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Orangutan, Borneo

Borneo Adventure

16-day tailor-made holiday from £3,275 pp


Short description

Discover Borneo’s unique wildlife and rainforest wilds


  • Spot unique wildlife, from orangutans to sun bears
  • Visit a tribal longhouse in Sri Aman
  • Meet the residents at the famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
  • Spot pigmy elephants along the Kinabatangan River
  • End in style with some white-sands island relaxation

In Brief

  • 3 Nights Kuching
  • 2 Nights Sri Aman
  • 1 Night Kuching
  • 1 Night Kota Kinabalu
  • 1 Night Abai Jungle Lodge
  • 2 Nights Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge
  • 3 Nights Gaya Island


Recommended for:
Activity adventure | December holidays | February holidays | History & culture | January holidays | March holidays | Natural world | River cruise | Wildlife

Malaysian Borneo is the land that time forgot, where golden monkeys swing from vines and tribal villages crouch in jungles old. Explore it all on this comprehensive tour, showcasing the best of the region with transfers, local dining and best-in-location stays included throughout. On everything from longboat cruises to rainforest treks and conservation-centre visits, you’ll spot the likes of orangutans, monitor lizards and pygmy elephants, with guided touring throughout. You’ll then wrap things up with a touch of luxury at a stunning white-sands resort. 

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart UK

Begin your trip with complimentary airport lounge access before your flight out to Borneo.

Day 2

On touching down in Kuching, a private transfer will see you to your accommodation, the Hilton Kuching. It’s perfectly positioned in the old town, opening onto views of the river. While you might want to relax after your flight, be sure to take in the city’s old-world charm; narrow streets lead between historic Chinese shops and colonial townhouses. It’s all tucked away on the banks of the Sarawak River.

Stay: The Hilton Kuching (Superior)

Days 3-4
Kuching & Bako National Park

As well as the delights of the town itself, Kuching also makes a superb base for adventures into the surrounding region. As such, we've included a programme of touring to help make the most if your three-night stay. It all begins on day three, with a city tour led by an expert local guide, taking in the aromatic spice markets of Gambier and India street, the excellent Brooke Gallery at Fort Margherita and the oldest Chinese temple in Sarawak. In the afternoon, you'll join a sampan cruise on the Sarawak River, revealing views of the city's mix of modern, colonial and Malay architecture. Then, on day four, you'll head out of town for a day at Bako National Park. Perched on a peninsula jutting out into the South China Sea, its unique variety of ecosystems support a wide range of animal and bird life, from flying lemurs to monitor lizards (lunch provided)

Stay: The Hilton Kuching (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 5
Kuching to Sri Aman

Taking an air-conditioned vehicle from your hotel, you'll hit the road for the next leg of your Borneo adventure, stopping first at the Semonggoh Nature Reserve, a 740-acre sanctuary for orphaned and rescued orangutans. Head to the feeding platform for the chance of glimpsing some of the youngsters before continuing your journey to Sri Aman, pausing at colourful markets and passing rice and pepper plantations along the way. You'll also have time to visit a small Chinese village, where you'll be treated to lunch at a local restaurant. Finally, after a further scenic drive, you'll arrive in Sri Aman where you'll check into your comfortable accommodation before enjoying a guided stroll around town. It's a chance to take in such highlights as Fort Alice and the century-old Tze Yin Khor Chinese temple, located on the banks of the Batang Lupar River. You'll then have time to freshen up at the hotel, before dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Stay: Seri Simanggang Hotel (Standard)

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Mengkak Longhouse tour

This morning's adventure sees you visit a nearby Mengkak longhouse to meet the tribespeople and enjoy a performance of a traditional war dance, complete with full ceremonial regalia. It's a truly fascinating introduction to the region's culture, which will be further enhanced with a tasting of the tuak rice wine and a lunch served either by the riverbank or in the longhouse itself. You'll then head back to base for an afternoon of relaxation. That is, unless your trip happens to coincide with the Sri Aman tidal bore - one of just 60 known tidal bores in the world. If you're lucky, you'll be able to take it in from the banks of the Batang Lupar River, just a short stroll from your hotel. 

