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Rainforest and Kinabatangan River, Sabah

Borneo Adventure

14-day tailor-made journey from £2,490 pp incl. flights


Short description

Showcase Borneo’s unique wildlife, rainforest wilds and pristine sands


  • Spot unique wildlife, from orangutans to sun bears
  • Explore with jungle treks, longboat cruises and turtle-island stays
  • Visit remote tribal communities
  • End in style with some white-sands relaxation
  • Enjoy flights, transfers and guided touring included throughout

In Brief

  • 1 Night Kuching Sarawak
  • 2 Nights Batang Ai
  • 1 Night Kuching Sarawak
  • 1 Night Sandakan Sabah
  • 1 Night Selingan Island
  • 1 Night Abai Jungle Lodge
  • 1 Night Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge
  • 3 Nights Kota Kinabalu


Recommended for:
Activity adventure | History & culture | 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. And, this comprehensive tour will showcase the best of it all, 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 even be treated to turtles hatching on a national-park island before ending on a luxury 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 boutique, all-suite accommodation. Housed in a 19th-century shophouse, it’s perfectly positioned in the old town, with wide windows and verandahs opening onto views out over 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 alike. It’s all tucked away on the banks of the Sarawak River.

Stay: The Ranee Boutique (Superior)

Days 3-4
Batang Ai

Today, your private driver will bring you through rice fields, rural villages and virgin rainforest to arrive at Lubok Antu where a ferry lake hop will bring you to your jungle-fringed longhouse. Weather and time permitting, you’ll get your bearings with a guided nature walk, taking in the exotic verdure and local wildlife, including Borneo’s highest density of wild orangutans. You’ll also settle in to enjoy a full-board menu of local delicacies, The next day, a private longboat cruise will see you wind along narrow tributaries to arrive at a traditional tribal house. Here, you’ll get a taste of the local culture with lunch, performances and a blowpipe demonstration.

Stay: Aiman Batang Ai Resort & Retreat (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 5

After breakfast, retrace your bow wake with a return ferry jaunt. You’ll then again be met by a private driver for the journey back through palm plantations 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 Ranee Boutique (Superior)

Meals: B L

Day 6

This morning, an internal flight – bookended by private transfers and with a layover and city tour en route in Kota Kinabalu – will see you to Sandakan on Borneo’s northern tip.  While your hotel is all contemporary slick – it features spectacular bay views from its infinity pool – this is a delightfully rustic town. You’ll wander between bustling markets and atmospheric fishing villages where stilted houses are built over the water. There’s also a poignant garden memorial to the WWII allied soldiers that perished in the region.

Stay: Four Points Sandakan (Standard)

Meals: B

Day 7
Selingan Turtle Island

Your guide will meet you at your hotel this morning before bringing you to the town’s jetty for your boat transfer to Selingan Turtle Island Park. On arrival, you’ll register with the park HQ before settling into your chalet and enjoying the chance to relax on the white-sand beaches, perhaps swimming and snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters. Then, after indulging with the full-board dining, it’s time for the main event. You’ll be brought down to watch the turtles lay their eggs before helping the rangers bring their precious cargo to the hatchery. There’s even the possibility of releasing the babies into the open sea.

Stay: Selingan Island Resort (Basic)

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Abai Jungle Lodge

Your return ferry hop will bring you back to Sandakan and a drive to the nearby orangutan rehabilitation centre. You’ll begin with a feeding session before enjoying a topical forest walk to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, home to the world’s smallest bear. A riverboat will then bring you up the Kinabatangan and into the heart of the rainforest – the dramatic setting for your dark-timber chalet. Keep your eyes pealed for silver leaf monkeys, Bornean gibbons and wild orangutans. Then, after continuing your full-board dining, a night river cruise will showcase a spectacular firefly display before a boardwalk stroll brings you among the local nocturnal wildlife, from snakes to chirping birds.

Stay: Abai Jungle Lodge (Basic)

Meals: B L D

Day 9
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. After a cruise up the river to Sukau village offers the chance to spot 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.

Stay: Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge (Basic)

Meals: B L D

Days 10-12
Kota Kinabalu

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. 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 the beach relaxation, there’s superb snorkelling among reef-fringed islands and excellent trekking at nearby Mt. Kinablu – Malaysia’s highest mountain. There are even 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: Shangri-la Rasa Ria (Superior)

Meals: B

Days 13-14
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

14-day tailor-made journey from £2,490 incl. flights


Low Season

from £2,490 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £3,050 pp. incl. flights

  • Complimentary UK airport lounge access
  • Private transfers through-out (only exception on Selingan Island/Sandakan)
  • 11 nights accommodation in a mix of 3* (Standard) and 4* (Superior) hotels, on a mix of B&B and full-board basis - see itinerary for details (Please note accommodation on Selingan Island, Abai & Kinabatangan river is very basic, but offers the best way to experience these extraordinary locations)
  • Private touring in Batang Ai with lunch
  • Days 7-10 touring is on a shared basis, including a visit to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, river cruise on Kinabatangan River, local tree planting project and wildlife cruise

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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