Deramakot Forest Reserve

Travel to Deramakot forest reserve, a carefully hidden gem in the Malaysian part of Borneo. With only a few chalets maintained by the forest department, and no luxury resorts or other entertainment for miles around, there are only serious wildlife enthusiasts traveling in this destination. One must make prior arrangements with a tour operator to get all the permits and booking done.



Where to Stay in Deramakot Forest Reserve

The Deramakot Forest Park HQ where you will be staying in AC chalets while your Travel to Deramakot Forest Reserve is only accessible by four-wheel drive (4wd). The nearest airport is Sandakan airport via Telupid Town, however, transportation from Kota Kinabalu airport can also be arranged easily. The chalets have air-conditioned twin bedrooms with attached bathrooms and western style toilets. 



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 priority wildlife. Sometime late night safari and early dawn game drives are also arranged.



How to travel in Deramakot Forest Reserve

Below is a sample 5 nights Deramakot Forest Reserve trip 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 other three destinations  for an immersive Borneo experience. A handy blog post comparing these four destinations can be found here:


Deramakot Forest Reserve or Danum Valley or Kinabatangan River or Tabin – where to go for the best Borneo Adventure?


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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