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“Such a wonderful experience”

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Uncle Tan Wildlife Camp
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
32
Reviewed 20 April 2014 via mobile

I visited uncle tan with five other friends and had such a great time! Food was fantastic, all the staff were really friendly and made us all feel welcome. Be prepared to be back to the basics and bring lots of baby wipes to wash with and loads of strong mosquito repellant for the night trek. Couldn't recommend more if you are an outdoors person and who enjoys wildlife. Enjoy!!

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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132 - 138 of 293 reviews

Reviewed 15 April 2014

Went to Uncle Tan Wildlife Camp with 3 friends and we had a great time. We were picked up from Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary at 12.30 and we went to the base for a pretty good lunch. To get to the camp we were put in mini-vans and driven to the jetty, with a stop along the way at the supermarket to stock up on last minute items. From the jetty it was about 45 minutes to camp. We were lucky enough to see orangutans on the way to the camp. Like everyone says, the camp itself is a bit spartan but that's what it's about. The sleeping huts were comfortable and we had no troubles sleeping at all. No issues with mosquitoes or any other bugs at night. They provided buckets to put food in (so the rats wouldn't eat through our bags). The toilets were fine, western style and clean (although you have to flush with buckets of water). We washed ourselves with buckets of river water (pumped up to the washing area). There were plenty of activities and we saw lots of wildlife. Our guide, Teo, was really knowledgeable about the flora and fauna and was genuinely interested in making our stay enjoyable. The food was good at the camp, a selection of vegetables/noodles/rice/meat dishes. I dont think there is a need to bring your own water, bottles of water and other drinks are available at quite reasonable prices. Bring some snacks with you if you want them. I also took two clothes pegs to close off the split in the mosquito net. Bring a torch/flashlight with you.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank spikeyspikey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2014

We stayed here at february 2013 after an advice of a Sandakan resident that is a friend of us.

Pros:

- looong tradition and experience
- nice base camp, good food, good location near by a highway directing to a Sandakan
- the service was excellent. The boat ride was great (for me the nicest part of trip). We saw Proboscis monkeys, Orangutans etc...
- When we arrived to a jungle camp we have been warmly welcomed and had a nice dinner (variety of local food)
- The guide at the forest camp was simple excellent. He told us the whole story of Uncle Tan, his own story of how he got to the camp and the best part was that he was really educated of the fauna and flora we are going to explore thrououht our stay. In additon, he was really funny and was expaining everything in a passionate and humorous way !!! Simple amazing person !!!
- Great night tour (get prepared for plenty of mosqitoes and mud...)
- Even greater morning boat ride !!! Plenty of wildlife everywhere...
- best price !!!

Cons:
- if you are adventurous person, there are no cons. But if you prefer to sleep in a safe, calm and dry palce, just forget about this one... You will sleep on a platform 2m over the muddy, noisy and wet forest (it is not even a chalet) without doors and windows.. You will sleep directly in the forest, there are safe boundaries that will keep you dry, isolated, and feel secure... (although it is secure for sure, but that feeling of sleeping in the middle of a jungle withhout no doors is something i will never forget !!! Want a bath at the morning? OK, take a water into a pail and pour over yourself...

All in all - one of the most adventutous places I have ever stayed !!! Right in the middle of the jungle with great service. But not for everyone, believe me ;-)

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank TrickyX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2014

I really enjoyed my 3 days at Uncle Tan's wildlife camp. It's a real experience, and a very unique place, and certainly come the morning of the 3rd day I was ready to leave - but when I did I felt educated about the nature of the Borneo jungle, knowledgable about my immediate environment and inspired by the dedication and work of the team who devote so much time to the protected rainforest that surrounds them.

Considering you are IN THE MIDDLE OF A JUNGLE the accommodation and set up borders on luxury. 3 very good buffet meals a day, clean and spacious huts and a clean toilet area. The shower water may be river water but at least a shower set-up exists, rather than being told to jump in the river! Always remind yourself 'Where am I in the world?' when making a judgment.

Special thanks goes to 'Akin' - who was a great guide and we were all impressed by how much enthusiasm the staff had considering new groups arrive every single day to do the same things!

MUSTS for visitors:
- Bring swimmers for showering.
- Bring plenty of big repellent and paste it on endlessly.
- Learn the proper names of the staff and use it - they make the effort to learn all our names every day.

SUGGESTIONS for Uncle Tan:
- New Mosquito nets. The design which has a 'slit'/opening is useless as it always comes apart during the night. Invest in the type which you just lift up and crawl under, or for ultimate cover the 'coffin' where you sleep within a supported net box.
- As much as I appreciate the importance of a staff cooperative there should be free purified drinking water available from the giant gallon cans available all over Malaysia. It's not right to suggest we all drink plenty of fluid and then charge RM2.50 per bottle.
- The arrival time on the first day should be earlier. There seemed to be a lot of empty space hanging around in Sepilok yet we arrived to darkness and rain - Would have preferred a daylight arrival and longer to get orientated.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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Thank jgp1991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2014 via mobile

We booked Uncle Tans through a recommendation from someone we met whilst travelling. I was apprehensive because I really am not 'at one' with nature and the idea of going to the toilet in the jungle didn't fill me with joy BUT I have to say that Uncle tans surpassed all expectations. I had 2 very comfortable nights sleep in our open huts, the food alone is worth the money (totally OD'd on the pancakes at breakfast!) And we saw so so so much wildlife. Honestly I don't know how many years uncle tans has left due to the rate us humans want to tear down the jungle so go whilst you can you won't be disappointed!
My tips for the 3 day 2 night are:
-take strong mosquito repellant
- bring swimsuit to shoq in as its just buckets and they're all out in the open
- take binoculars if you have them as some of the animals are high up in the trees
- GO ON THE FISHING TRIP. It was my first yime fishing, I caught an eel and 3 small catfish. Des took us out on the boats and despite not speaking fluent english he looked after us so well and told us about his village 4 hours us the river and hpw the elephants always wander through and eat their coconuts and bananas!
- definitely take a torch.

Everything else you need to know is on their website. The guys that work here don't know the I information from text books or internet they've grown up here. That alone makes this an incredible experience.

Don't even think twice!

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank TravellingJstac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2014

First of all this place is very basic - having said this it's worth your stay. Don't expect showers (unless you want to company the crocodiles in the river) or hotel standards, but do expect extremely friendly staff, a good vibe from fellow travellers and wildlife all around you. Our guide Leo was such a talented nature guide who found the most weird and astonishing wildlife - especially his beloved frogs. I also played soccer with the cool boys at the camp during the afternoons. Leo told us that the stay and watch over the camp even though it's flooded by several meters during the rainy season. Imagine hanging out on the roof of the kitchen for 2 months completely soaked with nothing more than a plastic bag for pants! Leo is the Bear Grylls of Malaysia!
Bring cool cash to pay for beers etc. - all the profit goes the super nice staff.

Room Tip: Bring plenty of mosquito repellent - you'll sleep out in the open with a mosquito net tugged und...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Christian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2014

Absolute must go if you want to visit the jungle! Back to basic it is, but what do you expect staying right in the jungle? The food is amazing and the guides (Teo in particular) are friendly, interested, funny and really into nature!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank sssanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Uncle Tan Wildlife Camp

Address: Danau Girang | near the Lokan River, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 31 Speciality Lodging in Sandakan Division
Also Known As:
Uncle Tan Wildlife Camp Hotel Sabah

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