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“A Bit Creepy and Care Needed to Avoid Bat Guano but I'm Glad I Did It!”

Gomantong Cave Sandakan
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US$62.50*
and up
Private Full Day Gomantong Cave and Kinabatangan...
Ranked #10 of 21 things to do in Sandakan
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Reviewed 29 June 2018

Visited with my wife as part of a small tour group. The boardwalk from the parking area to the cave is about half a mile and the ambient heat was intense. We were advised to wear clothing that covered us and were also given plastic helmets and surgical gloves in case of flying guano or muck on the handrails which didn't help the sweating!

On arrival at the cave the entrance was quite huge and there was a boardwalk going around the edge inside which was about 3-400 yards in length. The cave was obviously dark but there was some light from large openings in the roof at various intervals which allowed the bird and bats to get in and out. The cave is a haven for Swiftlets to nest and their empty nests are considered a delicacy in China so when the young are hatched the nests are harvested as part of the local industry. The cave is obviously a haven for bats also and it is almost impossible to circumnavigate the cave without getting "hit" from above! Add to this the fact that the cave is absolutely infested with cockroaches and other creepy crawlies and it wasn't surprising that not all our group undertook the walk!

Do the tour at your peril!

Thank Geoffers1817
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"birds nests"
in 47 reviews
"creepy crawlies"
in 21 reviews
"bat guano"
in 13 reviews
"bird poo"
in 9 reviews
"wear a hat"
in 9 reviews
"red leaf monkeys"
in 15 reviews
"million bats"
in 8 reviews
"bird's nest"
in 8 reviews
"chinese market"
in 5 reviews
"wooden walkway"
in 7 reviews
"wild orang utans"
in 8 reviews
"board walk"
in 11 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 21 reviews
"kinabatangan river"
in 15 reviews
"interesting experience"
in 5 reviews
"clams"
in 12 reviews
"camera fee"
in 9 reviews
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30 - 34 of 489 reviews

Reviewed 20 June 2018

We made a 2nd visit to Gomangtong recently to see the bat exodus at dusk and it was fantastic. The mostly Wrinkle-lipped Bats come out in waves that you can actually hear if you listen closely. The whole think lasted almost an hour and was a highlight of our trip. We also saw Red Leaf Monkeys and Macaques around the cave as well.

We didn't actually go inside the cave this time since we did that a year ago. So, whether you want to go inside or not a visit is worthwhile just to see the bat exodus.

Thank EDH_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2018

I have been to few cave-sites, though Gomantong are very different, unique and interesting. Be prepared to overcome any fears of crawlies, thousands of cockroaches around you. But be brave, for with valour only some amazing nature's secrets can be observed. To see the co-habitation of swiftlets and bats in the nests is worth a trip (this is nature's way of shared-residences concept!)
Our local guide,GARY, had smartly suggested to visit at 5pm (some time prior to sunset).
I must share, just around the sunset, while swiftlets (birds) are returning back to caves, nocturnal bats start out. The sight of these hundreds of bats flying out of the caves is a amazing sight. From the ground the sight of flying bats (in groups of 100s) appear as an ever-changing and dynamic patterns.

Sorry, you may not get to meet with the Batman of the DC Comics !

Thank JayenShah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2018 via mobile

We as a group visited this cave on the way back from the Nature Lodge Kinabatangan Resort. It has a nice information/visitor centre with many photos and plans. The Gomantong cave system has two caves with the most accessible being Simud Hitam which is accessible via a wooden boardwalk. Bird nest is being harvested from here and some locals stay in wooden huts nearby the entrance.

The boardwalk within Simud Hitam is slippery and there are bird droppings on the railings. It is just another cave and they charge you RM300 for bringing in a camera.

1  Thank JamesKMTan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 June 2018

These caves are famous as a resource for "bird's nest". While there was no live display of the harvesting of the latter ,as a geographical feature it is still worth the visit. It is cavernous and quite impressive.
While I respect the need to charge fees I did think that the RM30 fee for cameras was STEEP especially in view of making a comparative to what is collected at the Sepilok and Sun Bear Bornean Sanctuary.
The pathways both leading TO the cave and WITHIN are VERY slippery . I think the the reserve management should look into improving on this. The potential for serious mishaps for visitors is unquestionably high. (as a suggestion - nailing onto the wood walkways chicken barb /grid wire)
Please note for those who are really "eeky" about creepy crawlies I think it would be in your vested interest to reconsider

Thank klmal61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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