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Tungog Rainforest Eco Camp

PPM 538 Elopura Kinabatangan, Sandakan 90200 Malaysia
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Leila G wrote a review Mar 2020
10 contributions3 helpful votes
Before I share my gushing review I wanted to say this as we had such a phenomenal experience here; There are a few completely incorrect and frankly stupid reviews on here which I read before coming that make false claims about this incredible co-operatively run conservation charity. It's hard to believe that anyone of that mindset would come to such a remote location and have their eyes shut to what was around them. I'm pleased to say that all of the guests on the site when we were staying were deeply respectful and appreciated this incredible place for what it is. I'm pleased I ignored the irrelevant reviews on here , and I would urge you to as well. Here's our experience. We found the whole experience from the arrival very relaxing and dreamy; being introduced and welcomed by our guide immediately and going into the office to organise details of our stay, and having a delicious lunch at the basecamp. We were then taken by boat to the Tungog camp which was far better than anything we could have conceived of. The camp is incredibly well designed and a beautiful place to stay. It was also incredibly clean, and felt very rooted and in keeping with the natural environment around it. The large eating facility is really pleasant and it was a really nice way of bringing everyone staying on the camp together as we all shared our meals together. We found the individual cabins incredibly comfortable. They’re really well spaced out and designed in a traditional Malay structure. The noise of the rainforest is mind blowing all day, but particularly when you're lying in bed at night! You do have a real sense of being completely immersed in the rainforest. We found the staff onsite absolutely brilliant. They were incredibly knowledgeable, kind, deeply respectful and connected to their local landscape. We really liked how calm and measured the staff were about dangers and creatures, such as leeches. You were made to feel assured and safe, aware of the dangers, but not panicked. There was also a great degree of flexibility in the programme of the day. We never felt rushed, but equally there was always so much we could do. We specifically chose this organisation as it is a co-operative structure, and because they are almost exclusively run by local people. This really is unusual, and we felt utterly honoured to be shown around by people who have grown up in the area. So many of the touring operators are run by white westerners, and the locals are not involved and don't benefit. It's a very smart, wise, and sustainable model that is far reaching in the number of locals they involve. By involving local communities, they're creating an alternative income stream for them which doesn't rely on the palm oil industry. We were completely amazed at the quality, freshness, and amount of food that we were provided with. It was absolutely delicious, nutritious, and provided us with another way to connect to the local culture. You will not go hungry here! The range of activities available to you is really incredible. It was brilliant to be able to just walk from the camp around the site and see so much wildlife without going far at all. We also did night walks which are otherworldly, and a way of seeing wildlife you wouldn't necessarily see during the day, so we'd really recommend it. The boat trips were another way to see different wildlife and experience the landscape in a different way, such as crocodiles, kingfishers, and..orangutans! We were astounded at the amount of wildlife we saw in the days that we were there. We also really enjoyed tree planting. We felt like this was a really excellent way to make guests feel connected to the land, to feel like they had a stake in its future, and to be directly seeing and participating in your important tree planting work. They have a member of the team who plants trees full time along the river to provide a critical green belt for wildlife alongside the palm oil plantations. He collects seeds from the trees in the rainforest, and grows the seedlings in a nursery in the village which we visited. We found the way in which the organisation engages the whole villages surrounding the camp incredibly impressive. It made us feel very connected to the village and their lives, rather than just a passing tourist. We absolutely loved seeing traditional forms of dance and martial arts by local village folk, and visiting ancient burial sites. Useful information we weren't given before arriving but would have loved to know - Fresh drinking water is available at the camp at all times - You have wellies and walking boots available for hire as soon as you arrive - Mosquito nets are available in all lodges - There is soap available in your washing facility that contains limonella, a natural mosquito deterrent - Tea and coffee is available at the camp at all times I have sent all of this information over to Mescot, so they may subsequently include it in information they give to prospective guests. Final bit of advice, do NOT book through Sticky Rice Travel! We were quoted a price that was 10x more expensive than going directly through Mescot ourselves. We arranged our whole trip via email with them and it was really straightforward. By going through them as well, all of the funds are going directly to them and local people rather than a third party which isn't run by locals.
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Date of stay: September 2019
1 Helpful vote
Jo-seph wrote a review Jan 2020
4 contributions5 helpful votes
We stayed two nights and three days in a hut in the middle of the jungle. Day time jungle treks, sunrise and sunset river cruises and night walks… all spotting the amazing animals of Borneo. It was only the leeches and mosquitos that caused any issues, but luckily we had a huge supply of DEET, which is a MUST!! and hired leech socks from Tungog. Worth it for the experience. Each experience felt so special and intimate and highlighted how in the jungle, you truly don’t know what you are going to get. During our first night walk, we saw: A slow loris A flying lemur A scorpion A tree frog A Kingfisher A sleeping Partridge A sleeping red pitta! but the next night walk we didn’t see anything but an owl! Our guide, Azman was fantastic, he spotted amazing wildlife that there is no way we would have spotted on our own. We also joined up with another couple of travellers and spent time with them and their guide, Ali, aswell, who also had a great eye. Both guides were very knowledgeable and passionate and it was a real pleasure to share the experience with others. We had the magical experience one morning of hearing a Gibbon’s call, so close and so loud that we pulled up the boat and entered the jungle. Unfortunately although the guides saw it, by the time we had got off the boat and made our way over it had gone. But luckily enough later that day we saw two gibbons!! high up in the trees, it was amazing. So we also saw: An agile Gibbon Orangutans Probuscus monkeys (my favorite) Long tail macacques Short tail macacques grey leaf monkey red leaf monkey Giant squirrel miniature malaysian ground squirrel Malaysian Civet Two salt water crocodiles Some of the long tails were playing very near camp and we watched them whilst we dozed in the hammocks. We also saw the traces of a sun bear having clawed at a tree near camp! it was epic! We also saw 5 types of hornbill, 2 types of eagle, 2 types of kingfisher and 3 types of owls, bee eaters, pittas and a kite and many other amazing critters and creatures. We feel utterly privileged to have experienced such immersion in nature, and endangered nature at that. The accommodation was great, the hut sufficiently keeps out the bugs. The food was also amazing, veggie and meat options. We got to plant trees to soothe our carbon guilt and everyone we met there was great company. Such an amazing project, doing amazing things.
