Deramakot Forest Reserve Travel

Travel to Deramakot forest reserve, a carefully hidden gem rich in rare wildlife with 75% of Sabah’s mammal species found in this 55,507 hectares of mixed dipterocarp forest. With only a few chalets maintained by the forest department, and no luxury resorts or other entertainment for miles around, this is the place for the finest wildlife enthusiasts. One Must make Prior Arrangements to get all the Entry Permits and room bookings done, unlike many other Borneo destinations. This is where Safari Acacia can assist you to travel Deramakot Forest Reserve and experience its all natural secrets, completely hassle free. Once you contact us, our team can check with Forest Department and block your rooms, arrange the 4wd Safari Vehicles with expert drivers who are working in Deramakot for decades and are well aware of the Deramakot forest and the animal movements here, and manage all the entry permits for you.


Location, Accommodation and Food in Deramakot

There is only one option to stay in Deramakot Forest Reserve, and considering its remoteness, the accommodation option and food here is fantastic. The Deramakot Park HQ has Air Conditioned chalet rooms in Deramakot with en-suite bathrooms, hot shower and western style toilets. Blankets, towels and pillows are provided. Rooms are really limited in Deramakot and are fully booked months even years in advance.   The rooms in Deramakot Forest Reserve is only accessible by four-wheel drive (4wd) from the nearest town of Telupid. The nearest airport is Sandakan airport, however, transportation from Kota Kinabalu airport can also be arranged easily. One can either use our transport from Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu, Sukau or Lahad Datu or any other area for peace of mind; or can also use public bus service. Our team will be happy to guide you on buying bus tickets.


Our Guides and Gears in Deramakot Forest

Finally, the most important part of any wildlife expeditions, we appoint the handpicked best Licensed guides particularly who are experienced in Deramakot Forest. Not many licensed guides are available at present who has experience in this forest and tracking its nocturnal animals, and Safari Acacia is proud to claim that our guides are the topnotch and internationally acclaimed. The night spot lighting from a 4wd vehicle is an amazing art and we have the bests in our team. Armed with the state of the art spot lighting system used in the wildlife travel industry, like the powerful Acebeam k75 2.0 which can technically throw 6300 lumens of light at a distance of 2500 meters on regular nights, our guests can observe the animals high up on the tree. Ofcourse such a powerful professional device is only handled by our trained guides with utmost care. It is particularly very useful for the wildlife photographers. We also use tripod mounted modern scopes to clearly observe distant animals. You sometime will miss such professional gears with other tour operators. 


When to travel to Deramakot

July to September is the peak tourist season in Deramakot Forest Reserve, but the wildlife viewing opportunity is quite similar the whole year with occasional rains (it is a rainforest after all) throughout the year disrupting the safari activities, but very unlikely the whole days it pours and forces you to stay in your room. 


Wildlife seen in Deramakot Forest

We have experience to run several wildlife expeditions in this remote rainforest of Borneo to track elusive animals. Primates like Orangutans, Sabah grey langur, Silver leaf monkey, Maroon leaf monkey in the daytime and elusive wild cats like sunda clouded leopard, sunda marbled cat, sunda leopard cat, unique nocturnal civets like banded civets, otter civets, slow loris, flying lemur in the night game drives are some of the magnificent animals one can find here. All five species of Bornean wild cats – Sunda Clouded Leopard, Bornean Bay Cat, Marbled Cat, Flat Headed Cat and Leopard Cat were recorded in Deramakot. And Deramakot Forest Reserve is a birder’s paradise.


We have the most transparent pricing when you plan for Deramakot Forest Reserve travel.




Night Safari & Wildlife spotting in Deramakot Forest Reserve

The best atraction of Deramakot Forest Reserve is its night safari via 4wd game drives. The night safari in Deramakot Forest usually starts after dinner and lasts for around 2 hours, but the timing is quite flexible and is decided between the guests and the guide according to the weather and animal movements and one’s target wildlife. For example, early morning and late afternoon drives are prioritized for guests who want to see primates, and more night time drives are arranged for those who are more interested on wild cats or civets or other nocturnal species. And then daytime can be spent around the dining hall for birding or to read the books on Borneo.  Sometime special interest late night safari and early dawn game drives are also arranged.


Wildlife Photographer specific special Deramakot tours are arranged often, when additional drives are arranged. Deramakot is placed on the highest regard in the mammal watching scene of the whole world.



