Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Visit Borneo: HUTAN recommends Sukau Homestay

Oxbow lake, Kinabatangan, Borneo

Key activities, species and places of interest

  • Boat trips and wildlife watching to see a range of species: Proboscis Monkeys, Bornean Pygmy Elephants, birdlife including hornbills and Barred Eagle Owls.
  • Opportunities to experience local activities and village life: fishing, traditional games, dance and music, sports, vegetable farming and traditional handicrafts.
  • Forest restoration: planting saplings of native fruit trees, which provide food for orang-utans.

Hutan, WLT’s conservation partner in Malaysian Borneo, recommends the Homestay programme in Sukau for visitors wishing to experience the region and its wildlife. The Homestay programme provides accommodation and board, airport transfers, river boat cruises to see wildlife, forest treks and other activities in the village. Hutan does not take Homestay visitors to its orang-utan research site nor to visit any other programme activities, but the forest treks and boat trips offer visitors good opportunities to see orang-utans in the Sukau area.

Anyone wanting to visit Kinabatangan, should contact the Sukau Homestay programme (also called “Balai Kito”) via the Homestay Coordinator, Mr Ahbam Abulani, email (The Sukau Homestay website is now under construction.)

Seasonal information

The months of January and February are not ideal as there can be heavy rains, but inclement weather can happen any time of year in the rainforest. Lowest rainfall occurs in March and April. Temperatures average between 32-22ºC.


Visitors to Kinabatangan contribute to the local economy of the community directly, particularly if they stay at Homestays. Tourism capital is channelled directly into the community through the utilisation of village services such as the Sukau Homestay Programme, boat rentals, and the use of local guides.


The Sukau Homestay has five individual homes which are preselected to be as comfortable as possible for guests including western style toilets. 


As well as homestays, other accommodation is available including B&Bs (more like backpacker hostels) and tourist lodges (with hot water etc). Prices vary accordingly from GBP£10 a night to GBP£100 a night at the top end lodges.

There are about five B&Bs now in Sukau, and these average about £20 GBP per person per night with full board, some have air-conditioning but at an extra nominal cost.


Sukau is accessible by road or boat from the town of Sandakan (approximately two hours north). There is an airport in Sandakan that is accessed from Kota Kinabalu, the state capital (a 30 minute internal flight) or from Kuala Lumpur. 

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If you have already visited a WLT funded reserve, we would love to hear about your experiences »

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