Sabah & Sarawak holiday in Borneo

“Spot monkeys and pygmy elephants in the jungle, visit an orangutan rehab centre and spend time with local tribespeople on this adventurous Borneo tour”

Highlights

Sandakan | Kinabatangan River | Abai | Pitas Lake | Sepilok Nature Reserve | Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre | Kuching | Bako National Park | Batang Ai reservoir | spend time with local tribes people | Pulau Damai Beach

Description of Sabah & Sarawak holiday in Borneo

This wonderful trip takes in the best of Borneo including both Sarawak and Sabah. You will begin your holiday in Sabah and a journey into the Kinabatangan region for a couple of nights. Here you may spot Proboscis Monkeys, Pygmy Elephants, the Hornbill and other numerous wildlife that frequents the river banks by day and night, you may even see a wild Orangutan! Don't worry if you don't as you will see them on your next stop at Sepilok where the Rehabilitation Centre holds twice daily feeding viewings. There is also the Sun Bear Rehabilitation Centre and the Rainforest Discovery Centre to explore.

On to the Sarawak region.
Bako National Park is a full day trip exploring one of the oldest national parks in Borneo and is one of the best places in Sarawak to see the wildlife in their natural surroundings. Tropical rainforest ranges from mangrove to kerangas, tropical swamp vegetation, cliff vegetation and beach vegetation. You will be hiking through jungle trails in search of the resident wildlife.

Next visit a traditional Longhouse. You will stay at a jungle lodge next to a longhouse and spend time with the local Iban people, learn about their culture, experience how they live and enjoy some local rice wine!

Spend your last few nights relaxing (or not) on the Pulau Damai beach.

Please ask us if you would like to include a stopover in Kuala Lumpur on the outward or return journey.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Depart UK on the overnight flight with Malaysia Airlines via Kuala Lumpur.
Day 2:Arrive Sandakan and transfer to your hotel where the rest of your day is at leisure. (B)
Day 3:Today you will be collected form your hotel and transferred to the jetty where you will take the boat cruise down the Kinabatangan River to Abai. After lunch, free time to relax before cruising upriver to search for the local wildlife. After dinner, a night cruise leads you to witness the beautiful fire flies glowing in the dark. Overnight in Abai. (B,L,D)
Day 4:Take an early morning river cruise to Pitas Lake observing wildlife en-route. You may spot the Proboscis Monkeys, Pygmy Elephants and the numerous birdlife that live here. After breakfast, you have the opportunity to take part in the tree planting project followed by an optional lunch with the local Abai villagers. This afternoon you will have some free time before embarking on an afternoon river cruise. Overnight at the lodge (B,L,D)
Day 5:This morning return to Sandakan by boat and visit the Central Market for a spot of souvenir shopping, the largest market in Sandakan with great sea views. After lunch, transfer to the Sepilok Nature Resort. You arrive in time for the afternoon feeding of these magnificent animals and you may opt to return for the night time, canopy walk to see a different side of this protected forest. Overnight Sepilok Nature Resort (B,L,)
Day 6:Day at leisure. You may wish to return to the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre to see the Orangutans once again. There is also the Rainforest Discovery Centre to explore and learn about the flora and fauna which can be found in Borneo. Learn about the Sun Bears at the Conservation Centre where you can see the world's smallest bears which are also now under threat. (B)
Day 7:This morning you fly to Kuching in the Sarawak region via Kota Kinabalu. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel (B)
Day 8:Day Trip to Bako National Park, one of the best places in Sarawak to see wildlife in their natural surroundings. Vegetation in the tropical rainforest ranges from mangrove to kerangas to tropical swamp. This popular tour gives you a brief taster of the wonders of Sarawak and introduces you to Long-Tail Macaques, monitor lizards and a wide variety of birds as well as the Proboscis Monkeys. Return to Kuching. [B,L]
Day 9:Travel inland today to the Batang Ai reservoir passing pepper gardens, cocoa and rubber plantations to the jungles and rivers of Nanga Sumpa. Overnight will be spent in a jungle lodge close to a traditional Longhouse. Spend time with the locals and learn about their culture and sample some of the local rice wine! [B,L,D]
Day 10:Explore Batang Ai. Full day exploring the surrounds and spending time with the local tribe people - learn how to fish on a river cruise and then check-in to your hotel for overnight. Overnight Hilton Batang Ai. [B/L/D]
Day 11:Return to Kuching today and transfer to your beach hotel to spend 3 nights relaxing on Pulau Damai Beach (B)
Day 12-13:Days at leisure to enjoy the facilities of the hotel, laze on the beach or embark on some of the excursions available from the hotel. (B)
Day 14:Return to Kuching airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu and onwards to London.
Day 15: Arrive UK.

