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Klias Wetland River Cruise Sabah

River Cruise at Klias

The Klias Wetland River Cruise in Sabah is one of the closest river cruises around Kota Kinabalu city and easily accessible as it is only a two-hour drive from the city of KK.

This river cruise tour is also operated by Borneo Authentic Adventure, the same company that runs the unique seaside Tempurung Lodge at Kuala Penyu.

The uniqueness of this river cruise will showcase the importance of the Sabah Wetlands while seeing some of the most amazing wetland creatures like the Proboscis Monkey and Fireflies.

Klias Wetland River Cruise

Jeti Klias River
The Klias River jetty entrance
Klias Wetland is also centered around the biggest wetland reserve in the state of Sabah which is called the Klias Wetland Mangrove Forest Reserve.

Usually, most travelers or tourists who do not have the luxury of traveling all the way to Sandakan to visit the Kinabatangan-Sukau Wetlands would opt for this package which is a half day visit. 

Forest Reserve Klias River
Klias Wetland Forest Reserve
The Klias River Safari Tour starts at about 2.00pm from Kota Kinabalu city with your scenic journey passing through the smaller towns of Sabah before arriving at the main Klias river jetty of Borneo Authentic Adventure which is located just by the main road.

A short walk along the wooden covered walkway through the mangrove forest before you arrive at the main lounge area. You are then served some light snacks before your tour starts at about 4.30pm. 

Sabah Klias River
A local is seen along the Klias River
Tours at Klias River
Boats doing the river cruise tours
While waiting around the lounge area, you are given life vests or jackets to be worn when you go for the river cruise. There are proper toilets provided and drinks can be purchased here.

As the lounge is built over the mangrove, you may be able to see some smaller mangrove insects or animals around the area. 

The Klias River Cruise starts with your local nature guide ushering you towards the jetty where boats are ready to take you on this unique river safari.

Note that each group that is going on this river cruise will have their own personal nature guide according to your language. Each boat also can sit about 15 to 20 people. 

Pictures of Klias River in Sabah
The scenic landscape of Klias River
River Cruises Sabah
One of the larger tour boats at Klias River
The journey along the Klias River is absolutely an amazing one with beautiful scenery. As this was my first trip there, I was blessed with beautiful clear skies.

During the cruise, you will also be passing various other lodges and operators who offer Klias River Cruise Packages. 

Along the way, I could not help but notice one of the various boats used for the River Cruises. It was a fairly large double decked wooden boat that looked like it came out from the sixties. 

Klias River Cruise Tours
Tour boats spit some local monkeys along the river
Our first stop was when the local boatman spotted some activity along the riverside. Before you know it, three other boats had made their way in to witness the event and it was a group of Long Tail Macaques sitting on some trees.

Cameras started to click while impressed tourists were frantically pointing the partially hidden primates on the trees. 

As our boat got in closer, I managed to capture a shot of the long-tailed macaques sitting on one of the branches.

Apparently, the primates here are not so used to seeing tourists so they are more afraid then we are, unlike at the Kinabatangan-Sukau River. 

After about five minutes of observing the primates, we continued our journey along the Klias River trying to spot other primates, namely the famed Proboscis Monkey of Sabah.

From my tour guides experience, they are usually found in groups along the river so we kept our eyes wide open for these unique primates.

Apart from the monkeys, we chanced upon a fairly large Monitor Lizard or Biawak as they are locally called.

Our boat went right up to the lizard and this got a few tourists a little uneasy. The Monitor Lizard must have been easily about four feet long and just stayed resting on the tree branch. 

Tour Package Klias River Cruise
Spotting the unique Proboscis Monkey
Soon enough, another boat up ahead has slowed down after spotting something. As we made out way to join them, it was the famous Proboscis Monkey of Sabah. Guests were excited and fascinated with this rare and unique primate.

A bunch of them were grouped on some trees high above by the river and cameras were clicking non-stop. A word of advice to would-be river cruisers - Please keep your noise level down while on the river safari as it may scare off the animals here. 

As the Proboscis Monkeys were perched pretty high up, my 18-105mm lens did not do justice to the picture above was about the best shot I could take.

Anyway, from the guides experience, they are usually nearer to the ground and this was one of the rare cases they were quite high up.

But I have to say, it was pretty amazing to witness these Proboscis Monkeys at the Klias River Cruise. 

Klias River Day Trip
Tourists looking at the Proboscis monkeys along the Klias River
Before we knew it, there must have been about six boats joining in to catch the Proboscis monkeys in action.

Not that the monkeys are going to give us a show, but the mere fact that you are seeing them in the wild made a lot of people excited and happy, and honestly, I was one of them.

Sunset Klias River
Sunset at the Klias River
As the river cruise was about the end, we had to get back to the main jetty and the journey back was equally fascinating.

The beautiful Sabah sunset refused to be boring as always. I could not help but sit back and enjoy the amazing colors thrown into the skies behind the boat. 

