Thursday, June 7, 2012

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

The Best Place to See Endangered Proboscis Monkeys in Sabah, Borneo

The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary in Sabah, Borneo is 400 acres of privately-owned land which has been set aside as a refuge for endangered proboscis monkeys. Around 60 monkeys call the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary home. The mangrove forest, originally targeted to be developed commercially, was set aside in 1994 and then opened to the public later. With most of their native habitat in Sabah consumed by palm oil plantations, the proboscis monkeys would have little chance to survive without the refuge.
While seeing endangered orangutans is a highlight for many visitors to Borneo, even fewer proboscis monkeys remain in the wild.

A Little About Proboscis Monkeys

One of the strangest and most endangered primates in the world, people never forget seeing proboscis monkeys for the first time. Native only to Borneo, the pot-bellied, floppy-nosed proboscis monkey has been red-listed on the IUCN List of Threatened Species. Sadly, less than 7,000 proboscis monkeys are thought to be left in the wild. Only 2,000 monkeys still survive in Sabah, mostly due to habitat loss.
Proboscis monkeys are highly reclusive; spotting one in the wild is challenging. The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary gives visitors a chance to see protected proboscis monkeys in a semi-wild environment. The Bako National Park in Sarawak and boat cruises from Sukau are probably the only other places for the average visitor to see proboscis monkeys in Borneo.

Tips for Visiting the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

  • The entrance fee is $20 for adults; $10 for children under 12 years old.
  • The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of birds and other wildlife - pack or borrow binoculars.
  • The platform viewing area is covered; weather is rarely an issue.
  • Plan on at least five hours for transportation and time to enjoy the sanctuary.
  • Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary has overnight accommodation for guests wishing to extend their visit.

Feeding Times

Each of the two platforms at Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary has two daily feeding times. Plan to arrive a little early in the busy season in order to get good photographs. During feeing times, fruit is placed on wooden platforms to bring the proboscis monkeys into one place where they can be viewed easier. The monkeys know approximately when feeding time will start and begin to congregate in the trees around the platforms.
  • Platform A: 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Platform B: 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Other Things to Do at Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

While the proboscis monkeys are certainly the main draw to Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, there are actually many other activities available to visitors.
  • Bird Watching: The sanctuary boasts a diverse array of birds commonly seen on the property; guests are invited to lounge in an observation tower to watch for rare species such as the Oriental Pied Hornbill, Collared Kingfisher, and Purple Heron.
  • Night Walks: The rainforest comes alive with sounds and shiny eyes once the sun goes down. People who are staying overnight may take advantage of the night walk trails to spot nocturnal wildlife.
  • Morning Walks: Most animals are active early in the morning before the afternoon sun heats up the forest. Guests can begin walking the trails at 7 a.m. in search for deer and other wildlife that call the rainforest home.
  • River Cruises: Similar to the boat cruises offered from Sukau along the Kinabatangan River, expert guides take guests up the river in search of wildlife along the banks. Wild boars, hornbills, and even the occasional python make appearances.


Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary has eight semi-detached chalets available for people wishing to stay overnight. Guests can take advantage of the night walk, morning trek, and other activities typically difficult to enjoy on only a day trip. Contact Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary for reservations and prices.

Getting to Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary is located just outside of Sandakan in East Sabah. A myriad of tour operators in Sandakan typically combine trips to the proboscis sanctuary with a visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre or the Rainforest Discovery Centre.

You can make your own way to Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary by teaming up with other travelers to hire a taxi or private car. Begin by driving on Jalan Labuk toward Kota Kinabalu, then turn at the mile 19 junction - signs indicate the direction. The sanctuary is another nine miles down the gravel road. Alternatively, the sanctuary offers transportation from Sandakan town; make reservations in advance by contacting them via phone. Minibuses depart Sandakan at 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The monkey sanctuary is only
24 miles from the airport in Sandakan, but the drive takes nearly an hour due to unfinished roads.

Contacting the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary


Dylan said...

The prosboscis monkeys are some of the endangered species in Sabah, this Labuk Bay monkey sanctuary will be able to help protect the prosboscis monkey from going extinct. Good job to Labuk Bay.

Dylan said...

The only way to reach the Monkey Sanctuary is down a gravel road, hopefully the government will improve the road condition in that areas so that the tourist and visitors can get their much easier.

Hamdan Hadillah said...

Antara tarikan yang terdapat di Sabah. Teruskan mempromosikan pelbagai tarikan di Sabah ini.

Mumbai said...

the management of Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary should also aggressively promote other attractions in the sanctuary..

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