Borneo small group adventure holiday

“A two week adventure, travelling in a small group around the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah on Borneo, starting in Kuching and ending in Kota Kinabalu. Stay in a mix of hotel, eco-lodge and plantations cottages. With one internal flight. ”

Highlights

Sarawak: Kuching | Bako National Park | Gunung Mulu National Park | Boat trip on Clearwater River Sabah: Kota Kinabalu | Crocker Mountain Range | Mahua Falls | Kibandi Butterfly Farm | Rafflesia Forest Reserve | Mount Kinabalu National Park | Kinabatangan Wildlife Corridor | Sunset and dawn boat trips on Kinabatangan River | Sabah wildlife watching | Gomantong Caves | Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary

Description of Borneo small group adventure holiday

This Borneo small group holiday is a two week adventure divided between the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah on the island of Borneo. This island is a land of spectacular landscapes and magnificent wildlife including the highly endangered orangutan, Borneo being one of two of its habitats.

Explore the rainforests, local culture and coast on this island, starting in the city of Kuching and then visiting national parks of Bako and Gunung Mulu in the state of Sabah. The former is a coastal one and home to pendulum-faced proboscis monkeys and many more wildlife wonders. The latter is famous for its monumental karst limetone landscapes and Mulu Caves, one of the world’s largest cave systems.

After taking a domestic flight to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, we take time to explore the state’s natural heritage highlights, including the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary where we take a river trip to spot crocodiles and many other wild animals. We also stay in a beautiful jungle eco lodge here.

Sabah is best known for the elusive orangutan, however, and our time at Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary is a highlight for many of our guests. Mount Kinabaulu National Park is also a wonderful place to go hiking through tropical, montane and cloud forests, and we do offer an optional two day trek to hike to Kinabalu’s summit as well.

Please note that we can also organise an optional three day stay on the unspoilt tropical island of Manukan at the end of the trip, for those who would like to explore this stunning idyll that is part of Sabah’s Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

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

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Date
Price
Basis
03 Mar 2018
£ 2575
including UK flights
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20 Apr 2018
£ 2475
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09 May 2018
£ 2475
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05 Jun 2018
£ 2475
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26 Jul 2018
£ 2675
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11 Aug 2018
£ 2475
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15 Sep 2018
£ 2475
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20 Oct 2018
£ 2475
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18 Nov 2018
£ 2475
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23 Dec 2018
£ 2675
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Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

This is a 'small group adventure' - you will be sharing your experiences with like minded people. Group sizes are limited to a maximum of 12 persons, a genuinely small group. Experience has taught us that smaller groups are less intrusive to local cultures and environments whilst allowing more interaction with local people. Furthermore it means greater flexibility on a day to day basis and on a social level it proves to be fun. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends/family its good value, and a great way to meet new people! The intention is to travel as a group of friends rather than a typical tour group, so don't expect stick-on name badges or any following the umbrella.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Borneo small group adventure holiday

Environment

Information - Providing suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning, genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes. To be aware of the potential impact of tourism on the local society and culture and to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions. Our guides and leaders thus facilitate communication of our values to both travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices

Group sizes - By limiting groups to small sizes we aim to reduce the impact on local communities whilst allowing for greater genuine interaction with said communities. It also results in a higher guide/customer ratio thus greater facility for supervision and individual assistance and allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants and employ the services of more genuinely ‘local’ operators perhaps not otherwise well equipped for larger groups.

Destinations - We combine the well known tourist sites with many off-the-beaten-track, rarely visited destinations thus diverting tourist revenue and contact with responsible tourism into areas not usually benefiting as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited.

Community

Local products - As much as possible we aim to employ local personnel, (guides, drivers, agents etc), use local restaurants and smaller privately owned accommodation. Customers are also encouraged to buy and use local products and services as much as possible in order to support and stimulate the local economy.

Local Awareness - By explaining our methods and the reasons behind them local agents, guides and hotels are encouraged by us to adopt further responsible tourism practices themselves and guides and drivers are provided with additional training in this respect.

In addition, some of the specific initiatives for this tour include the following: Staying in eco friendly accommodation including a traditional style longhouse and an Eco Lodge. The Eco Lodge has environmentally aware and environmentally friendly policies on amongst other things, waste disposal, reusable materials, involvement of the local community and care for the environment. We stay at and support the Sabah Tea Plantation and explanation of its’ organic, pesticide free tea production. We are happy to use their accommodation, restaurant and guides as well as educating our travellers as to the methods of producing organic tea.

