The 560-kilometre Kinabatangan River is Sabah’s longest river, beginning in the Crocker Range in Southwest Sabah and ending at the Sulu Sea southeast of Sandakan. From the headwaters to its vast river mouth, the Kinabatangan passes through a diverse range of habitats, including dipterocarp forest, seasonally flooded riparian forest, oxbow lakes and mangroves.
Whilst the upper reaches of the Kinabatangan River have been extensively logged, much of the lowland forest and mangroves have survived. This vast floodplain forest contains a rich mix of vegetation that supports a remarkable diversity of wildlife; including proboscis monkeys, orang-utan, gibbons, elephants, tarsiers, slow loris, crocodiles and a variety birds. In 2006 27,800 hectares of land was gazetted as the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. This protected area essentially forms a wildlife corridor that follows the river.