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.
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
Price
£2950including UK flights
Duration
13 Days
Countries
Borneo, Malaysia
Type
Tailor made
Reviews
More info
Price includes international flights from the UK, internal Borneo flight, accommodation on twin/double basis, airport transfers, touring with English-speaking Guide, shared boat excursions and meals as stated (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
Make enquiry

Description of Borneo wildlife holiday, 13 days

This two week wildlife holiday in Borneo is ideal for any travellers wishing to journey to lesser-visited locations and find out more about the coastal communities and the wildlife making the most of the mangroves, mountains and jungles of Sabah, in the northeast of Borneo.

Clamber aboard a steam engine, step across rainforest canopy walkways and spend time at Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre as you tailor a tour to include as many wild experiences as you care to imagine.

One of the highlights of this holiday, in every sense, has to be walking within the shadow of Kinabalu although a cruise along the Kinabatangan River is also very highly regarded thanks, in no small part, to the curious monkeys, snakes and rare birds watching from the river banks as you float gently past.

No wildlife holiday in Borneo would be complete without a bit of beach time which is why the climax of this two week experience completes on the white sand beaches and natural surrounds of the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort prior to one final transfer back to the airport at Kota Kinabalu, and your flight home.

Itinerary

Day 1Depart the UK on an overnight flight.
Day 2Land Kota Kinabalu where you will be met and transferred to the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort. Enjoy the day at leisure.
Day 3Enjoy today at leisure in Kota Kinabalu. (B)
Day 4Journey through rural Sabah on the steam-powered North Borneo Railway, a wonderfully nostalgic experience. The North Borneo Railway features a British Vulcan steam locomotive, designed and built by the Vulcan Foundry in Newton le-Willows, Explore the villages of Papar and Kinarut before heading back to Kota Kinabalu while enjoying a tasty traditional tiffin lunch onboard. (Operates Wed and Sat only) (B/L)
Day 5Depart your hotel and drive to the World Heritage Site of Kinabalu Park. En-route visit the Poring Hot Springs and experience the treetop canopy walkway. Enjoy the afternoon in the park exploring the park and walking trails. Overnight Kinabalu Park accommodation. (B,L,D)
Day 6This morning depart the park and head to Sepilok near Sandakan, home to the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to visit for the afternoon orangutan feeding. Overnight MY Nature Resort. (B,L,D)
Day 7Return to Sepilok for the morning feeding of the orangutans, another chance to see these magnificent animals. Depart Sepilok and drive to the jetty in Sandakan to board your boat for the cruise out into the Sulu Sea and then through the mangroves to the Kinabatangan River. This is a fantastic opportunity to spot the wildlife including proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, hornbills and other local birdlife. Arrive at your lodge and in the cool of the afternoon enjoy a further river cruise in search of the wildlife. After dinner enjoy viewing the impressive firefly display. Overnight Abai Jungle Lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 8This morning wake early to the jungle calls around you before embarking on another cruise to the Pitas Lake to observe early morning wildlife. Return to the lodge and enjoy lunch and the tree planting programme with the local Abai Villagers. Late afternoon enjoy your final river cruise to see the riverside wildlife. (B,L,D)
Day 9Re-trace your steps back to Sandakan, another chance to wildlife spot. Enjoy an early lunch in Sandakan town before transferring to the airport for the short flight back to Kota Kinabalu. Upon arrival you will be met and driven to the Rasa Ria Resort. (B,L)
Days 10-12Enjoy the days at leisure on the beach or why not explore the Resort's 64-acre nature reserve? Please ask if you wish to pre-book any resort excursions. (B)
Day 13Today you will be collected and returned to Kota Kinabalu airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Price information

£2950including UK flights
Price includes international flights from the UK, internal Borneo flight, accommodation on twin/double basis, airport transfers, touring with English-speaking Guide, shared boat excursions and meals as stated (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Travel guides

Sabah
Tacked onto the northern tip of Borneo, Sabah lays claim to more than its fair share of the earth's riches. Altitude aficionados can get their fix on ...
Orangutan
‘Orang-hutan’ means ‘person of the forest’, and this term was originally used to refer to forest dwelling humans as well as their shaggy, branch swing...

Holiday information

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.

Reviews

8 Reviews of Borneo wildlife holiday, 13 days

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 08 Jul 2019 by

One of the best holidays we’ve had in our lives. Adventure, wildlife, lovely people and just an amazing experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2018 by

Seeing orangutans at sepilok and also in the wild whilst on the Kinabatangan river. Truly memorable. Read full review

Reviewed on 08 May 2016 by

11 out of 10 best holiday of my life! Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Oct 2016 by

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

Reviewed on 22 Sep 2015 by

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

Reviewed on 08 Oct 2015 by

Best bits: Seeing the wildlife, particularly the Orang-utans in the wild. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2015 by

I really enjoyed seeing all the wildlife in Borneo, the orangutans, pygmy elephants, monkeys, turtles, etc. It was great. I really enjoyed it. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Apr 2015 by

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. Read full review

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.

Planet

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.

People

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.

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