Borneo Orangutans and Beaches Family Safari

From swinging orangutans and honking proboscis monkeys, to sandy beaches and exploring the jungle, this safari is perfect for families with just the right mix of wildlife, relaxation and adrenaline.

Duration 10 days
Price From $2,105
When Mar - Nov
Destination Borneo

Safari Overview

Starting at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, this family safari gives you the chance to see orangutans as they are rehabilitated from the wild after poaching or deforestation. Moving on to the Kinabatangan River, there is a host of activities available to you in this wildlife-rich area of Borneo, from cycling to boat safaris in search of proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants and a variety of diverse birdlife. From here, you head off to Kota Kinabalu for some sublime relaxation on the white-sand beaches of the islands west coast.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Amazing range of family activities, from cycling to boat safaris.
  • Great way for children to learn about orangutan and wildlife conservation.
  • Visit the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary for close encounters with these incredible primates.
  • Enjoy some beach relaxation in Kota Kinabalu. 

Enjoy wild activities and intimate wildlife encounters for an unforgettable family safari.

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Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Sandakan – Sepilok

You will be met on arrival at the airport today and taken to your lodge before your first adventure out to Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary. A wonderful first day as you explore the sanctuary and meet orangutans who were previously captive (through poaching or deforestation) and are now being re-habituated to their natural surroundings for release back into the wild when they are capable of supporting themselves. This evening, join a night walk to meet the nocturnal flora and fauna of the jungle.

Overnight: Sepilok Nature Resort D

Day 2


Watch the jungle come to life this morning on a refreshing walk, returning in time for breakfast. You’ll be able to witness the morning and afternoon feeding of the orangutans today, the best time to come into close contact with the remarkable ‘man of the forest’. They really do capture the hearts and imagination of travellers of all ages; astonishingly gentle and highly intelligent, they often gaze at you with almost disconcerting frankness. This afternoon, head to the Rainforest Discovery Centre and Sun Bear Conservation Centre; a wonderful place that was set up to raise awareness of these gorgeous, endangered, yet playful creatures.

Overnight: Sepilok Nature Resort B, L, D

Day 3

Sepilok - Lower Kinabatangan

After breakfast at the resort, you will return to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to observe the morning feeding before heading for a quick and final visit to the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre. You will then be transferred to the jetty in Sandakan for your boat journey up the Kinabatangan River, travelling through the Lower Kinabatangan River Sanctuary. Arrive into Abai village for lunch and after some time to settle in to your riverside lodge, head out for a cruise to observe the fireflies light up the riverbanks like a Christmas tree. After dinner, head out on a night walk in search of nocturnal wildlife.

Overnight: Abai Jungle Lodge B, L, D

Day 4

Kinabatangan River

Wake to the calls of nature as you take an early morning boat trip to the Pitas oxbow lake, observing wildlife on the banks of the mighty Kinabatangan. After breakfast, you will be invited to meet with the local tree-planting programme workers who run this hugely successful community project which has been running for over a decade now. You will also be escorted on a tour of Abai village before joining the locals for lunch. In the mid-afternoon you will continue by boat upriver to the village of Sukau, keeping an eye out for wild orangutan, pygmy elephant and proboscis monkey along the way. Arrive into Sukau and check in to your lodge, before taking an afternoon cruise up the Menanggul River, a small tributary of the Kinabatangan, in search of more flora and fauna.

Overnight: Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge B, L, D

Day 5

Kinabatangan River

Another early morning as you rise just before sunrise for another morning cruise in search of orangutans, elephants, gibbons and hornbills. Having returned to the lodge for breakfast, the remainder of the morning is yours to relax, read a book by the river or explore the local area at your leisure. In the afternoon, you will be taken to visit the Gomantong Caves, located within the Gomantong Forest Reserve, where you may also come across orangutan, mouse deer, wild boar and even wild buffalo. The Caves are home to almost 300,000 bats of 64 different species and is best known for being a popular harvesting site of nests for bird’s nest soup. Visit the cave mouth at dusk when the swiftlets have their final evening flights before nesting for the night, and the bats fly out as their day is just beginning.

Overnight: Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge B, L, D

Day 6

Kinabatangan - Kota Kinabalu

After your dalliance in the jungle, it is now time to retreat to paradise for your last few days of relaxation. You will be taken to Sandakan airport for your short flight across Sabah to the state capital, Kota Kinabalu. Upon arrival in Kota Kinabalu, you will be met and transferred to your beach-side hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Overnight: Shangri La Rasa Ria B, L

Days 7-9

Kota Kinabalu

Spend your final few days in Borneo relaxing on the beach or enjoying the myriad of activities available at your hotel, including watersports such as parasailing or kayaking, snorkelling and spa treatments.

Overnight: Shangri La Rasa Ria B

Day 10

Depart Kota Kinabalu

It’s time to wave farewell to your little slice of paradise today, as you are transferred back to the airport to catch your international flight back home.

Trip Details

A Family Safari

This is a tailor made family safari and can be edited or restructured to suit you and your families needs. We have chosen the accommodation based on being in the right place at the right time to maximize your wildlife opportunities, as well as being family friendly with interactive experiences. 

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

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Your Next Steps

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