Participation in a tree replanting scheme on the Kinabatangan River. Deforestation due to the rapid recent increase in planting palm trees for oil has meant that many of the natural flora is being destroyed along with wildlife habits of more than just the orangutans. Tree planting is very labour intensive and the locals need all the help they can get so, tour participants, dig a hole and plant a sapling in it.

Use of local transport (bus) for part of the tour. The production of the tour is assisted by a small, locally based operator and using native Sabah guides only. We have included destinations not part of standard itineraries. In this way we spread responsible tourism into areas which do not get much income from tourism or awareness of responsible tourism practices.

Gunung Mulu National Park is the highlight for Sarawak tour. The indigenous people of Mulu; the Penans, Berawans, Kenyahs, Kayans, Kelabits and Kiputs are employed by the park thereby generating income for their families and improving their economies. They are encouraged to provide cultural entertainment (traditional dances and music) helping to preserve their culture; sell their handicrafts, all contributing to the economy of the people. The guides are friendly and helpful, possessing a wealth of knowledge to help us understand and appreciate the cultural and natural history of Mulu and the surrounding area. They are also qualified First Aiders and provide the core of the Park’s Search and Rescue Response Team. The boats used in the park are all owned and operated by the local people.

The trip includes visits to Semenggoh and Sepilok Orangutan sanctuaries - they aim to rehabilitate confiscated wildlife that have been incapacitated due to prolonged captivity by humans. The aim of the rehabilitation and education centres are to eventually release the animals back to the forest. There are also captive breeding programmes for endangered species. By visiting the centres and forest reserve brings valuable income to care for these animals.

2 Reviews of Borneo small group adventure holiday

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 05 Oct 2013 by

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


The whole holiday was memorable, with lots of highlights! We did especially enjoy
our stay at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge in the Danum Valley though, we had an
exceptional local guide there who was enthusiastic, passionate, knowledgeable,
friendly, attentive and very thoughtful towards us and what we wanted to see. He made the trip!

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


You do need a certain level of fitness to do this trip! There are lots of steps to
climb and the visit to deer cave involves a bit of climbing over rocks and wading
through streams and rivers! The excursions are taken at a fairly leisurely pace
though, so it's not a worry when you need to stop for a breather! Leech socks are essential, especially if it's been raining! Carry a towel, you will sweat a lot in
the heat and humidity ;) Rubber shoes were used by the guides and seemed more practicle than my walking shoes! The holiday was expensive and I was worried that it would be a waste of hard earned savings, it wasn't, it was worth every penny! An amazing experience and I would do it again! It turned out that we were the only 2 people on the trip as no one else had booked, it was fine to a point, my husband did feel that we didn't get much time to ourselves as the tour guide was with us constantly and for all meals! He felt that if more people had been there it would actually have been easier for us to enjoy our special trip together as a couple! The tour guide was good, he kept us well informed of the itinerary daily, ensured every transfer went without a hitch, was maybe overly attentive but was cheerful, friendly and polite!

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


Definitely, the holiday we did enhanced the locals ability to keep some of their
traditions alive! They keep tourism to a minimum in the conservation areas, so
there is never too many people in the same area at once. We listened to and adhered to advise of the guides, left footprints only and took memories home with
us! Conservation was helped, just by us being there, economically and also by
showing interest and enthusiasm for what is being done!

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


An amazing holiday overall, the trip of a lifetime!

Reviewed on 31 Aug 2011 by

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


Seeing the orangutans, especially in the wild. However, the whole trip was fantastic and we saw many different types of wildlife, including the Rafflesia flower.

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


You need long sleeved trousers and shirts for all the days you are in the rainforest, due to leeches. It is very hot and sweaty, so try to take enough changes - it is difficult to dry things due to the high humidity. You also need walking boots. As it is the rainforest, many of the animals are high in the treetops and more difficult to see. We knew exactly what sort of area we were going to and thought the experience of being in primary rainforest was unbelievable, but we came across some people in a different group who obviously hadn't expected this and were disappointed they didn't see more.

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


Yes. All the guides were local, and very knowledgeable. The jungle lodges mainly had a sustainable approach, although we wondered if there was an alternative way of electricity generation other than a diesel generator in Danum Valley.

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


It was a fantastic holiday. Byron, our guide, made sure that everything ran smoothly. We saw some wonderful wildlife, not just the orangutans but also many birds, pigmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, and many others.

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