Borneo,

The Best of Borneo’s Wonderful Wildlife

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Tailor-Made Tour
12 Days
From £3625
GEOIP Not Available
Primate Watching
Photographic

Tour Introduction

12 Days from £3625
GEOIP Not Available
per adult.

We carefully designed this comprehensive Borneo wildlife holiday to maximise the variety of habitats and number of headline species whilst using accommodation of a very high standard throughout. Begin with an exploration of the high altitude forests of Mt Kinabalu and Poring before travelling overland to the orang-utan rehabilitation centre at Sepilok. A night on Selingan Island gives you snorkelling by day and turtles egg-laying at night. A visit to the Sun Bear Centre provides the opportunity to see the world’s smallest bear up close. Then embark on a river journey up the Kinabatangan River, spotting plenty of wild proboscis monkeys and possibly wild orang-utans and Borneo pygmy elephants en route to the small river village of Sukau. Finally comes three nights in the stunning Danum Valley, one of the world’s last great expanses of rainforest, to spot a dazzling array of rainforest wildlife on foot, night drive and a series of high walkways through the forest canopy. This is South East Asian wildlife viewing at its very best.

Full Itinerary

Price from £3625
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Arrive in Borneo

Arrive in Kota Kinabalu. Met on arrival and transfer via paddy fields and Dunsun villages through the Crocker Mountain Range to Kinabalu National Park.

Staying at Kinabalu Park Cabin. Includes Dinner.

Day 2
Kinabalu National Park

Enjoy a guided wildlife tour along rainforest trails, visit the education centre and the botanical gardens with its superb collection of pitcher plants, rare orchids and other flora. Kinabalu National Park has an extremely high biodiversity, including a large number of endemic species, and vegetation types ranging from humid lowland rainforest through to tropical oak and chestnut forests and sub-alpine mountain habitat.

Staying at Kinabalu Park Cabin. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Poring Hot springs

Drive to the Poring Hot Springs. Explore the rainforest trails, canopy walk, visit Kipungit Waterfall and soak in the hot sulphur water pools. This is also one of the best places in the world to spot Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower.

Staying at Poring Park Cabin. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre

Pick-up from cabin and transfer by road to the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre in time to witness feeding of the orang-utans. The centre works to rehabilitate orphaned or injured orang-utans back into the wild, and many of the semi-wild apes return to the centre to feed on fruit left for them by the staff. Perhaps take an optional night walk in the reserve to see flying squirrels and other nocturnal wildlife.

Staying at Sepilok Nature Resort. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Selingan Island

Pick-up from the lodge and transfer to Sandakan dock to catch a boat to Selingan Island, part of the Turtle Islands National Park. Visit the park hatchery to see the transplantation of eggs and help return young turtles to the sea. Enjoy a night excursion to witness the females laying eggs on the beach.

Staying at Selingan Island Cabin. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Kinabatangan River

Perhaps wake early and see the last few turtles return to the sea at sunrise. Return to Sandakan by boat and transfer to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre to see rescued bears in their forest habitat. After lunch at a local restaurant, board a boat for a fabulous wildlife cruise along the coast and up the Kinabatangan River, the largest in Sabah, with its banks of mangrove, wetland and rainforest offering exceptional wildlife viewing. Following a brief welcome and orientation there will be a late afternoon river cruise to spot species such as proboscis monkey, wild orang-utan and various hornbills.

Staying at Abai Jungle Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Kinabatangan River

Early morning river cruise to spot wildlife then continue cruising up the Kinabatangan River to your next lodge, all the while on the lookout for Borneo pygmy elephants, often seen on this stretch of the river.

Staying at Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Kinabatangan River

Early morning river excursion to Kelenanap ox-bow lake for excellent birding and other wildlife. Afternoon river excursion for another chance to see proboscis monkeys and various species. Optional night cruise to spot nocturnal fauna, with possible sightings of marbled and flat-headed cats.

Staying at Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Danum Valley

Transfer overland to Gomantong Caves, home to thousands of bats and cave swiftlets, whose nests are selectively harvested for use in the famous bird’s nest soup. Continue by road to Lahad Datu and on to the Danum Valley Conservation Area. Covering 438 square kilometres of pristine dipterocarp rainforest, the Danum Valley Conservation Area is one of the prime wilderness regions in the whole of South East Asia, with its towering trees and stunning landscapes. There will be an evening introduction and slide show followed by a night walk to spot nocturnal animals.

