• Borneo pygmy elephant | © Bas Leenders, Flickr

Itinerary Summary

Duration
14 Days
Price From
£5940
When
Apr - Oct
Destination
Borneo
Type
Tailor-Made
Duration Price From When Destination Type
14 Days £5940 Apr - Oct Borneo Tailor-Made
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Sabah Wildlife Adventure

This safari takes in the best that Borneo has to offer for wildlife encounters, including an orangutan rehabilitation centre, proboscis monkeys leaping through the trees, pygmy elephants in the rainforest and the world’s best location to see the elusive clouded leopard.

As the third-largest island in the world and a hub of biodiversity, Borneo is home to no shortage of fantastic wildlife destinations. The island is split between three countries – Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia – but it is the Malaysian state of Sabah that provides perhaps the finest safari experiences that Borneo has to offer. Wild orangutans are an undoubted highlight, while primeval forests protect elusive and endangered species like the banteng, binturong, clouded leopard and bearded pig. This two-week journey through Sabah allows travellers to experience the fullness and richness of this intoxicating corner of Southeast Asia, taking in plenty of wildlife and wilderness as well as mountain ascents, animal sanctuary visits and beachside relaxation.

 

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.
  • Exploring forest trails & waterfalls, view the jungle from a towering canopy walkway & go on guided night walks to spot nocturnal creatures.
  • Visiting the Sun Bear Conservation Centre to learn about the great work being done to preserve this endangered species.

Embedded Video Overview

A 14-day safari focused on the wildlife highlights of Sabah
from $7,574 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.

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Day 2

Sepilok - Deramakot Forest Reserve

This morning you will have an early start as you are met and transferred to Deramakot. Travel to Telupid town (approximately 4-5 hours) where you will stop for a drink in the town before continuing onto Deramakot Forest Reserve. Arrive at Deramakot Forest Reserve before 5.00pm. Upon arrival at the lodge you'll meet your guide and have a brief introduction to the facilities, before checking into your room. After dinner head out on a night drive in search of the clouded leopard. This is your best chance of seeing a clouded leopard in the world, so fingers crossed!

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Days 3-4

Deramakot Forest Reserve

Deramakot Forest Reserve is a great example of conservation through sustainable tourism. Spend your time with your guide exploring the reserve; one of the best wildlife locations in Borneo. Home to rare species like the clouded leopard, binturong, slow loris, flat headed cat, pygmy elephant, colugo, Bornean gibbon and otter civet. It is also home to over 250 different species of birds. Your daily routine will be to wake up well before dawn and head out on an early morning drive with your expert guide in search of nocturnal wildlife as it finishes its days activities. See the jungle transform from night to day and see the different creatures start their day. Return back to the lodge for breakfast before a morning 2.5km guided walk (be careful of the leeches!). Return back to the lodge for lunch. One afternoon you'll head to Balat on the side of the river to search for orangutans (amongst other wildlife). Enjoy a simple dinner on the banks of the river then head back to the lodge, spotting the nocturnal wildlife as it starts its day. Head for another night safari in search of wildlife, returning to the lodge late in the evening/early morning depending on your wildlife sightings. Grab a shower and head to bed ready for your early morning safari the next day!

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Day 5

Deramakot - Sepilok

Rise early for breakfast and depart your lodge at 08:00 for the transfer to Sepilok; a nature haven and perfect base to visit the nearby animal sanctuaries and rehabilitation centres. After checking in, take some time to relax at your lakeside accommodation after your long journey.

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Day 6

Sepilok - Kinabatangan River

After breakfast, visit the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in time for their morning feed (10:00). This sanctuary rehabilitates previously captive or orphaned orangutans to their natural surroundings, ready for release. 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. You are then transferred to Sandakan Yacht Club Jetty for your boat transfer to the Kinabatangan River. Along the 80 minute journey, you will witness small local communities at the river's edge, as well as a variety of wildlife. After checking into your riverside accommodation, relax before taking a sunset river cruise to see the fireflies light up the foliage like a Christmas tree. After dinner, go on a guided night walk in search of nocturnal creatures.

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

Day 7

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 8

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 9

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 10

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 11

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.

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Days 12-13

Danum Valley

Spend another full day with your guide, exploring the forest in the early morning for another chance to spot wildlife such as gibbons and orangutans. Wander the trails before returning to the lodge to spot birds and other creatures. The remainder of the day is yours to relax at the centre or you can alternatively head out on a longer trail with your guide (fitness levels will depend which trail) in search of more wildlife. In the evening, after dinner, head out on another night walk or night drive (cost not included) in search of nocturnal species.

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Day 14

Danum Valley - Kota Kinabalu Airport

Wake early for a final morning trek in search of wildlife before returning to the lodge. After a hearty breakfast, it’s time to depart to Lahad Datu for your onward flight to Kota Kinabalu (flight included) and from here you will connect onto your onward international flight.

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TRIP DETAILS

ABOUT TAILOR-MADE SAFARIS

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