Orangutans and Ibans tour to Borneo

“Split two weeks between Sabah and Sarawak to experience orangutans at Sepilok, Iban culture in long-houses and rainforests and rivers in Danum Valley.”


Sabah | Sarawak | Iban long-house homestay | Bako National Park | Iban cultural demonstrations | Danum Valley conservation area | wildlife walks | nature cruises | River Kinabatangan | Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary | Borneo Rainforest Lodge | Kota Kinabalu |

Description of Orangutans and Ibans tour to Borneo

Explore through the jungle habitat of Sabah and Sarawak as your Borneo orangutan tour begins to take shape and youíll do well to realise that parts of this landscape stand alone as some of Southeast Asiaís remaining regions for wildlife and indigenous tribes.

This two week Borneo orangutan tour lets you cross from one state to the next where youíll be staying overnight in a variety of accommodation including traditional Iban long-houses and good standard hotels.

Time spent within the perimeters of Sarawak enables exploration of waterside towns such as Kuching where a blend of colonial buildings and characterful temples and market places add to chances to indulge in traditional local delicacies.

Not too far from Sarawak lies the national park of Bako which features an array of environments for indigenous wildlife including mangrove forests where tumbling waterfalls can be heard along forest trails and deserted beaches make for an ideal place to sit back or take in the surf.

Sarawak is also revered as Iban Headhunter country and staying overnight with a local family on a long-house is an amazing way to begin to understand the lifestyles, customs and meals which will inevitably include a glass or two of rice wine and a tasty smelling barbecue grill.

No Borneo orangutan tour to meet the Iban people would be complete without discovering more about traditional dances, methods of hunting and fishing techniques which is why this itinerary actively encourages participation so travellers can learn Ďhands oní and have fun at the same time.

A more luxurious alternative to staying on a long-boat is to opt for the Batang Ai Hilton hotel instead which will more than help you rest and relax prior to heading to neighbouring Sabah where wildlife and river cruises await.

The conservation zone in Danum Valley provides an exceptional opportunity to watch wildlife in Borneo with orangutan tours really coming into their own alongside chances to spot kingfishers, wild cats, proboscis monkeys and pygmy elephants whilst undertaking nature walks or cruises along the River Kinabatangan.

No matter where you are on Borneo, patience is the key to success and if youíre hoping to spot orangutans making nests as the sun rises and falls or if you donít mind watching the world go by as local boats cause a jam on narrow rivers then this tour is for you.

Travel Team

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Departure information

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

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Orangutans and Ibans tour to Borneo

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.

The 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 chainís 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 Orang-utan Sanctuary is the leading orang-utan conservation and rehabilitation centre in the world. Here you are virtually guaranteed some impressive sightings of one of manís closest relatives at the twice-daily feeding sessions. The orang-utans 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 orang-utans are ready to return fully to the wild they can simply disappear into the forest.

The lodges in Kinabatangan River area 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 where possible; 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. Here you will have the opportunity to be involved in a local tree planting initiative to restore areas affected by logging.

After your stay in the rainforest you might like to have a few days of luxury enjoying one of Sabahís beautiful beaches. North of Kota Kinabalu, Sabahís 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).

2 Reviews of Orangutans and Ibans tour to Borneo

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 21 Jul 2012 by

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

Borneo Rainforest Lodge in the Dannum Valley and climbing Mt. Kinabalu.

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

It is very important to bring appropriate clothing for the rainforest.

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

To some extent, yes.

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

9 out of 10. Excellent.

Reviewed on 26 May 2009 by

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

Visiting Tunjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan and seeing the orangutans.

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

Go to with this operator.

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


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

Fantastic experience, unforgettable. It surpassed all expectations.

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