Lovers of the orangutan will be interested in this rehabilitation center set up by French conservationists, Dr. Isabelle Lackman and Dr. Marc Ancrenaz. In 1998, they created the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project and developed a plan to help protect and save the orangutans on Sabah. A staff of 40 members, working in conjunction with NGOs and the local government, continue to search for solutions to help the orangutans survive and even thrive in this part of Borneo.
About 40 miles from Sandakan Town, along the Sandakan-Lahad Datu Highway, lie the Gomantong Caves, the biggest cave system in Sabah. Headlamps, good hiking boots and other essential items are encouraged for this adventure.
Hire a private guide and traverse through Borneo’s forests. In ancient times, these forests were the domain of wealthy mandarins from Mainland China, along with the Emperor who sought out elephant ivory, rhino horn and edible bird’s nests. Additional items which were sought by China’s elites include beeswax for candles, hardwoods and illipe nuts. The forests at Kinabatangan River provide wonderful opportunities for nature photography.