Borneo family tour

“Seamlessly organised, this tailor made family adventure removes any hassle leaving you free to dive in and enjoy all of the incredible activities that Borneo has to offer.”

Highlights

Kota Kinabalu | Kinabalu Park | Poring Hot Springs | Traditional tea plantation visit | Longhouse village stay | Selingan Island | Kinabatangan River Cruise | Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary | Rainforest Discovery Centre | Pulao Tiga

Description of Borneo family tour

This two week tailor made Borneo family tour lets you slip into the jungles and beaches of Borneo and unveil the orangutans and warm waters of the South China Sea that provide travellers with a wild, untamed and often exciting experience packed full of activities and adventures.

From the safe and secure confines of Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary to watching turtles lay their eggs by the light of the moon on Selingan Island, this Borneo family tour is certain to stay in the memory long after the tans fade with tea plantations, hot springs and river cruises certain to add to the mix.

Not many kids will be able to say that they’ve spent the night on a traditional longhouse or explored in the realm of Borneo’s headhunter tribes however, this Borneo family tour lets them do just that as well as spotting pygmy elephants and wild gibbons as part of the bargain.

Wash away your worries on wild sandy beaches and journey down river onboard a wooden long tail boat; whatever you do, don’t miss out on a two week tailor made Borneo family tour especially if you’re able to visit in between the peak months from March and October.

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:
Never think your query or question is too small - tailor made trips are about what's right for you.
Trip type:
Tailor made to your preferences and budget.
Activity level:
Leisurely/Moderate - you can do as little or as much as you like.
Accomm:
12 nights hotels, local lodges and homestays.
Solos:
This is a family holiday, but single rooms are available at hotels.
Meals:
All breakfasts.
Included:
Accommodation, domestic flights, transfers, listed activities and tour guides, some meals.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Borneo family tour

Environment

As mentioned in the community promise, our tours in Borneo are operated in conjunction with a local partner that share our environmental and social values and who actively seek ways to operate in as responsible way as possible. Where possible we use small locally owned hotels that have been built and furnished using locally sourced materials.
One of the main reasons to visit Borneo is to gain an insight into the unique eco-system that can be found there, and one of the main tasks of our local guides is to ‘bring the envirnment to life’ for all travellers but particularly children. We often find that a visit to Borneo creates a really strong environmental focus with younger visitors, who return home with a detailed understanding of the importance of preserving the environment all over the world. As an example, in the Kinabalu National Park our ranger guides are particularly keen to show off some of the most threatened species and to explain their importance in the overal health of the rainforest in the area.
Our UK office is run as environmentally as possible and we operate a primarily paper free environment. We do not produce brochures (which often leads to a lot of waste) but market our tours exclusively on the internet.

Community

We operate all of our tours in Borneo in conjunction with a local partner that share our environmental and social values and who actively seek ways to operate in as responsible way as possible. As an example, we often send travellers to spend the night in a tribal Rungus Longhouse in the north of Sabah. Our partners have a long-standing relationship with the village elders in this area and have been instrumental in ensuring that this kind of village based tourism is conducted in a responsible manner and one which is welcomed (rather than resented) by the local population. They also contribute financially to the upkeep of the long house that is used to accommodate our groups (in addition to the ‘per person’ payment that is made by each guest).
All of our tours in Borneo are run in a way that maximises the interaction with local communities. Families are generally accompanied by a local guide, who will provide them with a detailed understanding of the local culture and ensure that they understand how to behave in an appropriate manner, for example removing shoes at the entrance to the longhouse. The guides will also arrange visits with local families where this is possible. Our travellers love this as it provides an excellent opportunity to teach their own children about the local way of life and explain that not everyone has quite so many material goods!

4 Reviews of Borneo family tour

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 06 May 2017 by

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


Bit tricky to say as every day/activity was different but so exciting and rewarding in its own way. Caves were amazing, landing at Mulu was amazing. Orang-utans obviously amazing, fire flies amazing as it was a clear night. Turtle beach amazing. All that super amazing stuff made Sabah Tea gardens feel a bit dated and boring. Felt rather lost in time.

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


Just be super aware that the accommodation throughout will be super basic, a little uncared for and maybe not what you are expecting if you've paid £1500 per person. Lots of insect relevant and just focus on the experience for that day. So much to take in. Don't worry about getting wet. No one got attacked by leaches.

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


Its a tricky balance. I think the homestay was a good way to benefit local people, but as our guide said they then westernise their homes, so is that good?

I think the lodges and guides had a strong respect for the environment and the fact that its amenity and the experience people got from it was what made the holiday/travel for people. Not sure that it reduced env impacts.

