Tawau Hills Park

Tawau is the third largest city in Sabah, located on the east coast of the state. It's a popular stopover destination for tourists heading to or returning from Semporna.

From the city centre there's a mountain range in the distance. Within this mountainous region lays Tawau Hills Park, a national park which covers almost 29,000ha of protected primary rainforest. The headquarters of this park is only around one hours drive from the airport along good roads, making it a convenient place to visit. The volcanic mountains in this park are crowned by three tall peaks – Mt. Magdalena, Mt. Lucia, and Mt. Maria. Calming streams and tranquil waterfalls flow down this hilly terrain. Other than the topography, the rainforest and biodiversity of Tawau Hills Park are actually almost identical to the more renowned Danum Valley. Tawau Hills Park and Danum Valley are part of the same rainforest network but unfortunately agricultural activities has severed and cut off Tawau Hills Park’s forest connection to Danum Valley.



Tawau Hills Park is a naturalist’s dream land. It has everything to offer. Are you a bird watcher? Our avian checklist stands at 342 species of birds. We have recorded all 8 species of hornbills. Rare birds from Helmeted Hornbills to Pittas to Bulwer’s pheasants are found here. Perhaps you are into frogs? We LOVE our frogs. We have recorded over 80 species including the Harlequin tree frogs, Wallace’s flying frog, and even a very special “Frogzilla”. Interested in mammals instead? Our checklist from visual surveys and camera trappings have recorded almost 90 species of mammals, including almost all the Bornean wildcat species. Primates like Red leaf monkeys,

Gibbons, and Slow lorises also call this park their home. Maybe you prefer Entomology? Then there is no better place than Tawau Hills for you! This park is home to all the little wonders like the cryptic stick insects and katydids, colourful moths, giant ants…. you name it. The place is also a haven for floras. Various orchids and endemic begonias are found along the trails. Even the tallest tropical tree in the world was recently discovered here!

Coming here one will experience what it feels like to be in a real Bornean rainforest. Venturing throughout this natural world, amongst truly stunning biodiversity, provides an unforgettable experience.

Although the place is full of wildlife, seeing them is of course NOT guaranteed and never is. Never believe someone if they guarantee you something. Why not? Because the rainforest is not a zoo, animals are not confined to a place for your convenience. You need to be quiet, walk slowly, and open your eyes and ears. Oftentimes, it's also all about luck.

Conservation Project

One conservation project which we have kick-started is the #Plant4BorneoElephants project in Tawau. We are helping to reforest native trees along a 13km long wildlife corridor to connect two nature reserves and increase their wildlife mobility. As part of the project we combine Elephant safaris with tree planting on this exciting adventure.

Please come to support our conservation projects and have a wonderful experience with us. What other kinds of conservation projects do we do? Find out more on our website homepage or email us at 1stopborneo@gmail.com