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Sandakan is best known as being home to the Sepilok Nature Rehabilitation Centre, where they care for rescued or orphaned Orang-utans as well as Sun Bears, Gibbons, Sumatran Rhinos and Elephants in need of treatment. This is a good place to see these creatures before embarking on a trip into the rainforest in hope of spotting them in the wild.

From this provincial city take a safari up the Kinabatangan River. This is Malaysia’s second longest river where, despite the palm logging in the area, this spectacular wilderness is home to wealth of wildlife including Proboscis Monkeys, Macaques, Pygmy Elephants, lizards, Crocodiles, and birdlife including Kingfishers and Hornbills.

From Sandakan you can also make the journey to Lankayan Island; a paradise, palm fringed island in the Sulu Sea. Home to Sea Turtles often spotted in its waters, vibrant underwater creatures and coral formations can be spotted a few fin kicks from the beach.

When to go

The best months to visit are between March and October to avoid the rainy season.


What to do

  • Although Sepilok Nature Rehabilitation Centre can get busy, it is great to see the work done here and the OrangUtans close up.
  • Lankayan Island is the perfect finale to any Borneo itinerary.

Talk to one of our experts today and start creating your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Sandakan.

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