Borneo wildlife holiday, 13 days

“Get a taste of Borneo on a 13 day tour that incorporates steam trains, orangutans, river trips and mangrove forests, capped by 4 nights at a luxury white sand beach resort. ”

Highlights

Kota Kinabalu | North Borneo steam railway| Papar and Kinarut villages | Tien Nam Shi Chinese Temple | Kinabalu Park | Sun Bear Conservation Centre | Poring Hot Springs | treetop canopy walkway | Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre | Sulu Sea cruise | Kinabatangan River cruise | Pitas Lake cruise | meet local Abai villagers | Sandakan | Optional activities, such as night walks, at Sepilok's Rainforest Discovery Centre |

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Our top tip:
Pack light clothing that dries easily. Also, don't be scared to ask your guides questions as from the best way to say hello to the location of a flowering giant rafflesia, you'll never regret finding out more.
Trip type:
Tailor made. Luxury eco-tour.
Activity level:
Leisurely. Wildlife walks, canopy walkways and open air markets.
Accomm:
Luxury lodge and nature resort accommodation, all en-suite with access to swimming pools and restaurants.
Included:
Accommodation, transport and English speaking guides and drivers.
Meals:
9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Borneo wildlife holiday, 13 days

Environment

On this Borneo holiday you will visit Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre. Founded in 1964, the Centre was established to rehabilitate orphaned and often injured orangutans and rehabilitate them back into the wild. Located on the edge of Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve, the facility provides medical care for orangutans and other wildlife species including gibbons, Sumatran rhinos and the occasional injured elephant. The Centre works like a halfway house for the orangutans: it provides a semi-wild haven in the protected reserve outside the confines of the Centre but twice a day meals are provided for those animals who feel the need for it. Entrance to the Centre for these feedings is chargeable and all funds go back to the Centre to help fund the important work they are doing here. The Centre is also an important education tool for visitors to learn about the orangutans and the Centre’s work and help promote it to possible future visitors.

This trip also stays in Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort which offers an involved corporate social responsibility scheme split between EMBRACE and SANCTUARY. Sanctuary focuses on their nature project and centres on the nature reserve, the Rasa Ria Resort Nature Interpretation Centre. The centre has worked closely with the Sabah Wildlife Department for almost 20 years and is responsible for the first stage care of orphaned and injured orangutans, which usually lasts between 4 and 5 years, before they are transferred to Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre near Sandakan for their onward care and release. To date, 39 young orangutans have been rehabilitated and transferred to Sepilok and the centre has been responsible for the education of nearly 10,000 school children and of course countless hotel guests and other visitors. The Rasa Ria Resort also recently donated and sponsored a fully modified 4WD vehicle to the Sabah Wildlife Department. The Rapid Response Wildlife Enforcement Unit has been set up to address illegal wildlife poaching and killings in Sabah state and this 4WD donation will go some way to helping address the problem.

The resort also has their own bottling plant where they supply pure still water to all guestrooms and outlets. Since its implementation, there has been a reduction of up to 420,000 plastic bottles! Since February 2013 the resort has been composting waste in an attempt to convert it to something beneficial, as fertilizer for the gardens. Waste water from guestrooms is channelled to the resort’s own sewage treatment plant where the water is treated and used to water the golf course.

Community

Our local Borneo ground agents employ only local guides and drivers thereby keeping all moneys paid to staff in the local community. Where possible, food served to guests at all the lodges is sourced locally thereby providing a further income to local residents.

Abai Jungle Lodge is located next to Abai village en-route from the Sulu Sea to Sukau. In conjunction with the Abai villagers, the Abai Jungle Restaurant was built with food sourced from Abai village and their fishermen. A donation is made for each diner towards the Abai Homestay Development Fund to go towards the upgrading of village facilities with the provision of household goods, school uniforms, seeds etc.
Abai Jungle Lodge came later and was built behind the restaurant. The lodge uses many environmentally friendly practices including the use of biodegradable and environmentally friendly shampoo and soaps in guestrooms, rainwater collection and a reverse osmosis water treatment system which purifies the water in an energy efficient and cost effective way. The lodge also introduced their ‘tree planting and lunch with the villagers’ programme where for every person who partakes in this activity, a donation is made to the village as well as the tree itself which helps generate an extra income for the village. Over the years the lodge owners have donated useful items such as motor and fibreglass boats to the villagers.