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 and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type
We offer a complete tailor made service allowing you to decide when you go, where to stay and what to do, to create a unique holiday for your individual requirements by our travel experts. We would be happy to telephone you to discuss your requirements and options. Our staff have intimate knowledge of this destination, so do please include your telephone number when you complete the enquiry form.

Responsible tourism

Sabah & Sarawak holiday in Borneo

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 famous Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah, founded in 1964, to rehabilitate orphan orang-utans. The site is 43 square kilometres of protected land at the edge of Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve. Today around 60 to 80 Orangutans are living free in the reserve. The facility provides medical care for orphaned and confiscated orang-utans as well as dozens of other wildlife species.

During the tour you also have the opportunity to visit The Borneo Sun Bear Centre, a conservation centre with the aim to raise awareness and encourage research on the world’s smallest bear. Found throughout mainland Asia, Sumatra in Indonesia and Borneo, the exact number of Sun Bears in the wild is unknown, making it even more pressing to reduce pressure on a species that is classified as “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List and at risk of becoming endangered unless circumstances threatening their survival improve. The BSBCC, the first and only facility of its kind in the world, is a non-governmental organisation set up in 2008 through collaboration of the Sabah Forestry Department, Sabah Wildlife Department and LEAP.

Some of the other animals which end up being treated at the centre include:- Sun Bears, gibbons, Sumatran rhinos and the occasional injured elephants. A visit to the Sepilok Rehabilitation centre benefits the Orangutans in a number of ways - as the entrance fees paid to the centre goes directly to paying the staff, providing the food and the training of specialist guides to rehabilitate the orang-utans back into the wild. Donations are welcomed by the centre although not a condition of entry and we would ask all our clients to donate a small amount for their visit.

Kinabatangan River Lodge uses solar panels and recycles as much of their waste as possible.

Community

Our local ground operator/s own and operate a number of eco-lodges which are included in this itinerary. Accommodation has been locally built and is run and operated by local people. The main purpose of these trips is to interact and contribute to local communities and projects and understand the need to minimize any negative impact on the local environment. Our ground agents only employ local guides to accompany our clients. All food in the lodges is sourced locally, helping the local rural communities wherever possible.

The itinerary also includes a visit to the Iban tribe who still live in their traditional ways in Longhouse homes. You can either stay with the tribe or at a local lodge/hotel both of which directly contributes to the Iban people through medical attention and schooling. Touring by boat is provided by local people and all guides are local. All staff at the lodges are from the surrounding villages.

2 Reviews of Sabah & Sarawak holiday in Borneo

4.5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
1
1
0
0
0

Reviewed on 20 Sep 2011 by

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


It would have to be watching newly hatched baby turtles on the beach at sunset on Seligan Island or the wild orangutan mother and baby on the walk to the Gomatong Caves.

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


Be prepared to dress for all weathers from heavy rain to bright sunshine.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes - wildlife tourism provides local people with an alternative source of employment and income which in turn means they don't have to cut down their rainforest.

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


It was an amazing wildlife adventure - I feel very fortunate to have seen freshly hatched baby green turtles and wild orangutans which could become extinct in our life time if we do not do something to save their habitat. Local people were welcoming and very friendly. I could not find fault with our trip.

Reviewed on 29 Sep 2010 by

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


There were many memorable moments. Too few to fully list out! One destination was the Gomantong Birdnest Caves. The main cave tests all your senses. Certainly a location for the next Indiana Jones film, not for flip-flop wearing tourists!

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


The weather and conditions will change, so it's worth having a range of footwear and clothing to suit whatever might happen. To get the best out of everything it's important to be prompt and prepared. The organisation was very good, so put any cares or concerns to one side and sit back and enjoy.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


To a degree yes. That said, there is clearly a growing demand from tourists and travel organisations to develop this type of travel-destination in a greater way, and this will be a problem. We spoke with a guide who had grown up locally and his life and career had definitely benefited.

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


Almost everything exceeded my expectations, so, very good, and hassle free.

Popular similar holidays

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

Borneo orangutan holiday

Borneo orangutan holiday

Trekking, wildlife and beach adventure holiday to Borneo

From £3495 14 days including UK 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

Borneo luxury holidays, tailor made

Borneo luxury holidays, tailor made

Rainforests, orangutans, beaches tailor made

From £3150 13 days including UK flights

Convert currencies