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“Nature lodge Kinabatangan” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Nature Lodge Kinabatangan

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Nature Lodge Kinabatangan
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
65 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Nature lodge Kinabatangan”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2012

The five of us stayed in a Civet dorm. It was basic but perfectly comfortable. The beds were comfy and the fan plus ventilation perfectly adequate for keeping us cool at night.

I cannot speak highly enough of how well organised the whole experience is. From pick-up at the start to drop-off at the finish, everything went smoothly. We knew what we would be doing and when. If this sounds a bit over-organised, it is not. Everybody was friendly and helpful and intent on making sure that our stay was enjoyable.

We stayed 3D2N and were very happy with the amount of boat trips and walks and leisure time. Our guide was Muhammed: very knowledgeable, very keen that we enjoyed our stay and the activities. How he spotted some of the animals and birds that he spotted I do not know!

Food: Enough choices to keep all but hard-nosed vegetarians happy. Well cooked and tasty.

All in all, a great stay at a great price,

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BUNYIP58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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333 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
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Boston
Level Contributor
104 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2012

Stayed 3D2N and that was enough for our family. We stayed in the Civet dorms. Staffs were good and did a great job. Food was very good. We did not see much except for a lot of monkeys except for our boatman/guide Risiman. He looked hard for a Western Tarsier during a night walk behind the lodge and we found it! That was the highlight of our entire stay. The lodge is basic but overall it was good enough since it is the most affordable. I am sure many would love this place and the experience there. For us coming here straight from an amazing trip in Danum Valley may have made it less exciting. Also with wildlife one can never predict.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank coboston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlexanderYee, General Manager at Nature Lodge Kinabatangan, responded to this review, 11 October 2012
Thank you for taking time to give us a feed back.

Spotting a western tarsier during your trip was indeed an awesome experience and not many would have had. We trust the memory will follow yu for a long time to come.

Do have a safe onward journey.
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hcmc
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2012

I searched and searched the internet and found this to be the cheapest river trip. Jay (nasalislarvatustours) was the contact and he was very helpful with the hundreds of questions i posed to him.
In fact I had booked a different trip with Borneo dreams not realizing they run their tours through this company (nasalislarvatustours) they are more expensive so you may as well book with nasalislarvatustours directly and save yourself some money.
We stayed in the Agamid Wing Chalet which i think was worth the extra ten pound, it's a slightly bigger chalet and from what i saw from the civet chalets the Agamid had bigger beds, i think if you don't mind being squashed up the civet chalets are fine, but the Agamid chalets were a nice surprise. Single beds, very basic but more than enough for one nights or few nights stay. I was surprised there was not any mosquito nets but saying that we had absolutely no problems with mosquito's, in fact I didn't spot one single bug in the chalets.
All of the transfers and pickups were on time and perfectly executed with very very friendly tour operators.
It was shocking to see all the plantations on the journey, just the scale of them is unbelievable and quite upsetting.
When we got on the boat for the river trip it poured down of rain for the first half an hour and I was worried that we may not see any wildlife, but we did ... pygmy elephants , loads of proboscis monkeys , some other monkeys , and a few birds. It was a two hour journey so make sure you go to the bathroom before you get on the boat .....there are no stops:)
The food was quite good actually, prob not the most appetizing for vegetarians though, but there is enough veg, fruit and rice to fill any hungry tummy. They will give you tiger by default if you ask for beer but they actually also had stella artois.
The night walk was really fun and a bit scary...knee deep in mud with leeches so cover every part of your body and wear wellies,we saw some nocturnal animals, I had a moment of 'woh
i'm walking thought the Borneo rainforest in the pitch black' great feeling!
There was quite a few backpackers there, but not too many where i felt like the odd one out. I'm glad we traveled in the low season though I can imagine it would get pretty busy there. I personally thought one 2D 1N was enough , there's only so much monkey watching I can do :)
But overall money well spent , great company , I would fully recommend. contact for the company....... Jay@nasalislarvatustours.com

Room Tip: Pay the extra and get the Agamid chalets
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank nicola h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2012

Very efficient and well organised. Rooms and common areas were really cleen. Food was good. However, it did feel a bit like a backpacker factory - over 65 guests (capacity is 74), so all of us trampsing through the jungle on a night walk felt more like a tourist parade. However, we did see lots of animals (2 night 3 day trip), including monkeys, crocodiles, lots of birds, snakes, Tarmus, but you never feel like you are really 'away from it all' in the jungle. Still, good value for money if you take it for what it is. Our guide Halcon was also really good.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jamsol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2012

We had an excellent time at the nature lodge kinabatangan. We were warmly welcome by the staff on our arrival and they explained everything we needed to know about our stay.
The organization was very good, there were many activities throughout the day, but still leaving some time for relaxation.
The staff was very friendly and helpful, the food was good, our nature guide helped us spot all the animals we wanted to see.
The bungalow (agamid chalet) was nice, quite spacious. The only small reproach i would have is the bedsheets and towels looked dirty with many stains (altough they were clean), maybe they should change their laundry brand ;-) or maybe it's an eco-friendly product thats not so efficient... anyway it was only a detail and we would definitely recommend this place which offers much better value for money than most of the others around (we paid 550RM per person for 3D/2N + 30RM per way per person for the transfers from and to the places we wanted which was very convenient)

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chtitedelph83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2012

I recently stayed 2N 3D in the Amagid wing with a friend. The accommodation was good value for money and we got what we expected. As there are lot of activities during the stay and you're likely to be quite tired after the trip to the lodge and the early morning boat trips, you only really are in the room to sleep. We both slept very well, so no complaints from our side, Beds were comfy and the bathroom was good as well. Good water pressure in the shower.

