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“Stay in Abai with the wild orangutans!”
Review of Abai Jungle Lodge

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Abai Jungle Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 October 2011

Abai Jungle Lodge is set up river from Sakau and from the rest of the tourists. We debated whether we wanted to stay here or two nights in Sakau. We ended up doing both (1 night at Abai and 1 night at Kinabatan River Lodge) and set it up to be transported by boat. Abai lodge was amazing and Rose the wild orangutan came every day to the trees by the lodge. She was adorable and was incredible to watch as she went from tree to tree to eat. This place is quiet and the guides were excellent. I think we saw the entire population of probiscus monkey's and every animal along the river. We went on a night safari by boat and walked along the property's boardwalks at night to see frogs and sleeping birds. This lodge can only be reached by boat and has many more chances or seeing wild orangutans. The rooms are basic and the food is basic too but I would have stayed longer if we would have known how amazing this place was going to be. I highly recommend staying here.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank WorldTraveler317
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 October 2011

I spent 3d/2n at Abai and absolutely loved it!! If you enjoy animals and/or plants you will love it here. 

Rooms are rustic but comfortable (you are, after all in the middle of a jungle and should not expect a 5* hotel). The rooms tend to get very warm during the day but then cool off at night. Just don't close the curtains and leave the fan on.

The food is incredible. I was very, very impressed by how tasty all the meals (with the possible exception of breakfast) were. The lodge purchases the ingredients from the locals and work their magic in the kitchen with delicious recipes and local spices. I had an amazing culinary experience -- and that in the middle of the jungle!

In terms of excursions and animal watching, it is pretty much what you would expect. Driving in a boat for 2-6 hours per day and looking at different animals. The scenery is beautiful with the river and the jungle. We saw quite a good variety of animals: many different monkeys, birds, a crocodile, snakes, lighting bugs, etc. 

The part I enjoyed most, though, was walking around the actual resort. They have quite extensive jungle paths around the resort where I saw a couple of snakes (I could even touch one that is not dangerous), many cool insects including a praying mantis, frogs, lizards. On the last day, I actually saw a wild orang utan which was really cool! Two days before I arrived, the resort had some pigmy elephants around - too bad I missed them. 

I loved my time there. Bring a book, though, for the time that you are not spending in the boat or on nature walks! 

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank AE-traveling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2011

My husband and I spent three days here as part of our honeymoon. If we had our time again we would probably just have two days as there isn't much to do when you're not out on the river because the lodge is obviously very isolated. However, there is an optional trip to the village on the other side for lunch which is worth doing, and you go to plant a tree on the way back. We took advantage of the rest of our free time by relaxing in one of the watch towers with a book and chatting to other guests.

The accommodation is basic but this is the nature of the experience - it is clean and well-serviced which is all that mattered. The staff are very friendly and accommodating - Abbas was our guide and he and our boat "driver", Bernard were so knowledgeable about the wildlife and seemed proud and keen to help us see as much as possible.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lorna K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2011

We stayed for one night at the Abai Lodge and had a wonderful time. As with others we were there to see the wildlife and weren't disappointed - proboscis monkeys, hornbills, egrets, orangutans, red lipped monkeys, snakes and lizards. Perhaps we were lucky. With the boats moored up directly in front of the lodge we were able to go out three times on the river.

The rooms themselves are basic, but with all the flowers outside on the walkway they've tried to make the place as attractive as possible. There is another walkway around the jungle nearby and we walked around this in the afternoon and got to see more animals and insects.

The lodge staff were quite honest about the fact there is just a fan to cool the rooms and in the afternoons it is like a BBQ indoors. By the evening it was fine, with the fan on, to sleep (if, like me, you need silence to sleep bring some earplugs). Meals were buffets and plentiful. Breakfast followed a morning boat trip and was served in the forest on the walkway, with squirrels popping up to get some toast.

We booked the whole trip with SI Tours and we would recommend them to anyone. I booked after email correspondence and their service in Borneo was very professional. Our tour also took in the Sepilok Orang Sanctuary and the Sandakan War Memorial Park, both of which I'd recommend.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Dougdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2011

The rooms are chalets, reached by board walks amongst very colourful gardens. They are very basic but clean and fairly comfortable. The bathroom is a simple shower with plenty of hot water. Food is served buffet style and is quite good but more or less the same at every meal. The staff were all friendly and helpful. We stayed for 2 nights and I would not have liked to stay longer (I do like luxury hotels but we were told this was the best in the area!)
On the positive side the lodge is in an excellent situation. It is the only lodge in the area so there are fewer people and boats on this part of the river. We had a private guide and sometimes we went out on the river and didn't see another person for two hours - excellent for wildlife viewing (of which we saw lots, including orang-utans).

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Diana014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2011

I didn't expect too much from Abai, after all, it's in the middle of the jungle! Rooms are basic, don't be surprised to find bugs (we had lots of ants in the bathroom). The lodge location is nice since there aren't many other lodges in the Abai area - we didn't see any other tour boats. The staff was great. My biggest gripe (not the fault of the lodge) was we did not see one Orangutan! That was our primary reason for booking and we didn't see any at Abai, or at the other lodge. Mostly just monkeys, a crocodile, a snake, a tree frog and other bugs. Also, I thought the price tag was a bit high - the lodge is super rustic, food was just ok and wildlife was minimal. I paid less in the Amazon and saw MUCH more during a longer stay.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank traveltrotter50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2011

Lodge on the river with a small but nice jungle trails as well as excursions in the surrounding area.
Simple but tidy rooms.The staff although it was at own pace it was friendly and helpful.
The food was quite good although it could be better.
Do not miss a walk at the trails of the hotel.

Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
Thank Alexandros D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Abai Jungle Lodge

Address: 47 km from the river mouth of Kinabatangan River | Abai, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Kinabatangan District
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Kinabatangan District
Number of rooms: 30
Also Known As:
Abai Jungle Hotel Sabah
Abai Jungle Lodge Kinabatangan District, Malaysia - Sabah

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