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


It was amazing, but I would expect that for the money and place. Would recommend 100%. Would try and explain more what people will experience beforehand. The fire fly bit felt last minute, but it was amazing. Some people may be disappointed with the accommodation at the homestay and Mulu.

Reviews said turtle island was really bad accommodation, but it was fine. More
time in Sepilock rather than Sabah as most come to see Orangutans. But this is hard as you want people to also have their own experience.
Tour op to respond to Q3 - 08/05/2017 (2 weeks on 22nd May)
Requested op response 11.05 SJP

Read the operator's response here:

Travelling in Borneo is wonderfully rewarding but it is absolutely fair to say that accommodation is quite expensive for what you get. Elsewhere in South East Asia you can get a very comfortable hotel with air conditioning and a swimming pool for very little money.

However, Borneo is different; our preferred accommodation is quite remote which is of course the attraction as you are in amongst the wildlife and the animals, but it is also expensive, despite the fact that rooms are simple and both the hot water and electricity are patchy. This is in part because tourism is not that developed in Borneo so there aren't a wide
range of lodges to choose from and they can each therefore charge pretty much what they like; but it is also because in many cases all supplies have to be shipped in from far away. In Mulu for example, there is no road access so all supplies have to be brought in either by plane or on a two day boat journey.

These comments are therefore completely fair! You do pay quite a lot to go to Borneo, and although the experience is worth every penny, the accommodation
at night is often simple. There are upgrades available (and particularly on the beach there are in fact some super-luxurious resorts) but these are very expensive so it does depend on budget.

However, perhaps we need to make it clearer to travellers exactly what to expect so we will take this on board for future enquiries.

Reviewed on 25 Apr 2016 by

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


So many! My children's faces, beautiful Pagodas, peaceful paddy fields, food markets, cookery courses, amazing food, wonderful people, museums, tunnels and boats. A holiday with something for everybody.

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


Go for it. It was a great family adventure that we all loved.

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


Yes. All our guides were local, we stayed as much as possible in small family run hotels and ate in small local restaurants.

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


Brilliant

Reviewed on 07 Aug 2015 by

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


The homestay in a village in Kinabalu National Park Facilitated by a fantastically knowledgeable guide. We had the opportunity to stay in a small village with stunning views of Mount Kinabalu. We were able to stay with a family who had four generations under one roof, the youngest being one week and the oldest 93 years and to experience a very different way of life, eat locally produced
food and with excellent interpretation learn about our hosts lifestyles and all enjoy the company of our hosts. We were greeted by many of the villagers who added to our incredible time, the kids played together, language was not an issue. We walked in the jungle in the rain, swim in the river, attempt to catch fish and picnic with our hosts and the villagers beside the river. Did I mention my son cooking with the host family and we were shown how to collect rubber and forage for fritz and vegetables as well as fish with a net and bare hands. Memories for us all to treasure. We got invited back for Christmas!
Seeing the orangutans in the wild near the sanctuary made us appreciate the success of the work. The stay at river kinabantan was incredible so could equally be my favourite. We had excellent guides really knowledgable, helpful and flexible. I don't think we could have seen or learnt so much without them


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


Be prepared for the unexpected! River trecking in the river rather than besides. Amazing fun. Be ready to question your own views and values. Be prepared to get wet you will soon be dry again. Perhaps get your rainmacs etc in Borneo and rubber shoes rather than walking boots. Be ready to try a variety of food and particularly some unusual fruits! Have plenty of strong sun cream and insect repellant. Have a waterproof camera. Be ready for seeing and absorbing. Don't be put off by having a guide, we thought we would feel less intrepid but we learnt and laughed so much

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


Definitely when thinking of the turtle preservation. Especially after being offered cooked turtle eggs in a roadside restaurant. Local people- I understand the villagers as a whole get some support when offering homestays. Bilit was wonderful seek so many birds, crocs, elephants, monkeys, lizards etc. I think having the area as a tourist attraction may protect the area against further deforestation as the local people gain financially by providing a centre for tourism.
I think we consumed much in diesel, especially flying from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan- from the air the scars from logging and Palm plantation were very clear and wouldn't be by road.

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


Fantastic, I would make minor changes to the programme. We had a great time each of us getting something different from the experience.

Reviewed on 27 Oct 2015 by

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


Staying with a local family - our daughters got so much out of it. We have just written to them all and hope to stay in touch

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


Be more organised with your suitcases - you can leave things at KK but we were kept forgetting things to take in the trips

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


It didn't really cross our minds once there, but in reflection we did use local people / companies

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


Fantastic! We constantly remember different things and look at the photos

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