• Sea Trek, Indonesia

Itinerary Summary

Duration
15 Days
Price
£5740
When
APR - OCT
Destination
BORNEO
Type
Tailor-Made
Duration Price When Destination Type
15 Days £5740 APR - OCT BORNEO Tailor-Made
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Borneo & Indonesia: Borneo Rainforest & Komodo Dragons

The first seven days of this incredible trip takes travellers to Sepilok and the Kinabatangan river in Borneo before seven further days of exploring the dazzling beauty of Indonesia onboard an idyllic sailboat.

Borneo and Indonesia are home to a variety of wildlife and natural treasures. This safari provides you with some of the finest experiences that each destination has to offer. Staring off in the jungles of Borneo, expect orangutans, sun bears and proboscis monkeys before witnessing the magical sight of the greatest firefly gathering in Malaysia at the Kinabatangan River, all alongside boat trips to riverside communities on which you may spot a wide range of wildlife such as pygymy elephants.

A short flight lands you in vibrant Bali to visit water palaces and ancient villages. From here your six-night journey aboard the Katharina begins, setting sail to explore the dazzling marine delights of Indonesia. Expect snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, visits to traditional sea-based communities and volcanic peaks or simply relaxing on idyllic beaches– all the while keeping an eye out for whale sharks, fruit bats, manta rays, komodo dragons and much more!

 

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY

  • Experience the feeding of orangutans up close at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
  • Explore the forests where orangutans live in the wild, as well as gibbons, proboscis monkeys and leaf monkeys, swinging through the trees of their natural habitat.
  • Going on river safaris along the wildlife oasis of the Kinabatangan River, the second-longest in Malaysia, which is known for its exceptional biodiversity
  • Witness impressive firefly activity after dark.
  • Explore the kaleidoscopic beauty of Indonesia's underwater world, home to whales and turtles.
  • Visit the Komodo dragons found in Komodo National Park.

Embedded Video Overview

A 15-day safari combining exploration on the mainland of Borneo with a spectacular sea voyage –

from $7,318 per person sharing, 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 (B, L, 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. After lunch you will head to Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary in time for the afternoon feedings. Proboscis monkeys, found only in coastal swamps close to rivers in certain areas of Borneo, are lucky to have survived after the area near the mangrove swamps was nearly lost to palm oil plantations. Plans for oil were dropped, and now around 60 monkeys regularly come here to feed. Famed for their large nose which acts as a resonator for their loud honking noises, these pot-bellied primates really are a sight to behold.

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

Exploring the Kinabatangan River

Rise early this morning for a river cruise to the stunning Pitas Oxbow lake, before returning to your lodge for breakfast on the jungle platform overlooking the river. Later in the morning (11:00am) you will head to Abai for a tour of the village and to hear about their successful tree planting project, which ran for over 10 years. Your lunch will be prepared for you by the villagers, or you are free to return to the lodge for lunch and some relaxation. This afternoon you will take a further cruise down the river, keeping an eye out for wild orangutans and elephants on the banks. On returning to the lodge, the rest of the day is yours to explore or relax at your leisure.

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

Day 5

Kinabatangan River

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 6

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 7

Kinabatangan River - Kota Kinabalu - Kuala Lumpur - Denpasar

Today you will be transferred back along the Kinabatangan River to Sandakan before proceeding by road to Sandakan Airport (50-minute drive) for your flight to Kota Kinabalu. On arrival you will be assisted to check in for your international flight from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur where you will connect onto your flight to Denpasar (Bali).

Overnight accommodation: Hilton Garden Inn Bali Ngurah Rai Airport

(B)

Day 8

Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes - Day One

This morning you will be met by a representative of Sea Trek to begin your exploration of Indonesia. You will spend today visiting East Bali and its water palaces and ancient villages. The incredible landscapes comprising rice terraces, jungle and volcanic peaks will be on full display and you will get to sample traditional cuisine. Later this afternoon you will arrive at your beachside accommodation where you can unwind and have a snorkelling lesson should you wish. Tonight, you will sleep in the shadow of Mt Agung, an imposing presence on the horizon, ready to begin your sailing adventure tomorrow.

