Discover Sabah's Pristine Rainforest
The Danum Valley Virgin Forest Reserve
is located on the edge of the 438 sq km Danum Valley Conservation
Area, the largest remaining area of undisturbed lowland dipterocarp
forest in Sabah. The nearest major town is Lahad Datu on Sabah’s
South East coast, approximately 2 hours drive (81km) away.
Research efforts in Danum have revealed a tremendous variety of
plants and a full range of Sabah’s lowland fauna, including such
rare and endangered species as the Sumatran rhino, banteng (tembadau),
Pigmy elephant, clouded leopard, orang utan and proboscis monkey.
More than 120 mammals including 10 species of primates, 40 species
of fishes, over 300 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and a
profusion of butterflies are found here.
Dipterocarp trees dominate the forest, with the canopy reaching a
height of over 70 metres in places. 90% of the Conservation Area is
classified as lowland dipterocarp forest with the remaining 10%
being low canopy, sub-montane forest mainly on Mt. Danum in the
heart of the Conservation Area.
A research centre, the Danum Valley Field Centre (DVRC), was set up
in 1986 for the purposes of research, education, training and
DVFC has become internationally renowned
as a tropical research facility. A long-term multidisciplinary
programme was initiated in 1984 as a collaborative venture between
the Danum Valley Management Committee and the UK’s international
Academy of Science, the Royal Society. The main aims of the
To gain scientific understanding of the
ecological process and evolutionary mechanisms that maintain
To provide training opportunities for Malaysians in ecology,
forestry and related sciences
To assess the impact of logging and provide information which may
contribute to improve forest management
DVFC provides research laboratories, as well as a computer room,
mini library, solar drying room and other facilities and can
accommodate up to 20 resident scientists at any one time.
As one of the main objectives of DVFC, emphasis is placed on
training and capacity building, both in-house and in providing a
venue for external groups. The Centre is capable of hosting courses
and seminars for up to 100 participants, and includes amongst its
facilities an air-conditioned, well-equipped conference room and a
Groups using the Centre have included local government and
non-government agencies and various overseas organisations. DVFC is
also an ideal location for tertiary education, catering for
industrial placements and tropical field trips by local and foreign
undergraduate and post-graduate students. Although particularly
suited to the needs of biologist and foresters, group of all kinds
will appreciate the peaceful, natural surroundings.
Environmental Education (EE)
As part of the formal and informal EE carried out at DVFC, visitors
can participate in challenging and stimulating outdoor and indoor
activities, meet local and overseas scientists carrying out research
at the Centre and learn first hand about important forest management
The Danum Valley Conservation Area is an ideal location for nature
and adventure tourism, with jungle trekking, wildlife photography
and bird watching particularly popular, and its many interesting
places as well as the richness of its fauna and flora.
The Tembaling Waterfalls are the nearest waterfalls from DVFC and
take about 1 to 2 hours to reach along a trail where one can witness
Danum's abundant flora and fauna.
One of the more spectacular waterfalls and pools found in Danum
Valley is the Sungai Purut Waterfall situated on the way to Gunung
Danum. This waterfall is about 20 m in height with 7-tiered pools.
It takes about 4 hours of jungle trekking from the Field Centre to
reach the pool. Visitors can either choose to camp overnight or do a
Burial caves have a special place in the myths and legends of the
Orang Sungai in Borneo as they believe in the combining of powerful
hills and water spirits. In Danum Valley, three burial sites have
been discovered, two near the Field Centre and one below the cliff
overlooking Borneo Rainforest Lodge.
Gunung Danum or Mt. Danum, at 1093m, is the highest peak in the
Danum Valley Conservation Area. Trekkers preferring a leisurely hike
should take the 3 days 2 nights’ trip. However, hard core trekkers
take only about 4 hours to reach Gunung Danum. An international
event, the Eco-Challenge 2000, that took place in Danum Valley
Conservation Area, proved this feat was possible.
The Borneo Rainforest Lodge is an exclusive eco-tourism facility
located in the Danum Valley, situated a 40-minute drive away from
the Danum Valley Field Centre. BRL offers visitors an opportunity to
experience and enjoy some of Borneo’s last remaining tropical
lowland rainforest in all its natural splendour, in grand style.
Other interesting places are the nearby Rafflesia Hill where
Rafflesias are found; the Rhino Pool where an elusive Sumtran
rhinoceros was once sighted; Gunung Nicola another peaks within the
vicinity and over 50km of marked trails in the conservation area.
Visitors must hire a guide from the Centre whenever they go for
jungle trekking to avoid getting lost in the forest.
How to Get to Danum Valley & Accommodation
Fly from KK to Lahad Datu; from there it is by van or tour bus over
well maintained logging roads. Since access is restricted and
permits are necessary the trip has to be organised through a tour
agency. Special permits / written approval might be needed for the
stay at the
Danum Valley Field Centre.
photos to be added soon