The Amazing Kinabatangan River

After our visit with the orangutans we headed to our next lodge, located by the Kinabatangan River. We stayed two nights and enjoyed three river cruises.  The river is located in Sabah, on the island of Borneo. Kinabatangan is 560 kilometers long, making it the second longest river in Malaysia. What makes this place remarkable is the amount of wildlife you can find in and by the water. Here are some of the creatures we saw. Scroll over the photo for the names.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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47 Responses to The Amazing Kinabatangan River

  1. fgassette says:

    You have taken some awesome photos of some animals and birds I have never seen. Thanks for sharing. Hope you continue to experience such a wonderful journey.


  2. Wow, I don’t think I could ever have enough camera memory cards for a place like that. Fabulous shots!

    • TBM says:

      I had about six with me, but sometimes I was so in awe I forgot to snap photos. And then there are the animals and birds that disappear right when you get the camera ready.

      • You know, sometimes it’s good not to have the camera up to your face all of the time because, how do I word it, it does kind of take away from the affect your surroundings have on you.

      • TBM says:

        I agree with you. Sometimes it’s best to take in the smells, sounds, and feel and not the photo.

  3. aFrankAngle says:

    What diversity!!!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Lots of variety – looks like a very exciting place for wildlife 🙂

    • TBM says:

      It is! And I don’t want to even think about all the creatures we didn’t notice, but I’m sure they saw us.

      • Like the snake picture – G had people hunting high and low in Uganda for snakes and we never saw any (perhaps luckily!)

      • TBM says:

        I have the opposite. The Better Half hates snakes and when we spotted this one, I was in trouble. I may have suggested that there were no snakes in Malaysia–I mean it’s a jungle–not a place for snakes 🙂

      • Lol maybe that’s where we went wrong! I still attest to this day that the story I read as a child, about a fox looking for strawberries, is one of the most valuable lessons I’ll ever learn – the stuff you want is generally to be found when you stop looking so hard for it!

      • TBM says:

        that is a good point! Not to be cheesy, but that’s how I found the better half. Once I stopped trying so hard to find someone and to make relationships work. I finally decided being alone is just fine. a year later I was living with the better half and I have no regrets. Some minor complaints, like why do I find socks all over the flat. but no regrets.

      • That’s lovely 🙂

        And I can sympathise – I am like a human hurricane! G hates it! 😀

      • TBM says:

        That’s how I think of the better half–a hurricane.

  5. bocafrau says:

    Gosh. I really love wild life shots. It’s fast becoming my favorite thing to photograph. These are great – love the Blue-eared Kingfisher…

  6. lazybill says:

    These animals always look so content it makes me think I ought to give living in a tree a try!

  7. adinparadise says:

    Amazing captures, TBM. The blue-eared kingfisher is so photogenic. 🙂

  8. bulldog says:

    I think my camera would over heat from use here… wonderful photos…

  9. The Hook says:

    Your work never fails to fascinate me. Thanks!

  10. nrlymrtl says:

    I have a weakness for herons, so it’s cool to see one in your group of photos today. The macque monkeys are quite fun to look at – they always seem to have this smidge of a look on their faces that means they are up to something.

    • TBM says:

      The macaques are everywhere and yes they are up to something–probably stealing something from tourists. Our guide kept calling them bandits. We cruised by so many herons and our guide never really pointed them out. I think they’re lovely, but probably too common for most tourists. This may be the only heron photo I got that turned out.

  11. pattisj says:

    I enjoy seeing how the wildlife differs from place to place.

  12. Anna says:

    Wonderful pictures! You were lucky. We never got to see a snake or a crododile, but we saw loads of orangutans and pygmy elephants. It’s interesting to see how much the same river has to offer. Every day is different there.

    • TBM says:

      We didn’t see any elephants until we arrived in Danum. We did see orangutans along the river, but I didn’t get many great photos of them.

  13. samokan says:

    Wow, amazing !

  14. poppytump says:

    Unforgettable experience TBM . Love that Kingfisher such a vivid plumage . The Bushy Crested Hornbill looks so comical !

  15. Gorgeous birds! What an experience you had.

  16. Fergiemoto says:

    Wow, how cool is that!!
    Such great photos!

  17. love the blues of the kingfisher. it’s interesting that the herons i see every morning in my neighborhood are exactly the same.

    • TBM says:

      I was amazed by the herons as well since I’ve seen them in many places now. And always right at the river’s edge, searching.

  18. Kingfishers and hornbills! Awesome!!

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