Borneo wildlife holiday, Sarawak

“Encounter a heady mix of wild, bird and plant life on this wilderness adventure. Meet the Iban tribe, discover secret coves and keep your eyes peeled for the rare Rafflesia flower! ”

Highlights

Kuching | Semenggoh Wildlife Centre | Bako National Park | Gunung Gading National Park | Batang Ai Lake National Park | Overnight in a jungle lodge | Mulu showcaves | Kota Kinabalu | Opportunities for orangutan viewing, jungle swimming and trekking

Description of Borneo wildlife holiday, Sarawak

Sarawak, or the 'Land of the Hornbills' as it's also known, is sometimes overlooked over its more visited neighbour Sabah yet offers a host of excellent adventure activities to enjoy. This 14-day Sarawak holiday starts with an easy tour of Kuching 'Cat' city with its host of colonial buildings and local markets and also visits Bako National Park to hike the walking trails and search for local wildlife including the rare hornbill and proboscis monkeys. Explore Gunung Gading National Park in search of the world's largest flower, the rafflesia, which can measure anything up to 100cm in diameter and often have a very short flowering period.
Travel to Batang Ai National Park and board a traditional longboat upriver to Nanga Sumpa Lodge, this is an opportunity to search for wildlife along the way in what is an important orangutan nesting area. Spend time with the local Iban tribe to enjoy a visit to the nearby Ensulai Waterfalls and learn about their unique way of life - you may even learn how to fish iban-style! Fly to the famous Mulu Showcaves and explore these natural wonders which were created over thousands of years by the simple passage of water through limestone rock. Clearwater Cave comes in at an impressive 200 kilometres in length (don't worry you won't be expected to walk the whole length!) and the caves are also home to millions of bats which can be seen leaving to seek food at dusk, a truly impressive sight.
End the trip with time to relax on the beach at the five-star Rasa Ria Resort in neighbouring Sabah which offers a luxury finale and an array of activities and excursions. Don't forget to include a visit to their 64-acre nature reserve which is home to an abundance of animal and birdlife. A fitting end to a wonderful Borneo adventure.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Kuching.
Day 2Land Kuching and transfer to your hotel. This afternoon is free at leisure to relax after the flight. Overnight Kuching.
Day 3Enjoy a morning visit to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre to witness the feeding of the orangutans. Return to the city for lunch followed by a tour of this clean and riverine city. (B,L)
Day 4Today head from the city to Bako National Park, home to a range of wildlife including proboscis monkeys and the rare rhinoceros horbill, the state bird of Sarawak. Explore the coastline and walking trails to search for the resident wildlife. Return to the city for overnight. (B,L)
Day 5This morning head to Gunung Gading National Park in the hopes of seeing the world's largest flower, the rafflesia. Enjoy a jungle trek along the plankwalk to discover the flora and fauna of the park and relax by a small beach or jungle stream. Return to Kuching for overnight. (B,L)
Day 6Depart the city and head into rural Sarawak this morning, namely the Batang Ai National Park. Stop en-route at Lachau bazaar to explore the native market and arrive at the Batang Ai lake. Board a traditional longboat and ruise upriver to Nanga Sumpa Lodge. Enjoy dinner at the lodge and the evening free at leisure. (B,L,D)
Day 7After breakfast hike the jungle trails to see the wildlife, this area is an important monitored orangutan nesting site. Take a longboat upriver to the Ensulai waterfall for a swim and a riverside BBQ. Ask your local Iban guide to demonstrate fishing, iban-style! After lunch trek further through orangutan country to Lubok Kasai Lodge. Enjoy time to relax with a swim in the river. After dinner,enjoy a short walk near the lodge to look for nocturnal wildlife surrounded by the sounds of the jungle. Overnight in the lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 8Return to Kuching this morning with lunch taken en-route. Overnight in the city. (B,L)
Day 9This morning fly to Mulu, home of the magnificent Mulu showcaves. Enjoy a scenic plankwalk through the forest to Deer Cave which has the world's largest cave entrance. Also visit Lang's Cave with its impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Enjoy the spectacle of millions of bats departing the caves in search of food at sunset before trekking back to your accommodation by torch light. Overnight Mulu Park Chalets. (B,L,D)
Day 10Proceed upriver this morning to Wind Cave and explore the 'King's Chamber'. Also explore Clearwater Cave via a plankwalk which is home to rare orchids and pitcher plants. Enjoy a packed lunch before returning to your accommodation for the afternoon at leisure. (B,LD)
Day 11This morning return to Mulu airport and fly to Kota Kinabalu. Land and be transferred to the Rasa Ria Resort. Enjoy time at leisure. (B)
Days 12-13Days at leisure to relax - there is the option to book resort excursions to their neighbouring 64-acre nature reserve. (B)
Day 14Today is at leisure until you return to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Our top tip:
Bring binoculars - many animals are high up and difficult to see and they can make a real difference to the wildlife viewing experience.
Trip type:
Tailor made to suit your preferences.
Activity level:
Leisurely/Moderate.
Accomm:
8 nights luxury hotel, 4 nights comfortable lodge.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available at resorts and some lodges.
Included:
All flights, accommodation, transfers, tour guide, listed excursions.
Meals:
12 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Borneo wildlife holiday, Sarawak

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

On this Borneo holiday you will visit the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, located in Semenggoh Nature Reserve, which is home to a community of orangutans and other wildlife which have been found injured, orphaned or kept illegally as pets. The Centre works hard to educate the local and international community on the importance of preserving the regions indigenous wildlife but also to rehabilitate the animals back into their natural environments. The Centre has had such an amazing success rate and is now working in conjunction with Matang Wildlife Centre, in Kubah National Park, to coordinate the wider release of the animals. This important work is done with the help of donations and entrance fees to the centre paid on your behalf by our local agents.

This trip 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 their 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.

In conjunction with Orangutan Appeal UK, 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 which provides 24hr essential care for orphaned and injured orangutans with the aim to rehabilitate them into the wilds of the adjacent Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve and beyond. 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.

Community

The 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.

Our local Borneo ground agents employ only local guides and drivers thereby keeping all moneys paid to staff in the local community. They own and run the two jungle lodges used on the trip, Nanga Sumpa Lodge and Lubok Kasai. Both lodges were built in conjunction with the local Ulu tribe and roles are fulfilled by the Ulu tribes-people including boat transfers and lodge staff. Where possible, food served to guests at the lodges is sourced locally thereby providing a further income to local residents. The lodge provides excellent opportunities not only to explore the surrounding jungle reserves and search for the resident wildlife but also to learn a little about the Ulu Ai culture while generating an important source of income for the tribe.

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