Borneo small group adventure holiday

“A perfect two week immersion in the exotic wildlife, landscapes and culture of Sarawak and Sabah in Borneo, with lots of optional extensions, too.”

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 | wildlife watching | Gomantong Caves | Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary

Description of Borneo small group adventure holiday

This varied and exciting two week Borneo small group adventure holiday reveals the rainforests, wildlife, incredible flora and diverse culture and cuisine found in the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.

The holiday begins in Kuching, the historic capital of Sarawak, before exploring beautiful Bako and Mulu National Parks. In Sabah, admire mighty Mount Kinabalu before wildlife spotting on river cruises, night hikes and day treks in Kinabatangan. See tea being grown on plantations, stay in a jungle eco lodge, spend time at the world famous Sepilok orangutan sanctuary and sample the delicious and varied food at markets, street stalls and restaurants.

There are lots of extensions you can add to this trip, for an even deeper experience of Borneo. Stay at the wonderful Danum Valley Rainforest Lodge, test your stamina with a two day hike up Mount Kinabalu (the views from the top are unbeatable) or choose to spend three days on the idyllic island of Manukan.

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

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
23 Dec 2018
£ 2875
including UK flights
Full
 
19 Jan 2019
£ 2475
including UK flights
Available
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16 Feb 2019
£ 2475
including UK flights
Available
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23 Mar 2019
£ 2475
including UK flights
Available
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13 Apr 2019
£ 2475
including UK flights
Available
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24 May 2019
£ 2475
including UK flights
Departure Guaranteed
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29 Jun 2019
£ 2475
including UK flights
Available
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29 Jul 2019
£ 2675
including UK flights
Available
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30 Aug 2019
£ 2475
including UK flights
Available
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12 Oct 2019
£ 2475
including UK flights
Available
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16 Nov 2019
£ 2475
including UK flights
Available
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21 Dec 2019
£ 2775
including UK flights
Available
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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.

3 Reviews of Borneo small group adventure holiday

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 06 Aug 2018 by

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


I loved the flora and fauna of Borneo - although it's sad to know you get to see all those animals from so close because their habitat is being destroyed. The caves were spectacular, as were the canopy walks. Local people impressed me with their smiles and friendliness.

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


I was a bit disappointed by the snorkeling trip - dead corals and not much to see where we were taken. I know there are many good places for snorkeling and diving out there, so make sure you choose the right one!

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


That's a tough one! Yes and no... Mass tourism is never good, on the other hand I know lot's of people (and animals) are in dire need of some well spent money.

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


I had a very good time. I would recommend this trip to anyone for it's diversity. Thumbs up for our guide, Manuel!

Read the operator's response here:

We are so pleased you had such a good time in Borneo and enjoyed Manuel's company. Couldn't agree with you more on point 1 where I suspect you are largely referring to Sepilok Orang Utan centre. The Centre cares for young orangutans orphaned as a result of illegal logging and deforestation and those who have been illegally caught and kept as pets. At Sepilok the new arrivals are given a complete health check before starting on the long road to rehabilitating them back into the wild. While this is sad, the Centre was doing all they can to nurture the wildlife back to health and then back to the wild.
With regard to point 2 about the coral, What our team usually do, if the weather is good, is guide you to snorkel at the corals area. However if the weather is bad and the coral area is unreachable, we have no choice but to take you to the nearest coral area.
A couple of points on point 3, again we agree totally that mass tourism is far from ideal, but we stand by our words to never support tourism activity that not environmental friendly and visit areas which are well selected to reduce the impact of mass tourism. We also only work with local people to run the tour with us, for example, all local guides we use in Sarawak are local people and this at least helps them to support their families and local communities. On point 4 - thank you very much and we hope to see you again!

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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