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Borneo Adventure

Discover the landscapes, history and culture, as well as the amazing flora and fauna of this exotic and evocative island

A 2-week Borneo tour of Sabah and Sarawak

Our Malaysia, Borneo tour – ‘Borneo Adventure’ – includes the awe-inspiring landscapes, incredible flora and fauna and lush rainforest of four of the island’s most spectacular national parks as well as allowing you to discover the local culture, history and cuisine.  An optional extension to an unspoilt, tropical island in the South China Sea rounds off this exciting 2-week tour.

Starting in the historic old town of Kuching – former capital of the famous Raja Brooke and now principal city of Sarawak State – we’ll visit the stunning national parks of Bako and World Heritage Gunung Mulu National Park before heading north to Sabah’s Kota Kinabalu, formerly Jesselton.  From here we take a boat trip to explore pristine Dinawan Island – underwater and above ground – before heading into the interior where we’ll visit another UNESCO-listed site, Kinabalu National Park: discover the fabulous wildlife of Kinabatangan, by boat trips along the jungle-lined river as well as day and night hikes, stay in an eco-lodge and visit the unique Sabah Tea Plantation,  plus of course the world-famous orangutan sanctuary and rehabilitation centre at Sepilok.

For those with a few more days to spare you can optimize your airfare with our selection of optional add-ons which include a stay at the superb Danum Valley Rainforest Lodge, a 2-day ascent of Mount Kinabalu itself or 3-days on the unspoilt tropical island of Manukan.

An original, highly varied and truly unforgettable 2-week Borneo adventure through Sarawak and Sabah!

Note also that for those looking for a shorter tour then we also offer an 8-day Sabah only tour – The Land Below the Wind – starting and finishing in Kota Kinabalu.

(Last but not least, many thanks to Erica Halvorsen for allowing us to use some of her great photos.)

Malaysia

Itinerary

Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.

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Day 1 - Kuching - arrival and walking tour of the historic town

Check-in to our Kuching hotel before an afternoon walking tour of some of the sites of the scenic and historic town founded in 1872 by the famous ‘Raja’ Charles Brooke. The heritage tour includes Chinatown, the waterfront area, colonial buildings such as Fort Margherita and the excellent Sarawak Museum. Evening, local-style welcome dinner.

Overnight: Kuching Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: D, 

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Day 2 - Bako - a visit to Bako National Park

Transfer by road and boat to the nearby Bako National Park. This spectacular protected area, located on the Bako Peninsula, displays some of Sarawak’s most diverse flora and fauna including the iconic proboscis monkeys. Hiking routes through the park will be selected after discussion with your guide, according to time constraints and energy levels.

Overnight: Kuching Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L, 

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Day 3 - Mulu National Park - into the interior

Transfer by plane into the island’s interior to visit the awesome UNESCO World Heritage Gunung Mulu National Park, where we’ll stay in well-appointed national park lodges. Afternoon hike to Deer and Lang Caves – two of the Park’s most spectacular, and indeed two of the world’s largest caves.  After dinner, there’s an optional night hike for those who’d like to experience the sounds and sights of the rainforest after dark.

Overnight: Mulu Transport: Plane, Walk,  Meals: B, D, 

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Day 4 - Mulu - the world's longest cave and a canopy walkway

Morning boat trip up the jungle-lined Clearwater River to visit the famous cave of the same name which at 107 kms is a contender for the longest in the world. Additional visit to the magnificent Wind Cave before returning to the Park HQ for a tree-top level view of the lush forest and birdlife on the canopy walkway – one of the longest in Asia!

Overnight: Mulu Transport: Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L, 

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Day 5 - Kota Kinabalu - farewell to Sarawak and arrival in Sabah

The morning is free to relax, explore some of the self-guided trails or take in the Park’s visitor’s centre before a  transfer to the small Mulu Airport for our flight to Kota Kinabalu, former Jesselton, in Sabah. Afternoon at leisure to explore the town’s vibrant night market or perhaps stroll down to the waterfront for sundowners?

