Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC)

Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC)

Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC)
4.5
About
RDC is first and foremost an environmental education centre managed by the Sabah Forestry Department. It has been operating since 1997 but mainly for school visits and organising events for school students and also teacher training courses on environmental education.It was later developed for visitors mainly to sustain the environmental education programme for the future. We formally opened to visitors in August 2007 and is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. However, visitors are allowed to stay until 7 pm for viewing of the flying squirrels at the 347-m long Canopy Walkway, the only such structure in Southeast Asia.The newly revamped Birders Rest is now with a 90 m-long walkway, an open hall, a small centre and toilets. As of Nov 16th 2013, we have a new operator for the Keruing Cafe whom we hope will provide better services for our visitors.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Biffro
    London, United Kingdom1,425 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing place
    We visited this centre for a couple of hours and we absolutely loved our visit. There is a really well constructed pathway which allows you to walk through primary rainforest and there are sky towers / platforms that take you up in to the canopy. We saw orangutans and eagles as well as lots of monkeys and bird life. There are lots of routes you can take and we loved the aerial views from the sky towers. Really worth a visit and we would definitely recommend.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 31 July 2023
  • FedUp
    5,809 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Night Walk is interesting, but not so well organized
    We were told to reserve the night walk as soon as we arrived in Sepilok and did so. Staff arrived at 6pm and spent 15 minutes organizing the 30 people into 3 groups of 10. This took 15 minutes. Then all set out a bit spaced for the skywalk to catch first attracton, the flying squirrels viewed from the hanging bridge. All 30 reassembled on the hanging bridge to watch, in addition to 20+ who had just waited around from the afternoon to also catch the spectacle. It was a veritable circus and detracted from the overall experience. The Giants red flying squirrels did perform on time about 630ish, and they were very impressive and the highlite of the walk. A turquise scorpion in the crack of a tree stump was unique, and we saw a small pit viper. The biggest disappointment was not seeing a Philippine slow Loris, cousin to the tarsiers who we had just seen a few weeks back in Bohol, Philippines.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 30 August 2023
  • AngelMolendijk
    27 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    beautiful BUT BEWARE
    We first visited the RDC for the night walk. This was a very exciting experience! BUT the main reason for writing this review is our experience during the day. I want to warn you to not take te giant sepilok bypass trail without a guide! According to the signs this was perfectly doable and wasn’t a part of the trail for which you needed a permit. We started walking this trail and quickly realized there wasn’t anyone else on this trail. We thought this was nice to avoid the noisy tourists and actually have a chance on seeing some wildlife. However, about 20 minutes into the trail we stumbled across a big ( BIG) alpha male macaque sitting in the middle of the path. We slowly backed away but it started following us, at this point we started to run. We are lucky that nothing happened to us as we were quite far away from anyone and we read reviews of other visitors coming across vicious troops. So i guess it could’ve been worse, but we definitely made the right decision by walking away. It was only when we left the park that we saw a sign (between a dozen of other signs) that warned about the alpha male and his macaque troop and what to do when meeting them. So the only thing i want to say is: if you’re planning on doing some of the more remote trails, just book a guide to avoid these kinds of situations.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 September 2023
  • Maree R
    Christchurch, New Zealand1,182 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Canopy Walk
    This is a lovely canopy walk but in the middle of the day I don't think you are likely to spot any birds. The lake view is pleasant and the walk is not strenuous unless you climb the towers which would give a great opportunity for viewing at the right time of day. Mosquito repellent a must.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 September 2023
  • Leah W
    Scaggsville, Maryland65 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hike the Kabili Trail!
    The best kept secret of the RDC is the Kabili trail. You can hike to a mangrove forest by the river and take a boat back. You can spend the night at the mangrove forest and hike back or take the boat. You can hire a guide and arrange for the boat at the main entrance. They need at least 1 days notice better to give them 2. The center is wonderful. You can stay all day. Better to go early in the morning and then come back late afternoon. Be sure to sign up for the night walk. It has a separate fee. I loved it here. I went back several times. You can hire a guide to take you through the towers to spot wildlife, birds, and plants. It’s so peaceful here. Be sure to hike to the Sepilok Tree. Stop by the cafe for a coconut. Drink the water then eat the meat. Make it two!
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 7 September 2023
  • annminky
    United States3,805 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    So much Green!
    What a cool place to visit. I just love nature, and to see all the beautiful trees, flowers, plants, interesting birds, flying squirrels etc. on the canopy walk is a treat for me. Oh! The loud cicadas are too much. Also, the frogs can be in harmony with the cicadas😂. This is a perfect place to do my mindfulness walk. If you’re in Sabah, take your time to go here.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 17 September 2023
  • MTaylor1919
    Beijing, China37 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Must Visit
    Wonderful experience deep in the rainforest. The skywalk is very impressively done with great information on the local wildlife prevalent throughout. Limited food and drinks available and cash only for entry/refreshments. A must visit when in Sepilok and Sandakan.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 October 2023
  • Derek B
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent evening walk
    Excellent night walk at the RDC we saw a Tarsier, Slow Lori, Giant Red Flying Squirrel and some birds. Anzar from Sandakan Transport Service (WhatsApp +60 017 821 7605) reserved our places and provided return transport all for a very good price. I would definitely recommend the RDC night walk and Anzar’s transportation service.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 9 December 2023
  • IndySig
    Indianapolis, Indiana4,120 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great night hike.
    While we did not have very good luck during the day seeing many birds, we did thoroughly enjoy the canopy walk and the trails. The best part is the night hike at a great deal for 30mr. Our guide Jaity was EXCELLENT, well organized and we started promptly at 6 pm! We saw snakes, flying squirrels, slow loris, several stick insects and a western tarsier. My suggestion - use a guide either day or night.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 January 2024
  • genibre69
    London, United Kingdom5,212 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The night tour is ace
    This review is JUST for the night walk which is SO WORTH IT. I have a feeling the entrance free during the day is unjustified, as I freely wandered the plant garden right before the night walk. The 2 hour night walk is just fantastic. The guides’ eyes catch so many things us mere tourists would never see. Although the flying squirrel was too fast in flight to catch a photo of, seeing it was SO cool (despite waiting a half hour to do so). The adorable Western Tarsie though was the highlight of my evening (and potentially my whole Malaysia trip?!)
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 23 February 2024
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,046 reviews
Excellent
552
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Poor
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6

