Once you’ve launched an assault on Southeast Asia’s highest peak and you’ve gotten a glimpse of the ginger-haired orang-utans, then you should definitely plan a trip to the Kinabatangan River’s banks. It’s the best way to see the elaborate and exotic ecology this side of Borneo’s shores; spending a few nights along the gushing river is easy since there are plenty of home stays vying for your ringgit.
The Bilit Safari Trails Sandakan three-day two-night tour allows you to immerse yourself in Borneo’s lush ecology. Start out with a visit to the Gomantong Caves – Sabah’s most prominent source for swiftlet birds’ nests which are used to make the eponymous birds’ nest soup. Comprised of two major caves, Semut Hitam – where the ‘twig-and-spittle’ black nests can be found – and Semut Putih – where the more expensive ‘saliva-only’ white nests are.
Next head on over to Bilit where you can check into your lodge – enjoy the scenic views along the way; later in the evening take a boat cruise along the river for a glimpse of wildlife. The next day enjoy a trek through the forest as you head over to the Ox Bow Lake for a spot of bird watching; afterwards take another river cruise to see more wildlife along the Kinabatangan River. You’ll be free to explore the flora and fauna at your leisure for the rest of the day and after an overnight stay back at the lodge, the next morning you’ll be transported back to Sandakan.