Monday, April 08, 2013

Watching Proboscis Monkeys in Borneo, Klias Wetlands Park, Beaufort, Sabah, Malaysia


If you’re staying in Sabah in Malaysia on the island of Borneo, it’s highly likely you’ll have heard of proboscis monkeys. They are wild, they live in the jungle and they have long noses. But more importantly they are native to the island of Borneo (Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia).

This is the only place on planet earth that you can see them outside a zoo. It’s worth doing, and naturally it’s a popular touristy thing to do. Hardly off the beaten track I know, but as a traveller I do the popular things too!! (Hence why I mixed hammocks in un-known Suriname with popular sights like Machu Picchu on my South American tour).

How to organise watching Proboscis Monkeys in Borneo

You’ll have guessed that Borneo has lots of jungles and therefore lots of tour companies organising these monkey trips (and Orang Utan ones). To book a trip to watch the proboscis monkeys, you are better to book it through a tour company. If you’re staying in the city of Kota Kinabalu like me, just pop into one of the many tour operators in town and book it.

If you are a really tight budget backpacker then you could realistically hitchhike or hire a car and drive out to Beaufort Town yourself then try to blag onto one of the boats that take you to where the proboscis monkeys are. I really don’t recommend it.

I have met tons of so called “budget backpackers” over the years who insist that booking through tour companies is always dearer – it’s often not and your best way to see the proboscis monkeys is to book it through a company. But make sure they include hostel pick up, food, proboscis monkey boat tour and fireflies boat tour. It’s easy to organise – find a company, agree a price and get your tickets.

How much does watching Proboscis Monkeys in Borneo cost?

If you just want to see the monkeys then you will probably be able to get it for around 60 Ringitts (or less if you have your own transport). However we booked a tour which included other things. Our entire tour cost 150 Ringitts for a 7 hour trip. This cost also included the fireflies, the transport to and from the hostel, the boats, afternoon tea and a full dinner.

We also ate our breakfast at the hostel that day (included in our hostel price) but as it’s all you can eat you can get by without eating anything else that day – the afternoon tea and evening dinner is enough.

How do you get to Klias Wetlands Park for watching Proboscis Monkeys in Borneo?

We were picked up at our hostel at 2pm in Kota Kinabalu, driven to a place called Beaufort Town which houses Klias Wetland Park. Transport was comfortable and efficient and all included in the tour. It was a small mini-bus we got.

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