Staying at Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 10
Danum Valley

Early morning start for the Canopy Walk, a series of walkways reaching a height of around 90 feet and ending in a huge majau tree with viewing platform. Following breakfast at the lodge you will have a full day in the reserve with your guide. Perhaps climb the escarpment to see ancient tombs in the cliff face, follow the Segama River deep into the forest or visit the local swimming hole - a natural Jacuzzi. In the evening there will be a spotlight game drive (weather permitting) to pick out deer, flying squirrel, leopard cat and possibly elephant and clouded leopard.

Staying at Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
Danum Valley

Full day of guided excursions. The area is home to a vast array of wildlife including all ten of Sabah's primate species, the very rare Sumatran rhinoceros, wild elephant, the beautiful clouded leopard and 275 bird species.

Staying at Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 12
Depart Borneo

Transfer by road back to Lahad Datu and fly home.

Includes In-flight Meals.

Tour Accommodation

Overview

Close to the world famous Poring Hot Springs near Kinabalu National Park, the resort has simple yet pleasant accommodation, a good restaurant and is surrounded by well-preserved rainforest.

The Jungle Lodge units are simple one-bedroom cabins with private bathrooms. They have comfortable beds, a spacious living area with cable TV and attractive parquet flooring. The cabins are located amongst the forest foliage and there are easy trails to explore straight from the resort. There are multiple level pools for guests to bathe in the hot spring waters.

The resort used to be administered by the National Park authorities but was taken over by Sutera Sanctuary Lodges who spruced up the buildings and added units. We normally book the Jungle Lodge units, but there are also the two-bedroom River Lodge units and the Palm Villa, a premier chalet with butler service and a special menu.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
10
Facilities

Restaurant, bar, outdoor swimming pool, air conditioned lounge, TV, en suite hot water showers, mosquito netted windows, outside seating area, room and laundry service.

Local Wildlife

Macaques and silvered langurs are frequently spotted and the area is good for sightings of flying lizards and the beautiful wagler’s pit viper. Poring is one of the world’s best places to see the Rafflesia - the world’s largest flower with brightly coloured red and yellow blooms measuring up to 1m in diameter. The blooming of the Rafflesia is very much a chance event, but if any are flowering at the time of your visit you will be given an opportunity to see this natural spectacle (please note that if this occurs outside the park boundary a small charge may be payable to local villagers).

Optional Activities

The main attraction is the hot springs and although these are the most popular to bathe in there is also a selection of cool water pools, slides to enjoy. Other attractions include 2 canopy walkways and a butterfly garden. Excursions to look for blooming Rafflesia - the world’s largest flower can be arranged.

Kinabalu Hill Lodge

Overview

Kinabalu Hill Lodge consists of 10 en suite cabins nestled in the wildlife-rich Kinabalu National Park. The lodge sits at an altitude of 1, 585m above sea level with easy well-marked trails leading out from the lodge straight into the national park. Each cabin is within walking distance of the park headquarters and restaurant.

The restaurant at Kinabalu Hill Lodge serves excellent traditional Malay and international cuisine.

The cabins are quite basic but have comfortable beds and a spacious living area with a cable TV and attractive parquet flooring. They are located on the side of a hill with far-reaching views across to the rainforest: the summit of Mount Kinabalu can be seen on clear days.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
10
Facilities

En suite rooms, restaurant, 24-hour electricity and cable TV.

Local Wildlife

The park has an extremely high biodiversity, including a large number of endemic species, and habitats ranging from humid lowland rainforest through to oak and chestnut forests and sub-alpine montane forest. There are over 700 orchid species, 600 species of fern (including many tree ferns), 600 species of butterfly and 326 species of bird including the mountain serpent-eagle and the wreathed hornbill.

Optional Activities

Guided walks in the Kinabalu National Park and Botanical Gardens. For the more adventurous, hikes to the summit of Mount Kinabalu can be arranged. The Poring Hot Springs are also nearby offering natural warm baths and a canopy walkway.

Overview

Widely regarded as one of the best wildlife lodges in Asia, Borneo Rainforest Lodge is situated on the Danum River which flows through Sabah’s largest protected lowland rainforest in the 44,000-hectare Danum Valley Conservation Area.

Borneo Rainforest Lodge boasts an extensive network of trails and a fantastic 300m-long canopy walkway giving a bird’s-eye view of nesting orang-utans up to 26m high.

Borneo Rainforest Lodge has well-appointed rooms, serves excellent food and has highly knowledgeable naturalist guides. The service is of 5-star quality while still maintaining sustainable and environmentally sensitive practices. Each of the 31 chalet style rooms has comfortable twin or double beds, ceiling fans, smart furnishings and private bathrooms with hot water.

