The area holds unique status in the sense that before it became a conservation area there were no human settlements within the area, meaning that hunting, logging and other human interference was non existent making the area almost unique. It is managed by Yayasan Sabah for conservation, research, education, and habitat restoration training purposes.
The nearest town, Lahad Datu is about 82 km away (about a 2 hours drive on mainly logging roads). Danum Valley Field Centre is a research establishment for scientists and education purposes, and a nursery for propagating Dipterocarpus trees by the 100,000s. There is one lodge, the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, for tourists. From here visitors can do guided walks through lowland rainforest trails, and many people go there mainly for bird watching. Other activities include night walks and drives.