NWS RAW - Tailor-made

Journey into the Maliau Basin

Lace up your hiking boots and discover the wonders within the Maliau Basin - one of Borneo's most pristine wilderness areas - on this active trekking safari.

Duration 5 days
Price From $1,323
When Apr - Oct
Destination Borneo

Safari Overview

If you’ve travelled to Borneo and spent time with the island’s most famous wild resident, the orangutan, this NWS RAW safari takes you away from the tourists and into the heart of one of Borneo’s most untouched wildernesses, the Maliau Basin. Ringed by a huge escarpment, this conservation area measures almost 600 square kilometres and contains within it rivers, waterfalls, vast tracts of forest and a stunning amount of biodiversity. Your days here will be spent trekking through the lush landscape, casting your eyes to the skies for the 300 species of bird that flit through the forest canopy, observing the multi-hued insects that make their home in branches or on the forest floor, and catching sight of eye-catching mammals like the clouded leopard and red-leaf monkey. Along the way you’ll stay in picturesque camps out in the wilds of the Basin, as well as at the Maliau Basin Studies Centre, where you’ll be able to learn about the natural wonders present here.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Walk through forest habitat populated by some of Borneo’s rarest mammals, including the clouded leopard, Malayan sun bear and proboscis monkey.
  • Explore a number of different forest types within the basin, characterised by various tree species like agathis and dipterocarp.
  • Watch in amazement as carnivorous pitcher plants devour their insect prey.
  • Spot monkeys, gibbons, orangutans and macaques foraging in the trees.
  • Trek for hours each day through the basin and experience life in the forest first-hand.
  • Learn from the expert staff and researchers at the Maliau Basin Studies Centre.
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What is NWS RAW?

Remote. Authentic. Wild.

The latest addition to our NWS Select service, NWS RAW safaris take you outside of the norm, revealing a different side to oft-visited countries. These pioneering expeditions are designed for the seasoned traveller who yearns for new experiences, who favours discovery over tourist traps, and who is willing to go the extra mile in order to truly explore and understand their next destination. NWS RAW is for the intrepid, the boundary-pushers, and those for whom travel is more than just a holiday.

Discover our NWS RAW safaris

Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Tawau

You will be welcomed to Borneo at Tawau Airport by your guide and driver, who will accompany you on the long journey to the entrance of Maliau Basin. The journey will take around 4-5 hours on fairly rough roads as you travel well off the beaten path and into one of the most biodiverse and untouched areas of rainforest in Borneo. Arrive at the Information Centre at midday before transferring to a 4x4, which you’ll use to travel a further hour into the forest with your ultimate destination being the Maliau Basin Studies Centre (MBSC). You will have time on arrival to check in to your accommodation and relax in your room, before heading out on an optional exploration of the nearby trails in search of birds and pitcher plants. After dinner back at the centre, enjoy an introduction to the Maliau Basin Conservation Area by the staff of the study centre before embarking on a night drive or night walk in search of nocturnal wildlife (weather dependent).

Day 2

Maliau Basin

Rise early for breakfast before heading off on your 4x4 journey to Agathis Camp. The journey will take around an hour as you travel through the Maliau basin. On arrival at Agathis Camp, you will begin your 7.5km trek to Nepenthes Camp, walking through the basin for around 4-5 hours. The trekking is quite challenging and involves both uphill and downhill climbing. Along the route you will stop at a rest area for a packed lunch. You will be expected to arrive into your next camp, Nepethes, in the mid-afternoon. Settle in to your basic forest camp dormitory before setting off for a trek to the upper Giluk Falls (a 1.5-hour trek). After dinner back at camp, have an early night in preparation for tomorrow’s hike to your next camp, and fall asleep to the sounds of the forest.

Day 3

Maliau Basin

Another early start as you enjoy a hearty breakfast before the long trek to Maliau Falls. The trek covers approximately 12km (4-5 hours) and will pass the Nepenthes Trail where you can find six species of colourful pitcher plant. Stop for lunch along the way before proceeding downhill to Maliau Falls, passing by Lobah Camp and its breathtaking panoramic views of the basin rim. Take in the spectacular seven-tiered waterfall cascading down into the Maliau River and explore the area before trekking down to your next camp, Ginseng, arriving in time for dinner and another peaceful night.

Day 4

Maliau Basin

Today you’ll enjoy your last day of trekking in the basin. Make your way to Agathis Camp (a 9km trek that will take 3-4 hours), enjoying the flora and fauna along the way. You will arrive into Agathis in the mid-afternoon where you will have time for a short break before being driven by 4x4 back to the Study Centre for your final night in the Maliau Basin.

Day 5

Depart Tawau

This morning your adventure into the Maliau Basin comes to an end, as you transfer back to Tawau Airport from the Basin Gate (4-5 hours’ drive) where you’ll catch your onward flight.

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.

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Your Next Steps

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