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"Day and night, Tabin sounds with a million sounds from its local residents. It echoes with a chaotic opera, accompanied by the haunting call of gibbons, the buzz of invisible insects, the chorus of singing birds, and more. In the early mornings, late afternoons and especially after a particularly heavy rain shower, a musical performance is performed by the colorful winged inhabitants of the reserve."

Tabin Wildlife Reserve is located in the jungle about 50 km northeast of the town of Lahad Datu, in the center of the Dent Peninsula. MASWings operates daily flights from Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu.
The reserve is accessible via a partly paved and unpaved road. There is one resort in the reserve. It's best to take an organized trip to Tabin Wildlife Reserve. The resort organizes scheduled transfers from Lahad Datu to Tabin at 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM. The transfer from Tabin to Lahad Datu departs from the resort at 1:30 PM and arrives at Lahad Datu city center at 3:00 PM. Unscheduled transfers incur additional costs. The drive from Lahad Datu to the resort takes approximately 75 minutes. If you come from Sandakan or Tawau it is 4 hours, from Sukau it is a 2 hour drive. From Semporna it is 3.15 am.

Tabin is a protected area mainly due to the existence of three of the largest mammals found in Sabah: the Borneo Pygmy elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros, and Banteng (a type of wild cattle). The elephant population has been estimated at 120-300 animals. Nine primate species live in Tabin, namely the orangutan, Bornean gibbon, red, silvery and gray langurs (monkeys), western tarsier (tarsier - one of the smallest monkeys), slow loris, long-tailed macaque and pig-tailed macaque.
The largest predator found in Tabin is the Sunda clouded leopard. While sightings of this fantastic cat are rare, it is quite common to see leopard cats and civets.

Tabin Wildlife Reserve is home to an amazing variety of birdlife. To date, more than 300 bird species have been recorded in Tabin, including eight hornbill species and some rare species. With its rich biodiversity, it is not surprising that Tabin Wildlife Reserve has earned a reputation as an excellent place for wildlife activities, particularly wildlife watching. The range of activities includes jungle trekking, 4WD night safaris, night walks, wildlife watching and bird watching.

There are 9 trekking routes and a number of backup trails used for 4-wheel drive night safaris. The longest trail is the Gibbon Trail (1.7 miles) that leads from the resort to Lipad waterfall leads. A “trail” is a marked path. However, you are only allowed on the trails with a guide. The other routes are: 

  • Gibbon Trail (2,8 km)

  • Raleigh Trail (2,5 km)

  • Elephant Trail (2,2 km)

  • Rhino Trail (1,8 km)

  • Otters Loop (1,2 km

  • Samber Deer Trail (1,2 km

  • Mud Volcano Trail (0,7 km

  • Otters Trail (0,6 km

  • Mouse Deer Trail (0,5km

  • However, you are only on the trails with a guide.


Unique to this protected area is the existence of seven active mud volcanoes. The seven mud volcanoes in Tabin (some the size of a football field) are important watering holes for the area's wildlife due to its high mineral content. Wild animals often visit the mud volcanoes in the early mornings, leaving their stop in the form of paw prints on the soft gray mud.
There is a watchtower at the Lipad mud volcano and most tours visit the area to search for animals in the wild or to look for animal footprints in the mud.
Natural mud volcanoes are a major natural attraction for animals looking for salt, and these have become a bonus for visitors who come to see wildlife.


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Tabin Wildlife Resort

Situated in Lahad Datu, Tabin Wildlife Resort is the ideal point of departure for your excursions in Lahad Datu. From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the vibrant city has to offer. For those of you who want to venture out, Tabin Wildlife Sanctuary is just some of the attractions available to visitors.
At Tabin Wildlife Resort, the excellent service and superior facilities ensure an unforgettable stay. This hotel has many facilities that will convince even the most demanding guests.
Step into one of the 20 inviting guestrooms and escape the daily stress with a wide range of amenities including non-smoking rooms, air conditioning, desk, balcony / terrace, fan. The complete list of recreational activities is available at the hotel, including garden. Whatever your reason for visiting Tabin Wildlife Resort, the Tabin Wildlife Resort is the perfect venue for an exhilarating and exciting break away.

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