• Sun bear climbing, Borneo

Itinerary Summary

Duration
14 Days
Price
£5065
When
May - Oct
Destination
Borneo
Type
Tailor-Made
Duration Price When Destination Type
14 Days £5065 May - Oct Borneo Tailor-Made
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Best of Borneo Wildlife and Beaches Adventure Safari

This exciting safari delves into the vibrant depths of Borneo, seeking out its most unusual and wild inhabitants, and exploring some of the most amazing vistas. Starting off by visiting endangered animal sanctuaries, your journey only gets more exciting as you move on to the Kinabatangan River. Here you can spot everything from wild orangutans and proboscis monkeys, to pygmy elephants, tree snakes and civets. From here you head to the wilds of the Gomantong Caves, the Tabin Wildlife Reserve and Danum Valley – home to some of the oldest jungle in the world – before finishing your trip on the idyllic Gaya Island, where you can dive beneath the waves on the search for marine life or simply kick back on the sand.

 

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Experiencing the feeding of orangutans up close at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
  • Exploring the forests where orangutans live in the wild, as well as gibbons, proboscis monkeys & leaf monkeys, swinging through the trees of their natural habitat.
  • Going on river safaris along the wildlife oasis of the Kinabatangan River.
  • Staying deep in primal rainforest at Danum Valley, some of the oldest jungle in the world and home to 10 species of primate, as well as pygmy elephants, sun bears, clouded leopards and an incredible array of tropical birds & reptiles.
  • Visiting the Sun Bear Conservation Centre to learn about the great work being done to preserve this endangered species.
  • Snorkelling amongst the coral gardens & relax on stunning beaches in the Tunku Rahman Marine Park.

Embedded Video Overview

An exciting 14-day wildlife and jungle adventure in Borneo

from $6,458 per person, excluding international flights

Day by day

Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Sepilok

On arrival at Sandakan airport, you will be met and transferred to Sepilok; a nature haven and perfect base to visit the nearby animal sanctuaries and rehabilitation centres. Check into your lodge and enjoy your surroundings. At dusk you will visit the canopy walk at the Rainforest Discovery Centre in time to catch the red giant flying squirrels emerge from their nests and glide between the trees. Return to the lodge for dinner.

Overnight: Sepilok Nature Resort (D)

Day 2

Sepilok, Sun Bears & Labuk Bay

After breakfast, visit the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in time for their morning feed (10:00). This sanctuary rehabilitates previously captive or orphaned orangutans (through deforestation, poaching, etc.) to their natural surroundings, ready for release when they are capable of supporting themselves in the wild. You then have a tour of the Sun Bear Conservation Centre to learn all about the project to save these adorable bears, the smallest and least known members of the species, whose population is rapidly diminishing.

Overnight: Sepilok Nature Resort (B, L, D)

Day 3

Sepilok - Kinabatangan River

This morning you will have a relaxed start to the day, departing at 10:30 for your transfer to the Sim Sim Jetty for your scheduled boat transfer to Abai Jungle Lodge. During the 80 minute journey along the Kinabatangan River, you will witness small local communities at the river's edge, as well as a variety of wildlife. After checking into your riverside accommodation, take some time to relax before taking a sunset river cruise to see the fireflies light up the foliage like a Christmas tree. This is the largest gathering of fireflies in all of Malaysia! After dinner, go on a guided night walk in search of nocturnal creatures.

Overnight: Abai Jungle Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 4

Abai - Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge

Wake up to the calls of nature and take an early morning river trip to Pitas Lake to observe wildlife. On your way back to the lodge keep your eyes peeled for pygmy elephants. After breakfast, you have the opportunity to visit Abai Village to learn about what riverside community life is like. This village have also set up their own tree planting incentive. Enjoy lunch back at the lodge before you check out to Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge. In the late afternoon, enjoy a cruise to Menanggul River, a small tributary of the Kinabatangan which forms a narrow jungle corridor rich in wildlife.

Overnight: Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 5

Kinabatangan River & Gomantong Caves

Rise early and head out on a shared morning river safari to explore a variety of fauna and flora along the banks of the Kinabatangan River. Species to be found include orangutans, proboscis monkeys, tree snakes, crocodiles, monitor lizards, macaques and much more. Herds of wild elephant may also be seen passing along the banks of the river. Return back to the lodge for lunch and some relaxation time before heading out in the late afternoon to the Gomantong Caves in the 3,924 hectare Gomantong Forest Reserve, where orangutans, mouse deer, wild boar and buffalo can sometimes be spotted. Up to 1 million bats of 64 differing species are thought to live in the caves. Observe the swiftlets take their last flights before nesting for the night and the bats fly out of the cave at sunset to head off into the night to forage. Return to the lodge for dinner, before heading out on another boat safari in the evening in search of nocturnal wildlife (optional activity at additional cost).

