Danum Valley Conservation Area is a 438 square kilometres tract of relatively undisturbed lowland dipterocarp forest in Sabah, Malaysia. The area holds unique status in the sense that before it became a conservation area there were no human settlements within the area, meaning that hunting, logging and other human interference was non existent making the area almost unique. It is managed by Yayasan Sabah for conservation, research, education and physical training purposes. The nearest town, Lahad Datu is about 82 km away (about a 2 hours drive on mainly logging roads). Danum Valley Field Centre is a research establishment for scientists and education purposes, and there is one lodge, the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, for tourists to stay. From here visitors can do guided walks through lowland rainforest trails, and many people go there mainly for bird watching. Other activities include night walks and drives. The lowland rainforest is home to many birds and mammals. Orang utans, gibbons, and other primates, including the tarsier, as well as deer, wild cats and the rare Bornean Pygmy Elephant may be seen. Other notable species that inhabit the are the Sun Bear and Sumatran Rhino. (From Wikipedia)
You can check out the map on this page to get an idea of where Danum Valley is:
Danum Valley is managed by Yayasan Sabah (Sabah Foundation). You can find more information and contact numbers here. If you like Danum Valley, you will like Maliau Basin too.
We flew AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau. You can also fly from Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu directly.
From Tawau, you can either charter a whole taxi (about RM150 one way) to travel to Lahad Datu. The journey will take about 2 hours. It's best to travel in a group of 4 or its multiples to save on transportation cost.
From Lahad Datu, you'll need to charter a 4WD (RM350 one day) to get to the DVFC (Danum Valley Field Center). The journey will take about another 2 hours. Unfortunately, I was told that the center is not open to the general public. You can call up DVFC or the Lahad Datu office to find out more.
The cost of staying at Danum Valley Field Centre (DVFC):
Entry Permit: 15/pax 30/pax
Rest House (Twin Sharing) 70/night ?
Dorm bed 20/night 66/night
Full board 31/day 60/day
The only other place to stay in Danum Valley is the Borneo Rainforest Lodge. A 3D/2N package starts at close to RM2000 and above.
Now something more interesting from the trip to Danum Valley.
A boy fishing at the Lahad Datu jetty
Photo courtesy of Derrick (atderrick on Flickr)
A female sambar deer, not very shy. I was able to shoot this with a 150mm.
An Orang Utan
We saw red leaf monkeys too but they were too far away.
Overall, I find Danum Valley slightly better than Endau Rompin as I got to see more wildlife there. You can find out about my Endau Rompin trip here.
I'll share some bugs photos in my next post! Hint: a lantern bug not in my collection yet, and a gorgeous Theopropus elegans unlike all others I have seen before!
Edit: Danum Valley II is posted! Check it out here :)