Other people we spoke to stayed in the dorm or Civit wing, they also seemed very happy and there weren't any complaints. Only small issue was that the mosquito screens at the windows can have some small holes, so mosquitos can get through (but I think this is not a problem specific to the Kinabatangan Nature Lodge, but something I experienced in other hotels and places in Asia as well).

The food was very good. And of course, the main thing was the nature. Our guide, Muhammed, was amazing. Very friendly and he seemed genuinely pleased when he spotted some wildlife for us. Although our group felt that we were especially lucky to have him as our guide, I think you will enjoy the tour whichever guide you're allocated to. Whenever a guide spots something and another boat is relatively close by, they make signs and point to each other, to make sure all tourists get to see the wildlife.

The boat trips were the best part of the trip. The night walks were also great, the number of animals we spotted was maybe relatively small, but even spotting 3-4 animals (frogs, birds, snakes, civet cat) during the roughly 1 hour walk was great and definitely worth going. The day walk was also nice, but more to have some excercise rather than spotting wildlife. We were made aware fo this in advance, and although it was mainly good to walk a bit, we also were happy to see some interesting plants, insects, butterflies.

Although I am 100% happy with our trip, the only thing to point out is that we were lucky to not be in the high season. During our first day only few boats were on the river. On the 2nd day, the number already doubled. Especially when you're seeing the elephants, this can seem a bit much, with more tourists than elephants. But the animals don't seem disturbed (of roughly 25 elephants, only 1 seemed a bit annoyed with us - but he was a young male so I think it had to do with him being generally in a bit of an annoyed 'teenager' mood- the elephant mothers with babies were calm, so I don't think the tourists are any harm to the elephants).
As long as you are aware of you not being the only tourists, I think you will be fine with this.

I was amazed how close you can get to the wildlife - I think it is still not well known just how much wildlife you can seen in Borneo and especially the Kinabatangan river area - I don't think there are many places were you can get so close to so many exciting animals.

On the way to the resort you might be a bit shocked to drive through miles of palm oil plantations- it was quite shocking to see just how much rain forest was destroyed. I think this makes it even more important to go to the Kinabatangan river area, to make sure this area gets saved for tourism (and therefore for the animals)

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Trpadv2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlexanderYee, General Manager at Nature Lodge Kinabatangan, responded to this review, 11 October 2012
Thank you for your positive feed back.

We have since high lighted to our maintenance department to look into patching up the holes on the mosquito screens.

And yes, with unique place like Kinabatangan, its a real challenge for us to balance tourism and conservation. As one of the leading tour operators along this mighty river, we are part of an association (ie. www.kita.org) and work hard towards the conservation of that area. Moreover, you will be pleased to know that we actually set aside RM10 for every guests who stayed with us and pass this RM10 to KiTA with their wonderful work.

Have a safe onward travel and do help us to pass the words around. Thank you
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
118 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2012

We pre booked the 3D2N package. Although this was ever so slightly more expensive than some of the other packages on offer from other lodges, we had noticed that there was a much better itinery in terms of the number of tours and we were not disappointed. The customer service having made the booking was great in terms of organising the transfers and getting back to us with clear and timely answers.

The rooms although basic were as per the pictures on their website and nice and clean which was all we needed. The food which is included in the price was also plentiful and very good. All the staff at the Nature Lodge were very friendly and happy to help throughout.

Regarding the itinery, we had been warned by a friend that had been previously that there are other lodges near by so you would see other boats on the tour. Although this was the case, I felt our Guide did a good job by venturing off on our own where possible. Our guide helped us spot all sorts- we saw several Orangutans, crocodiles, the elephants, many types of monkies and birds to cite a few which was amazing.

The Guide Mohammed underlined that the night time walks and walk to the lake did not guarantee seeing anything as it depended on the weather and of course luck. We went with no expectations and on the first night trek saw several sleeping birds and several types of bugs. The lake walk was enjoyable and Mohammed stopped to discuss different types of plants and their uses in the tribes which was really interesting. He also pointed out butterflies, small creatures etc. The final night walk was very different and we saw scorpians, spiders, and several Tarzia monkies which was brilliant.

In summary, we would really recommend this place. I would also recommend that you stay for the longer package- as the Lodge mentions, it is a lot about luck on the day as to what you see and throughout the trip we saw everything but we definately noticed some days just birds were out, and other days were Orangutans. This is great value for money and a great experience.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Amagid wing and were given a great chalet over looking the river. There were only 2...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GemmaK123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Nature Lodge Kinabatangan

Property: Nature Lodge Kinabatangan
Address: Kampung Bilit, Sandakan, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 30 Speciality Lodging in Sandakan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Nature Lodge Kinabatangan 2*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rustic chalets and dormitory rooms set in Kampung Bilit Kinabatangan, be ready to watch abundance of wildlife from the comfort of boat rides. Transfers to and fro Nature Lodge Kinabatangan and meals are included in the tour prices. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nature Lodge Kinabatangan Hotel Sandakan
Nature Lodge Kinabatangan Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia

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