The Kawag Forest Area is located on the fringes of the Danum Valley Conservation Area and within the Ulu Segama Malua Forest Reserve. Kawag is mostly logged over lowland dipterocarp forest.
Various scientific expeditions have found that the logged over forest at Kawag is gradually coming back to life; with a range of species thriving in the disturbed forest.
In view of the potential for wildlife watching the Sabah state government opened a lodge at Kawag in late 2016. The lodge is located inside the buffer zone of Danum Valley.
Kawag offers an affordable option for anyone interested in visiting the wider Danum Valley area. However, it is worth noting that the habitat at Kawag consists of secondary and logged over forest. In contrast the rainforest at Danum Valley Conservation Area is untouched, virgin forest.
Wildlife found at Kawag includes orangutan, pygmy elephants, wild cattle, deer, bearded pigs, gibbons, monkeys and over 150 species of birds. A wide range of reptiles, amphibians and insects also live in the Kawag Forest Area.
There are a number of jungle trails at Kawag, including the Kingfisher Trail (2 km), Woodpecker Trail (1.5 km), Argus Trail (2 km), Elephant Trail (2 km) and River Exploration Trail (1.5 km). The lodge also operates four-wheel drive night safaris along dirt tracks. The guides use powerful spotlights to search for nocturnal animals along the side of the track and in the the canopy.
Kawag Danum Rainforest Lodge offers 20 rooms in 3 blocks of accommodation linked by a plankwalk. There are 10 deluxe rooms (air-con) and 10 standard rooms (fan-cooled). All rooms have en-suite bathrooms with hot showers.
Facilities at the lodge include a restaurant, observation tower, boardwalk, jetty and a network of jungle trails. The restaurant serves buffet-style meals including a mix of Malaysian and international food.
Getting To Kawag Forest Area
Kawag is located 51 kilometres from Lahad Datu. The lodge is accessed via a dirt road. It takes 60-80 minutes to drive from Lahad Datu to the lodge. Transfers are done in four-wheel drive vehicles.