Tabin Wildlife Reserve covers an area of 122,500 hectares northeast of Lahad Datu in eastern Sabah. The rectangular shaped reserve is one of the largest protected areas in Sabah and is mostly covered with lowland dipterocarp forest. Whilst Tabin contains areas of undisturbed forest, much of the reserve consists of previously logged over forest.
Tabin was declared a protected area in 1984 primarily due to the existence of three of the largest mammals found in Sabah: the Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Banteng (a species of wild cattle). Nine species of primate are found at Tabin, namely the orangutan, Bornean gibbon, banded langur, silvered langur, grey langur, western tarsier, slow loris, long-tailed macaque and pig-tailed macaque. The largest predator found at Tabin is the clouded leopard. Whilst sightings of this fantastic cat are rare, it is quite common to see leopard cats and civet cats.
Tabin Wildlife Reserve is home to an astonishing variety of birds. To date over 300 species of birds have been recorded at Tabin, including eight species of hornbill and some rare and endemic species.
With its rich biodiversity it is not surprising that Tabin Wildlife Reserve has gained a reputation is an excellent place for nature-based activities, especially wildlife watching. The range of activities includes jungle trekking, 4WD night safaris, night walks, wildlife spotting and bird watching.
A unique feature of this protected area is the existence of several active mud volcanoes. These are rich in minerals and serve as salt licks, attracting a range of wildlife. The mud volcanoes therefore offer good wildlife watching opportunities. There is an observation tower at the Lipad mud volcano and most tours visit the area to search for wildlife or look for animal footprints in the mud.
Accommodation facilities are good with the Tabin Wildlife Resort offering lodge-style chalets set in the rainforest. The Resort offers a total of 20 rooms comprising 10 river lodges and 10 hill lodges. Each room (twin or double) has an en-suite bathroom with hot shower, baloney and ceiling fan. Tabin Wildlife Reserve is located approximately 50 km north east of the town of Lahad Datu. The reserve is accessed via sealed and gravel roads.
Borneo Adventure offers a range 3 and 4-day Tabin Wildlife Reserve tour packages plus a Danum Valley and Tabin 5 day tour.