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“Paradise flycatcher and slow loris”

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Tabin Wildlife Resort
Lausanne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Paradise flycatcher and slow loris”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

We stayed in April 2014 at Tabin but I only find time now to write a review. We booked a 4D/3N birding tour and had a great guide named Wangtong (not sure about the spelling) who managed to find us so many different species we had a hard time ticking them all in our fieldguide!
I'm a bird lover but am also interested in all kind of animals, so at the beginning of our stay I told him that I was dreaming of seeing a male paradise flycatcher - which is not such a rare bird but I had failed to see one before - and a slow loris - which is much harder to find since it's a nocturnal primate. And he found us both! We saw paradise flycatchers several times and on a night drive, after seeing owls, a civet, a leopard cat and flying squirrels we caught a pair of eyes shining in the torchlight and there it was, slowly making its way along a branch, a slow loris, such a treat!
Apart from that, on the mammal side we also got to see an elephant, gibbons, macaques, pygmy squirrels, giant squirrels and well, normal size squirrels too.
As for the birds, I can't cite them all but after 3 days of searching he found us a black-crowned pitta that stayed so long that we had plenty of time to take pictures. Also some broadbills (green, black and red, banded, black and yellow), 5 different hornbills, woodpeckers, babblers, bulbuls, etc. So many birds, so many sounds and colours, Borneo is a great birding place and Tabin being close to palm plantations allows to see some species more easily than in a dense primary forest (you only get to walk in secondary forest there).
We were staying in a river lodge that was really big and comfortable but if I come back I will ask for a hill lodge because you're closer to the birds (hornbills and broadbills were often seen near the hill chalets). The food was good, the staff friendly, the guide great and all in all we had a great stay and I hope I'll be able to come back one day!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank tondeuse81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Japanese first
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English first
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2014

We stayed for 3 nights and 4 days as
part of our honeymoon. Our room
was beautifully decorated with
flowers and gifts and our table in the
cafe decoated with candles -a lovely

Our guide Esrail was super, such a
friendly and lovable character with
incredible knowledge and eyes like a
hawk. Much of the wildlife spotting is
done in safari-style jeeps and the
dusk and night drives are the most

We saw so much including: 3 types of
civet, leopard cat, 5 types of horn bill,
owls, eagles, loads of birds, flying
squirrel, pygmy squirrel, flying lemur
with her baby, numerous lizards, the
very rare munc jack and grey leaf
monkey. Gibbons, macaques and
finally thanks to Esrails
determination, 4 orangutans - a
mother with her tiny baby too.

The river lodge was really very comfy
considering where you are with great
House-keeping and fresh towels daily.
Air con too.

The food was good overall and was
malaysian style- no chips here!

All the staff were very friendly. This
place really deserves more
recognition as its not as well known
as Danum or the other places but for
us it was a really great experience.

Highly recommend Esrail too -just
tell him what you really want to see
and he'll work his socks off to find it
for you.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2 Thank Amy E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
111 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

We stayed 3 nights in a River Lodge at Tabin. The cabin was clean and well appointed. Having air-conditioning was a surprise having stayed at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge without it in the Danum Valley in previous years.

We were picked up from our B&B in Lahad Datu (see other review) and taken to the nearby Tabin office to check in. We were given bottles of water for the 90 minute drive to the resort. Our guide Mohammed met us at the office. I can not recommend Mohammed enough as a guide. He was just amazing - his knowledge and spotting abilities were unbelievable - we've travelled extensively and he is right up there with the best!

There are plenty of activities but we didn't get to walk as much as we have in the past at Danum Valley - partly that's because there seem to be fewer trails but also as you are no longer allowed on the trails without a guide due to earlier issues with lone bull elephants. A lot of activities involve sitting in the back of a truck which was great fun. We saw a mass of animals, no elephants but a couple of orang-utans - one of which was nesting 2 minutes away from our cabin! We got to see a lot of the mafia macaques (pigtailed) - lots of leopard cats, civets, raptors, broadbills, a colugo, flying squirrels, and loads of gibbons and frogs. Wellington boots are provided but take leech socks with you!

The food is OK - it was a bit hit and miss but there was plenty of it and you won't go hungry. You get a new 500ml water bottle everyday and you can buy bottled water from the bar. Boiled filtered water is available for refilling - its a bit brown looking but don't be put off by that we drank it with no ill-effects!

