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Welcome To Kinabatangan Sun Shines Tour  (KPL/LN 6679)

  

THE KINABTANGAN RIVER CRUISING

 

Welcome to the oldest rainforest in the world, the Island of Borneo. One of the largest island in the world ‘shared’ by 3 countries i.e. Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. The majestic rainforest habitats consists of almost 15,000 flowering plants species and 3,000 three species. Above all, 221 species mammal and 400 species of bird found. Sabah is located at most north part of Borneo with land area of 73,371 sq. km that presents about 10% of the entire island. At the Crocker Range situated Mount Kinabalu at 4,094 meters is the highest mountain in South East Asia. The Kinabatangan River, the longest river in Sabah is 560 kilometers long. Originate from Crocker Range drains eastward into the Sulu Sea. With Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain in eastern part of Sabah is less than 500 meters above sea level. An equatorial climate rarely rises above 32°C / 90°F except on very hot days. Rarely fall below 20°C / 68°F even at night. Annual rain falls received is about 150 cm / 60 inches and during wetter parts over 450 cm / 180 inches. Most intense period is during the north east monsoon i.e. from October to February but usually drier from March to September.

 

 

 

Major wildlife habitat types

Tropical forests are the home of the greatest biological diversity on the planet, supporting well over half the globe's species of plants and animals on only a little over five percent of the total land area.  Sabah's forest is divided into four broad categories of vegetation type of habitat:

 

Coastal and Mangrove Forest

Coastal forest includes mangrove forest, freshwater swamp forest, riverine forest and beach vegetation. These types of habitats are found from zero to 100 feet above sea level. The distribution is all along the coast and on major rivers in Sabah.

Mangrove forests and swamp forests are important breeding grounds for fish and provide nesting and roosting sites for wetland birds such as egrets and herons. They are critical for the survival of Borneo's famous Proboscis Monkey.



Dipterocarp Forest

This type of habitat is sub-divided into three categories: The Lowland Dipterocarp Forest (100 - 500 feet above sea level), Upland Dipterocarp Forest (500 - 1,500 feet above sea level) and Highland Dipterocarp Forest (1,500 - 3,000 feet above sea level).  Dipterocarp Forests are among the most diverse ecosystems on earth, and are home to most of Sabah's unique and famous wildlife species, such as orangutan and rhinoceros.  Most commercial logging is carried out in these forests are special lowland forest types.  These special forests may be low in stature, but are rich in unique plant species 

 

Heath forests and limestone forests.  

These are special lowland forest types.  Although these forests may be low in stature, they are rich in unique plant species. 

 

Montane Forest. 

Montane forest is sub-divided into Lower Montane Forest (3,000 - 4,500 feet above sea level) and Upper Montane Forest (4,500 - 11,000) feet above sea level). Upper montane habitat type in Sabah is basically restricted to Kinabalu and Trus Madi mountains.  Many rare and restricted range species occur in these unique habitats. 

 

Wetlands  

Sabah has a rich variety of wetland habitats besides mangrove forest, including swamp forests, peat swamp forest, marshes, rivers and lakes. In addition to many fishes and aquatic organisms, these wetlands are habitat for numerous species of wetland birds, including long distance migrants that may travel from as far as Australia or Siberia. They are also home to Crocodiles and the rare False Garial. 

 

Marine Habitats 

Among the most important marine habitats are sea grass beds and coral reefs. Sea grass beds are important as breeding grounds for many ocean fish, and are feeding grounds for Green Turtles and the rare Dugong (or sea cow). Like tropical forests, coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems on earth and Sabah's reefs are famous the world over. The open ocean is also rich in life, and is the home of many valuable fish and invertebrates, as well as marine mammals such as porpoises and whales. 

 

Biodiversity 

Most of the mammals and birds that occur in Borneo can be found in Sabah. There are 197 species of mammals in Borneo, and 167 of these have been recorded from Sabah. All of Borneo’s ten primate species occur in Sabah. These include the Bornean orangutan -Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus and the proboscis monkey -Narsalis larvatus which both are endemic to Borneo. Borneo’s three mega-herbivores - the Asian elephant -Elaphas maximus, Sumatran rhinoceros -Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrisoni and Banteng -Bos banteng occur in various parts of Sabah. Other notable species present include the rare Malayan Sun Bear -Helarctus malayanus and the Clouded Leopard -Neofelis nebulosa. 

 

Borneo also has about 622 species of birds, of which 434 are known or thought to breed, and 39 are endemic. Of these, Sabah has about 526 well-documented species, of which about 395 are residents, 35 are Bornean endemics, and four are Sabah endemics. Another 51 species have been recorded in Sabah, but are unconfirmed. The Sabah endemics are the White-Fronted Falconet - Microhierax latifrons, Black-and-Crimson Pitta -Pitta ussheri, White-Crowned Shama -Copsychus stricklandii and friendly Bush Warbler -Bradypterus accentor. Most of Sabah’s mammals and birds occur in forest habitats. Various forms of dipterocarp forest are predominant and cover 41.9 percent of Sabah’s land area. Commercially important timber species of the family Dipterocarpaceae of which 155 of the 390 species in Asia are endemic to Borneo, are found in the first type. The rest of the area is montane forest (9.5%), mangrove forest (3.7%), swamp forest (2.3%), plantation forest (2%), and brackish water forest/nipah forest (0.6%). The rest of the land area (39.7%) is basically agricultural land, urban areas etc. 

 

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