Discover the landscapes, history and culture, as well as the amazing flora and fauna of this exotic and evocative island
A 12-day 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.)
Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.
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,
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,
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,
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,
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 visitors 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,
Day 6 - Pulao Dinawan - a South China Sea island
A visit to the nearby pristine tropical island of Pulao Dinawan 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,
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,
Day 8 - Kinabatangan - a stay in a jungle eco-lodge
A tour of the fascinating organic plantation with of course the chance to sample the results before a departure for 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,
Day 9 - Kinabatangan - river cruise and night hike in the jungle
Today’s program includes a dawn river cruise, jungle hike, night nature trail with of course plenty of time to relax at the lodge while listening to the sounds of the jungle. 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,
Day 10 - Sepilok - the world famous orangutan sanctuary
Morning departure for the nearby Gomantong Caves, well known for their valuable edible swiftlet 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 Sepilok for visits to the famous orangutan sanctuary and rehabilitation centre as well as the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Overnight by the Sanctuary at a jungle lodge.
Overnight: Sepilok Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 11 - Sepilok - Rainforest Discovery Centre and return to Kota Kinabalu
A morning at leisure provides the opportunity to roam the extensive canopy walkways at the fascinating Rainforest Discovery Centre before an afternoon transfer to Sandakan airport for a return flight to Kota Kinabalu.
Overnight: Kota Kinabalu Transport: Minibus, Plane, Walk, Meals: B, D,
Day 12 - Kota Kinabalu - morning to explore and afternoon departure
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
Overnight: Departure Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B,
The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.
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)
- 29 June 19 2,475 GBP
- 29 July 19 2,675 GBP
- 30 August 19 2,475 GBP
- 12 October 19 2,475 GBP
- 16 November 19 2,475 GBP
- 21 December 19 2,775 GBP
- 10 January 20 2,475 GBP
- 8 February 20 2,475 GBP
- 27 February 20 2,475 GBP
- 1 April 20 2,475 GBP
- 30 June 19 1,675 GBP
- 30 July 19 1,675 GBP
- 31 August 19 1,675 GBP
- 13 October 19 1,675 GBP
- 17 November 19 1,675 GBP
- 22 December 19 1,675 GBP
- 11 January 20 1,675 GBP
- 9 February 20 1,675 GBP
- 28 February 20 1,675 GBP
- 2 April 20 1,675 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
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
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
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.
Holidays should never end, stay a little longer. These extensions go well with this tour...
Here is what out guest have to say about their experience on this tour...
" I can't rate this holiday, the company, our tour leader or the country
highly enough. I had an unforgettable time and would have done the whole trip all over again without any hesitation.
When I'm travelling to this part of the world again I will definitely travel
with Responsible Travel and All Points East.
Linda and Shaun
" We had a wonderful holiday - thank you! So many amazing experiences, sights, sounds, flavours. I have to say that our guide really made our holiday special. He was so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. From the moment we met him, we felt we had known him for years. It was like having a holiday with a very knowledgeable friend - even people from other companies commented that he was better than their own guides! His enthusiasm never waned, and he frequently stressed the responsible nature of our tour. We saw so much wildlife and had so many experiences. We really felt we had experienced local life and cuisine - even eating with our fingers from banana leaves sometimes! Wonderful! A really eye-opening, inspiring trip. "
" The trip was so well organised. The Tour guide, Ross was absolutely brilliant. I was the only person at the beginning of the trip (for 6 days). Ross made sure that I did not once feel alone and kept me entertained throughout the trip. A true gentleman! Always at hand, if there were any issues. But I loved the fact that he was a true native. The information/experiences that he shared about his country/traditions/culture felt more ‘real’. My favourite part of the trip was Bako national park. Michael the guide was so informative. He had great knowledge of plants and animals. Overall a great tour. My only dislike was the fact that it took all day for us to get from Mulu to Kota Kinabalu as the airlines kept on delaying the flights. "
Colin and Felicity
" We had a great holiday thank you. It was exciting and adventurous and we saw lots of wildlife. It was action-packed and I think we had a very good experience of seeing both Sarawak and Sabah in 2 weeks.
Overall Ross was a very good guide and looked after us well.
A mention for the local guides who were doing all they could to help us have a great holiday. Ross was up at 6 am with us nearly every day with various walks to help us make the most of the day. He and the other guides were great at spotting wildlife for us and telling us all about the local flora as we trekked along, which really added to our enjoyment of the holiday. "
Eleri and Gavin
" Just to say that we have arrived home from the most wonderful experience from All Points East. It was more than I ever hoped for. Sheila was an absolute star....giving us all the most amazing time. All the team were great, especially our driver at Sepilok Captain Dave (Sully) and Kolo our guide on the river. I will forever treasure my memory of the wildlife of Borneo. "