There is wifi but the internet connection behind it is very flaky so don't bank on it. We relied on the guides to keep us informed about the progress of the world cup!

I'd definitely come back!

Room Tip: The river lodges are smaller but are closer to the common areas and there are no steps!
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
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1 Thank CookCorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2014 via mobile

Thanks to the location of the forest, being surrounded by plantations, the wildlife spotting is really good and easy. Safaris are by open topped jeep, like Africa, which makes this more child and aged friendly than walking in Danum Valley. It is also nearer to Lahad Datu, just over an hour by road, so quicker to get to than Danum Valley. It is a much more basic lodge than the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, but food is still pretty good and rooms are air conditioned. The guides at Tabin are fantastic, really knowledgeable, very experienced and great at spotting wildlife. We had Esrael as our guide and he knew everything! It is the best place to see gibbons and leopard cats, and we also saw Orang Utans, monkeys, Pygmy elephants (close up), reticulated python, flying squirrels. Recommend staying for 3 nights at least.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
4 Thank Graeme W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
65 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2014 via mobile

Tabin wildlife resort isnt much luxury, but the nature is very nice. We did some jungletrekkings to spot wildlife, but actually we have seen most wildlife at the lodge itself (macaques, gibbons, birds). Its an hour drive from lahad datu to the lodge, expect a bumpy road. The lodge is nicely located next to river, and thats also why you can find some wildlife at the lodge. Our guide was allright, but he was to technical for us, and his english had a strong accent. The jungle trekking were for us a bit boring, during the trekkings we didnt see any wildlife. They offer free to use rubber boots and these are very convenient, a lot off tracks are muddy. The food is basic and not great. All drinks are not included. The rooms, actually lodges, are nice to see, but inside extremely outdated. Our aircon wasnt working properly, so we had to turn it off. We asked to repair it, but the service was bad. Beds are not comfortable. We were a bit dissapointed with the quality of the lodge and guide. But the macaques outside our lodge gave us a lot of entertainment.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
1 Thank Ccr102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2014

We stayed in Sept 2013 and stayed on the 3 day / 2 night trip. Tabin was one of the highlights of our trip to Malaysia. We were very lucky and saw some amazing wildlife the highlights being Orangutan, Pygmy Elephant (only pygmy in the sense its not as big as the african elephants), innumerable raptors, monkeys, wild cats and some amazing birds (too numerable to mention but the beecatchers and hornbills where up there ). There are some odd reviews on here. Yes, its not 5 star luxury but the cabins are perfectly fine and the food is good. The point of coming to a place like this is to spend time outside, see some great wildlife and relax. The cabins are set back on the hillside with the river running through the valley. Its a really beautiful location. Like other people have said, its not a zoo so just because we saw great wildlife doesn't mean that you will. I would happily go again. Really great place. My only regret is that we didn't stay longer as they offer a (can't remember precisely the length) but 2 or 3 day trek into the virgin rain forest

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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2 Thank Chris G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cookham Dean, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2014

We actually liked this more than the more commercial establishment in Danum Valley. We certainly saw more wildlife here, and we either seemed to go out with just our guide or our guide another couple, and their guide. Whether this would be so in high season I do not know. Great guiding during morning walks and night time safari's meant we saw the two things we wanted to see most namely flying squirrels and Leopard Cat. We stayed 2 nights which wasn't enough. Comfy rooms with air con. Food fine. Don't expect luxury and you will be pleasantly surprised. Only downside was the very bumpy journey for an hour and a half to get there.

Room Tip: Suggest going for the river rooms if you do not like climbing stairs. There are lots of them going...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2 Thank MittensMaidenhead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tabin Wildlife Resort

Property: Tabin Wildlife Resort
Address: Jalan Tunku, Lahad Datu 91125, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Lahad Datu
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Lahad Datu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Tabin Wildlife Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tabin Was declared a wildlife reserve because of the large numbers of animal species inhabiting its forest, including several which are highly endangered. With a protected forest area of 120,500 hectares, Tabin plays an important role as a dedicated ground for the breeding of endangered wildlife and protected mammals in Sabah. Tabin Wildlife Resort offers visitor facilities and accommodation within the wildlife reserve to provide a comfortable stay whilst experiencing the spectacular Borneo flora and fauna. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tabin Wildlife Hotel Lahad Datu
Tabin Wildlife Resort Lahad Datu, Malaysia - Sabah

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