Overnight: Kota Kinabalu Transport: Minibus, Plane, Walk,  Meals: B, D, 

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Day 6 - Pulao Dinawan - a South China Sea island

A visit to the nearby pristine tropical island of Pulao Dinawan in collaboration with a local conservation project, where we’ll explore the undersea life on a guided snorkelling tour as well as the flora and fauna of the island’s jungle-clad interior. Late afternoon return to Kota Kinabalu with perhaps a visit to the town’s waterfront night hawker’s market?

Overnight: Kota Kinabalu Transport: Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L, 

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Day 7 - Mount Kinabalu - the National Park and Sabah Tea

Into the interior with a scenic drive through the Crocker Range to Kinabalu National Park – another UNESCO-listed site – for a hike along one of the nature trails. Continue to the Sabah Tea Plantation for our overnight stay in cosy plantation cottages with stops on the way to see the famous Rafflesia flowers (blooming permitting) as well as the Kundasang War Memorial to the Allied POWs who died during the infamous Sandakan Death Marches.

Overnight: Sabah Tea Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 8 - The Plantation and east to Sepilok

Time to take in the awe-inspiring views over Mount Kinabalu with a morning tour of the fascinating organic plantation and of course the chance to sample the results. Departure east for Sepilok where we’ll stay at the picturesque, lakeside Sepilok Jungle Resort. Time at leisure to explore the resort’s very own botanical gardens.

Overnight: Sepilok Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 9 - Sepilok - the famous orangutan sanctuary

Discover some of Sepilok’s sites with morning visits to the world-famous Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre as well as the nearby Borneo Sun Bear Sanctuary. Time at leisure to escape the midday sun with a late afternoon stroll to explore the nature trails and canopy walkways of the fascinating Rainforest Discovery Centre.

Overnight: Sepilok Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 10 - Gomatong caves and the Kinabatangan River

Morning departure for the spectacular Gomantong Caves, famous for their edible bird nests. Explore the limestone features and their unique eco-system and, with luck, spot some of the wild orangutans that inhabit this area. Continue to Kinabatangan where we’ll check-in to our beautifully located, riverside eco-lodge. A sunset boat cruise on the jungle-lined Kinabatangan River and a night trek to discover the nocturnal wildlife complete our day’s activities.

Overnight: Kinabatangan Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 11 - Kinabatangan - river cruise and jungle hike

Today’s program includes a dawn river cruise, jungle hike and night nature trail with of course plenty of time to relax at the lodge and take in the river views from your chalet balcony. Proboscis monkeys, orangutans, crocodiles and pygmy elephants are just a few of the possible sightings, whilst rare bird species include the lesser adjutant, Storm’s Stork, pitas, broadbills and several species of hornbill

Overnight: Kinabatangan Transport: Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 12 - Morning in Kinabatangan and flight from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu

A morning at leisure – explore some nature trails or check-out the river action from the resort’s well-situated terrace before an afternoon transfer to Sandakan Airport for a return flight to Kota Kinabalu. Alternatively, a transfer to Lahad Datu and on by 4WD is provided for those opting for the Danum Valley extension.

Overnight: Kota Kinabalu Transport: Minibus, Plane,  Meals: B, D, 

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Day 13 - Kota Kinabalu and end of tour

The morning is at leisure to explore Kota Kinabalu, and perhaps check out one of its museums or markets before either an afternoon transfer to Kota Kinabalu Airport for your departure or on to Manukan for a few days beach, snorkelling or diving time on this delightful tropical island.

Extra nights in Kota Kinabalu are also available on request

Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, 

Print Itinerary

Details

The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.

Malaysia, Borneo, local food

Just a few of the many highlights

Jungle hikes, canopy walks, night treks and river expeditions are all on our Borneo menu as well as cave exploration, a visit to an orangutan rehabilitation centre and an overnight stay at a tea plantation.

