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Nature Lodge Kinabatangan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 September 2013 via mobile

Booked tour here through hostel in sandakan. Was expecting Nature Lodge to be a lot more basic than it was!! Ok it's in the jungle in borneo so not a 5 star resort in terms of facilities - but a perfect jungle experience.

Stayed in the dorm but we had it to ourselves. Beds comfortable and no need for air con as nights were not hot.

Shared shower facilities very good and clean. Most were just cold water - but that was fine after a sweaty day in the jungle!

Food was excellent and far better than expected. Nice selection every meal.

Best part about nature lodge was our guide max who was so passionate and do knowledgable about the jungle and all the species within.

We saw so many animals and birds, and even floated in the boat downstream next to a huge swimming crocodile!

We were incredibly fortunate to see a Clouded Leopard - ultra rare and elusive, even all the guides were super excited and couldn't believe it!

Great experience.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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Thank EliotAndSyeph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 September 2013

After checking endless reviews and prices of numerous companies we decided to do the 3 day/2 night package here. Our decision was based on the fact that this was the least expensive place with the most activities included. We were offered a private dorm room, so didn't have to put out the extra money for privacy. The shared toilets and showers were not a problem. The room was fine, light enough, and the fan was sufficient. The bed was even reasonably comfortable. Meals were pretty good. Overall the meat selections were the least appetizing aspect of every meal, but the veggies were great and there was fruit. The best part, of course, was the boat rides. We saw a whole herd of pygmy elephants, although we had to pay more to get a permit to go to that part of the river. We also saw orangutans, proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, hornbills and various other birds. On our night walk we saw a western tarsier and a civet. Everything was extremely well organized and our guide, Helson, was knowledgable and informative.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank chixcurry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2013

My wife and I stayed here for their 3 day 2 night tour on the Kinabatangan Rver. Transport picked us up on time at our previous accommodation. Everything was very organized and communicated to guests. We checked into our chalet on the Civet Wing. We loved the location of our chalet as it faced the river but it had no A/C, just a fan, which was sufficient for the night. Basic but comfortable private chalet with twin beds and a fan, private bathroom, and hot water. The most spacious and A/C rooms are the Agamid Wing chalets but the Civet Wing are closer to the river where the Agamid chalets are more secluded and tucked away in the jungle. Just remember, you are in the jungle so don't expect luxury!
The river tours were great and the night jungle walks were awesome. The guides were very knowledgable and friendly. Happy to have our guide Max who spotted lots of wildlife. We saw every animal that we came to see including proboscis monkeys, silver langurs, Malayan civet, western tarsier, hornbills, kingfishers, and even the Pygmy elephants and a wild orangutan! We were told it is rare to see all these animals in one trip, so we felt very lucky!
Always fed tasty meals and there was enough time to relax in between excursions. It was the perfect balance of wildlife viewing and relaxation. Very happy we chose this place and would recommend anyone planning to visit the Kinabatangan River to visit.

Room Tip: They label the private rooms by wildlife names. Storm Stork in the Civet Wing had a nice river view...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ryan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2013

A bit disappoiting really. We stayed 3d/2n in an Agamid chalet.
Location itself is good, right on the river - activities are well organized and guides are friendly and knowledgable.
Rooms are just ok, no air con only fan, shower was very dirty. No free drinking water (not even in the bedroom for washing teeth etc). Limited food selection and if you don't run to the restuarant as soon as they start serving food may finish before you get there. Food quality is ok but nothing more than that.
As it's not exactly a cheap package I expected something more, a bit more attention to detail and so on. For example, you have to pay 10MYR if you want to hire a torch but they only have a few available so again you might find yourself in the dark on night walks (I did...), 20 MYR for a pair of boots but size choice is limited and they don't even clean them after that they have been worn and returned - at least they could take the mud off so that the size is readable!
The transfer price (40 MYR per person each way) is a really excessive and our pick up was one hour and a half late, I would suggest getting to the meeting point at the cafè by public transport.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Charlie7_71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2013

We stayed 3d/2n and thought that it was very well organised. The bus transfer was very good in a nice bus and the accomodation was basic but good enough. We saw monkeys, crocodiles, lizards, elephants and an orang-utan, also scorpion, snakes and lots of birds, although our guide said we were extremely lucky to see all of these!!!! The food was very good and our guide Max was extremely helpful and gave a lot of good information about the wildlife. Would definately recommend this company, but for those that are more flexible you might be able to get a discount booking via a hostel on short notice, rather than booking online.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Jackwill100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2013

We had a dorm room since that was the only available, the dorm is rustic but is enough cos we were all day out.
This place has a family atmosphere, we got to know many people there, the fact that they put the names of 6 people per table in the restaurant was a great way to know others.
the food is not good in general but the quantity is there for hungry men ;)
the trek to oxbow lake was not interesting since there was nothing to see but to walk in the mud and take leeches away.
the cruises were very nice, we saw a lot of animals, Helson was a very good guide and tried his best to find animals, we saw Proboscis monkeys ( a lot of them) long tailed macaques, silver leaf macaques, a croc, a monitor lizard, many hornbills, a kingfisher, an eagle...and a 5 meters python in the dorm :) :) .
over all the exeperience was good.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank gasdao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2013 via mobile

I had a fantastic experience at NLK. My review is based on a 5D/4N stay (the 3D/2N package plus 2D). I'll break it down to some categories:

Booking: Dalton was very helpful. Book online for a good price and to have all of the arrangements taken care of.

Accommodation: dorms were basic but well-cleaned. They don't try to jam everyone into one room either... if there's room, you won't have to share. 8 dorm rooms have 4 beds each.

Staff: everyone at the lodge was very friendly. It was clear everyone worked well together and had guest satisfaction at heart.

Food: really very good food cooked 3 times a day. There was plenty of variety too... I never repeated meals in my 5-day stay.

Guides: Aljun, my guide, was awesome. Also, after talking with other guests, it was clear to me that everyone was very satisfied with their guides as well. Guides have been known to go the extra mile (figuratively and literally) to try to spot wildlife for guests.

Nature Experience: this area was fantastic for wildlife viewing... I saw everything I could have dreamed of seeing and more (crocodile, 5 kinds of primates, countless birds, and elephants - which I admit was very lucky). At first, I felt torn about some of the wildlife experiences in this region... balancing the well-being of wildlife with multiple tour operators buzzing about with boats. After observing the expansion of oil palm plantations to the edge of the river in many spots, I believe running tours is a beneficial way to help protect some of the land. NLK never did anything that I felt threatened wildlife or the environment and I feel they run a sustainable business (with the possible exception of running boat engines up and down the river twice a day... but this may just be the nature of the beast).

Overall: I give NLK a solid A. Amazing nature, great food, and good company. I stayed 5 days which is significantly longer than most... but I can safely say I would not have seen the same diversity of wildlife without a stay of this length. Nature viewing is not reliable and I thought 5D was a perfect length (while the repeated day walks got repetitive, the morning/evening boat trips and night walks never got old).

  • Stayed: August 2013
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1  Thank thGrassyKnoll
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

Address: Kampung Bilit, Sandakan, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Sandakan Division > Sandakan
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 29 Speciality Lodging in Sandakan
Price Range: £58 - £218 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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