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Wildlife Tour & Stay


Our Camp is situated near the Lokan River.

Photo: Eugene Tan

Amongst adventure seekers and nature lovers who have visited Sandakan, the name "Uncle Tan" is near legendary. Over more than 20 years, thousands have come to Uncle Tan’s to experience the adventure, nature and wildlife in the lower Kinabatangan valley. Many of these visitors have become friends, and have returned for second, third,…visits. By word of mouth, these kind friends have helped us promote the Uncle Tan’s Wildlife Camp so that others too can enjoy the adventure, wildlife and natural beauty of the Kinabatangan with us.

Important note : With effect from 1st January 2018, our OPS BASE will be at LABUK SQUARE, Block A, Lot 1, First Floor, Mile 9, Labuk Road, Sandakan.

What's been said about us

Extracts from the Lonely Planet:

"[The Sungai Kinabatangan] is one of the best places in Borneo – indeed in all of South East Asia – to observe wildlife; and the Kinabatangan is a highlight of any nature-lovers’ trip to Sabah."

Photo: Eugene Tan

Photo: W. Hochstetter

"Sighting of the unique Proboscis Monkeys are common among the mangroves, two macaque species – the long tailed and pig tailed – are common; Orang Utans are also seen..."

Photo: Eugene Tan

Photo: Suzette Burrell

"Bird-watchers will find the bird-spotting incredible: all 8 species of Borneo’s hornbills species are seen regularly; two species of the gorgeous pittas are reasonably common, and rarities include Storms storks and bizarre Oriental darter, or snake bird."

Photo: Naka Nobuko

Photo: Eugene Tan

"The success rate of animal-spotting largely depends on the local knowledge of your guide.

Photo: Eugene Tan

Photo: Eugene Tan


The Wildlife Camp Experience

The Camp is on a piece of Native Land further upriver, near the Lokan River, a tributary of the Kinabatangan.

As with many plots of Native Land in the Kinabatangan our new site remains uncleared of its jungle though meant for cultivation of palm plantation. The native owner who leased the land to us has agreed not to clear the land for palm plantation.

Our location is a remote and is located between the Forest Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary. Wildlife is present in abundance.

Photo: Kevin Tan

If it is a Tropical Rain Forest you want to experience, then Uncle Tan’s Camp is the place you want to visit. Wake up to the sound of birds chirping and monkeys chattering, start the day by joining the river safari, jungle trek or simply relax taking in the essence of natural surroundings... Whatever your interest or preference, there is always something to do and something new to discover in nature.

We do however wish to remind visitors that set in such a natural environment, the Camp is not exactly the HILTON! Facilities are not of a FIVE STAR Resort & SPA and are in fact Spartan in nature, but we do our best under "circumstances of wilderness" to make your visit enjoyable and comfortable. You will get plenty of attention, hospitality and wildlife to observe. And… you will have plenty of good food. Yes, we will feed you well!

During the rainy seasons, there will be mud and pools of water along the tracks. In the recent years, due to excessive logging, flooding can occur between the months of November and April. The floodwater may rise high – part of the camp may be under water. Toilets too may be under water. It can be inconvenient – but it is during the floods that many more animals are seen. The monkeys stay on trees; the bigger mammals – pigs, deer and even elephants can be seen on the high grounds which become small islands. When you ride in the boat, you will actually be moving amongst the canopies of the trees – birds and butterflies will be seen in great numbers.

Photo: Eugene Tan


3 days 2 nights package itinerary

Day One:

Optional: Visit to the Orang Utan Centre in the morning

The morning before we leave for Camp, we transport our visitors to the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre from our Ops Base. The transfer will be between 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Feeding at the Centre takes place at about 10:00 a.m. We pick up our visitors at about 12:30 p.m. and proceed to our Ops Base for lunch and to prepare for the trip to Camp. The Centre is near our Ops Base/B&B. The transfer to and fro the Centre is an additional and courtesy service we provide to our visitors. We do not charge for providing the transfer.

*[The price of the entrance ticket is NOT included in the package/s price. The transfer to/fro the Centre is a courtesy service we provide without charge]

You may also proceed to the Orang Utan Centre directly on your own and join our other visitors when you're done for the transfer back to our Ops Base/B&B. It would be good to let us know in advance so that our driver will look out for you.

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. - Transfer to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. Register and buy your own entrance ticket (RM 10.00 for locals and RM 30.00 for foreigners). Register at the counter of the Forest Research Centre and then visit the Entomology Section to a see a big exhibition of insects. You will be at Orang Utan Centre on your own.

