Borneo Pygmy Elephant grazing on wild plants, Sabah, Borneo
Vacations to Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Borneo
The nearest town to Tabin Wildlife Reserve is Lahad Datu. From there, it’s a little over an hour by road to reach the Reserve. As the name suggests, it’s all about the animals here. The Reserve was created in 1984 to preserve Sabah's disappearing wild animals and their habitats, and frankly, it’s done a pretty good job.
The largest mammals of Sabah are found within the reserve, including the Borneo Pygmy Elephant and Tembadau (wild cattle, in case you were wondering). Then there are gibbons, red-leaf monkeys, macaques and the rare clouded leopard (if you’re lucky). Rescued orangutans from Sepilok are released here so you stand a pretty good chance of spotting one of these captivating creatures too. Avid birdwatchers will be happy to know that all eight species of Borneo's hornbills have been sighted here, alongside Tabin’s other 260 bird species.
There’s a choice of jungle trails to hike, depending on your level of fitness and how far you want to journey into the rainforest. Just make sure you choose one that will take you past one of the mud volcanoes. These are one of Tabin's most important features are they serve as mineral salt licks for wildlife and birds, and Tabin’s large mammals including bearded pigs. The viewing platforms dotted around the mud volcanoes will give you a great view of the wildlife feasting below.
Another highlight of Tabin Wildlife Reserve is the Lipad Waterfall. It’s about three kilometers away from the base camp. You’ll hike through forest and mud to reach the cascade of water. It’s particularly pretty during the rainy season when the high volume of water creates a second stream. A cooling swim in the pool makes it worth the effort of the hour and a half trek to get there.
Tabin’s lowland rainforest also supports a huge number of tropical plants, some of which are medicinal and therapeutic. Tabin’s jungle herbs have been used for generations by local people for the treatment of ailments.
See Borneo’s most famous animals including pygmy elephants and bearded pigs
Various jungle trails
Tabin Wildlife Reserve trip ideas
Here are some trip ideas in Tabin Wildlife Reserve. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 020 3510 5777
Places to stay in Tabin Wildlife Reserve
Here are some of our favorite accommodation options in Tabin Wildlife Reserve. All of our hotels and lodges are hand-picked by our Travel Designers. Need help deciding where to stay during your trip? Call our Travel Designers now and they’ll help you pick the best hotels suited to your needs: 020 3510 5777
Map of Tabin Wildlife Reserve
When to go to Tabin Wildlife Reserve
Tabin Wildlife Reserve can see heavy rain throughout the year but it's more likely during December and January. If you don't mind getting wet, visiting the lush jungles when it's quieter is a great experience with wildlife in abundance.
In January, the winds can bring occasional stormy weather across Sabah, with high rainfall expected. If you fancy climbing Mount Kinabalu you should wait until later in the year when the paths will be drier.
February sees less rainfall, with the beaches enjoying the best weather.
The rain eases off throughout March with sunnier, drier days. It's a great time to visit forests and jungles without the crowds.
April is a great time of year to visit with warm, dry days and minimal rainfall.
May is another great month to visit, with ideal weather conditions for relaxing on the beaches or trekking in the jungle.
The great weather continues with hot and dry conditions.
July is typically one of the driest months with blue skies and sunshine, meaning hotels get booked up quickly so it's best to plan your trip well in advance.
Early booking is highly recommended in August as the favourable weather continues.
The dry season continues into September, although increased rainfall is expected towards the end of the month.
Rainfall increases but there are still plenty of dry days to enjoy.
Rainy season hits in November with a strong chance of thunderstorms and grey days. It's a great time to visit the lush jungles when the wildlife is thriving.
December is one of the wettest months with regular rainfall and thunderstorms, making trekking and wildlife spotting difficult.