical plants live and thrive in the rainforest in Tabin. A lot of these plants are useful for medicinal properties and a lot are still left to be discovered and researched. Some of the plants that can be seen are, wild orchids, lianas, jungle vines, towering strangler figs and rare ferns. To attract wildlife, birds and insects plants in the rainforest have unusual shapes, colors and smells.
Currently, there is only one resort in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, operated by the Tabin Wildlife Holidays. The resort is located at the entrance of the wildlife reserve, keeping the core area pristine and safe for animals and plants.
At the resort there are 20 airconditioned lodges with their own shower and twin or double bed. It is also possible to stay on a tented platform. The visitor information centre displays information about and sells souvenirs from the wildlife reserve. The Sunbird Cafe serves a range of buffet style food at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including fresh fruit, rice, and other regular Malaysian cuisine. The cafe also sells beer, juice, and other drinks.
The Wildlife Resort also provides tours, hikes and a guide during your stay. The guides are local Borneon people who speak English and are knowledgeable about local plantlife and wildlife. They can answer your questions or help you look up the answers in many of the field guides at the resort. Some of the activities they provide are:
The Lipad Mud Volcano contains highly mineral rich mud, which is frequented by a lot of animals. There is an observation tower from which it is possible to see many different bird species, monkeys, and possibly pygmy elephants. It is also possible to experiment with the effects of the mud on your complexion.
After the sun goes down, all the nocturnal animals come out. The resort guides drive the visitors in a truck along the roads in the wildlife resort while using a high powered spot light to point out many of the animals. It is possible to see slow loris, bearded pigs, flying foxes, and many other animals on the night drive.
They also run an early morning bird watching tour. This tour usually leaves just after dawn and the guides drive the visitors in the same truck while pointing out many of the different bird species in Tabin.
Tabin is about 80 minutes by car from Lahad Datu, mostly on dirt road through palm plantations. It is possible to arrange to be picked up from your hotel and driven to the Tabin Wildlife Resort. Arrange this when you book your visit. Remember that Lahad Datu is also the pickup point for the Danum Valley Conservation Area, so be sure to double-check that the van you are in is going to the Tabin Wildlife Reserve.
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