Rasa Ria Resort's Embrace programme focuses on community work within the region. The resort has been sponsoring two secondary schools located in close proximity to the resort, SMK Sri Nangka and SMK Tamparuli (Special Education Centre), since 2012. Apart from scholarships, various educational support and the improvement of facilities and health support, the resort also provides skills training for sustainable futures.
The “A Meal a Day” programme was launched and established by the resort to provide meals to students from underprivileged, single parent and low income family backgrounds. Twenty students of SMK Sri Nangka were selected for this programme.

In conjunction with Orangutan Appeal UK and the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre, for every booking to Borneo we adopt our chosen Sepilok orangutan, Gelison, in your names for a year. Orangutan Appeal UK works to support the orangutans of Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre. Funds from the adoption costs go towards funding the Centre’s work providing food, medical care and a safe refuge for the orangutans as well as being an important educational tool for visitors.

Reviews of Borneo wildlife holiday, 13 days

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 08 May 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing the herd of Pygmy elephants in the jungle.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you like a alcoholic drink at night make sure you take some with you when you move away from the resort hotels.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes we felt that a lot is being done for the animals and their environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


11 out of 10 best holiday of my life!

Reviewed on 03 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing orangutans in the wild, along with other mammals and staying within the rainforest.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I would recommend staying two nights at a river lodge, probably Kinabatangan. Ensure that if you want a day at Sepilok to visit the orangutans that this is in
and stays in your itinerary ours was changed by the tour operators in Borneo. Although to an extent this can seem like a zoo visit, you do need to visit feeding
in the morning with your guide and then as the ticket is valid for the day return for the feeding in the afternoon to wander round on your own, seeing the Sun
bears between.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes to a degree. It is not always possible.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very good, but with the change in Sepilok we only had 2 hours there which was very poor, instead of being able to visit am and pm. Hence the three stars

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent trip. However I am very sorry if you felt your time at Sepilok was not as you expected and did not allow you enough time to explore the centre as much as you would have liked. The package which visits the Kinabatangan River and Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre is a set itinerary which includes visits to both Sepilok and the Borneo Sun Bear Centre in a set order which cannot be amended. So with this in mind, your own itinerary was tailored to allow for an extra day in the region so you could visit Sepilok (and possibly other sites of your choosing) at your own pace without the limitations of a set package. I do sincerely apologise for any confusion which may have come about regarding your trip and the itinerary layout. Your comments will be taken on board for future clients who will be made fully aware of the order of services on their holiday.

Reviewed on 22 Sep 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing a mother and baby Orang Utan in the actual jungle, wild and thriving

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Pack as light as you can if you are moving to various destinations and accommodations. Be prepared for incredible humidity and heat 24/7

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. We took the opportunity to support the Tree Planting Project, visited the MERC centre on Gayana Eco Resort and helped reintroduce coral back to the sea bed, bought two gifts to support the Sun Bear Protection and of course adopted
an Orang Utan. We ensured we bought from local stall holders and donated to the village.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Incredible! One of the best experiences we've ever had. The holiday provider listened to our requests and got it spot on!

Reviewed on 08 Oct 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing the wildlife, particularly the Orang-utans in the wild.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Very well orgainised with efficient collections from venues. Overall the area was more expensive than I had anticipated.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. Local people are employed at the hotels and jungle resorts although I'm not sure about our "carbon imprint" on the local environment with the boat travel

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was generally what I had expected although why the prices were more expensive in the 2nd Shangri La Resort I cannot comprehend. The first hotel was far superior, closer to the airport and provided the benchmark that the 2nd hotel did not attain

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


I really enjoyed seeing all the wildlife in Borneo, the orangutans, pygmy elephants, monkeys, turtles, etc.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It's very hot and humid in Malaysia. Take cool, quick dry clothing.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I do hope my tourism dollars benefited the local people. Most of the places we stayed seemed to support environmentalism and conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was great. I really enjoyed it.

Reviewed on 29 Apr 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Malaysia was amazing, a fantastic place. However, sitting in a small boat with 7 other people and watching fireflies just after nightfall was infinitely memorable and will live with me for some time to come.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It is well worth the flight. Seeing both KL and Borneo within one trip was well worth the trouble. It is very hot and humid, so pack accordingly.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We felt that it helped all three, particularly our stay in the Jungle Lodge where we planted trees and felt like part of the community.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was amazing. We appreciated all the help and advice in setting it up, and thought the arrangements really suited our purposes.

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