Last Update on Tuesday, 11 May, 2021 08:34:23 PM


Sunrise over Danum Valley


DANUM VALLEY CONSERVATION AREA BIODIVERSITY  boasts an amazing diversity of animal life including the highly endangered Sumatran rhino, elephant, tembadau (banteng), sun bear, orang utan and clouded leopard. Some 275 species of birds have also been recorded, including all eight species of Bornean hornbill.

The flora is no less diverse with tree species numbering over 200 per hectare. A special feature is the 'Nenga Gajah', a small arecoid palm, found in only three locations in the world.

The ecosystem here is also a subject of international scientific studies. Several Malaysian and foreign field scientists are working together at the Danum Valley Field Centre. Facilities here range from hostels to a suspension bridge over Sungai Segama and a 40m-high canopy observation platform, where Dutch and American companies fund studies on plant enrichment and reducing the impact of logging techniques.

Danum Valley is an area of pristene rainforest in Sabah, Borneo. Pools of mist can be seen settled in the valleys and undulations of the terrain, glowing in the early morning sun.
Danum Valley Conservation Area, one of the last undisturbed forests of Borneo Island and one of the last real opportunities to explore and to learn about the richness of the tropical rainforest.
In 1981 the Sabah state government under its statutory body, Sabah Foundation, set aside the above ‘Danum Valley’ as conservation area because of its outstanding biodiversity value.

The Danum Valley Conservation Area

The Danum Valley Conservation Area in Sabah has the best of both worlds — nature in a pristine state and world-class research facility. Together, they have placed the 438sq km of primary jungle on the international wildlife map, writes MARILYN GERARD.

LOCATED 25km west of Lahad Datu is one of the world’s most complex ecosystems, the Danum Valley Conservation Area.

Scientists from the world over come here to study wildlife in a primary forest, with many spending three years researching its scientific wonders and soaking up its charm.

Central to the area is the Danum Valley Field Centre (DVFC) set up by the Sabah Foundation, which has been home to researchers, nature students and wildlife lovers for the past 20 years.

It is an anomaly: A fully-equipped centre with laboratory, library and computer centre plumb in the centre of what could be the best example worldwide of undisturbed flora and fauna.

Run by the Royal Society South-East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP), it provides a platform for research besides conducting training and education programmes.

Since its inception in 1986, more than 40 Malaysians have earned their PhDs based on research at the valley.

Students from the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Japan, Australia and the US have also used Danum as a research and training base.

Danum Valley Field Centre is a unique place to work at for both local scientists, as well as foreign scientists. Foreign scientists have benefited by working at Danum Valley Field Centre as they had the opportunity to work with experienced Malaysian scientists.
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of scientists coming to work at the centre. Many foreigners have come to the area with the assistance of the Sabah Foundation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and the Sabah Forestry Department.
The forest itself is the most important and best protected area, the only primary forest in Malaysia surrounded by natural forests and is well managed by Sabah Foundation.

Danum is well known in the United Kingdom due to numerous British scientists having worked at Danum Valley Field Centre since 1985.

Universiti Sabah Malaysia is one of several local institutions which sends students here.

While scientists have done great work at the valley, they have always worked in tandem with research assistants who are the backbone of the system.

If you really love nature, Danum is the best place to be in. Its a gift of God."

For visitors to the valley, accommodation is available at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge located an hour from Danum Valley Field Centre.

It can accommodate nearly 60 people at any one time with guides available for trips into the jungle.

Danum Valley Field Centre

Danum Valley Field Centre provides facilities for research, education and wilderness recreation in one of Sabah's last strongholds of undisturbed lowland rainforest, the 438 sq km Danum Valley Conservation Area.

The Field Centre is run by the Sabah Foundation (Yayasan Sabah Group) under the aegis of a Management Committee which includes the Sabah Forestry Department, the Sabah Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and several other agencies with interests in forest research and conservation.




