Affordable Danum Valley Field Centre

Written by Aleena Che Ramli

Danum Valley Field Centre [DVFC] is a perfect trip for your budget. It is an affordable way to discover and explore one of the best rainforest in Borneo. Nestled in the midst of Danum Valley Conservation Area [DVCA], Danum Valley Field Centre is a fully equipped research facility established in 1986 and has evolved into one of the foremost rainforest research establishment in South East Asia. Visited by both international and local scientists and researches, Danum Valley Field Centre is not only a research centre, but also a field training centre for the undergraduates and graduates programmes and as well as environmental education. It is definitely a destination that are sure to delight all naturalist and adventurous travellers. The meals and accommodation might be simple and basic, however wide variety of trekking trails awaits to be explore and multitude of incredible wildlife to be discovered. Squawking hornbills, macaws flying overhead, swaying orang utans and travelling packs of silver leaf monkeys which can be seen often during your treks, will take you to the mesmerising waterfalls, natural jacuzzi pools and ancient burial site, deep into the interior of Danum Valley. Exploring to this part of Borneo will stay with you for a lifetime, so plan a perfect trip for your budget, to discover the primary rainforest of Borneo.

The Danum Valley Field Centre is approximately 80 km on the west of the Lahad Datu town. It is accessible by road and takes around 2 hours to reach DVFC, situated within the Danum Valley Conservation Area. Danum Valley Conservation Area is 438 square kilometres of virgin lowland dipterocarp forest and known to be the largest undisturbed land in Malaysia. This vast reserve forest is recognised as one of the world’s most complex ecosystems and it is also classified as a Class I protected rainforest. Most of the flora and fauna inhabiting this remote jungle has been able to survive and thrive undisturbed for over 130 million years. It is home to over 500 species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds living relatively untouched. Despite the hot and humid weather, you will be amazed with wide variety of towering tropical trees, exotic orchids, overhanging epiphytes and lingering lianas. Therefore, the biodiversity here are absolutely exceptional, that attracts naturalists, wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers from around the world to this incredible rainforest.

Danum Valley Field Centre not only serves as a research centre, but also a base for visitors wanting to explore the spectacular Danum Valley Conservation Area. In fact, the best places to see wildlife in Danum Valley is actually at the canopy walks. And there are a handful of them located not far from the field centre. Take your time to observe the stunning views of the forest from the treetop, keep your eyes open for monkeys and colourful tropical birds. But they’re not for the faint-hearted or those with a fear of heights, as you will need to climb 30 meters up a ladder attached to a tree. Alternatively, there are Numerous of rainforest trails as well that you can explore. When trekking, look up and watch the occasional hornbill soar overhead, listen to the primates howl as families of orang utans swing between the branches, spot the sambar deer poke their head through the foliage and the small sun bears hang lazily in the treetops. Otherwise, sit in the cafeteria terrace overlooking the rainforest and watch dozens of birds flutter by.

Accommodation at Danum Valley Field Centre are basic, simple and clean, which is ideal for those wanting to explore Danum Valley on a budget. Here are the 3 types of accommodation that you can choose :

CHALET

  • Twin bed
  • Attached bathroom
  • Air conditioned
  • Blanket, towel, tissue and soap
  • Refrigerator
  • Water heater
  • Cupboard
  • Sofa
  • Working table

RESTHOUSE

  • Twin bed
  • Attached bathroom
  • Ceiling fan
  • Blanket, towel, tissue and soap
  • Cupboard
  • Working table

HOSTEL

  • Dormitory bunk beds
  • Common bathroom
  • Wall fan
  • Blanket and towel


However, if you are looking for luxury in the forest, we recommend Borneo Rainforest Lodge for your stay.

Besides visitor’s accommodation, Danum Valley Field Centre has a wide range of facilities such as researchers quarters, laboratories, computer room with broadband, conference room, library, public telephone, multi purpose hall and cafeteria. Therefore, Danum Valley Field Centre is definitely an affordable jungle adventure for those who are content with the bare necessities of clean and comfortable facilities, without skimping on the wildlife experience.