20th anniversary

OUR MISSION : To excel as an ecolodge by providing a unique experience in hospitality interpretation and conservation with local community participation and leadership development.

Sukau Rainforest Lodge was born from the vision of Albert Teo, President and Founder of Borneo Eco Tours of the complete ecotourism experience. As Albert observed “an ecotour without a good ecolodge is not complete”. So he undertook to build a lodge that would provide great wildlife watching experiences and become a base of operations for the Kinabatangan area while also demonstrating sustainable building and operating principles.

Opened in May 1995, Sukau Rainforest Lodge is built on stilts using Borneo hardwood species and is completely self-sufficient in water, harvesting rainwater and solar energy for hot water heating. Electric motors are used for river safari tours to wildlife areas to minimise air and noise pollution and reduce stress to the wildlife. Every room has an attached bathroom with solar hot water shower while electricity is supplied at night by a generator set.

Sukau Rainforest Lodge together with Borneo Eco Tours also run a not for profit Sukau Ecotourism Research and Development Centre or SERDC (2000) which in 2007 was upgraded and registered as Borneo  Ecotourism, Solutions and Technologies Society, or  BEST Society, www.bestsociety.org to manage its community and environmental projects on Kinabatangan River and elsewhere in Sabah. As of June 2015, Sukau Rainforest Lodge has contributed RM 483,547 (36%) and RM 258.653 (18%)out of total RM 1 342 996 to implement community and environmental projects under our non-profit BEST Society.

Sukau Rainforest Lodge is committed to the principle of Sustainable Development and the realization of a true triple bottom line business. As such, Sukau Rainforest Lodge prides itself on being profitable yet contributing to the local community while conserving the environment. The majority of the staff are from the local Orang Sungai community.


What is an ecolodge?

authentic ecolodges by Hitesh Mehta

Quoted from the book “Authentic Ecolodges” by Hitesh Mehta (Hitesh Mehta, from whom Albert Teo has also drawn much inspiration, is also one of the Conservation Fellows of Sukau Rainforest Lodge.)

An ecolodge is a two-to-seventy five room, low impact, nature-based, financially sustainable accommodation facility that helps protect sensitive neighboring areas; involves and helps benefit local communities; offers tourists an interpretive and interactive participatory experience; provides a spiritual communion with nature and culture; and is planned, designed, constructed, and operated in an environmentally and socially sensitive manner.

An authentic ecolodge embodies three main principles of ecotourism.

  1. Nature must be protected and conserved.
  2. Local community must benefit through community outreach and education program.
  3. Interpretive programs must be offered to educate both tourists and employees abut he surrounding natural and cultural environments.

An ecolodge must satisfy must satisfy at least two additional criteria for the following list of eight:

  1. Use alternative and sustainable means of water acquisition and at the same time reduce overall water consumption.
  2. Meet its energy needs through passive design and renewable sources.
  3. Provide for careful handling (reduce, reuse, recycle) and disposal of solid waste.
  4. Use environmentally friendly sewage treatment system.
  5. Fit into its specific physical and cultural contexts through careful attention to form, landscaping, and colour as well as through the use of vernacular architecture.
  6. Use environmentally friendly building and furnishing materials.
  7. Having minimal impact on the natural surroundings and utilize traditional building techniques during construction.
  8. Endeavour to work with the local community, including community members, wherever possible, in the initial physical planning and design stages of construction.


Updated : 29 April 2015