12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Pick up from the centre for lunch at Uncle Tan’s Operations Base/ B&B.

Our vehicles shuttle to and fro the OU Centre. If you miss the vehicles, just give us a call at 089-535784 or 016 8244749. We are just 5 minutes away and someone will come to pick you up.

Q: I do not want to go to the Orang Utan Centre. What time should I come to Ops Base to join the trip to Camp?

A: We ask visitors to come to our Ops Base at about 1:00 p.m. to have lunch, register and prepare for the trip. The trip leaves our Ops Base for Camp at 2:30 p.m.


The starting/meeting point is at our Ops Base; at 1:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m. - Lunch. Set Menu – Local recipes. You will have enough time for lunch, coffee and registration. The trip will depart for the Camp at about 2:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m. - Depart for the Kinabatangan River en route to Uncle Tan's Wildlife Camp. You will travel by road to the jetty at the Kinabatangan River. The drive would be about 1 hour 30 minutes depending on traffic condition.

4:00 p.m. -Arrive at the jetty at the Kinabatangan River and transfer to the boat. At the jetty, please allow some time for our staff to load luggage and supplies into the boat.

On the ride to camp the boatman will zig-zag about to show you the wildlife. When the boat changes directions, look towards that direction. The boatman could have seen something interesting. The guides will point out to you what they have seen.

During the ride, remember not to tease or shout at the animals. We do not want to frighten them and make them shy of future safari boats.

ETA at Camp is at about 5:00 p.m. Settle in and proceed to the dining area for tea/coffee. At about 7:30 p.m, the Camp Chief or staff on duty will give a briefing on the programmes and activities during your stay.

Dinner will be at about 8:00 p.m.

Where weather permits and the river conditions are right, a night safari will be organised on the river/s after dinner. There will be a spot light on board the safari boats and the guides will do the spot lighting for wildlife. You will see many sleepy PROBOSCIS MONKEYS, Owls, Herons, Kingfishers and Crocodiles.

During the fruit season (July – September) when you go out on the Night Safari, look up and watch the sky a bit. You may see many giant Flying Foxes flying in formation above you.

By about 10:30 p.m., you should be back in the Camp. Lights out at midnight.

Photo: Eugene Tan

Note: Please do not feed the animals at the Camp. We do not want to encourage them to become cosmopolitan.

Photo: Naka Nobuko


Day Two: back to top

At about 6:00 a.m.,the staff on duty will do a morning call and shout "MORNING SAFARI, MORNING SAFARI". Those who do not wake up would be left to continue to sleep peacefully and it would be nobody else's fault if the Morning Safari is missed.

Quickly do your toilet and bathroom thing and then get to the dining shed for a cup of coffee and biscuits before starting the Morning Safari. Try not to miss this. Plenty of wildlife are seen during the Morning Safari. It is just so beautiful to see the sun rising above the misty river.

The Morning Safari begins at about 6:30 a.m.

8:00 a.m. - You should be back in the Camp for breakfast.

After breakfast, at about 10:30 a.m., the Camp Captain/staff on duty will organise activities for visitors. If weather condition is right, a trek in the jungle would be carried out to introduce you to the flora and fauna. Some insects and frogs may also be spotted.


Photo: Eugen Tan & Suzette Burrell

Photo: Uncle Tan's collection

Q:   What about leeches?
A:    Leeches are not considered a big problem at the Camp or surrounding jungle area. To give an idea, chances of finding a leech at the Camp area is considered much more rare than spotting an Orang Utan.

Lunch is at 12:30p.m.

After lunch, have a nap and rest. In the heat of the afternoon, not much wildlife will be seen. Afternoon time is also the time when our staff take a break.

5:00 p.m. - An evening boat ride would be conducted. During the last hour or so before dark, plenty of wildlife can be seen. If the sky is clear and evening sun strong, this would be a good time to take some photographs. The evening ride would be for about 1 hour 30 mins.

Dinner is at 8:00 p.m.

If there is extra room in the boat, you may go out for your second Night Safari. Otherwise, you may join other activities such as a night trek that the Camp Captain/staff on duty organise. Priority for isgiven to new arrivals to do their first Night Safari.

Lights out at midnight.


Day Three: back to top

If there is spare room in the boat, you may go out on the Morning Safari for another time. If space is limited, please give the new arrivals a chance to go on their first Morning Safari.

8:00 a.m. to 9:00a.m. - Breakfast

Unless you are staying on for extra days, departure from the Camp will be at 10:00 a.m.