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Date of stay: January 2020
Sleep Quality
Dietmar T wrote a review Jan 2020
Graz, Austria27 contributions7 helpful votes
Wir waren 3 Nächte im Dschungel und es war unglaublich. Kein Strom, dafür eine wahnsinnige Geräuschkulisse abends sorgten für unglaubliche Erinnerungen. Mit Mückenspray hat man die Mücken und Moskitos auch unter Kontrolle. Die Bootstouren und Spaziergänge im Regenwald waren super, leider haben wir keine Orang-Utans gesehen. Die Verpflegung war auch super und abwechslungsreich. Eine tolle Erfahrung & absolut empfehlenswert! :-)
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Date of stay: November 2019Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Matt H wrote a review Dec 2019
Brisbane, Australia12 contributions1 helpful vote
This was a wonderful trip in a beautiful forest accommodation. River cruises were spectacular and you are in a part of the river that no other company goes, so it feels extra special. The guides are all very knowledgeable and friendly. It’s what I’d call “glamping” - nicer accommodation than a tent, but you are still in the wild. Cold Showers pouring water over your head with a bucket and no electricity. But quite surprisingly they have very modern sit toilets, better than what you’d find in many hotels in the city. Food was pretty good considering you’re in a forest. The local river fish and jungle fern are especially good. I stayed 4 nights but think 2 nights is optimal. Definitely do the night walk. Rent the gum boots. Bring a head torch. For those up for more adventurous hiking up steep hills ask about adding an extra day at Supu reserve where there is a spectacular cave and mini mountain summit. Skip the gomantong caves and go here instead. You’ll see lots of bats and swiftlets. Species I saw on the trip include BIRDS: Rail-babbler White crowned shama Wallace eagle Gray headed fish eagle Brahaminy eagle Pied hornbill Black hornbill Bushy crested hornbill Hill Mina Ruddy kingfisher Rufous-collared kingfisher Maroon woodpecker Blue throated bee eater Dollar bird Stork billed kingfisher Lesser fish eagle Blue eared kingfisher Buffy fish owl Greater racket-tailed drongo Crested serpent eagle (catching snake!) White bellies sea eagle Black and red broadbill Purple heron Barn Swallow House swallow Great Egret Intermediate egret Cattle egret Little egret Chinese egret Olive backed sunbird Storm stork (7 circling above water) Moustache babbler Black and crimson pitta MAMMALS: Black squirrel Proboscis monkey Silver leaf monkey Long tail macacque Mouse deer Malay civet Palm fruit civet Common porcupine Big macaque Orangutan
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Date of stay: December 2019Trip type: Travelled solo
wilcirrus wrote a review Oct 2019
Melbourne, Australia14 contributions6 helpful votes
A very well-run jungle camp which provides visitors the opportunity to experience the Kinabatangan forest while contributing to community conservation projects. From the platform outside each elevated cabin, you can spot many birds and animals as they go about their daily lives. I stayed in the last cabin, next to which the jungle trails start, and there were orangutan nests within a stone's throw of it. The orangutans move through the area from time to time, but I was lucky enough to spot a couple of them on my last day. The cabins have insect mesh which stop the mosquitoes coming in, but are open to the many wonderful sounds of the jungle around you. You'll wake up to the melodious song of the sharma and calls of hornbills. It seems much easier to spot small animals and birds than at Danum Valley, probably due to the open nature of the forest - I saw a moon rat walking back to camp from the jetty one evening and pittas are also very common around the walkways. I also loved the little shrews that seem to be everywhere. My guide AJ was very professional and knowledgeable about the jungle and was happy to accomodate changes to the itinerary which suit my interests. Bring a bright torch and insect repellent!
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Date of stay: September 2019
MalaysiaSabahSandakan DivisionSandakan
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Frequently Asked Questions about Tungog Rainforest Eco Camp
Which popular attractions are close to Tungog Rainforest Eco Camp?
Nearby attractions include Agnes Newton Keith Home (0.6 km), The Parish of St Michael and All Angels (0.3 km), and Sandakan Heritage Trail (0.4 km).
What are some restaurants close to Tungog Rainforest Eco Camp?
Conveniently located restaurants include Balin Roof Garden Bar & Bistro, English Tea House & Restaurant, and My Harbour Restaurant.
Is Tungog Rainforest Eco Camp located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 0.2 km away from the centre of Sandakan.
Are there any historical sites close to Tungog Rainforest Eco Camp?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Agnes Newton Keith Home (0.6 km).