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Danum Valley Conservation Area 丹浓谷自然保护区
Explore the Wonders of Sabah Malaysia
Danum Valley is located 80km from Lahad Datu. The journey takes about two hours with the first 15km being the main Lahad Datu-Tawau road. The rest of the ride is on an unsealed private logging road. The Danum Valley Conservation Area in Sabah has the best of both worlds — nature in a pristine state and world-class research facility. Together, they have placed the 438sq km of primary jungle on the international wildlife map. Located 25km west of Lahad Datu is one of the world’s most complex ecosystems, the Danum Valley Conservation Area. Scientists from the world over come here to study wildlife in a primary forest, with many spending three years researching its scientific wonders and soaking up its charm. The forest itself is the most important and best protected area, the only primary forest in Malaysia surrounded by natural forests and is well managed by Sabah Foundation. Danum is well known in the United Kingdom due to numerous British scientists having worked at Danum Valley Field Centre since 1985. Danum Valley conservation area biodiversity boasts an amazing diversity of animal life including the highly endangered Sumatran rhino, elephant, tembadau (banteng), sun bear, orang utan and clouded leopard. Some 275 species of birds have also been recorded, including all eight species of Bornean hornbill. The flora is no less diverse with tree species numbering over 200 per hectare. A special feature is the ‘Nenga Gajah’, a small arecoid palm, found in only three locations in the world. The ecosystem here is also a subject of international scientific studies. Danum Valley Conservation Area (DVCA) is an ideal location for adventure and nature lovers. Jungle trekking, wildlife photography and bird watching are particularly popular in this pristine forest. Tembaling Falls takes about 1 to 2 hours walk to reach, along a trail where one can witness Danum Valley’s abundant flora and fauna. One of the spectacular waterfalls and pools found in Danum Valley Conservation Area is Sungai Purut Waterfall situated on the way to Gunung Danum. This waterfall is about 20 m in height with 7-tiered pools. It takes about 4 hours of jungle trekking from the Field Centre to reach the pool. Visitors can either choose to camp overnight or take a day trip. Burial caves have a special place in the myths and legends of the Orang Sungai in Borneo. They believe in the combining powerful spirits of hills and water. In Danum Valley, three burial sites have been discovered; two near the Field Centre and one below the cliff overlooking Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Gunung Danum or Mt. Danum at 1093 meter is the highest peak in Danum Valley Conservation Area. Trekkers preferring a leisurely hike could take the 3 days 2 nights’ trip. However, hard core trekkers take only about 4 hours to reach Gunung Danum. An international event, the Eco-Challenge 2000, that took place in Danum Valley Conservation Area, proved this feat was possible. Other interesting places are the nearby Rafflesia Hill where Rafflesias are found, Rhino Pool where the elusive Sumatran rhinoceros was once sighted, Gunung Nicola another peak within the vicinity and over 50km of marked trails in the conservation area. Visitors must hire a ranger from the Centre whenever they go for jungle trekking.