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Borneo Bird Festival 2017

Pesta Burung Borneo 2017

The Borneo Bird Festival 2017 will be taking place at the Crocker Range National Park and also in Kota Kinabalu City from 20-22 October. This is also the 9th year that the bird festival is being held here in Sabah and is the largest bird festival in Malaysia.

Organised by the Sandakan Borneo Bird Club, the event has seen over 30,000 people visiting the festival over the years. International visitors have also grown due to the marketing programs conduct by the Borneo Bird Club at world bird fairs.

Borneo Bird Festival 2017

This year, the unique venue of Crocker Range National Park was selected to assist in cross promoting tourism and awareness of the largest protected park in Sabah. This is also the first time the event is being held at the national park.

Around the park, you can also find the unique Rafflesia Forest Reserve, which is touted to be one of the unique places in Sabah.

Crocker Range Park has also been recognized as a Biosphere Reserve by the International Coordinating Council for Biosphere Reserve (CRBR), a program under Unesco in 2014.

Pesta Burung Borneo
Birders in action at the last Borneo Bird Festival in Sabah, Malaysia
As for the 9th Anniversary of the Borneo Bird Festival, a series of activities have been panned throughout the three-day event at Kota Kinabalu and Crocker Range National Park.

For the Sabah Bird Race 2017, participants will be transferred to Crocker Range from Kota Kinabalu and back. This will be a full-day event that ends at 4.00 PM.

This year's theme is also "Protect Our Songbirds and Hornbills", is aimed at awareness towards heavy poaching and hunting of these beautiful birds in Sabah. There will be talks specifically for this and everyone is invited.

Program Borneo Bird Festival 2017
The Borneo Bird Festival 2017 Programme, updated September
The main venue is at Imago Shopping Mall in Kota Kinabalu City where most of the bird watching products, books, equipment and talks will take place at.

The main launching event for the Borneo Bird Festival 2017 will also take place here. There will also be an exhibition of bird photos and children's activities going on at Imago Shopping Mall in Kota Kinabalu.

The main event, which is the Sabah Bird Race and Sabah bird photography race will be seeing many participants of all ages taking part, at the national park venue.

Omicron Binoculars, one of the participants at the Borneo Bird Festival 2017
Another fun activity at Crocker Range will be the guided bird walks, conducted by naturalist and the senior bird watchers of Sabah. This will allow beginners to participate in a walk to spot birds and flora around the park.

As the indoor activities will be held at Imago Shopping Mall in the city of Kota Kinabalu, you can expect many vendors selling bird memorabilia, books, cameras, binoculars and scopes.

Brands such as Omicron, Kowa, Minox, Leica, Swarovski, Nikon, Sony, Canon and more will be showcasing the latest equipment and accessories.

Kowa Binoculars Scope Malaysia
Kowa Malaysia, at a booth during one of the bird festivals in Malaysia
Other vendors include nature resorts from around Sabah, bird clubs from around Malaysia and Asia who cross-promote their birding activities.

Talks by renown naturalist, bird watchers and representatives from non-governmental organisations are also one of the highlights during the event in Kota Kinabalu.

In general, the Borneo Bird Festival is the best place to get first-hand information about the hobby of bird watching and photography in Sabah.

IBA Sabah Borneo Malaysia
A list of Important Birding Areas in Sabah or IBA. Crocker Range National Park is marked on the left side.
Bird Watching At Crocker Range National Park

As Crocker Range National Park is one of the top bird watching spots in Sabah, there are quite a several endemic birds that can be spotted here. To know more about this, you can view the list of Endemic Birds of Borneo.

Crocker Range National Park is well known to be a hot spot for Bornean montane endemics, namely the Bornean Barbet, Bornean Falconet, Bornean Leafbird, Whitehead’s Spiderhunter, several species of Hornbills, the Great Argus Pheasant and many more.

Sabah Bird Festival 2017
Visitors at the recent Borneo Bird Festival
Borneo Bird Festival 2017 Information
Date: 20-22 October 2017
Day: Friday to Sunday
Time: 7.00 AM till 6.00 PM
Venue: Crocker Range National Park & Imago Shopping Mall, Kota Kinabalu City
Website: Borneo Bird Festival

Currently, the website is still being updated and you will find more information somewhere in July or August. If you need more information, you can contact the Borneo Bird Club directly.

For those in Sabah, you can also get information from the Sabah Tourism Board office along Gaya Street in KK City.

How to go to Crocker Range National Park?

Generally, you need to drive there from Kota Kinabalu City which takes you around two hours. There are currently no buses that go directly to the event, therefore you are required to take a taxi, UBER or Grab from Kota Kinabalu.

You can also rent a car and self-drive to the event as it cost around RM150.00 per day for a basic car. There are many car rental companies found all over Kota Kinabalu city.

For those who require more information, you can also visit the Sabah Tourism Board office at Gaya Street in KK City.

Manis Manis Nature Resort Crocker Range
Manis Manis Resort at Crocker Range National Park
Are There Hotels Around Crocker Range National Park?

To be honest, there are only a couple of them. One is called Manis Manis Rooftop of Borneo Resort, which is located at the national park. If you really want to stay here, this is the best place. Other hotels are located in the area of Keningau.

There is another resort named Uli Kimanis Resort, which is the other end of the national park, so please double check.

Most of the hotels in Keningau are standard budget or basic hotels. We would recommend you look at the hotels to Kota Kinabalu, as the organisers will be providing shuttle service back and forth for participants and visitors. Please contact organisers about this.

Photos Taken During The Borneo Bird Festival

Photos of Borneo Bird Festival
A Wallace Hawk-Eagle photographed in Sandakan during the last bird watching event
Members of Borneo Bird Festival
Marshall's and some of the participants during the 2016 Borneo Bird Festival in Sandakan, Sabah
Participants of Borneo Bird Festival
Participants from the Borneo Bird Festival at Kinabalu Park in 2015
Bird Festival Malaysia
A Scarlet Rumped Trogon photographed at the Borneo Bird Festival in Sabah
Bird Watching in Malaysia

In 2014, bird watching in Malaysia as looked into by the Tourism Ministry of Malaysia where they are keen on developing this unique hobby and also promoting it to the world.

Malaysia is well known for quite a several species of birds which are found in many different areas of the country. A total of over 780 species of birds is found throughout Malaysia.

Wikipedia has a list of birds of Malaysia for anyone interested to find out more as it is quite complete. You can also find both the English and scientific name of the birds of Malaysia.

I also have a dedicated birding website for Malaysia and Southeast Asia called Bird Watching Asia if you are interested to explore more.

Birding Event in Malaysia
Crested Serpent Eagle circling the Borneo Bird Festival in Sabah
Little Spiderhunter Sabah
Little Spiderhunter, spotted around the Borneo Bird Festival event area
Sabah was one of the pioneers who steered birding to where it is today and big thanks go out to the Sandakan Borneo Bird Club who initiated the inaugural Borneo Bird Festival nine years ago with the assistance of Sabah Tourism Board.


Now Bird Watching in Borneo has grown from a niche hobby to a general hobby with many locals and international participants taking part at the many birding events held around Sabah and also Malaysia. 

The upcoming Borneo Bird Festival 2017 is one birding event not to miss for any enthusiast locally or internationally.

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