There is a communal room where evening slideshows and talks are given and there is a small bar and laundry service available. Night game drives and walks are provided for nocturnal wildlife viewing. The restaurant offers delicious Malaysian and international cuisine and there is a good selection of beverages available from the bar.

The area is home to a vast array of wildlife including all ten of Sabah’s primate species, Bornean pygmy elephants and remains one of the strongholds for the beautiful Sunda clouded leopard and extremely rare bay cat. 275 bird species and an innumerable number of reptiles, amphibians, insects and plants are also present in the surrounding forests.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
31
Facilities

Private bathrooms, hot water bathtubs, restaurant, bar, 24-hour electricity, ceiling fans, Jacuzzis, lounge, laundry service and natural history library. Deluxe chalets and three newer luxury villas available. Long canopy walkway.

Local Wildlife

The rare primary rainforest surrounding Borneo Rainforest Lodge is home to a huge diversity of wildlife: 340 species of birds, 120 of mammals, 72 reptile species, 56 amphibians and an incredible 200 species of plants per hactare. Some of the wildlife highlights include a healthy population of wild orang-utan, Bornean gibbons, western tarsier, sunda slow loris, maroon langur, Bornean pygmy elephant, bearded pig, two species of mouse deer, five species of civet, smooth-coated otter, flying squirrel, leopard, marbled and bay cats and the stunning Sunda clouded leopard: the area was also previously home to the Sumatran rhino. The area is regarded as one of the best birding spots in Sabah, with six species of pitta alone regularly seen (including the endemic black-crowned and vivid blue-headed) as well as Bornean bristlehead, ground babblers, hornbills, owls, broadbills and many more.

Optional Activities

There is an extensive trail network, a magnificent canopy walkway, river tubing trips, game drives and walks and nocturnal spotlighting.

Abai Jungle Lodge

Overview

Abai is one of the most easily accessible forest lodges along the wildlife-rich Kinabatangan River yet is situated in one of the quietest areas in terms of visitor numbers.

Accommodation at Abai is in simple but clean and comfortable stilted chalets. All the rooms are en suite with hot water and have 24-hour electricity. There is no air-conditioning at this lodge but each room has fans to keep you cool.

The restaurant serves mostly buffet meals but sometimes a la carte meals are offered at quieter times.

There is a good network of trails from the lodge leading to 5 different watchtowers where wildlife such as primates, squirrels and forest birds are often seen.

A large population of proboscis monkeys inhabits the forests lining the Kinabatangan River, often encountered on river trips. Other wildlife includes wild orang-utans, long- and pig-tailed macaques, gibbons, and silvered and maroon langur monkeys. The lodge provides a good base for birding – eight species of hornbill are possible to see in the immediate area. Borneo pygmy elephants are also found here in large herds and can occasionally be observed on boat trips.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
18
Facilities

Restaurant, lounge, bar, private facilities with hot water showers, and veranda.

Local Wildlife

Wild orang utans, proboscis monkeys, long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques, silvered and maroon langurs, Muller’s gibbons, Bornean pygmy elephants, civets, otters and bearded pigs. During the dry season when river levels are lower, the rare flat-headed cat can be seen, most often on nocturnal boat trips. Reticulated pythons, mangrove snakes and saltwater crocodiles can often be encountered at the water’s edge. Eight species of hornbill, the rare storm’s stork, kingfishers and Bornean ground cuckoos are some of the many avian highlights.

Optional Activities

Boat safaris along the Kinabatangan River, guided walks through the forest.

Overview

Situated close to Sukau village with good road and river access, Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge is in a prime location for exploring the wildlife-rich Kinabatangan River.

Accommodation is in simple semi-detached, stilted bungalows with private facilities including hot water showers and fans. Windows have mosquito netting so can be left open to provide cooling aeration. There are pleasant communal areas for relaxation with views to the river and gardens and short trails behind the lodge can be explored independently or with a guide. The restaurant serves a good choice of delicious buffet dishes.

The Kinabatangan River is particularly renowned for proboscis monkeys that are frequently seen in large troops up in the riverside trees in the late afternoon. There is also a very good chance of seeing wild orang-utans, macaques, gibbons, and silvered and maroon langur monkeys in the forest here. Bird species include all eight species of hornbill, oriental darter and the large buffy fish-owl. The boat trips along Kinabatangan River offer the best chances to see Borneo pygmy elephants, which can sometimes be spotted swimming in the river.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
33
Facilities

Restaurant, air-conditioned lounge with TV, en suite hot water showers, ceiling fans, mosquito-netted windows, outside seating area.