Overnight: Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 6

Kinabatangan River – Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Wake for breakfast before departing by road for 2 hours to reach the town of Lahad Datu where you will stop for lunch. From here, you will swap vehicles for a 4x4 and proceed in to the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, a journey of 1.5 hours that will take you through the centre of a large oil palm plantation - a stark reminder of the challenges facing wildlife here in Borneo. Upon arrival at your simple forest lodge, check in and head out on a wildlife drive as dusk begins to fall in search of nocturnal wildlife.

Overnight: Tabin Wildlife Resort (B, L, D)

Day 7

Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Take an early morning bird walk before breakfast (06:15-07:30) in search of resident birds and other wildlife. Following a hearty breakfast back at the lodge, head out on a 1-2 hour jungle trek in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, keeping your eyes peeled for the silver-leaf monkey and gibbons. The remainder of the afternoon is yours to relax in the jungle setting, before heading out on a night drive after dinner in search of leopard cats, civets, owls and other nocturnal species.

Overnight: Tabin Wildlife Resort (B, L, D)

Day 8

Tabin – Danum Valley

After breakfast you will be transferred back to Lahad Datu, then on to the renowned Danum Valley. On arrival at your rainforest lodge (about 12 noon) you will have time to sit back, relax and enjoy your new surroundings. Danum Valley is one of the best remaining examples of how Borneo's forests used to be, with a thick tropical canopy and a variety of wildlife. In the afternoon (around 15:00) you can join one of the fascinating treks, and in the evening after dinner, there is a night drive to search for nocturnal creatures.

Overnight: Borneo Rainforest Lodge (B, L, D)

Days 9-10

Danum Valley

Set up to protect the area from logging, Danum encompasses 430 square kilometres of pristine rainforest and is home to a variety of endemic wildlife; including, orangutans, flying squirrels, clouded leopard, elephants, gibbons, and many birds. With a towering canopy walkway and a beautiful viewpoint which looks out over the jungle canopy and the dramatic mountains, this conservation area is a definite must if you're in Borneo. Spend your days with one of the naturalist guides exploring the many nature trails and waterfalls, take a dip in the natural Jacuzzi pool or floating down the Danum River on tubes. In the evening, dine at the lodge, before embarking on an exciting night drive in search of nocturnal animals.

Overnight: Borneo Rainforest Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 11

Danum Valley - Kota Kinabalu - Gaya Island

After your dalliance in the jungle, it is now time to retreat to paradise for some well-deserved relaxation surrounded by nature, on the beautiful Gaya Island. Wake up for your last early morning trek. After a transfer to Lahad Datu for your short flight to Kota Kinabalu (flight included), you will be met and taken to Jesselton Point for your boat to the stunning Gaya Island (about 15-25 mins). The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Overnight: Gaya Island Resort (B)

Days 12-13

Gaya Island

Enjoy your time at Gaya Island by taking part in the myriad activities here, designed to help you reconnect with the natural world. Explore miles of forested trails and ancient eco-systems, practice making local handicrafts or try your hand at cooking. There are also activities such as yoga on the beach or guided meditation, or even deep-sea fishing, paddle-boarding or kayaking. Of course, you can also relax at the pool, make use of the spa or just float above the coral gardens with your mask and snorkel! (All additional activities at your own expense).

Overnight: Gaya Island Resort (B)

Day 14

Gaya Island - Kota Kinabalu Airport

Today you will check out and take a scheduled boat (11.00 hrs) back to Jesselton jetty on the mainland. You will be met here and transferred to Kota Kinabalu Airport in time for your international flight. Late check out and unscheduled boat transfers are available at an extra cost if you want to make the most of your time on the beach before your flight.

B

TRIP DETAILS

THIS SAFARI

We have chosen the accommodation based on being in the right place at the right time to maximise your wildlife opportunities.

 

ABOUT TAILOR-MADE SAFARIS

A tailor-made safaris is one designed specifically for you, around your taste, budget, people travelling, interests and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and changed to make it perfect for you

Borneo Small Group images by Claire Freeland - Riverway

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