Borneo luxury holidays, tailor made

“This holiday is all about seeing the best of Borneo in style - wonderful wildlife, private guides, comfortable transport and a few days luxury thrown in too.”

Highlights

Kuala Lumpur | Kuching | Bako National Park | Batang Ai | Sandakan | Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary| Kinabatangan River | Kota Kinabalu | Rasa Ria

Description of Borneo luxury holidays, tailor made

Arriving in the capital city of Sarawak you will spend the night in this charming, historic city on the Sarawak River. From Kuching it is a short drive and boat ride to Sarawak’s oldest National Park, Bako National Park.

After a couple of days in and around Kuching you will head east and inland to the rainforests around Batang Ai Reservoir where the Iban Headhunter tribe live in their traditional longhouse homes. Returning to Kuching you fly to Sandakan in Sabah, home to the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, the leading orangutan conservation and rehabilitation centre in the world. From Sandakan, journey into the heart of Sabah’s rainforest and spend a couple of nights at the village of Sukau in the Kinabatangan River Area.

After your stay in the rainforest you might like to have a few days of luxury enjoying one of Sabah’s beautiful beaches. Best time to go Departures for this Borneo holiday are available all year but the best time to go is during the “dry” season (although it still rains in the rainforest) which is between March and October. If you add a dive extension to your itinerary it is strongly advised that you go during this period.

Prices do increase during school holidays and availability can be limited in July/August. The itinerary has many potential modifications including visits to Sabah’s famous dive islands, exploring Sarawak’s vast cave networks and extending your time in the rainforest to do some trekking. On this Borneo holiday you can also climb Mount Kinabalu, Southeast Asia’s highest peak.

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 and departures can be arranged all year. The sample itinerary below can be modified to your personal wishes including departure date, duration, accommodation used & how long you spend in each destination.
Our top tip:
Take some leech socks for rainforest trekking.
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Activity level:
Leisurely.
Accomm:
12 nights luxury hotels, basic jungle lodges and longhouses.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available at hotels.
Meals:
Some meals included dependent on your accommodation choices.
Included:
Accomm., transfers, driver/guide, flights (if booked).
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Tailor made holidays

This trip can be tailor made to create a unique holiday for your individual requirements by travel experts with intimate knowledge of the destination. It is a more individual trip that will suit those who enjoy immersing themselves in new cultures and environments, with the flexibility to plan a trip at your own pace. Quality and value are the hallmark of these trips, with most services being provided on a private basis.

Responsible tourism

Borneo luxury holidays, tailor made

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

Bako National Park is a small, coastal, mangrove forest well known for its conservation and education work and is one of the best places in the state to see proboscis and other rare monkeys as well as an array of colourful birdlife. It is possible to stay overnight in the park if you wish.

This Borneo holiday itinerary includes a visit to the Iban Headhunter tribe who live in their traditional longhouse homes and here you experience their age-old culture. You can stay for a night or two with one of the Iban families or at the Hilton Resort. Do not be put off by the fact that this is a Hilton: as one of the international chain’s most remote properties it is built in the style of a wooden longhouse. The resort employs and trains local staff and demonstrates a refreshing awareness of the natural environment and local culture. Through your visit to the resort and Iban longhouses you contribute financially to the medical and educational needs of the Iban people.

The Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary is the leading orangutan conservation and rehabilitation centre in the world. Here you are virtually guaranteed some impressive sightings of one of man’s closest relatives at the twice-daily feeding sessions. The orangutans at the sanctuary are orphaned youngsters and adults who have lost their jungle homes due to deforestation. Whilst they are fed and protected by rangers at the sanctuary they are free to venture into the forest. There are no cages or bars: when the orangutans are ready to return fully to the wild they can simply disappear into the forest.

Spend a couple of nights at the village of Sukau in the Kinabatangan River Area. The small and basic lodges in this stunning area of rainforest are making a conscious effort to minimise the impact of tourism on the environment whilst using the income to support local projects and preserve the forest. Villagers are paid to collect seeds, become involved in tree-planting programmes and grow their produce using organic techniques. Most of your wildlife viewing is done from small boats supplied by locals and many are moving towards electric motors which are more environmentally friendly. The lodges use solar-power; recycle as much of their waste as possible and employ staff and guides from local villages. In this way the people are encouraged to preserve the forest and avoid hunting the diverse wildlife of the area.

After your stay in the rainforest you might like to have a few days of luxury enjoying one of Sabah’s beautiful beaches. North of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s capital city, the 5* Rasa Ria Resort might appear to be a surprising choice. However, this large resort has its own Nature Reserve and plenty of conservation programmes that you can be involved in. You can foster one of its animals or plant a tree as well as learn about the amazing flora and fauna of the two main types of rainforest in the country (dipterocarp and mangrove).

4 Reviews of Borneo luxury holidays, tailor made

5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
4
0
0
0
0

Reviewed on 13 Aug 2019 by

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


Staying in a mangrove swamp, or the nature reserve. Somewhere authentically genuinely wild.