The boat would take you out to the jetty. Some of you may have planned to travel on to Semporna/Lahad Datu directly. Please inform the van driver to drop you off at the junction of the main road.

The driver will show you where to stop a bus to get to Lahad Datu. Lahad Datu is where you change bus for Semporna.

If you do the Standard 3D/2N, on the day you leave Camp, you will arrive back at our Ops Base at about 12:30 noon. Lunch will be provided at our Ops Base.

IIf you are planning to go to the Mountains or Kota Kinabalu, ask our staff to assist you to book a seat on the Express Bus.

NOTE: You take part in the package strictly AT YOUR OWN RISK.

If you plan to go to the airport/Sandakan town, please ask our staff to assist you to get a van/taxi that you can hire. Hired vans/taxi to the airport/Sandakan town costs about RM 40.00 for the whole vehicle. The van/taxi hire is your private deal with the driver. We do not run this service. Please pay the fare directly to the driver.

Remember: It is a Wildlife Camp you are visiting - NOT A RESORT & SPA – The camp is very basic – no running water, no full time electricity – but plenty of wildlife to see. The jungle is a green hell to some but a lost paradise for many. Give due respect to the wildlife in the area – they were there first and you are in their home territory – be a good guest.

“This responsibility [caring for the environment] has less to do with the question of right or wrong than with the question of survival. The natural world is our home. It is not necessarily sacred or holy. It is simply where we live. It is therefore in our interest to look after it. This is common sense.”

- Tenzin Gyatso (The Dalai Lama),
"Ancient Wisdom, Modern World

>Getting there

Where we are
The closest town to us is Sandakan. Many of our visitors fly to Sandakan from Kota Kinabalu. Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines serve this route.

If you are coming from Kuala Lumpur, Air Asia and MAS flies direct to Sandakan.

Trips to our Wildlife Camp are arranged from our Operations Base in Sepilok. The starting/meeting point is at our Operations Base; 1:00 p.m.

Departures to Uncle Tan's Wildlife Camp at the Kinabatangan River are arranged from our Operations Base/B&B premises in Sepilok, 14 miles from Sandakan town. As we would require to make prior arrangements and co-ordination for the trip, we ask that visitors come to our Operations Base/B&B first.

Trips to the Wildlife Camp depart daily at 2:30 p.m.
Trips to the Camp are on daily basis. Visitors are advised to be at our Operations Base/B&B premises at about 1:00 p.m. This will give enough time for lunch and registration. The trip will depart for the Camp at about 2:30 p.m.

How to get to our Operations Base/B&B
We are situated in Sepilok, nearby the Orang Utan Centre. We are the first Tour Operator premise on the Sepilok Road. Heading towards the Orang Utan Centre, we are on the right-hand side, a couple of hundred metres from the main road Junction/Circle.

Coming from Sandakan town/airport, it would be easiest to take a taxi. Tell the driver you want to go to Uncle Tan's NEW PLACE at Sepilok. The taxi ride would take 20-30 mins. Fare is about RM 40.00.

If you are coming by express bus from KK/Mountain/Tawau/Lahad Datu/Semporna, get the bus driver to drop you off at the Sepilok Junction/Circle. This is at Mile 14. From this point, you will be close to our B&B and Operations Base. It would take a few minutes walk along the Sepilok Road to get to our place from the Junction/Circle.

[Please Note: The Wildlife Camp is at the Kinabatangan River. Our Operations Base/B&B is in the Sepilok area, nearby the Orang Utan Centre. These are 2 different places - quite apart in distance from each other. Visitors come to our Ops Base first. We then organise things and leave at 2:30 p.m. for the Kinabatangan river by van en route to Camp. At the river, our boats will then take visitors to Camp]

Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre
The morning before we leave for Camp, we transport our visitors to the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. We will then pick up our visitors 12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m and proceed to our Ops Base to prepare for the trip to Camp. The Centre is near our Ops Base/B&B. The transfer to and fro the Centre is an additional service we provide to our visitors. We do not charge for providing the transfer.

The meeting place is at our Ops Base. 
Coming from Sandakan town/airport, it would be easiest to take a taxi. Tell the driver you want to go to Uncle Tan's PLACE - LABUK SQUARE.  The taxi ride would take about 20 minutes (from town) and 10 minutes (from Airport). Fare is about RM 35.00/RM 25.00 respectively.
If you are coming by express bus from KK/Mountain/Tawau/Lahad Datu/Semporna, get the bus driver to drop you off at the Labuk Square Junction.  This is at Mile 9. From this point, you will be close to our Ops Base. You will be able to see our sign from the road. It would take a couple of minute’s walk to our Ops Base.
If you plan to come to our ops base and take our transfer to the Orang Utan Centre, please note that we do the transfer from our ops base to the OU Centre at 9:00 a.m.

