Sabah Malaysia Vacation
Nature Escapes

Choose A Sabah Malaysia Vacation

"A Land of Biological Riches"


An adventure on a Sabah Malaysia vacation might change your life. Or at least your opinion on endangered species, deforestation and other environmental concerns.

The beauty of the biological world flourishes in magical montane forests, luxuriant river floodplains and all the amazing tropical animals and rainforest plants that bring life to the wild kingdom.

Discover the endless parade of evolutionary wonders, from Rafflesia flowers to pitcher plants, and soak up the spirit of ancient habitats exhibiting some of the richest biodiversity on the planet.

So what can you do on a Sabah Malaysia vacation?

  • Observe pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys and even orangutans on a Kinabatangan River cruise.
  • Watch new turtle hatchlings scramble to the sea in the race for survival.
  • Go underwater to view the incredible chromatic world of coral reefs and tropical fish.
  • Climb the highest peak in Southeast Asia or search for the largest flower in the world.

Start off your Sabah Malaysia vacation from the gateway town of Kota Kinabalu and head out in any direction for great adventure travel destinations.

Sabah is the second largest state in Malaysia dominated by a convulted coastline full of mangrove bays and a rugged interior mountain range.

All of these natural attributes give Sabah a frontier feel not found in Peninsula Malaysia.

It takes a few more days and good planning to explore the wilderness on a Sabah Malaysia vacation, but the extra cost and time will leave you with a lifetime of memories.

Sabah Malaysia Vacation: Species of Interest

Borneo is a bonanza of biodiversity with thousands of plant species thriving in mangrove forests, freshwater swamp forests, dipterocarp forests, heath forests and montane forests. The exuberance of wildlife is also unparalled with hundreds of bird and mammal species, colorful insect life, and cryptic reptiles and amphibians.

Bornean Orangutans

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah

As a fellow primate, seeing an orangutan in the wild is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed. Dwindling populations and habitat pressure threaten to reduce these arboreal mammals closer to extinction. Go see Asia's only Great Ape.

Bornean Pygmy Elephants

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah

A recently discovered new species by DNA comparisons, this forest elephant is smaller in size with probably less than two thousand animals remaining. Watch these gentle giants graze along the riverbanks and maybe catch them swimming to the other side.

Proboscis Monkeys

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah

Found only on Borneo Island, the odd-looking Proboscis monkey spends its days sitting in the tree canopy munching leaves. Catch a glimpse of these long-nosed, pot-bellied forest dwellers usually seen in playful groups.

Sea Turtles

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah
Photo: Lionel Rich

Struggling to survive and return to Malaysian beaches to produce the next generation, sea turtles arrive on sandy shores to nest where they first entered the sea. See how conservation efforts help to collect eggs and give new hatchlings a head start on a dangerous life.

Rafflesia Flowers

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah

Exuding a stinky smell to attract insects for pollination, the gorgeous red-and-white speckled Rafflesia is the world's largest flower. In bloom for only a week, a trek in the jungle is worth every step to view these botanical masterpieces.

Pitcher Plants

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah

One of the best chances to see orangutans up close amidst the scenery of lowland rainforest, the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve is an ecological haven of tropical trees with easy access trails and home to the Rainforest Interpretation Centre.

Sabah Malaysia Vacation: Destination Guide

Mount Kinabalu Park

Mount Kinabalu, Sabah

A UNESCO World Heritage Site with outstanding plant diversity, explore the montane rainforest and climb the highest mountain (4101m/13,455 ft) in Southeast Asia. A botanical bonanza of evolutionary wonders awaits each visitor.

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah

One of the best chances to see orangutans up close amidst the scenery of lowland rainforest, the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve is an ecological haven of tropical trees with easy access trails and home to the Rainforest Interpretation Centre.

Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary

Kinabatangan River, Sabah

A floating safari, take a cruise on Sungai Kinabatangan and observe the wild animals of Sabah grazing along riverbanks, gazing from tree canopies or flapping overhead. One of the best nature experiences in Malaysia.

Sipadan Island

Sipadan, Sabah

A world class dive site, Sipadan explodes with marine life to reveal a pristine underwater world with spectacular fish and coral diversity. As Malaysia's only oceanic island, a vertical cliff descends 600 meters (2,000 feet) that showcases sea turtles, sea fans and black coral.

Maliau Basin Conservation Area

Maliau Basin, Sabah
flickr/orang asli

Hidden by clouds and remoteness, the forested interior basin was only discovered 30 years ago and remains one of the most wild places in Malaysia. Often called the 'Lost World of Sabah', the conservation area is a virgin jungle paradise full of fascinating wildlife and rugged adventure.

Danum Valley Conservation Area

Danum Valley, Sabah

Surrounded by logged forests, the lowland rainforests of Danum Valley remain intact as a conservation zone for tropical research and recognized globally for its contributions to animal and plant studies. A great place for birdwatching, wildlife observation, jungle trekking and nature photography.

Pulau Tiga Islands

Pulau Tiga, Sabah
flickr/trish leo

A small group of islands off the Klias Peninsula, the park supports unspoiled marine habitats that offer diving and snorkelling sites off the main tourism routes. On land, the jungle trails lead to mud volcanos and a chance to view monkeys, monitor lizards, birds and bats.

Turtle Islands Park

Turtle Islands Park
flickr/arron 400d

A cluster of sandy islands provides nesting sites for Green and Hawksbill sea turtles. A visit to the park offers a chance to observe turtle landings and learn about conservation techniques to protect these ancient species. With coral reefs and crystal seas, snorkelling and diving activities get you into the water.

Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Notable for endangered species and mud volcanos, Tabin consists of primary and secondary rainforests that provide habitat for orangutans, rhinos, elephants, jungle cats and primates. For birdwatchers, there are hundreds of species, including hornbills, owls and eagles. Take a night safari for unique sights and sounds of the jungle.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
flickr/flippy whale

With easy access from Kota Kinabalu, TAR is a quick, nature getaway to five small islands for beaches, water sports, diving and snorkelling, birdwatching and picnicking. A nice outing for anyone wanting to get outdoors on a short holiday or business trip to the capital city.

Crocker Range National Park

Crocker Range National Park

The largest protected area in Sabah, forested mountains form the rugged Crocker Range and offer great hiking trails, birdwatching, whitewater rafting and scenic vistas without the hassles of mass tourism. Make plans to get away to this alternative wilderness.

Ulu Padas-Long Pasia


For a peek into mountain village life and the ruggedness of rainforest living, visit the interior jungles where Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan come together and enjoy river trips, birdwatching and the lifestyles of indigenous people. Learn the value and appreciation of rainforest plants and the traditions of these forest people.


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