Local Wildlife

Wild orang-utans, proboscis monkeys, long tailed and pig tailed macaques, silvered and maroon langurs, Muller’s gibbons, Bornean pygmy elephants, civets, otters and bearded pigs. During the dry season when river levels are lower, the rare flat-headed cat can be seen (more often on nocturnal boat trips) and there is also a chance of seeing clouded leopard. Reticulated pythons, mangrove snakes, water monitor lizards and saltwater crocodiles are also possible sightings and bird highlights include 8 species of hornbill, the rare storm’s stork, various kingfishers and Bornean ground cuckoos.

Optional Activities

Boat safaris along the Kinabatangan River, guided walks through the forest, cultural activities and excursions to Gomantong caves.

Overview

Beautifully set in lush grounds within walking distance of the lowland rainforests of Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve with it’s renowned orang-utan centre, sun bear centre and rainforest discovery centre.

The spacious chalets at Sepilok Nature Resort have private facilities and are tastefully decorated with local wood and handmade textiles. The restaurant serves a good selection of local and more international food and there is free Wi-Fi available here.

The chalets are surrounded by wildlife-filled gardens which would take half a day to appreciate fully and include a natural lake, and orang-utans can sometimes be seen in the adjacent forest. The lodge offers guided walks through the reserve in the early morning and at night when orang-utans, flying squirrels and slow loris are often spotted.

Each of the 60 chalets has twin or double beds, air-conditioning, private bathrooms with hot water, TV and mini bar. Most chalets also have a private veranda that overlooks the lush gardens or the peaceful lake.

The famous Sepilok Organ-Utan Rehabilitation Centre and the new Sun Bear Centre are only a 5-minute walk from the resort. It is approximately 20 minutes to the Rainforest Discovery Centre.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
60
Facilities

Rooms with private hot water bathrooms, verandas, free Wi-Fi, ceiling fans, satellite TV, laundry service and private veranda.

Local Wildlife

Orang-utans, long-tailed macaques, slow loris, red giant flying squirrels, mouse deer, hornbills, flying lizards and water monitor lizards.

Optional Activities

The Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre is only a 5-minute walk from the resort, and it is approximately 20 minutes to both the Rainforest Discovery Centre and Proboscis Monkey Rescue Centre.

Selingan Island Chalets

Overview

The accommodation here is very basic, being simple air-conditioned twin-bed chalets with electricity and shared bathrooms but is clean and functional. However it is the unforgettable turtle experience on Selingan Island that makes up for the lack of amenities.

Selingan Island is the largest of the turtle islands in the Selingan Marine National Park. The island has beautiful white-sand beaches, good snorkelling and is famed for its breeding population of green turtles.

Selingan Island is special because high numbers of green turtles come to the island throughout the year, making it one of the most reliable places in the world to observe their egg-laying.

Visit the park hatchery to see the transplantation of eggs and help return the young turtles to the sea. The most exciting event is at night when rangers call small groups of guests to witness the adult females laying. During the day it is possible to snorkel in the shallow waters around the island where a small coral reef is present, but the diversity of marine fauna is generally low.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
25
Facilities

Shared bathrooms, air-conditioning, dining room and communal area with bar.

Local Wildlife

Green turtles nest year round on the island but are most abundant between May and September. Water monitor lizards are often found in the interior of the island and a reasonable diversity of birds is present too. There is a small community of corals and several species of colourful reef fish can be seen.

Optional Activities

Visit the park hatchery to see the transplantation of eggs and help return young turtles to the sea. Night excursion to witness egg- laying. Snorkelling is possible in the shallow sea but it is not a very rich area for snorkelling compared to other islands.

Route Map

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Selingan Island Chalets: 6.116898, 118.021646
Sepilok Nature Resort: 5.867534, 117.949591
Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge: 5.508166, 118.282401
Abai Jungle Lodge: 5.682133, 118.380035
Borneo Rainforest Lodge: 5.019426, 117.746615
Kinabalu Hill Lodge: 6.008724, 116.541157
Jungle Lodge at Poring Hot Springs: 6.047894, 116.703981

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

No flights included.

Best Visited:

March to October

Jonathan Morris

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

Very helpful – we went to all the right places, well-designed tour. [Wildlife highlights included:] Orang-utans, gibbons, seeing wildlife unit filming, 5m reticulated python, storm stalks, hornbills, kingfishers, green turtles egg-laying, birdsnest soup caves (but not the cockroaches!), monitor lizards, leopard cats, slow loris, binturong, mouse deer + other deer, fruit bats, black squirrels, some pretty nasty other snakes, flying fish, Borneo pigmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, macaques, otter etc.

Mrs C M - Chepstow