[Although it is possible to go to the Orang Utan Centre directly on your own and take our shuttle transfer back to our ops base, many visitors choose to come to our ops base first to take our morning transfer as they find it convenient to drop off their luggage with us before proceeding with the OU Centre visit]
If you do not want to go to the OU Centre, please come to our Ops Base at about 1:00 p.m. to have lunch, register and prepare for the trip. The trip leaves our Ops Base for Camp at 2:30 p.m.

Signing Up for the Wildlife Camp

How much does it cost?

NOTE: All trips to the Kinabatangan/Camp will be subject to a RM 10.00 (Ten Ringgit) conservation levy.


3D/2N trip

The total cost for the Standard 3D/2N trip INCLUSIVE OF 6% GST is RM 498.20 per person


Price is RM 460 + RM 10 (Conservation Levy) = RM 470 

Add: 6% GST RM 28.20 

Total inclusive of GST = RM 498.20



Subject to availability of space, EXTENDED STAY is possible. The cost for each day extended INCLUSIVE OF 6% GST is RM 127.20 per person


Price is RM 120 

Add: 6% GST RM 7.20

Total inclusive of GST = RM 127.20


2D/1N trip

It is possible to stay one night (2D/1N) at the Camp although to get the best experience, we recommend two night's stay. With a night's stay, you will still get to do one night safari as well as one morning safari but you won't have enough time to do the guided trek in the jungle the next day as you would be leaving the Camp.

The total cost for the 2D/1N trip INCLUSIVE OF 6% GST is RM 371 per person 


Price is RM 340 + RM 10 (Conservation Levy) = RM 350

Add: 6% GST RM 21

Total inclusive of GST = RM 371.00


Price is ex our Ops Base in Sepilok and it covers transportation by van to and from the Kinabatangan River, transportation by boat to and from the Camp, all river Safaris, jungle treks, accommodation in camp huts, 3 meals a day (B,L,D), coffee/tea available all day plus some tea time snacks and biscuits. 

The things you may want to purchase from our staff co-operative canteen would be beer, bottled water and soft drinks. Beer, bottled water and soft drinks are NOT included in the price.

NOTE: You take part in the package/programs strictly AT YOUR OWN RISK.

In the course of communication, making bookings for you and/or upon registration, we collect certain Personal Data from you.

Click here to know what Data are collected and how we use them.

Q:    Are children allowed to go to the Camp?
A:    We welcome children to visit our Camp. Prices for children below 7 years old is half the adult price. There is no charge for children below the age of 2. This half charge apply to the 3d/2n package only. For other packages, prices are the same for adult and children.

Q: Can I leave my extra bags/luggage at the Ops Base while I go to the Camp?
A: You can leave your extra luggage with us when you go to Camp. But do this only if you plan to return to our Ops Base/Sandakan after Camp. If you plan to head to the islands off Semporna or to Danum Valley, etc., it would be better to take everything with you as it would be more convenient to proceed directly to Lahad Datu and then on to your destination directly from the Kinabatangan Bridge. Otherwise, you'll have to return to our Ops Base just to pick up your things and go back the same route you just came from.

Note: No valuables, cash, travel documents, etc should be left in the backpack/luggage kept with us for storage. We will NOT entertain any complain regarding loss/damage of valuables, cash, etc.

The Wildlife Camp is at the Kinabatangan River. Our Operations Base/B&B is in Sepilok, at Mile 14, outside Sandakan. These are 2 different places - quite apart in distance from each other. Visitors come to our Ops Base first. We then organise things and leave at 2:30 p.m. for the Kinabatangan river by van en route to Camp. At the river, our boats will then take visitors to Camp.

Bookings & Reservations

The Wildlife Camp is very popular with visitors and we often get full bookings during peak season (May till September). It would be advisable to make your bookings early. You can either call us or email us your enquiries/booking. Though Email is our preferred mode of communication, if time is short, calling us to check availability/confirm booking may be a better option.

We do not ask for deposits for confirmations [except for customised programmes or bookings for 10 pax or more]. You can pay us when you arrive. Payment will be in Ringgit cash only.

Q: Can you issue an invoice?
A: We are a small company and humbly apologise that we do not issue invoices nor do we offer credit terms.

