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Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Best of Borneo & Gaya Island

13-day tailor-made journey from £2,805 pp incl. flights


Short description

Pair a private safari with some white-sands relaxation


  • Watch turtles hatch on a remote island
  • Spot monkeys, pygmy elephants and lizards on jungle treks
  • Enjoy private touring throughout, from river cruises to orangutan-centre visits
  • End in luxury with a spa beach resort
  • Relax with jungle lodge stays, local meals and private transfers

In Brief

  • 1 Night Kota Kinabalu
  • 1 Night Kinabalu National Park
  • 2 Nights Kinabatangan
  • 1 Night Sandakan
  • 1 Night Selingan Island
  • 4 Nights Gaya Island


Recommended for:
Activity adventure | Beach | History & culture | Honeymoon | Natural world | River cruise | Wildlife

Between island paradises and some of the world’s finest wildlife-viewing experiences, this comprehensive itinerary showcases Borneo at its very best. You’ll spot the likes of orangutans, pygmy elephants and monitor lizards on everything from canopy walks and jungle treks to longtail boat cruises and visits to rehabilitation stations. You’ll even watch turtles hatch on a remote island. Throughout, you’ll enjoy private transfers, local dining and expert-led private touring before ending with a beach resort stay, keeping adventurous with snorkelling trips and guided rainforest treks.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart UK

Begin your trip in style with complimentary airport lounge access before your overnight flight.

Day 2
Kota Kinabalu

On touching down, you’ll be met by a private transfer and brought to the contemporary sleek of your waterfront accommodation. Between a spa, poolside bar and a lounge that offers afternoon tea, it’s the perfect relaxed introduction. Otherwise, head out and explore, with seaside walks bringing you among the fisherman to gawp at pearl markets and indulge with the incredible street-food scene. A historic trading post, everything from Japanese delicacies to hearty Cantonese dishes are represented.

Stay: Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu (Superior)

Day 3
Kinabalu Park

You’ll be met today by a private driver for the trip through paddy fields, rural villages and mountain ranges to Kinabalu National Park. Home to Malaysia’s highest peak, its exotic verdure features everything from carnivorous pitcher plants to 24 species of flowering rhododendrons and literally thousands of different kinds of orchids. It’s the pretty scenery that will backdrop your guided jungle walk, offering the chance to spot the likes of Bornean gibbons, mouse deer and bearded pigs. At day’s end, you’ll return to your quaint, fire-heated lodge to enjoy some full-board local delicacies.

Stay: Hill Lodge, Kinabalu Park or similar (Basic)    

Meals: B L D

Days 4-5

After breakfast, your private driver will bring you through the Bornean rainforest and out to the east coast. Break up your journey at the Poring Hot Springs to enjoy a soak in the naturally heated waters along with a canopy-level walk. On a path strung some 41 metres above the forest floor you’ll be treated to a unique vantage point of this thriving ecosystem. Ending the day at the timber chalets of Borneo Nature Lodge, you’ll enjoy yet more full-board specialties before heading out to explore the next day. On a jungle walk and a pair of river cruises, keep your eyes out for everything from proboscis monkeys to orangutans and pygmy elephants.

Stay: Borneo Nature Lodge (Basic)

Meals: B L D

Day 6

Departing early this morning, your next private-transfer hop will see you to Gomantong Cave, a formation famed for its birds nests – a local delicacy. You’ll explore with a boardwalk stroll, bringing you right among the dramatic labyrinth, before continuing – via an included lunch stop – to Sandakan. On arrival, a private tour will showcase the charms of this uniquely rustic town. There are buzzing seafood markets, fishing villages built on stilts above the water and arched Buddhist temples with spectacular sea views. It’s a panorama shared by your accommodation’s infinity pool.

Stay: Four Points by Sheraton, Sandakan (Standard)

Meals: B L

Day 7
Selingan Turtle Island

Another early start will see you on to your boat trip out Selingan Island, enjoying the chance for some white-sands relaxation. Then, after settling in to your cute wooden chalet with a lunch and dinner of local favourites, you’ll have some time to swim and snorkel. However, it’s the turtles that are the real stars. The park ranger will bring you down to watch these majestic creatures lay their eggs, teaching you about the local conservation efforts before bringing the newly laid treasures to the hatchery. Then, there’s a true trip highlight – the chance to watch tiny, new-born turtles scramble over the beach and into the sea.

Stay: Selingan Island Resort (Basic)

Meals: B L D

Days 8-11
Gaya Island

After the return boat journey, your private driver will bring you to an orangutan rehabilitation centre, cloaked in primary lowland forest. Here, you’ll learn of these gentle apes’ plight before watching a platform feeding session and enjoying an included lunch of your own. Then, a ferry hop and private transfer will see you to your exclusive villa on Gaya Island for four days of beaches, spa treatments and gourmet dining. But, with your verandah overlooking a jungle canopy, there’s plenty of chance to explore with a suite of complimentary excursions, including cultural workshops, rainforest monkey treks and visits to a marine-life centre. There is also the option for everything from culinary classes to fishing, snorkelling and diving trips.

Stay: Gaya Island Resort, Malaysian Borneo (Superior)

Meals: B

Days 12-13
Depart for UK

After breakfast, a boat hop – sandwiched by a pair of private transfers – will see you to your overnight flight home.



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Standard Deluxe

13-day tailor-made journey from £2,805 incl. flights


Low Season

from £2,805 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £3,335 pp. incl. flights

  • Complimentary UK airport lounge access
  • Return flights between London, Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan
  • Private transfers through-out (with the exception of boat transfers which will be on a shared basis)
  • 10 nights accommodation in a mix of 3* (Standard) & 4* (Superior) accommodation on a mix of B&B & full-board basis - see itinerary for details. (Please note some accommodation within Kinabalu Park, Sukau and Selingan is very basic, but offers the best way to experience these extraordinary locations).
  • Private guided Jungle trek in Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Springs (please note Poring Springs attracts large crowds)
  • Morning cruise on Kinabatangan River & afternoon wildlife spotting on the river
  • Private tour of Gamantong cave and afternoon tour of Sandakan
  • Shared touring on Selingan Island (Private not available)
  • Private guide to Sepilok Orang Utan sanctuary

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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