How to travel in Deramakot Forest Reserve

Deramakot is unique in its remore location, abundance of variety of elusive flora and fauna, and has magnificent wildlife viewing opportunity as there is no rush, no crowd of regular tourists, and no walk-in tourism. Our guests stay for 4 nights or more in Deramakot most of the time to feel the complete charm. Below is a sample 5 nights Deramakot Forest Reserve Tout Itinerary, it can be extended for more days according to your choice and targets, usually repeating the itinerary of day 2 or 3.

The other three finest wildlife viewing locations in the Sabah state of Borneo are 

We always recommend staying at least 5 nights in Deramakot and continue to the atleast one of the other three destinations  for an immersive Borneo experience. A handy blog post comparing these four destinations can be found here:


6days/5 nights Deramakot Forest Reserve

Photograph Mammals of Borneo in Deramakot forest reserve and Danum valley, 10 Days

clouded leopard

Wild cats of Deramakot forest reserve

All five species of Bornean wild cats, namely, leopard cat, marbled cat, clouded leopard, flat-headed cat, baycat are seen, leopard cat being the most common and baycat the rarest. Infact, this is the only forest where all five wild cat species are recorded.

Civets of Deramakot forest reserve

7 Species of civets are recorded from this forest. Commonly seen by our guests: island palm civet, striped palm civet, 3 striped palm civet, otter civet, banded civet, malay civet. All of them are nocturnal. Except the malay civet which is terrestrial, the other civet species are highly arboreal.

Primates of Deramakot forest reserve

Among primates, of course the main attraction is the completely Wild population of Orang Utan inhabiting this forest. Maroon langurs, silver leaf monkeys are commonly seen during the day-time safari, and flying lemur, Philippines slow loris are commonly seen in night safaris. Recently described Sabah gray langurs are also recorded a few times very close to the basecamp.

Birds of Deramakot forest reserve

289 species of birds are recorded from Deramakot. Broadbills, treeswifts, pittas,  woodpeckers, leafbirds, spiderhunters, owls, eagles, bristleheads, flycatchers, frogmouths, nightjars of several species has been seen by our guests. Seven species of hornbills can be seen flying over the canopy here, White-crowned, Rhinoceros, Oriental Pied, Wreathed and Wrinkled are among them.

The wild Orang Utan of Deramakot Forest

When you book your Deramakot Forest Reserve expedition, we will take you to a remote forest where you can find actual Wild Orang Utan, not relocated from rehab centers, also there is no feeding station here. So when you find one, it will be in its natural habitat displaying its Natural Behavior.


Keep in mind that these animals are not accustomed to being startled by the sudden presence of humans, unlike the animals that you would see in the rehabilitation centers. It would be helpful if you could maintain a low profile, refrain from making any unexpected movements or noise, and give the “Human of Forest” some time to adjust to your presence.

Useful Information about Deramakot Forest Travel

      • When you travel to Deramakot Forest Reserve, please inform us of your dietary requirements. We will also be excited to discuss If you like to try any particular local dish. Please bear in mind that we will be staying in a remote rainforest miles away from the nearest supply. We will do our best to provide both Western and Asian style varied meals, freshly cooked by the experienced chef stationed in the camp. 

      • We will provide you field guide books during safari. You can also read through an extensive collection of books on Borneo while in the camp.  

      • We can arrange wifi for an additional cost (MYR 15 per 1 GB data) to your room.

      • You need a pair of slippers and comfortable walking/trekking shoes, rather than heavy duty gumboots/Wellington boots. Slippers are useful to walk from your room to the canteen (~100 meters) and the safaris are by car. Due to the presence of wild pygmy elephants in the vicinity, the forest rangers do not encourage walking safaris. We also believe in safety first for our clients. 

      • You need a raincoat/poncho as short heavy rains are quite common in this part of the world. We can also arrange it for you, if requested in advance.

      • Please also bring rain covers or waterproof bags to secure cameras/binoculars during rain. Or you can request us in advance mentioning the model of your gears.

      • A headlamp is always handy, so is mosquito repellent and antiseptic cream in tropical forests. 

      • We will provide one water bottle per pax when we meet and greet, you can refill it from the dining hall anytime. Tea/coffee/milo with hot water and Breads with jam/spread are complimentary, and available 24 hours at the same spot. Limited choices of soft canned drinks and alcoholic beverages can be pre-arranged at an additional charge.  

      • Blanket, towel, pillow, clean bed sheets will be provided and replaced. Kindly carry the other personal amenities, or request us in advance.

      • In each chalet you will get limited charging points, so you might consider carrying a multiplug to charge multiple gadgets together at the same time.
      • Due to weather conditions, activities may be subject to re-scheduling to best meet operations, as well as client’s health and safety.

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