Danum Valley – Playground for wildlife is one of the few locations in Sabah where visitors have high possibility of sighting wildlife. Danum Valley has world renowned leading field research station in the tropics, on par with Barro Colorado Island in Panama and La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica.

1) Field Centre
• Additional rest house (60 beds) by 2020
• Existing accommodation (resthouse, hostel, VIP house & researcher quarters) with total occupancy of 130 pax.
• Other facilities: office, staff houses, researcher quarters, conference room, mini-theatre, scientific laboratory, Environmental Education classroom & lab.
• Jungle trails, observation tower & tree platforms, suspension bridges and canopy walkway.
• Mosti funded 100m Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) Tower with latest scientific lab equipment; one of two unpolluted tropical forest site in the world other than Brazil.
• Existing 31 room Borneo Rainforest Lodge catering for high yield tourism.

2) Ulu Segama-Malua Tourism Facility (80 beds)
• Currently under construction

• What are the expected outcome of this EPPs
• Increase tourist arrival by 631.4% in year 2020
• Provide job opportunities totalling 410 by year 2020
• Increase economic activities for locals communities
• Describe why will this EPP be successful in Sabah
• There is demand for rainforest nature adventure due to depleting of the resource globally
• Iconic value (DV, MB and IC) earmarked for World Heritage Nomination
• Niche market – Research/Education Tourism

• What are the issues and challenges that will hinder the success of the EPP
• Bad access road
• High marketing and publicity costs

• Logistics (road access) to be in place
• Investor participation

• What additional items that needs to be implemented to overcome the key challenges • Upgrade access road – Silam to BRL linking BRL, DVFC & USM Tourism Facility (50 km)
• Widen investor pool (open to foreign investors)  

An elephant was found dead by the roadside near Danum Valley in 2014

An elephant was found dead by the roadside near Danum Valley in 2014

Adult elephant found dead near Danum Valley

The carcass of the elephant was found lying on the roadside by tourists and their tour guides who were heading towards the renowned field research station and conservation area some 74km from east coast Lahad Datu on December 1, 2014 Monday morning.


Pristine beauty: Prince William and Kate at Danum Valley during their visit in 2012.
Pristine beauty: Prince William and Kate at Danum Valley during their visit in 2012.

British royal couple, Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, visited Malaysia in 2012. The royal couple  visited Sabah on September 14 and 15. On September 14, they traveled to Kota Kinabalu, where they attended a reception hosted by the Sabah State Government in their honor.

The Duke and Duchess then travel by government helicopter to Sabah’s largest remaining rainforest at Danum Valley on September 15, where they met Royal Society scientists and volunteers and experience the rainforest.


1. Natural Attraction / Eco-Tourism / Agro Tourism Danum Valley, Sabah
2. Man-Made Attraction Menara Kuala Lumpur
3. Culture & Heritage Mari-Mari Cultural Village, Sabah


1. 3 star & below  Borneo Rainforest Lodge, Danum Valley, Sabah
2. 4 star (resort)  Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La, Penang
3. 4 star (city)  Holiday Inn, Melaka
4. 5 star (resort)  Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang
5. 5 star (city)  Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur

Danum Valley Conservation Area (DVCA) was designated in 1980 and is located in the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve in eastern Sabah, near Lahad Datu Town. Its 438 sq km comprise the largest, least disturbed and therefore most valuable example of lowland dipterocarp rainforest remaining in Sabah. Formerly part of the Yayasan Sabah Concession, in 1995 the area was declared a Class I Protection Forest Reserve, under the authority of the Sabah Forestry Department.

Danum Valley is located 80km from Lahad Datu. The journey takes about two hours with the first 15km being the main Lahad Datu-Tawau road. The rest of the ride is on an unsealed private logging road. 

Permits have to be obtained beforehand. It's better to use the pick-up services provided by the Borneo Rainforest Lodge.

