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Classic Borneo


Experience natural wonders and abundant wildlife you can only find in Borneo on this 10-day adventure. Head into lush rainforests, down scenic rivers and through the traditional villages of this beautiful region. Hang out with orangutans in Sepilok, cruise along the Kinabatangan River, chill out on the stunning Manukan Island and get a taste of city life in Kota Kinabalu. There's no doubt that this adventure in Borneo will find its way into your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories.

10 days, from

$2,560

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: TMKB
Style: Comfort
Theme: Explorer

Details

Countries Visited:  Malaysia
Accommodation: Lodge (3 night), Hotel (4 nights), Resort (2 nights)
Transportation: Boat , Plane , Private mini van
Included Meals:

  • 9 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches
  • 2 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • One of the wildest places on earth, Borneo offers rare treats for the nature lover – see orangutans in Sepilok and proboscis monkeys at Labuk Bay.

  • Visit the mountainous village of Kampung Kiau where you’ll meet the locals, learn about a social enterprise that empowers women and enjoy a traditional lunch of regional favourites.

  • Search for wildlife when you’re cruising the Kinabatangan River on a water safari and while you’re in the depths of the wilderness at your jungle lodge.

  • Explore Mt Kinabalu Botanical Garden, its local orchids and lush forests blending seamlessly with Mt Kinabalu’s unspoiled wilderness.

  • During two days on glorious Manukan Island, there's plenty of time to soak up the relaxed beach vibe and to get close to marine life on an included snorkelling trip.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Kota Kinabalu

Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6pm. If you have any free time beforehand, why not get out and explore this intriguing city that was born between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea. Modern-day 'KK' is a vibrant modern metropolis, having recovered from World War II bombings. You may like to peruse the local handicraft market on the waterfront or take a wander around Chinatown.

Day 2: Mt Kinabalu National Park - Kundasang

Leaving Kota Kinabalu behind, head for the hills and travel to the rural village of Kampung Kiau. Here you’ll have the chance to experience a slice of local life, visiting a coffee factory and learning about production in the region. You’ll also check out Everything Pineapple, a sustainable and community-based project that was formed in the aftermath of the 2015 Sabah earthquake to socially and economically empower women from Kampung Kiau. Take the chance to pick up some delicious handmade pineapple jam, chutney or juice. Have a wander around the village then sit down to a lunch of local favourites in a shady spot shared by the community, then hit the road and drive on to Mt Kinabalu National Park. Stretch your legs and soak up the mountain scenery with a stroll through Mt Kinabalu Botanical Garden, an excellent showcase for the diverse plant life on the mountain, as flora from all over the park has been replanted here.

Day 3: Kinabatangan River

After breakfast, travel to Kinabatangan River in private minivan. Arrive at your jungle lodge, located beside the river – ideal for taking in your wild surroundings. The Kinabatangan River is a protected forest reserve, containing some of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Borneo. In the afternoon, board a river cruise, hopefully spotting some of the more elusive local creatures. Wild elephants seldom reveal themselves, but crocodiles, macaques, wild orangutan, proboscis monkeys, hornbills and kingfishers are more easily seen. After this short adventure, return to the lodge to enjoy dinner.

Day 4: Kinabatangan River

Wake up to the calls of Bornean gibbons and hornbills before hopping aboard a morning cruise down the river. Keep an eye out for proboscis monkeys, long-tailed macaques and pig-tailed macaques – your leader will point out the differences between each species. Enjoy some down time to relax and enjoy your surroundings before another afternoon river cruise to see wildlife along the riverbank. This final cruise will be your last chance to snap some photographs of the incredible wildlife along the river. Spend one more night in your lovely accommodation right in the heart of the jungle.

Day 5: Sandakan

Head off this morning to the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, a safe haven for proboscis monkeys for over 20 years. Watch these delightful big-nosed primates from viewing platforms over the mangroves and forested areas of the centre – an experience you can only have in Borneo. Travel onwards to Sandakan and visit the Sandakan War Memorial. Here you will learn about the city's past as you stand on the same ground of the former Japanese Prisoners of War camp. This site also marks the starting point of the tragic Sandakan Death Marches, on which 2400 POWs were forced to walk through the jungles of Borneo. By the end of the march, only 6 Australians survived, and only because they had escaped. The evening is free for you to explore Sandakan. The city is celebrated for its seafood, so be sure to ask your leader for tips on where to pick up the freshest catch!

Day 6: Sandakan

Start the day with a visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary. The centre was set up to help reintroduce these wonderful creatures back into the wild after a life of domestication or having been orphaned. From the viewing platform, you can watch and photograph these charming creatures as they swing into view and eat the supplementary diet of bananas and milk that is laid out for them twice a day. Human contact must be kept to a minimum and it's essential that you follow the instructions of the park, as directed by your leader. Also included is a new nursery where you can view young orangutans as they learn how to climb on a specially constructed jungle gym. The viewing area is behind one-way glass so as to not disturb the animals. To see more of Borneo’s unique wildlife, you’ll also visit the newly opened Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center. Here rescued sun bears that have spent many years being mistreated and locked away in cages are cared for, with hopes of rehabilitation and reintroduction into the wild. You’ll also check out the Rainforest Discovery Centre, where you can roam about the treetop walkways, learning more about the flora and birdlife of Borneo. Return to Sandakan for the evening.

Day 7: Manukan Island

Say goodbye to Sandakan and fly to Kota Kinabalu this morning. On arrival take a short boat ride to Manukan Island, one of the larger islands found in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine National Park. A picture-perfect paradise of white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters, the island is a wonderful place to swim, snorkel, walk or just simply roll out a beach towel, grab a cocktail and chill out on the beach.

Day 8: Manukan Island

See beneath the surface of Manukan’s waters today when you set out on a snorkelling trip with a local guide. Cruise out to the coral reefs where your guide will help you spot brightly coloured marine life – if you’re really lucky you may even bump into a sea turtle while you’re down there. Pull up on the beach for lunch and a chance to discuss the morning’s discoveries. After snorkelling, the afternoon is yours to enjoy. Soak up the turquoise views for another few hours as you stroll or swim about in this stunning slice of paradise.

Day 9: Kota Kinabalu

Head back to Kota Kinabalu today by boat and minivan. You may like to stop off for a visit to the intriguing Mari Mari Cultural Village, nestled deep in the countryside. Here you will see how indigenous ethnic groups of Borneo used to live. You may prefer to check out the Sabah Museum to learn about Sabah’s past, if you didn’t have a chance to do this when you first arrived, or perhaps do some last-minute souvenir shopping at the Filipino market. Tonight, why not join your group for a final dinner to celebrate all you’ve seen and done on your adventure through Borneo.

Day 10: Kota Kinabalu

With no activities planned for today, your Borneo adventure comes to an end after breakfast.