While the sun began to hide behind the horizon, the orange and red colors became more prominent reflecting against the Klias River.

This, my fellow readers is what a Sabah Sunset is all about. If you have never witnessed one, you should really consider making a trip to Sabah. 

Buffet Dinner in Sabah
The buffet dinner after the river cruise
Upon arriving back at the Klias River jetty, we were ushered to the well-prepared tables for our buffet dinner which was packaged in the tour.

Local Sabahan dishes were served with the consideration that foreigners were among the guests here, and this was well thought of by the tour operators. 

Orang Sky sunset Sabah

I have to admit that the Klias River Cruise and the entire package was something very interesting and something unusual.

I thought it had ended but we were told that the tour would continue after our dinner. Yes, we were going out again on the boat. This time to witness the amazing beauty of the Klias River Fireflies. 

Fireflies are well known here at the Klias River and have been pulling lots of tourism into the wetlands here.

Among the popular groups of tourists that make their way for this are the Japanese and Koreans. So, after a thirty-minute dinner break, we geared up our life vests and were back on the boat.

This time around, it wasn't too far as the fireflies were about a five-minute boat ride. I must say that it was virtually impossible to take pictures of the fireflies in the dark hence no pictures here. 

Fireflies along the Klias River produce an amazing sight. Imagine thousands of these little lit flies on a tree - making it look like a huge Christmas Tree, something that everyone should experience and see once in their lifetime.

Klias Wetland River Cruise tour package and price: 
  • Per person - RM185 (US$58 - Prices vary from different operators)
  • Child Rate under 11 years - RM130 (US$40)
  • Tour Includes a two-way transfer from Kota Kinabalu, welcome drink, snack and dinner plus river cruise and a life vest with a tour guide. 
Estimated time for the Klias River Cruise Tour: Depart KK at 2pm and arrive back in KK at about 10pm.
Please bring: Binoculars, Poncho, Insect Repellent.
Please wear: Comfortable clothes, sneakers

Another amazing location nearby is also the Tempurung Seaside Lodge at Kuala Penyu which offers seaside lodging that is private and beautiful.

This place is highly recommended for anyone who wants to try something different and natural which is family run. 

Among the many river cruises in Sabah, I have also done the popular and unique Kinabatangan River Cruise which is one of the best in Sabah. This is highly recommended for nature lovers.

There is also the Kinabatangan Night River Cruise being offered for those wanting a different kind of experience in the night.

For more information on the Klias Wetland River Cruise, please contact;

Borneo Authentic Adventure Sdn. Bhd.
Lot No.3, 1st Floor, Putatan Point,
88200, Kota Kinabalu,
Sabah, Malaysia.
Telephone: +6 088 773 066
Fax: +6 088 772 066
Mobile: +6 012 839 9993

Final Thoughts to the Klias River Cruise in Sabah

The Klias Wetland river cruise in Sabah is one of the must-do things if you are short of time while visiting Kota Kinabalu.

This can be done regardless if you are a single, couple or even family travelers who are visiting Sabah Borneo. If you have experienced this before, I would also love to have your thoughts on this amazing experience. 


CathJ said...

sounds interesting bro.. I love fireflies... ^_^

fufu said...

wow long tail macaques... havent seen before!!

N.T.L said...

Your country is so beautifull. In this place, your gov develop eco-tour?
In Vietnam (my country) we have some forest like that (i think that).
Nice blog!

Malaysia Asia said...

Cath - If you go to KK and have half a day to spend, try this place. Worth it.

Fufu - Ahhh Quite a few to be seen here at Klias and also at Kinabatangan-Sukau River. They're pretty black too.

N.T.L - Thank you for the kind words and for your added information, I will be visiting Vietnam, Hanoi next month to experience your beautiful country.


xplorer said...

a very beautiful sunset picture . perfect in every angle . i just love it

Ciki said...

very cool! time to pay the proboscis a visit:) (it's really hard to get a good shot from that far away!)

Malaysia Asia said...

Hi Honeymoon B&B, you sure know your Sabah places and that's great!

xplorer - Thank you very much. I will upload more sunset pics on my facebook page. For those who have not joined, it's here:

Cumi&Ciki - I was using an 18-105mm lens for this. But I had more success at Kinabatangan rather than here in Klias Wetlands.


Malaysia Asia said...

Lechua, it is worth it is you are short of time around KK. Just a 3/4 day tour. Great deal if you ask me, Wildlife + Fireflies and bonus Sunset. Thanks.

Adrian, You know, I thought of bringing my tripod and so on but from the boat - No way, you'd need to camp by the side of the river with a good 300 zoom.


nateniale said...

Sounds great! I've been travelling to many other places around Asia, but I have recently realised that there are so much more in my own country, Malaysia that I haven't had a chance to see! Started planning a trip to Sabah and your blog is great for travels around Malaysia! Thanks!