Uncover the unique natural world and tribal culture of Borneo on this wildlife-packed journey
- Watch orangutans and proboscis monkeys in lush jungle canopies
- Float down remote rivers searching for wildlife
- Stay in jungle lodges in pristine national park settings
- Explore Borneo's rich tribal culture
- Visit ancient longhouses in beatiful Batang Ai
- 1 Night Kuching
- 2 Nights Batang Ai
- 1 Night Kuching
- 1 Night Sandakan
- 2 Nights Kinabatangan River
- 2 Nights Danum Valley
- 3 Nights Kota Kinabalu
Activity adventure | History & culture | Natural world | River cruise | Wildlife
Malaysian Borneo is renowned for its wildlife and a holiday here will reward you with a myriad of encounters with some of the world's most iconic species. From orangutans and proboscis monkeys - a species endemic to Borneo - to pygmy elephants, colourful hornbills and Bornean gibbons, the ancient rainforests of Sabah and Sarawak are teeming with animals, insects, reptiles, birds and plant life not found anywhere else on earth. This 15-day tailor-made Borneo tour takes in the wildlife-rich regions of the Danum Valley and the Kinabatangan River Sanctuary; Batang Ai, where you'll discover traditional tribal longhouses; the bustling towns of Kuching and Sandakan; the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Sanctuary and the beachside city of Kota Kinabalu from where you can explore beautiful coral-fringed islands and stunning Kinabalu Park - home to Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia's highest peak.
Day by day itinerary
After relaxing with included airport lounge access, depart the UK on an overnight flight, via Kuala Lumpur, to Kuching on Malaysian Borneo's northwest coast.
You'll be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel in the city centre. Spend the rest of the day exploring Kuching on the banks of the Sarawak River. Wander through the city's narrow streets where you'll discover traditional Chinese shop houses, ornate temples and a wonderful riverfront park. Sarawak Museum offers an insight into the city's past and if you're there at the weekend, the Sunday market is a great place to people watch and pick up a souvenir or two.
Stay: The Ranee Boutique
Depart Kuching and head by road to the beautiful Batang Ai National Park, 250 kilometres to the east of Kuching near the border with Kalimantan - the Indonesian part of Borneo. Your journey will take you through rural villages, palm oil plantations and sections of virgin and secondary rainforest. Stop for lunch along the way at the small town of Lachau before reaching the hydro lake at Lubok Antu where you'll board a ferry to the Aiman Batang Ai Resort & Retreat, located on the lake's southern shore. The following day sees you head to the Mengkak Longhouse deep inside the rainforest. A traditional motorised longboat will take you across the expanse of the lake and into the Engkari River before reaching the longhouse where you'll have the chance to meet the local tribes people, enjoy a cultural performance and a blowpipe demonstration. After lunch is served you'll have some time to relax before heading by boat back to your hotel.
Stay: Aiman Batang Ai Resort & Retreat
Meals: B L D
Leave Batang Ai this morning and return to Kuching by road, stopping for lunch at one of the rural roadside towns. Check into your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Stay: The Ranee Boutique
Meals: B L
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer to Kuching's airport for your flight to Sandakan in the neighbouring state of Sabah, located on the edge of the Sulu Sea on Malaysian Borneo's northeast coast. You'll route via Kota Kinabalu, and, with a long layover, your guide will whisk you into town for a tour of the city. The, on arrival in Sandakan, spend the rest of the day exploring the city's old town, perhaps paying a visit to the poignant war memorial dedicated to the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives on the infamous Borneo death marches of the Second World War. If there's time, the traditional stilted fishing communities on the outskirts of town are also well worth a visit.
Stay: Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan
Meet in the hotel lobby this morning and head to the nearby Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre - Borneo's flagship conservation project that rescues and rehabilitates orangutans with the aim of releasing them back into the wild. After a fascinating video highlighting the work of the centre you'll head to the feeding platform in the neighbouring lowland rainforest where you'll see the young orangutans inhabitants enjoying their morning meal. From Sepilok you'll transfer to the town of Sukau by road where you'll check into the Borneo Nature Lodge for a two-night stay. The afternoon sees you heading out into the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary to observe all manner of wildlife including colourful hornbills, macaques, kingfishers and proboscis monkeys - a unique species endemic to Borneo.
Stay: Borneo Nature Lodge
Meals: B L D
Rise early to the sounds of the jungle for a river cruise to Oxbow Lake and the chance to see more wildlife. The region is home to several wild orangutans and if you're lucky you may just spot one making its way through the jungle canopy. Another rare species that inhabits this region is the Borneo pygmy elephant that can sometimes be seen drinking from the banks of the river.
Meals: B L D
After breakfast at the lodge you'll transfer by road to the town of Lahad Datu in Sabah's southeast corner. After a short briefing and registration at the Borneo Nature Tour office you'll drive for two and half hours deep into the virgin rainforest of the Danum Valley to the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, your home for the next two nights. Enjoy a welcome drink and check into your cabin - we recommend upgrading to a deluxe cabin with gorgeous river views and a private balcony with its own bathtub, perfect for relaxing to the sounds of the forest after a day exploring the jungle. Your two days in the Danum Valley will be packed with activities, making the most of the abundant wildlife of this stunning protected rainforest. You'll enjoy nature walks, tubing down the Danum River, spotting wildlife from the 300 metre-long canopy walkway, visiting the historic burial site at "Coffin Cliff" and taking a refreshing dip in the "Jacuzzi Pool". You're expert guide will take you along a series of nature trails deep in the rainforest where, if you're lucky, you'll see gibbons, orangutans, red and silver leaf monkeys and a host of bird, reptiles and insects that make the Danum Valley their home.
Stay: Borneo Rainforest Lodge
Meals: L D D (Basic)
After a relaxing morning and lunch at your lodge you'll transfer by road back to Lahad Datu and board a flight to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah's capital, and check into the Shangri-la Rasa Ria with sweeping views north across the South China Sea. You'll have three nights here to relax and enjoy the resort, explore the city with its bustling markets, restaurants and shops or perhaps take a trip to Kinabalu Park - home to Malaysia's highest peak, Mount Kinabalu. A relaxing day at the Poring Hot Springs or a trip to the coral-fringed islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park are other worthwhile options.
Stay: Shangri-la Rasa Ria
Meals: B L
Transfer to Kota Kinabalu airport for your overnight flight to the UK, arriving on day 15. Daytime flights are also available, speak to our Asia specialists to discuss your options.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
15-day tailor-made journey from £3,575 incl. flights
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