What to do in Tawau? Well, for sure, hiking in the Borneo rainforest: Tawau Hills Park is Sabah’s southernmost forest reserve, situated about 20km north of Tawau town. It’s still an offbeat destination that few travelers to Sabah visit — likewise, you should check our guides to a Borneo orangutan spotting tour at Bukit Piton and the amazing Sungai Kapur river safari in Lahad Datu.
Spent 4 months in Borneo this past winter and did loads of herping, mostly looking for snakes. Found plenty of great locations but going to share a few photos and a species list from one of my favourites; Tawau Hills Park. Tawau has both primary lowland and montane forest, there's affordable accomodation inside the park, a cafe that serves up tasty food and it's an easily accessible park.
Anyhow, during my time there I found the following species:
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.
Marudi is a small town located about an hour and 40 minutes’ drive from Miri. In the early 20th century Marudi was home to Charles Hose, A naturalist who was based there. This man discovered many animals to science such as the endemic hose civet, the hose broadbill and so on.Marudi is still an important trading point for the interior tribes.
Are you planning a visit to Borneo soon and would like to see the rain forest? And are you looking for a more authentic Bornean experience where you can make a positive environmental difference? If so, then you've come to the right place. Our organization accepts wildlife volunteers, and we have projects which vary from two weeks to two months.
In a nutshell we do wildlife conservation projects which include replanting a 13km long wildlife corridor to various wildlife surveys. We are also amidst developing three community tourism projects with local communities and local tour operators in the area. One is in Tawau, another in Syap (on the north side of Kinabulu Park) and yet another in Marudi, Sarawak.
A word of explanation for this title: In August 2018, I was staying in the spacious visitors’ accommodation of a Tawau plantation whilst on a trip organised by IStopBorneoWildlife, a Sabah-based NGO. I was there as part of a conservation project developed between the plantation and the local NGO that has two aims: to promote wild elephant spotting for tourism and to create a wildlife corridor of forest trees to connect two neighbouring wildlife reserves.
I felt I should write this article after obtaining details of a court case involving a Bruneian citizen caught red-handed whilst smuggling a clouded leopard across his country’s border into Sarawak. Although it is now 2 years old, the story is still relevant as it reminds everyone that there are still people in Borneo willing to exploit rare and beautiful animals. Some details of this case have previously been reported in regional newspapers, for example in the The Borneo Post (17 October 2016).
Today’s political borders of Borneo were determined by negotiations between the British and Dutch in the early nineteenth century. By drawing a line eastwards from Singapore, these two colonial powers divided Borneo into two spheres of influence: north of the line, the British could exploit the lands that became today’s Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak, south of the line the Dutch could expand into what we now know as Kalimantan. At the same time, Britain acquired Peninsular Malaya, the Dutch acquire Sumatra and the other islands of what Alfred Russell Wallace called the ‘Malay Archipelago’. These colonial divisions, like elsewhere in the world, have subsequently influenced the borders of emerging nations following independence: today, Borneo is estimated to be 73% Indonesian (Kalimantan)…..
We were five enthusiastic nature-loving ladies setting off on a jungle adventure in mid-October 2017. Some of our group were already experienced jungle adventurers, which gave the novices (like me) a sense of comfort and security, and an assurance that we would indeed survive the 5 days and 4 nights in the jungle...
This describes a two-day visit to the foothills of Mount Kinabalu within Sabah’s most famous National Park in December 2017. We didn’t enter the park by the main entrance but instead visited Sayap Substation, still in the Park but situated on the other side of the mountain. We stayed for one night at Porohon Garden and Lodge Homestay in the village of Sayap
,Kota Belud from which the substation ...