birder25
RSA19 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
Good birding. Saw lots, especially spiderhunters, from the watching towers and canopy. Enjoyed listening to gibbon calls. Night tour starts with watching the flying squirrels and then looks for nocturnal mammals etc. Saw slow loris. The cafe at RDC sold really good meals, drinks and ice cream at reasonable prices.
Took great photos on the suspension bridge.
Written 30 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nissa D
17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
I really enjoyed my visit here! We spent quite some time (from 09h30-14h incl lunch). We were there in the morning and there were only few people so it was very nice to be in such a calm place. Lots to do, nice if you can take your time for the visit and take some breaks during the walk to enoy the environment (there are several benches). There is also a small museum and a garden at the end, so quite some things to see and to do. We also had lunch here which was very good.
Written 26 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Yonathan Mathia... P
Frankfurt, Germany1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
This night walk is literally worth every Ringgit. I had it twice but didn‘t see any animals in the first night. Luckily I had a second chance just today. I saw a flying squirrel, a flying lemur, a small green viper, many spiders and insects. The highlight was definitely to be able to see a baby slow Loris with its mother and a western tasir. I would highly recommend Mr. Rosli and Mr. Dom as your night walk guides since they are very professional and ethical and put a lot of effort to spot the animals in the dark. Don‘t forget to book the night walk in advance because the demand is really high. Once it‘s full they won‘t take you spontaneously into the group. Take some insect repellent and wear your hiking shoes. It can be really itchy.
Written 13 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fearless25314224497
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
Amazing place with breathtaking view for days! I came here twice to complete some trails. Very serene and absolutely green.
Written 3 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mayank
London, UK213 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
The RDC provides a great opportunity to see wildlife ranging from mammals to insects. The night walk is a must and we were lucky enough to see a Tarsier. Not so lucky with the flying squirrel!
Written 2 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

joan t
Doncaster, UK488 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We decided to visit this at the end of the day, so may have not visited at the optimum time for viewing. Too late for diurnal and too early for nocturnal.

We saw a python but only because someone with a guide, pointed this out to us.

However, great just to walk on the raised platform - see a different perspective. Quite scary in places and some of the watch towers are difficult to climb if you have mobility, health issues.
Also, on the ground lots of raised tree roots, which were slippy so suggest sturdy footwear.

At the entrance, there is a bucket with sticks in. We spoke to another visitor who was wearing sunglasses on her head and a monkey jumped on her back and tried to take them off her. Hence the sticks. (to bang against the railing as a warning not to hit the monkeys!!)

Good price to enter - we didn't do the nightwalk as just too late for us.

Would recommend and return.
Written 31 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Yanez K
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Highly recommend, very nice experience. Ask for Jaity as your tour guide for the night walk. He was very dedicated to showing us all the animals with the appropriate respect for nature.
Written 13 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

genibre69
London, UK5,212 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
This review is JUST for the night walk which is SO WORTH IT. I have a feeling the entrance free during the day is unjustified, as I freely wandered the plant garden right before the night walk.

The 2 hour night walk is just fantastic. The guides’ eyes catch so many things us mere tourists would never see. Although the flying squirrel was too fast in flight to catch a photo of, seeing it was SO cool (despite waiting a half hour to do so). The adorable Western Tarsie though was the highlight of my evening (and potentially my whole Malaysia trip?!)
Written 24 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andy F
Devizes, UK1,252 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
This place contains the Discovery Centre itself and the surrounding walkways, including a canopy-level set of walkways and towers over the forest floor. We saw hornbills, macaques and gibbons here. DEfinitely worth a visit.
Written 2 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IndySig
Indianapolis, IN4,120 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
While we did not have very good luck during the day seeing many birds, we did thoroughly enjoy the canopy walk and the trails.

The best part is the night hike at a great deal for 30mr. Our guide Jaity was EXCELLENT, well organized and we started promptly at 6 pm! We saw snakes, flying squirrels, slow loris, several stick insects and a western tarsier.

My suggestion - use a guide either day or night.
Written 19 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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SANDAKAN RAINFOREST DISCOVERY CENTRE (RDC): All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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