This 3-day birding trip focuses on the lowland Dipterocarp Forests of Tabin Wildlife Reserve, home to an amazingly rich diversity of birds, including rare and endemic species, due to the abundance of food plants. The relatively low canopy allows sufficient natural light to make bird viewing and photography a rewarding experience.
Drive from Lahad Datu town to Tabin Wildlife Reserve on gravel road for about one and a half hour. Check into the lodge at Tabin Wildlife Resort, nestled within the rainforest. The lodge comes complete with private veranda, air conditioner, ceiling fan and hot water shower in the forest. Explore the vicinity of the resort and be pleasantly surprised by the abundance of bird life. The open-sided Sunbird Café & Hunter’s place is surrounded by greenery and flowering plants which attract a number of brightly coloured birds. Be entertained by the melodious calls of birds nearby. A bird hide facing the flowing Lipad River is available.
In the afternoon, trek along the Tomanggong Road where you will most likely be able to spot one or more of Borneo’s eight species of hornbill such as the Black, White-crowned, Rhinoceros, Wreathed, Oriental Pied, Bushy Crested, Helmeted and Wrinkled Hornbill either flying in groups across the sky or in pairs perching on bare branches.
After dinner, enjoy a CD/Slide presentation on Tabin’s natural wonders, followed by a night safari to look out for nocturnal wildlife and birds. Remember to look up at the clear, dark sky of Tabin, identify the constellation above you and make a wish or two. (
After an early breakfast, depart for the active Lipad mud volcano. The soccer field-sized Lipad Mud Volcano serves as a mineral salt lick for wildlife. After trekking through the rainforest for 20 minutes, arrive at the elevated bare area of the mud volcano which is frequented by wildlife and birds. A nearby fig-tree is a busy feasting place for hornbills and other birds and primates during the fruiting season. Across from the observation tower, bare branches of towering trees are favourite perching place for Green Imperial Pigeons and Doves. Try to identify the multitude of animal footprints here. The adventurous can try the effects of the volcanic mud, said to be responsible for a fine complexion.
In the afternoon, try out the Tabin Rainforest Foot Soak made with a natural blend of herbs, to relax tired muscles after long jungle treks.
In the evening, join the dusk drive to look out for more nocturnal bird coming out to look for food during this time of the day.
After dinner, go for a night walk to discover more nocturnal bird species in the nearby trails in search of sleeping birds. (B/L/D)
After an early breakfast, you will depart for birding along the road leading to the Core Area of Tabin Wildlife Reserve. The fully regenerated secondary forest with its relatively lower canopy and good natural light provides a delightful birding experience. The incredible rich forests also offer good mammal watching opportunities. Lunch and then depart from Tabin Wildlife Resort. (B/L)