Driving from Tawau to Danum Valley:

It is a total 180 Km on highway and logging road with a 4W vehicle. Do not use an ordinary car.
The first 114 Km is on Tawau-Lahad Datu Highway to the junction.
The final section is 66 Km from the junction on logging road.

for Scientics for Tourist
Danum Valley Field Centre Borneo Rainforest Lodge
In 1986 the Danum Valley Field Centre was set-up for research and education purposes. Besides catering for researchers the Field Centre immediately attracted a great number of tourists.










This separate facility solely for tourists. opened its doors in 1994 to cater for nature loving tourists and to provide better understanding of the rainforest and its environment.

Borneo Rainforest Lodge is situated in the Danum Valley Conservation Area in the south-east of Sabah, the heart of Borneo. It is the place for a keen naturalist, a bird-watcher or those want to enjoy the sounds and sights of the rainforest.














Borneo Nature Tours Sdn. Bhd. was set-up as the sole agent for arranging bookings and ground handling for visitors to Borneo Rainforest Lodge

For further information, please contact: -

( Company Number : 208366-X )

Languages Spoken:
Bahasa Malaysia

Block 3, Lot 20, Ground Floor, MDLD 3285, Fajar Centre,
P.O. Box 61174, 91120 Lahad Datu,
Sabah, Malaysia
Tel : 6-089-880207 / 880206
Fax : 6-089-885051

Block D, Lot 10, Ground Floor,
Sadong Jaya Complex, 88100 Kota Kinabalu
Sabah, Malaysia
Tel : 6-088-267637
Fax : 6-088-251636
E-Mail : /


On a steep bank of Sungai Segama, about 20m from the river, perches an overhanging rock which shelter wooden ancient coffins, in its underside.

It is believed these disturbed coffins, with almost faint but nonetheless intricate carvings on it, belong to the Orang Sungai, a nomadic tribe which used to inhabit along the river and rainforest of Danum Valley, hundreds of years ago.

When the burial site was discovered years ago, the coffins were strewn and displaced out of its limestone shelter, by wild animals. Except for a piece of bone, the rest of the skeletal remains, is missing.

It takes about an hour walk from Danum Valley Field Centre, trekking under the shades of the virgin rainforest, to this burial site. You need a guide to get here and if you have any hangup with leeches, wear a leech socks.

Danum Valley Field Centre (DVFC) is a renowned tropical research facility located on the edge of the 438 sq km Danum Valley Conservation Area. It was set up in 1986 for the purposes of research, education, training and wilderness recreation.

It is also the largest undisturbed lowland dipterocarp forest in Sabah. The nearest town is Lahad Datu, about 81km away or roughly 2 hours drive away with about 90 minutes of it on gravel.


Danum Valley is one of the best places to watch bird in South East Asia.
Danum Valley Conservation Area is the largest remaining area of undisturbed dipterocarp forest in Sabah. It is simply a joy to spend time in this magnificent, ancient rainforest. The size of some of the Mengaris (Koompassia excelsa) is exceptionally impressive.
All jungle trails are good in different ways.

The West Trail is the main trail in the grid system leading directly off the suspension bridge.
Leeches were incredibly plentiful on all trails and Danum now ranks second on the leech list after Cat Tien in Vietnam. Bring your leech socks.

Highlights at Danum Valley Field Centre were many and included a male and female Giant Pitta at the start of the Rhino Ridge Trail, a stunning male Blue-headed Pitta also on the RR trail, White-fronted Falconet perched on a dead tree on the road leading into the centre, 2 Bat Hawks from the tree platform, 5 species of barbet in one fruiting tree, gorgeous Siberian Blue Robins on most trails, 6 species of hornbill including Helmeted, Rhinoceros, Black, White-crowned and Wrinkled and Chestnut-naped Forktail. Suffice to say, Giant Pitta was the Bird of the Trip! Black-and-crimson Pitta proved to be very frustrating - heard many times but not seen. There were also some brilliant mammals such as Bornean Gibbon, Red Leaf-monkey and Prevost's Squirrel but the prize goes to a fabulous view of a Binturong feeding in the morning in a fruiting tree just next to the centre on the morning of our departure. Another highlight was the truly magnificent view from the tree platform - out of this world.


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