  • Explore the colonial heritage and bustling Chinatown of Sarawak's charming Kuching Town
  • A 2-day stay in World Heritage Mulu National Park with its stunning scenery and vast cave systems
  • Visit the world famous Sepilok orangutan sanctuary and rehabilitation centre in Sabah State
  • Discover the spectacular landscapes and flora and fauna of Bako National Park
  • Check out the highly varied and still abundant wildlife of Kinabatangan on foot and by boat
  • Extensions include a stay at an eco-lodge in the fabulous Danum Valley or a 3 day sejourn on tropical Manukan Island

Air Departures (UK)

  • 30 August 19 2,675 GBP
  • 12 October 19 2,675 GBP
  • 16 November 19 2,575 GBP
  • 21 December 19 2,875 GBP
  • 10 January 20 2,675 GBP
  • 7 February 20 2,675 GBP
  • 27 February 20 2,675 GBP
  • 31 March 20 2,675 GBP
  • 6 May 20 2,675 GBP
  • 23 May 20 2,675 GBP
  • 27 June 20 2,675 GBP
  • 25 July 20 2,775 GBP
  • 15 August 20 2,775 GBP
  • 28 September 20 2,675 GBP
  • 24 October 20 2,675 GBP
  • 21 November 20 2,675 GBP
  • 20 December 20 2,975 GBP
  • 16 January 21 2,775 GBP
  • 13 February 21 2,775 GBP
  • 13 March 21 2,775 GBP

Land Departures

  • 31 August 19 1,875 GBP
  • 13 October 19 1,875 GBP
  • 17 November 19 1,775 GBP
  • 22 December 19 1,875 GBP
  • 11 January 20 1,875 GBP
  • 8 February 20 1,875 GBP
  • 28 February 20 1,875 GBP
  • 1 April 20 1,875 GBP
  • 7 May 20 1,875 GBP
  • 24 May 20 1,875 GBP
  • 28 June 20 1,875 GBP
  • 26 July 20 1,875 GBP
  • 16 August 20 1,875 GBP
  • 27 September 20 1,875 GBP
  • 25 October 20 1,875 GBP
  • 22 November 20 1,875 GBP
  • 21 December 20 1,925 GBP
  • 17 January 21 1,925 GBP
  • 14 February 21 1,925 GBP
  • 14 March 21 1,925 GBP

Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed

*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.

We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...

The Lime Tree, Kuching view

  • Central location in historic Kuching Town near Chinatown
  • Well-appointed, comfortable rooms
  • Great views from their rooftop bar and restaurant

Mulu National Park Lodge, Mulu view

  • A stay in Sarawak's famous Mulu National Park
  • Overnight in park lodges in the heart of the jungle
  • Bungalow style accommodation

Malaysia, Sabah Tea view

  • Overnight stay in an organic tea plantation
  • Magificent views over the Crocker Ranges and Mt Kinabalu
  • Accommodation in cozy plantation cottages

Sepilok Jungle Resort, Sabah, Malaysia view

  • Set in its own botanical gardens!
  • Swimming pool and restaurant with lakeside terrace
  • Well-appointed rooms with air-con, WiFi and cable TV

Myne Resort, Kinabatangan, Malaysia view

  • Comfy wooden chalets in a tropical garden setting
  • All rooms come with private balconies overlooking the river
  • In-house bar and restaurant with riverside terrace

Manukan Island Resort, Sabah view

  • Manukan Island - in the South China Sea
  • A stunning and beautifully preserved, tropical island
  • Located in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.

Visa Info & Notes

Visas: No visa in advance is required. A free 60-day visa is issued on arrival at any international airport. As usual, a minimum of 6 months validity from the date of arrival and at least 1 blank page in your passport is required. 

Meals: Breakfasts are generally hotel buffets with lunch and dinners based on local food. Your tour-leader will usually order a selection of dishes, local-style, while a number of meals are not included, which allows you to ‘do your own thing’ or take a break if you’re feeling ‘riced out’.

With its kaleidoscopic population, Malaysian cuisine is one of the most varied and richest anywhere on the planet and includes all the various, regional Indian and Chinese dishes, the unique Chinese/Malay Nonya cuisine as well as traditional Malay food alongside Thai and Indonesian influences. Dishes are generally mild with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on offer.

Accommodation: all choices fall into the comfortable 3* range and are en-suite and air-conditioned. We have posted a selection of sample accommodation on the lefthand hotel tab but please note that as we try and avoid the larger hotels, availability, in high season particularly, means we use several options in each destination. 

Activities: note that no activities are compulsory and that any, including trekking, can be tailored for any fitness level or alternatives suggested. 

Further info: detailed descriptions and photos can be found on the corresponding page of our travel blog.

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