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“Crappy lodge but awesome wildlife viewing.”
Review of Abai Jungle Lodge

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Abai Jungle Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Scottsdale
Level Contributor
980 reviews
177 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 453 helpful votes
“Crappy lodge but awesome wildlife viewing.”
Reviewed 2 April 2014

They call themselves an "Eco lodge" which is merely an excuse to provide inferior accommodations and everything else. The rooms are terrible with crappy beds, lousy bedding, skimpy towels, no air conditioning despite the heat and humidity, no amenities at all just a single cheap tacky soap dispenser between the shower and sink, terrible lighting, bugs everywhere, a sponge rubber pillow, cheap tacky furniture and not even a bedside table on which to put a clock or watch. There's not even a cupboard to hang clothes or a single drawer. There was no hot water just luke warm. On the other hand it is worth putting up with it for a two days as the wildlife viewing is incredible. We twice saw a herd of 30-50 Pygmy ele pants, orangutans, proboscis monkeys and macaques, lots of birds and just traveling up and down the river was wonderful. Make sure you go for a cruise after dark and ask to see the firefly tree right across from the lodge. It will make any Christmas tree you've ever seen look pale.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank PeterAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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277 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
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English first
Cookham Dean, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2014

This is just the sort of place you want to stay when looking for wildlife. Only accessible by boat and on the beautiful Kinabatangan River. Twice daily river cruises giving us fab views of orang-utan, proboscis monkeys and pygmy elephants. Lovely boardwalks around the hotel with viewing platforms to see lots of birdlife. Night time guided walks. Good food, comfy rooms and friendly staff. Just wish we could have stayed longer than 2 nights.

Room Tip: Do not expect air conditioning. Fans help cool things down. Not sure there is any advantage of one r...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank MittensMaidenhead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2014 via mobile

We stayed for 2 nights and the staff were so helpful and cheerful and nothing was too much. We then stayed one night in the kinabatangan riverside lodge and although owned by the same company the staff were unhelpful,breakfast not ready for our early departure and the guide totally ignored us and never even introduced himself.
The Abai was excellent

Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank digger186346
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
88 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2014

Very basic but comfortable with food average but it is situated in the jungle. We stayed 3 nights which was enough. Our guide Terry was very knowledgeable and on our river trips he could spot a monkey well before any of us. Altogether a great experience but no aircon and the fan was just about OK for keeping the air moving in the room. Very friendly staff and nothing too much trouble.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms 2 and 5 as they are the middle ones in rows of 3 meaning that they are very dark and glo...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank TimPamRay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
116 reviews
94 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2014 via mobile

We had an amazing experience in this wonderful place. Yes it's basic but with all the comforts that you need while expliring the jungle. The room was clean, comfortable and the fan was just perfect for cooling the room. The location is superb and we were ever so lucky to be able to see lots of wild life animals and birds. Spectacular sceneries too!
The staff was so lovely and kind.
Definitely the high light of our fabulous experience in Borneo!

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TatianaAbuDhabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
314 reviews
225 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 507 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2014

We purchased the three day/two night package (SIA09) on the Kinabatangan River from S.I. Tours for RM1350 per person via their website. This included Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre, two nights at Abai Jungle Lodge, all transport, all meals and all boat trips for wildlife spotting. Remember that Abai Jungle Lodge is just that, and not a hotel. There is no television or fridge here but there was slow wifi.
Our room was spacious with wooden walls and floor. The bed was comfortable and there was one bag rest, desk and chair. It would have been improved by a few more sticks of furniture such as bedside tables. The bathroom was adequately clean with cold water in the basin and hot in the shower. It was one of three rooms that shared a veranda with chairs and a coffee table. The veranda was a great location for viewing smaller wildlife as the garden was aflutter with a wonderful variety of small nectar-feeding birds and many very large and colourful butterflies.
Meals were served in the large open-sided restaurant by the river. The food was inoffensive and sufficient. Beer was RM12 a can and wine about RM90 a bottle. As the weather was fine, our breakfasts were cooked and served at tables on the board walk in the jungle. Yes, we did see wildlife over breakfast.
The wildlife we saw on the boat trips was fantastic and exceeded our expectations, but we were very fortunate. We saw; proboscis monkeys, long-tailed macaques, silver-leaf monkeys, crocodile, an excellent variety of birds AND orang-utans AND pygmy elephants twice. But that’s not all folks. The board walks at the rear of the lodge also offer great wildlife viewing opportunities. We saw bearded pig, Low’s squirrel, pygmy squirrel AND a regular visitor, Rose the orang-utan who swung across the path directly in front of us AND a civet!
We were able to see all this without ever pulling on a pair of boots. All the wildlife spotting was from the comfort of the four-seater boats or from the board-walks and viewing towers. The only mud we encountered was in the village at the tree planting so one never needed to wear more than a pair of thongs, except to go barefoot on the smooth wooden floors of the dining and lounge area. NO LEECHES!
We were happy with our guide and our boatman and the arrangements went very smoothly. The only personnel that I was not happy with was the speed boat drivers on the first and last days who made the trip across the bay to the river unnecessarily bumpy by going unnecessarily fast on the waves. I think they got their boat licenses at a rodeo.
On the last day we had a short visit to the market in Sandakan before a complimentary lunch by the pool at the Sabah Hotel, which was a pleasant surprise. Then we were transferred to a hotel or the airport as we wished. The jungle lodge itself was not excellent but the package in total certainly was.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank DaisyClover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2014

This was an amazing lodge, with great walkways in the 'gardens'. The walkways allowed you to feel up close to the wildlife but from the safe location of a short walk from our room. We were entertained by numerous monkeys fighting/arguing, which we saw from the walkways or the aerial platforms.
The sounds of the forest/river were fantastic, with the night-time tour being our highlight. Our guide was able to show us so much - sleeping kingfishers, snakes tucked up in the branches, fireflies (making tree lit up), numerous monkeys, even a squirrel!!
Sadly we were moved on to Kinabatangan River Lodge due to 'pirate' issues further along the coast, which was ok - food was better but no walkways.

Room Tip: A prepared for slight smell of chemical toilets in room,
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank HayleyM73
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

Property: 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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