Q: Do you require credit card verification for bookings?
A: We do not require your credit card details for booking as we do not have the ability to receive payment via credit card. Sorry. Payment would be in cash, in Ringgit.

Contact Details

Email Reservation & Communication Desk: --> click here <--

Note: We make it a point to provide quick response to emails received. If you do not get a response from us within 3 working days, it is possible that your mail has not reached us. Please resend.

Attaching previous email

As we receive and have to handle many enquiries and confirmations each day, it will help us provide you a faster reply if you could attach previous email communication.

Ops Base and B&B:
Lot No. 1
Mile 14, Jalan Sepilok,

Tel: +6089-535784
or Mobile Phone +6016- 8244749

Note: The number listed in the Lonely Planet Guide is the old number of the previous premises. It is no longer in use. Please use the numbers above to contact us.

Personal Data Protection Notice


This Personal Data Protection Notice (Notice) describes how we use your Personal Data.

We shall have the right to modify, update or amend the terms of this Notice at any time. By continuing to communicate with us or use our services following the modifications, updates or amendments to this Notice, such actions shall signify your acceptance of such modifications, updates or amendments.

Collection of Personal Data

  1. Personal Data means information about you, from which you are identifiable, including but not limited to your name, passport/identification card number, telephone numbers, address, email address, date of birth, age, gender, photograph, nationality, passport number, social media contact, marital status, information about your company and your designation in your company, your flight and travel details or any information about you which you have provided to the us in any correspondence or when you engage us for services and/or any information about you that has been or may be directly or indirectly collected, stored, used and processed by us from time to time.
  2. In addition to the Personal Data you provide to us directly, we may also collect your Personal Data from a variety of sources, including from registration forms and/or other similar forms that may contain your personal data or when you make enquiries.
  3. Provision of your Personal Data is for the Purposes as outlined below. If you do not provide us with your Personal Data, we will not be able to provide the services you have requested, such as organising your stay and travel with us and/or participation in activities, tours or trips that we conduct.
  4. Purposes of Processing

  5. We may use and process your Personal Data to provide you the services for the purposes which shall include, without limitation the following (the Purposes):-
    • to process your booking arrangements for your stay and travel with us and/or participation in activities, tours or trips that we conduct;
    • for purposes of billing and payments relating to the services you have requested;
    • to contact and correspond with you regarding various matters pertaining to the services you have requested, such as the status of your booking, last minute cancellations, etc;
    • to respond to questions, comments and feedback from you;
    • for internal administrative purposes, such as auditing, data analysis, and to improve our services;
    • for compliance of the necessary legal and service efficacy requirements, conditions and instructions of governmental agencies and/or such association/s that we may belong to;
    • for us to comply with our obligations under law whether within or outside Malaysia;

    and you agree and consent to us using and processing your Personal Data in the manner as identified in this Notice.

  6. We may engage other companies, service providers or individuals to perform functions on our behalf, and consequently may provide access or disclose your Personal Data to such service providers or third parties. Your Personal Data may also be shared in connection with a corporate transaction, such as a sale of a subsidiary or a division, merger, consolidation, or asset sale, or in the unlikely event of winding-up.
  7. Please note that if you withdraw your consent for us to process your Personal Data for the Purposes, we may consequently not be able to carry out, transact or contract with you and may be unable to provide you the services which you have requested.
  8. In respect of your right to access and/or correct your Personal Data, we have the right to refuse your requests to access and/or make any correction to your Personal Data for the reasons permitted under law, such as where the expense of providing access to you is disproportionate to the risks to your or another persons privacy.
  9. Personal Information from Minors and Other Individuals

  10. As a parent or legal guardian, please do not allow minor/s (individuals under 18 years of age) under your care to submit Personal Data to us. In the event that such Personal Data is provided to us, you hereby consent to the processing of the minors Personal Data as his/her parent or legal guardian and personally accept and agree to be bound by this Notice and take responsibility for his or her actions.
  11. In some circumstances you may have provided personal data relating to other individuals (such as your spouse, family members, colleagues or friends) and in such circumstances you represent and warrant that you are authorised to provide their personal data to us and you have obtained their consent for their personal data be processed and used in the manner as set forth in this Notice and they have been alerted to the contents of this Notice.
  12. Acknowledgement and Consent

  13. By communicating with us, engaging us or using our services, you acknowledge that you have read and understood this Notice and agree and consent to the use, processing and transfer of your Personal Data by the Company as described in this Notice.



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