Overnight accommodation: TBC

(B, L, D)

Day 9

Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes - Day Two

Rise early this morning to see a spectacular sunrise from the beach as many traditional 'jukung' fishing boats return from their overnight trips. You will board Katharina which will be your home for the next six nights. Setting sail, you will cross the Wallace Line which marks the biogeographical separation point between Asia and Australia. Above the water, you will notice that the landscape, animals and plant life change too. Diving below the water's surface, you will be able to snorkel the magnificent corals found off the Gili Islands to the northwest of Lombok.

Overnight: Sea Trek Katharina (B, L, D)

Day 10

Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes - Day Three

This morning you will wake up in the shadow of Mt Rinjani. Situated on Lombok, this is the largest volcanic peak in Indonesia. You will spend the morning snorkelling and swimming off the coast of Kenawa Island. Later you will visit a village of the famous Bajao 'Sea Gypsies' to learn more about their traditional way of life on and in the water.

Overnight: Sea Trek Katharina (B, L, D)

Day 11

Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes - Day Four

Starting today in Saleh Bay you will hopefully be lucky enough to snorkel with whale sharks. Later you can spend more time under and above the water with swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boarding all on offer in a deep volcanic island lake on Satonda Island. As the sun sets today, enjoy a drink as you watch tens of thousands of giant fruit bats pass over the boat as they emerge from their forest habitat to begin their nightly foraging mission.

Overnight: Sea Trek Katharina (B, L, D)

Day 12

Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes - Day Five

Today will expose you to the traditions of local villagers who build the 50-metre traditional wooden phinisi boats, such as the one you are sailing on. You will learn more about their simple way of life and how they craft these incredible vessels. More snorkelling awaits this afternoon as you explore more vibrant coral reefs, and keep your eyes peeled for bubbles rising from the volcanic chambers located beneath the seabed. Sailing further on, you will land on a deserted white sand beach where you can take a scenic hike to see the surrounding islands, snorkel, swim, paddle, kayak or just relax on the beach with a cocktail in hand.

Overnight: Sea Trek Katharina (B, L, D)

Day 13

Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes - Day Six

This morning begins in the northernmost part of Komodo National Park where you will drift snorkel over the reef as well as kayaking and standup paddleboarding at Gili Lawa Darat island. The highlight of today is undoubtedly the opportunity to swim with manta rays as they feed and are cleaned by small fish that remove the parasites from their skin. Late afternoon will be spent on a local sandbar where you can relax, swim or enjoy more snorkelling should you wish.

Overnight: Sea Trek Katharina (B, L, D)

Day 14

Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes - Day Seven

Today is your opportunity to visit Rinca Island to go in search of Komodo dragons, the largest lizard in the world. As you explore the island you will see other wildlife including monkeys, a plethora of birdlife as well as deer and buffalo. Later you will snorkel at Siaba Island with good chances of encountering sea turtles as they favour the shallow water of the reef. Your final night aboard is marked by a beach barbecue on a deserted island with a farewell party and bonfire under a clear night's sky.

Overnight: Sea Trek Katharina (B, L, D)

Day 15

Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes - Day Eight

This morning you will enjoy your last breakfast aboard the boat before visiting a traditional local village. You will be treated to dancing as you enjoy coffee, betel nut and a potent local 'arak'. Returning to the boat, you will be treated to a final lunch before being transferred to the airport for your onward flight to Bali from where you will be able to connect onto your international flight home. Alternatively, it is possible to add on further time on the beach in Bali should you wish. Do let your Destination Specialist know if this would be of interest.

(B)

TRIP DETAILS

ABOUT TAILOR-MADE SAFARIS

A tailor-made safari is one designed according to your specific requirements, including budget, dates, personal interests, the number of people travelling, and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and altered to make it perfect for you.

Borneo Small Group images by Claire Freeland - Riverway

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