We stayed one night with the charming Afiq Salleh at the Danau Tanjung Bulat Jungle Camp. The campsite is built up right on the Kinabatangan River giving you the most incredible view and wildlife viewing angle. We were able to see a crocodile warming up in the shallows meters away from the balcony while enjoying the most impressive breakfast. The food served here is anything but basic, with so many colorful and creative options for each meal and coffee and tea on tap.
Afiq came to pick us up in a boat from Bukit Garam it is usually just one short boat ride away but due to the river being particularly low and the tributary drying up we had to walk across the mangroves, which is only 500 meters and gave us another opportunity to see some long tail macaques.
Afiq does an incredible job with welcoming the guests, he runs boat trips at 6.30 am, in the afternoon and at 9pm, he also offers night walks into the jungle. He and his guide have the most amazing ability to spot the wildlife we would never stand a chance seeing without them. The lodge is in such a great location along the river, the amount of animals you can see is endless. We were able to see: Oriental pied hornbills, Bushy crested hornbills, Brahminy Kites, 1 Serpent eagle, Flying Fox Bats, Maroon Langurs, Long tail macaques, Pigtail macaques, Proboscis Monkeys, Egrets, a purple Herron, Oriental Darters, a Scarlet Rumped Trogon, Faintails, Stork billed Kingfishers, a Buffy fish owl, a Brown wood owl, a Blue earred kingfisher, Bitterns, Lesser Fish Eagles and White Bellied Sea Eagles.
It was this part of our trip that really sparked my love for kingfishers.
There is the option of twin rooms, which are very comfortable and there is electricity from 6pm – 10pm every night from the generator. Or there is a shelter with tents as another option. The facilities here are so well maintained in comparison to other places we have stayed, remarkably clean and well lit bathroom facilities which really do make the difference in the depths of the jungle! Especially when the river is strickly off limits to wash in due to the crocodiles.
This was set up as a family business and they try and give back to the land as much as possible with setting up reforestation programs along the riverbanks.
This part of the river still feels completely untouched and most likely you will be the only boat on the river which increases your chances of seeing as much as you can and getting unbelievably close, or underneath the various primates. We were lucky enough to spot an Orangutan sweeping through the trees and Afiq stopped the boat, we were able to get out and trek though to get incredible close to her. Really, we couldn’t have asked for more.