This is the lodge being touted by most hostels in Sandakan, and we have to admit it appears to be a good option. In terms of accommodation there's something for everyone, with a 40-bed dorm, simple fan rooms and relatively luxurious cabins with air-con and hot showers. Each day is packed with activities and in addition to the boat cruises and night walks they do longer treks to the oxbow lake.... Read our full review of Nature Lodge Kinabatangan.
If you'd like to have a responsible ecotourism experience, this is the lodge for you. TERC is a small operation with just 10 A-frame sleeping cabins with mattresses and mosquito nests. The location is right along the river and there is a wooden deck for bird-watching or simply relaxing with a book. TERC has a zero-waste policy so all meals are brought in and all trash is brought out and there is... Read our full review of Tungog Rainforest Eco Camp.
This back-to-basics lodge has a loyal following from the gap year crowd. Accommodation is mattresses on the floor of doorless wooden huts and the showers are buckets in the middle of the jungle, but the rustic living conditions are half the fun of staying here. The guides are as good at socialising as they are at spotting animals – expect soccer games in the jungle and acoustic jam sessions... Read our full review of Uncle Tan Jungle Lodge .
This research station along the Kinabatangan River is an interesting alternative to the touristy jungle lodges. Guests stay in four-bedded rooms in a lodge shared by grad students and visiting documentary makers. There aren't tourist activities like river cruises, but you can trek the surrounding trails and, if the scientists like you, tag along on their field work – it may be anything from... Read our full review of Danau Girang Field Centre.
As long as you don't mind a few stairs (a few hundred actually – think of it as practice for Mount Kinabalu), The Last Frontier is highly recommended for travellers on a flashpacker budget. The rooms are comfortable, especially considering you're in the middle of nowhere, with one or two beds, fan and ensuite bathroom with hot shower. The views from the hilltop are amazing as are the... Read our full review of The Last Frontier Resort.
This lodge offers a few more creature comforts than the other cheapies, with fan-cooled private rooms and ensuite bathrooms with hot water. The wooden longhouse overlooks the Kinabatangan River so when you're not out on the boat tours you can spot jungle critters right from the veranda. The food is better than average and the fridge is stocked with ice-cold beer. Packages include two river... Read our full review of Barefoot Sukau Lodge.
If you're more interested in creature comforts than creatures, this is the jungle lodge for you. Guests stay in huge wooden chalets furnished with multiple beds, wardrobes, coffee/tea maker and air-conditioning. All chalets have ensuite bathrooms with hot showers, fluffy towels and toiletries. Places to relax include the riverside bar and restaurant with internet and TV or the hammock on your... Read our full review of Bilit Rainforest Lodge.
As an alternative to the touristy jungle lodges, it's possible to stay with a local family in the village of Bilit. Your accommodation will depend on who's willing to take you in, but you can expect a private room with a fan and shared bathrooms. The package price includes morning and afternoon river cruises and a night walk, plus you'll have opportunities to learn some Malay cooking and... Read our full review of Bilit Village Homestay.