Sunday, August 29, 2010

Malaysia: Whitewater rafting in the Kiulu River (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah)

After trekking up Mount Kinabalu, we decided we wanted more adventure in Sabah. So we went whitewater rafting in the Kiulu River. There are many places to go whitewater rafting is Sabah. Kiulu River has level 1 to 2 rapids which are good for first timers and casual travelers who simply want to try whitewater rafting.

You'll have to book this activity with one of Sabah's accredited travel agencies. Our driver picked us up at our hotel at about 8:30 a.m. There were two other people in the group for a total of four passengers. It's a one and a half hour drive to the Kiulu River area.

Each travel agency has its own facilities and equipment in the area. Our boat was just big enough for four people plus the guide. Before rafting down the river, we were given a safety and instructional briefing, particularly how to sit down and what to do when you fall off the raft.

The whitewater course is about 7 kilometers and the trip lasts about an hour or two. There is a rest break in the middle which allows you to swim in the river or do some body rafting, which is riding the rapids using only your life jacket.

The guide is very entertaining as well and makes sure you enjoy the boat ride. You don't have to worry about steering the boat since the guides can ably do that as you paddle your way downstream.

At the end of the ride, there are changing and shower facilities. After freshening up, we rode the van to Kiulu Town where a heavy lunch of chicken and vegetables was waiting for us. We were back in Kota Kinabalu at about 2:30 p.m. which gave us some time to explore the city some more.


  1. Paula Nierras29.8.10

    hi ivan! do we have to book this in advance? or can we just arrange for the trip upon arriving at kota?

  2. You can arrange this in Kota Kinabalu but make sure you do it one to two days in advance. You could e-mail them as well for advance notification

  3. Whitewater rafting in Kiulu River was probably my wildest yet most exciting & memorable experience ever! 5 stars for adventure!


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