Stay: Seri Simanggang Hotel (Standard)                                                                                                                                                                     

Meals: B L

Day 7

After breakfast, it's time to retrace your steps back to Kuching and the colonial charm of your hotel. Along the way, you’ll stop for an included lunch at a small town – the chance to sample rural Malaysian life. On arrival, perhaps take some time to acquaint yourself with the city’s spectacular cultural diversity. There’s everything from South Indian mosques to Chinese dragon temples.

Stay: The Hilton Kuching (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 8
Kuching > Kota Kinabalu

Fly from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu, where a transfer will take you to the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort. Check in and spend the rest of the day at leisure, exploring the town's burgeoning creative scene and tucking into some of Borneo's tastiest street food. The waterfront makes for happy strolls, and there are few better ways to end the day than with a glass or two of something local as the often-fiery sunset lights up the evening sky.

Stay: Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort, Kota Kinabalu

Meals: B

Day 9
Kota Kinabalu > Sepilok by boat to Abai Jungle Lodge > Night cruise

Another domestic flight brings you to Sandakan where an included transfer will see you to the nearby Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. You’ll begin with a feeding session before enjoying a tropical forest walk to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, home to the world’s smallest bear.

A riverboat will then bring you up the Lower Kinabatangan River Sanctuary and into the heart of the rainforest for lunch at Abai Jungle Restaurant. A journey of discovery starting from the waters of the Sulu Sea of Sandakan Town through magnificent mangrove swamp. After checking in experience a cruise in search of wildlife, and as the sun sets witness fireflies. Return to the lodge for dinner where after dining search for birds, snakes, insects and other wildlife with a nature guide.

Stay: Abai Jungle Lodge (Basic)

Meals: B L D

Days 10-11
Kinabatangan River

Waking up to the sounds of the rainforest, you’ll set off on a cruise on the Pitas Oxbow Lake, keeping your eye out for pygmy elephants stopping for a drink. After breakfast, you'll have the chance to join the locals with a tree-planting project before tucking into a traditional lunch prepared by the villagers. Then, following a cruise up the river to Sukau village, with the chance to spot troops of proboscis monkeys, you’ll then settle into your stilted chalet to enjoy the pretty waterside views. Then, before an included dinner, you’ll venture out once more on a winding tributary cruise to take in everything from crocodiles and otters to wild cats and tropical birds. The next day is just as magical as an early morning cruise sees you out onto Ox-bow Lake to hopefully spot hornbills swooping through the surrounding forests and, with luck, catch a glimpse of an orangutan or pygmy elephant on the jungled shoreline. You'll then head to the Gomantong Cave, famed for its edible bird's nests, and take a scenic stroll along its boardwalk before retuning to the lodge for a relaxing afternoon.

Stay: Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge (Basic)

Meals: B L D

Days 12-14
Sukau by boat to Sandakan > Kota Kinabalu > Gaya Island

Waking up to the gibbons’ calls, you’ll stop for an included lunch and a visit to the edible birds’ nests of the Gomantong Cave. Then, continue by road to Sandakan and your flight to Kota Kinabalu. On arrival into Kota Kinabalu join a boat at Jesselton Point Jetty to Gaya Island Resort

Here, a private transfer will see you to the white sands and tropical forests of your luxury spa resort, all private balconies and opulent styling. In between beach relaxation, there’s superb snorkelling among reef-fringed islands and excellent trekking at nearby Mt. Kinablu – Malaysia’s highest mountain. There are pristine nature walks on your doorstep, along with a water sports programme that ranges from kayaking and wake boarding to windsurfing and jet skiing. 

Stay: Gaya Island Resort, Malaysian Borneo (Superior)

Meals: B

Days 15-16
Depart for UK

After breakfast, a final private transfer will see you to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Meals: B



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

Accommodation rating: Standard Superior

16-day tailor-made holiday
from £3,275 pp

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