Imagine the silence of pristine fields, a silence broken only by the calls of the native animals and the soothing sounds of water flowing over rocks. This is just one of the many delights awaiting you at Kiulu Valley.
Located 60 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu, this beautiful valley offers you an experience of a lifetime by taking you through one of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of Sabah. Kiulu Valley is an integrated ecotourism destination that includes farmstead, homestays and outdoor adventure activities that are sure to satisfy your appetite for adventure. It is the perfect place for you to unwind and unleash your adventurous spirit!
Experience everything Kiulu Valley has to offer by riding your quad bike through small riverside villages, home of the Dusun ethnic group, passing by green jungles, plantations and through the local peoples’ farms. If you haven’t tried it before, quad biking is an exciting, adrenalin-filled adventure that is not difficult to master. All that is required is a sense of balance and an adventurous spirit! These tough four-wheelers are a fun way to enjoy the guided quad bike rides that twists and turns and takes you up and down the hills.
Kiulu Valley is surrounded by the beautiful Kiulu River and green paddy fields with scenic farms, forests and undulating mountain ridges. If you feel like stretching your legs, explore the adventurous trails of one of Sabah’s beautiful waterfall systems, trek through jungles untouched by the modern world, and a chance of seeing different species of animals. You can also go for a night walk in search of frogs and nocturnal wildlife.
The fertile soil in this area is a major factor for agriculture. It is estimated that there is approximately 16 hectares of land in the area that is planted with rubber trees. The local Dusuns will take you through a rubber tapping experience you can’t resist – from using a special tapping knife to shear off a thin layer of the rubber tree’s bark and letting the latex flow into a cup attached to the tree – to manually rolling and drying the rubber sheets to be processed as rubber bands, balloons, tyres, rubber boots, rubber stamps and many more.
Apart from that, the local Dusuns also plant rice and work on fruit orchards. Regular paddy field and hillside rice are produced on small scales basis. In fruit orchards, various fruit trees such as durian, pineapples, bambangan, langsat and tarap are planted – you can help pluck ripened fruits off trees, and gobble down those delicious and juicy local fruits on the spot!
The local Dusuns will demonstrate to you the process of planting and growing rice – a paddy planting activity that is done sustainably, organically and by hand, the way it had been for generations. You can also dine by the paddy field, giving you the opportunity to taste local dishes that are organic, healthy and delicious. All the ingredients are locally grown and produced in Kiulu Valley, so you can rest assured that the food you are eating are natural, fresh and nutritious.
After a long day of adventure, you can cool down from the heat of the day by dipping and relaxing in the sensationally cool Kiulu River. There is also a beautiful eco-farmstay along the river bank called Kiulu Farmstay – a perfect place to sit back, unwind, have a bite or two and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. The design of the eco-farmstay reflects the Bornean communal culture of longhouses and is built with an eye towards sustainability – using locally sourced and treated wood, bamboo and biocrete walling that fit perfectly with the surrounding jungles. While you’re here, you can try tubing – a perfect relaxed activity in Kiulu River! The tubing trail in the river is already available and safe as tubing in shallow water is possible. Tubing is an individual activity – suitable for both young and old; however, it is important that children are not too young and are able to swim to reduce risks.
Kiulu Valley combines an atmosphere of hospitality with a rich culture. The valley offers you a taste of the warmth, hospitable, peaceful and healthy lifestyle of the Dusun ethnic group. An interesting and unique way to really get to know the place you are visiting is by staying with a local family. This is the ultimate cultural experience where you will learn a great deal about how the local Dusuns live – from work life and local cuisines to things they do for fun. Staying in a home stay with a local family can be a rewarding experience as every person you meet will have a story to share and many friendships have been forged this way.
Let the local Dusuns take you on a cultural journey of a lifetime as you learn about their unique local adventure sport comprising four activities (also known as the 4Ms) – Manangkus (running), Mamangkar (bamboo rafting), Manampatau (paddling on a bamboo pole) and Mamarampanau (walking on bamboo stilts). The 4Ms are indigenous, adventurous and thrilling eco-sports that involve survival skills and teamwork. You can also have a go at the blowpipe – a traditional weapon used to kill animals and for survival.
The local Dusuns are very skilled in handicrafts – from weaving baskets and making traditional costumes to creative wood carving and craft. You can purchase handicrafts as souvenirs or gifts but best of all, you are given the opportunity to learn and create your own handicraft!
Buffalo riding is another activity where you can ride around the valley through paddy fields, neat little houses, groves of fruit trees, and if the weather is clear, Mount Kinabalu forms a spectacular backdrop – a fun activity for both children and adults.
The local Dusuns are also known as the Latin artists of the East, famous in the State for their love and passion for music. Their traditional dances are graceful, colourful and fill with passion for life, and much sought by visitors to Sabah. You can learn the traditional Sumazau dance or play the Tongkungon – a traditional musical instrument – and join in the fun!
Fishing is another interesting activity that you can participate at Kiulu Valley. The local Dusuns will show you how to fish using traditional fishing tools including Siud (handcrafted fishing net) and Bubu (bamboo fish trap).
With so many fun and exciting activities, Kiulu Valley is a great place for family outings, school field trips, camping and team building activities. What sets Kiulu Valley apart from the rest is its location next to the beautiful Kiulu River – deep pools and shady spots with only birdsong, the rushing of the river and flitting butterflies to disturb the peace. Kiulu Valley is one of those rare places where you can sense the adventure in the air, along with the green smells from thousands of miles of jungle just waiting to be explored – ideal for adventure-hunger travelers.
Kiulu Valley is a real learning experience and it is one of those experiences that you’ve got to try when visiting Sabah.