Looking for a way to enjoy and learn more about Sabah’s rainforests? You’ve come to the right place. The Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre is the place to go to better appreciate and understand this fabulous natural resource.
Located in Sepilok just two kilometres from the famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, it’s also very easy to visit when you’re staying in the Sandakan area.
There’s an information centre, some trails and a canopy walk. A highlight for many is the night tours.
If you’re wondering exactly what the Sandakan Rainforest Centre is and what you can do here, keep reading! You’ll soon know everything there is to know about this attraction so you can make up your own mind if you should visit here. I vote yes!
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Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) Review
I visited the Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre by myself late-afternoon.
What Is The Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre?
The Rainforest Discovery Center Sepilok is home to an information centre, a 25-metre tall steel canopy walkway and some walks in the rainforest. You can also hire a paddle boat to use on the lake near the entrance.
The information centre has family friendly displays to learn more about the rainforest. Outside, there is a Plant Discovery Garden where you can find some of the rare flora and fauna species found in Borneo.
The canopy walkway is a highlight and runs for 363 metres up high in the rainforest. It’s perfect for spotting birds and other animals while enjoying everything about the rainforest.
There’s a nice one kilometre walk around the lake, and you can also do more challenging hikes like the 20 kilometre return Kabili Trail. This is for experienced hikers, and you need a permit from the ticket office. The lake also has a cool suspension bridge as well as a zipline across it, although the zipline didn’t look that open when I visited.
However, the most popular activity here in the Night Walk. These run at 6pm a few nights a week for an extra charge. This is the best time to spot animals such as flying squirrels, mouse deers, slow loris, vipers and more.
Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre Review
On arrival to the centre, there’s a small building with the ticket counter. You can buy your ticket here. It’s also where you can get information about night tours.
There’s then a very short walk uphill to the lake area. The lake area is very pretty and this is at the heart of the Rainforest Discovery Centre.
On the left is the visitor building which is home to a small exhibition about the rainforest and its flora and fauna as well as other information. I went here last which I think was a good way to do it because much of the information was around the park and I preferred reading as I went, rather than everything at once, but up to you ☺
I headed straight to the café and the start of the canopy walk. The canopy walk was impressive from the first moment I stood on it. Pretty quickly, I was high above the ground without really walking uphill.
It’s a great way to get an appreciation for the trees. One is 75 metres tall in this area – the same size as a 25 storey building!
There are information boards along the way and I did see some wildlife jumping around the trees. Magical!
Along the canopy walk, there are a few towers that take you even higher. Birdwatchers will love these in particular and there was a few set up on the various towers with some of the biggest camera lenses I have seen!
The canopy walkway seemed to stretch on a long way. I don’t like heights, but the scenery and the beauty of the area kept me calm. At one point, it branches into two walkways. The ends do connect on to other trails so you don’t have to backtrack.
At the end, I walked on a trail back to the lake. It was well maintained and easy to walk along even though it was raining during my visit. The trails also have some information boards.
The lake itself is very pretty and I walked over the suspension bridge which is a bit of fun.
I then walked around the exhibition at the visitor building. It’s small and not that exciting, especially if you have been reading things of interest on your way around. It looks great for families though. There are bathrooms here.
I then finished my visit by walking around the Plant Discovery Garden. It’s very pretty and well organised. There are pitchers, orchids, medicinal plants and more. It definitely is a great way to learn more about the flora of the rainforest as it’s hard to spot much with an untrained eye while walking around.
The best times to visit at the Rainforest Discovery Centre are either first thing, at 8am, or later at 4pm or the night walk. This is because wildlife likes to sleep during the heat in the middle of the day.
Many people report seeing orangutans in the wild here. I would have loved more time to walk more of the trails. I definitely underestimated what a great place this would be. It’s very accessible for some beautiful experiences.
Where Is Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre?
Address: Jalan Fabia, Sepilok, 90715 Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
The easiest way to get to the Rainforest Discovery Centre is in a taxi ordered in the Grab app. It’s also possible to walk here from the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre but it is hot.
Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre Entry Prices
Foreigners pay RM20 for adults and RM10 for kids 5-17 years old to enter. Malaysians pay RM7 for adults and RM3 for kids.
Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre Opening Hours
The Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre is open daily from 8am to 5pm. It’s also open some evenings for night walks. Contact the centre for more details.
If you’re looking for a great experience getting closer to Sabah’s rainforest while learning more, the Sandakan Rainforest Centre is a great choice of activity when you’re in Sandakan.
It’s in a handy location not far from Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre so it’s easy to visit here as part of your exploration of Sepilok.
I very much enjoyed visiting here and it’s a great place to go to wander and enjoy while learning more. I recommend allocating a couple of hours for your visit.
I hope you have found this guide useful and have a great trip!
Looking for other things to do in Sepilok? Find our full guide here. Or find more activities in the wider Sandakan area here. You can also find our full guide to where to stay in Sandakan here and our full guide to Sandakan/Sepilok here.
Planning a trip to Malaysia? Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!