Danum Valley Conservation Area (DVCA) - Rendezvous with the world’s tallest tropical tree



DVCA a 43,892 hectares Class I (Protection) Forest Reserve, is one of Sabah's last strongholds of undisturbed lowland dipterocarp forest. It is one of the world's oldest and richest lowland tropical forest with more than 200 species of trees per hectare. With the richness and abundance of flora and fauna, it is an ideal natural "laboratory" for research on tropical forest ecology and conservation. Danum Valley Field Centre (DVFC), a world-renowned scientific facility was established in 1986 for research, education, training and wilderness recreation.

Among the inhabitants of DVCA are more than 120 species of mammals including ten species of primates such as the endangered Orang utan. Other large mammals include the Bornean pygmy elephant, Banteng, Malayan Sun bear, Clouded leopard, Bay cat, Binturong and many species of deer.

It is also home to 73 reptiles, 56 amphibians and more than 47 fishes. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded including the Red-Crowned Barbet, eight species of pitta including the Fairy pitta and all eight species of hornbills found in Borneo.

Activities at DVCA are guided by the Danum Valley Management Committee (DVMC) which comprises relevant State and Federal Government agencies, institutions, academia, and NGOs. A long-term research programme was initiated in 1984 between the Danum Valley Management Committee and The Royal Society, United Kingdom under its South East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP). To date, a total of 534 research projects have been completed or are in progress, many of them collaborative between Malaysian and overseas scientists. The research projects comprise of Post-Doctoral (156), PhD (175), Masters (85), Bachelors (42) and others (76). This makes Danum Valley as one of the three leading rainforest research centres in the world besides La Selva in Costa Rica and Barro Colorado Island in Panama.

Danum Valley Field Centre (DVFC)


Activities at DVCA are guided by the Danum Valley Management Committee (DVMC) which comprises relevant State and Federal Government agencies, institutions, academia, and NGOs. DVCA is open to both international and local researchers.  DVCA also provide recreation and adventures activities for tourists such as guided forest trekking, bird watching, guided night drive/walk, nature photography, camping, swimming, sunrise watch, tree platform climbing and trips to INFAPRO.   Environmental Education Programme is available upon request.

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Bird watching                                        Guided forest trekking                               Nature photography



The Danum Valley Field Centre (DVFC) has modest accommodation facilities comprising chalet, resthouse, hostel, researchers’ quarters and camping ground. Chalet (twin sharing occupancy with airconditioning) and rest house (twin sharing occupancy with ceiling fan) are located just a few steps away from the Dining Hall. The hostel location is a walking distance of less 20 minutes to the Dining Hall. Two separate buildings for male & female (4 pax per dorm) with common bathroom for each building.  Electricity supply is only available from 7.00 am to 12.00 midnight. Meals are served buffet-style at the Dining Hall. There is free flow of boiled drinking water, coffee and tea.


Facilities currently available in DVCA are:

·        Shell Nature Interpretation & Environmental Education Building




·        Accommodation for guests:




Rest house


Tented camping ground


Jungle trails


Researcher’s quarters



Scientific laboratory



·        World tallest tropical tree


The world’s tallest tropical tree is found here, standing tall at 101.8 M and is about the length of six sperm whales (each approximately 16 meters) lined up head to tail or as high as the Yayasan Sabah Tower (122 M) in Kota Kinabalu.


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·        Forest Fauna


Clouded leopard

Orang utan

Rhinoceros hornbill


Great argus pheasant




·        Forest Flora

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The forest of Danum Valley



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Maiden veil’s fungus







·        Waterfalls

Tembaling Waterfall                                    Purut Waterfall



·        Burial Caves - a special place in the myths and legends of the Orang Sungai or ‘river people’ of Borneo. There are three burial sites discovered in Danum Valley, two near Field Centre and one below the cliff overlooking Borneo Rainforest Lodge.














DVCA Trails Map


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Trails currently available at DVFC:

1.      Trail to Tembaling Waterfall (3.5 KM per way)

2.      Trail to Burial Site (1.7 KM per way)

3.      Trail to Purut Waterfall 7 KM per way

4.      Trail to Rhinopool Loop Trail 6 KM

5.      Trail to Nature & Orchid Trail 500 M

(Distance of trails from Danum Valley Field Centre)





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Visiting Hours:

There are two security gates along the road leading to DVCA, namely at KM 11 and DVFC gate (Not manned). These gates close a 6:00 pm daily, therefore visitors are advised to arrive at DVFC before sunset.  The gates open at 6:00am (KM 11) and 8:30am (DVFC) respectively.

The Danum Valley Conservation Area office is just opposite the Lahad Datu Airport:


Opening hours:

Mon-Thu: 8:00 am -1:00 pm                            

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Friday: 8:00 am -11:30 am               

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Sat, Sun & Public Holidays: Closed





Danum Valley provides the following transportation:


Option 1

Scheduled transfer (Bus – 8 Seater)

(Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

RM85 per person each way.



Departure time:

3:00 pm from Lahad Datu Town to Danum Valley - expected to arrive at Danum Valley at 5:30 pm

(2 1/2 hours drive depending on the traffic)


8:30 am from Danum Valley to Lahad Datu Town - expected to arrive at Lahad Datu Town at 11:00  am

(2 1/2 hours drive depending on the traffic)


Option 2:

Charter vehicle (4WD - 4 seater)

RM350 per vehicle each way

Departure time is flexible


Visitor can also select for the following transportation arrangements:

1.     By flight: Daily flights from Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu (55 minutes, and additional two hours by road to DVFC).

2.    By road: from Kota Kinabalu (10 hours), from Sandakan (5 hours) and from Tawau (4 hours).


Self-drive vehicles into the Danum Valley Conservation Area are required to apply for the vehicle permit and subject to the following charge:


Fee:        RM20.00 (all types of vehicles)

Validity of permit:  2 weeks


Prior reservation should be made in advance.


For more information inquiry:

Yayasan Sabah

Conservation Area Management Division

(Danum Valley/Silam/Taliwas) & Forest Rehabilitation

Level 9, Tun Mustapha Tower

Likas Bay, P.O. Box 11201

88813 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Telephone No: +6 088 326 320

Fax: +6 008 326 315

Email: dinisiah.cemd@gmail.com


Danum Valley Conservation Area

Block 3, MDLD 3286

Ground Floor, Fajar Centre

P. O. Box 60282

91112 Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia

Telephone No. 089 880441

Emailsrifhanmar@yahoo.com / sck_72@yahoo.com / wongrichel@yahoo.com





Additional Information


1.         For reservation made and confirmed 30 days or more prior to arrival, prospective visitors shall be required to make a deposit payment of 50% of the total charges made within seven (7) working days in order to secure the reservation.  For reservation made and confirmed 30 days or more prior to arrival, prospective visitors shall be required to make a deposit payment of 50% of the total charges made within seven (7) working days in order to secure the reservation.


2.         Visitors intending to undertake jungle trekking are advised to bring proper attires, shoes, leech socks, raincoat, water bottle, food container & utensils, torchlight and personal toiletries.  (Please refer to Conditions of Entry into Conservation Area and list of Do’s and Don’ts).