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


DO take leach socks and bug spray. DON'T take a change of clothes for the evening or any cosmetics whilst touring the jungle or river.
Do give yourself time to enjoy each place (2 nights is ideal) and some tine to rest on the beach at the end.

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


I felt local people benefitted but with regards to Gaya Island in particular we felt the 'eco-resort' description was unjustified and used to lure visitors.
The marine park does not really exist as talking to locals, it seems this is designated but not at all protected. The sea was full of plastic which nobody except tourists cleans up. Whilst this is a government issue, the hotel itself seems to think that banning water bottles and straws is enough.
They still change the beds and towels every day even if you ask them not to and have non-insulated rooms which let all the aircon out which is left on along with the lights by the maids all day. The shop is full of non-reef safe sunscreen and the other local hotels (in the protected area) spray pesticides to control
mosquitos. It was really upsetting.


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


Fantastic. A really refreshing holiday with so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences we'll never forget.

Reviewed on 15 Jul 2017 by

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


There really were too many to mention...but I think seeing the pygmy elephants on the Kinabatangan River

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


Make sure you take the right clothing, and plenty of insect repellent, invest in a good pair of binoculars if interested in the wildlife

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


We took part in a tree planting project and also stayed with a tribe at the Lemanak Longhouse. My observations of Malaysian Borneo while I was there is that it is a country that realizes the wonderful things that it has and has put laws and regulations in place in order to conserve its natural wildlife/habitat alongside
helping the people who live in these areas. - I was very impressed with the way the government and the separate commissions work in Borneo.

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


We had the most amazing time, our tour operator listened to our original spec and the sort or people we are and took this all into consideration when planning
the itinerary. My lifetime goal of visiting Sepilok and seeing the orangutans has been achieved along with seeing them in the wild which I never expected!

Reviewed on 02 Apr 2016 by

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


Spotting a mother and baby orangutan in Tabin

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


If you love nature and animals do not hesitate to book! Definitely come with an attitude of enjoying nature and whatever it may bring.
Use this time to getaway from it all and recharge in nature.
The fact that you are visitingis helping the eco-tourism in Borneo as well as giving you a chance to getaway from it all and recharge in nature. Every place we visited gave us a different experience: Sepilok Rehabilitation Center - semi-wild adult and young orangutans that we could watch for hours (ensure to definitely have a full day there, the tour with the guide is too quick); Kinabatangan River

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


Yes. It is bringing jobs and educating everyone involved to understand how we can help and support.

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


Unbelievable! I cannot wait to go back!!

Reviewed on 27 Apr 2014 by

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


We had lots so hard to choose, but this is our top three:
- Sitting on the Kinabantan River in a small boat watching proboscis monkeys fall asleep in the trees at sunset with a cup of coffee in our hands! Magical.
- Seeing wild Pygmy elephants on the riverbank and hearing their sounds as they call to each other
- Gaya Island Resort - Coming back after breakfast to a bath filled with beautiful pink petals, the customary towel swans and soft music playing followed by a man knocking at the door with a bottle of champagne. Amazing!

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


Spend more time on the Kinabantan River - it's an amazing place and with the palm oil plantations growing by the day it makes the rare experience of seeing animals in the wild all the more special. Accommodation is basic but the memories of the animals will far exceed that. We wished we'd spend an extra day there and less time at the Rasa Ria in Kota Kinabalu. In all honesty I’m not sure I’d recommend the Rasa Ria. We did a number of the activities and I heard from one of the guests that on a trip to the nightflies locally, a guide recommended catching some nightflies and taking them back to guests rooms. This very much shocked me - more so that the other residents thought this was a good idea. The service in the Rasa Ria is also not great - it’s just too commercial and non-personal for me. Invest in a high quality waterproof jacket for the jungle! You'll probably get one hideous downpour whilst you are there and you'll thank yourself for investing wisely. Same for a rucksack cover - invaluable.

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


Yes, especially on the Kinabantan River. The accommodation was very explicit that the food all comes from the local villages and most of the staff came from the local area also. Loved planting a tree that one day might be enjoyed by the proboscis monkeys.

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


Fantastic - comment from my husband "I normally am ready to come back to work, but this time i absolutely hated it!"

Popular similar holidays

Borneo orangutan holiday

Borneo orangutan holiday

Trekking, wildlife and beach adventure holiday to Borneo

From £3195 14 days including UK flights

Borneo tour, Great Apes and Beach escapes

Borneo tour, Great Apes and Beach escapes

Explore bustling cities, lush jungles and paradise beaches

From £1658 9 days excluding flights

Family holiday in Sabah

Family holiday in Sabah

Discover the best of Borneo in just under 2 weeks

From £2155 10 days excluding flights

Borneo tailor made holidays, wildlife & beaches

Borneo tailor made holidays, wildlife & beaches

A luxury tour of the best wildlife & beaches of Sabah

From £2865 15 days excluding flights

Convert currencies