Borneo holiday, Land below the wind
(Visas & local tips not included.) Return flights from the UK from £550, optional single room supplement £200 (Fully licensed, ATOL protected.)
Description of Borneo holiday, Land below the wind
This 9-day Borneo tour explores the Malaysian state of Sabah, known as ‘the Land Below the Wind’, thanks to its fortuitous position south of the Philippines typhoon belt. Sabah covers the northern part of Borneo Island and is home to some of the island's most dramatic landscapes, abundant wildlife and impressive flora.
Our Borneo tour begins with a day on the coral-fringed tropical island of Dinawan, as guests of a marine conservation project, followed by hiking in World Heritage Kinabalu National Park and a stay at the unique, organic Sabah Tea Plantation.
From here we continue to Sepilok to visit the celebrated Orangutan Rehabilitation Project, the superb Borneo Rainforest Discovery Centre and the Save the Bears Sanctuary. Heading southeast via the spectacular Gomantong Caves, we'll stay 2 days at a riverside eco-lodge in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Corridor to discover the region's flora and fauna on jungle hikes, boat trips up and down river and even an exciting night walk. Common sightings include proboscis monkeys, langurs, orangutans, crocodiles and with luck Borneo pygmy elephants while the rich bird-life includes several hornbill species and the rare Storm's Stork.
An exciting and varied tour of the exotic and evocative island of Borneo.
1. Check out the spectacular views of Borneo's highest mountain in Kinabalu National Park
2. Travel up the Kinabatangan River into the interior on wildlife spotting expeditions
3. Visit the world famous Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary
4. Stay in a secluded jungle eco-lodge on the Kinabatangan River
5. Jungle hiking by day and by night through pristine tropical rainforest
6. Sample the rich and varied local food in restaurants, markets and street stalls
1. A 3-day stay at the superb Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Borneo's remote Danum Valley
2. 3-day expedition to the summit of Mt Kinabalu itself
3. A stay on coral-fringed Manukan Island in the South China Sea
Note groups sizes are 2 to maximum 12 persons with most meals (local-style) included and accommodation in 3* lodges and hotels.
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12 Reviews of Borneo holiday, Land below the wind
Reviewed on 05 Dec 2019 by Paula NetoGreat holiday, It is certainly a recommended destination. Read full review
Reviewed on 26 Nov 2019 by Don NewportSeeing a herd of pygmy elephants in the wild - our guide reckoned it was probably a 10% chance. Read full review
Reviewed on 06 Aug 2019 by Toyah BaulkOur guide Edwin was fantastic! This was a holiday of a life time seeing the orangutans and the elephants in the wild. Read full review
Reviewed on 14 Aug 2019 by Helen BowenSeeing an orang-utan and Pygmy elephant in the wild were the most memorable parts of the holiday. Read full review
Reviewed on 05 Oct 2018 by Niamh SherryWe stayed on the river until sundown and saw the most spectacular sunset (that was a real 'pinch me, is this real?!' moment), and then celebrated the day with a bottle of Merlot back at the lodge. An unforgettable day. Read full review
Reviewed on 02 Oct 2018 by Eleri RobertsThe holiday far surpassed my expectations- and this was made so special by Sheila (our leader)’s passion and commitment to her “work”. Read full review
Reviewed on 10 Apr 2018 by Linda BevissProbably seeing orang-utans in the wild and up very close at Sepilok rehabilitation centre but the whole trip was both memorable and exciting! Read full review
Reviewed on 07 Mar 2017 by Julia ThornelyThe most memorable was seeing endangered orangutans up close in the sanctuary and watching their interactions. Visiting the sun bear sanctuary to watch the bears. Very enjoyable! Fairly much on the go most of the time, which suited me, until the free time on the island. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Oct 2016 by Sallieann YOounfTHE TRIP OF A LIFTIME. EXCELLENT (feels like a massive understatement) Read full review
Reviewed on 11 Jul 2012 by Mrs GordonIt was all interesting and exciting in many different ways...It was very good. I would particularly like to comment on our guide Henry, who was with us every step of the way. Read full review
Reviewed on 17 Aug 2011 by Wendy KnipeMost memorable was seeing the wild orangutan and the feeding at Sepilok. Read full review
Reviewed on 21 Jul 2011 by Shauna SeccombeIt was absolutely fantastic, full of variety, we enjoyed so many new experiences, and were looked after above and beyond the call of duty by our guide who became part of our family. Borneo is a great place for a family adventure holiday. Read full review
PlanetInformation: 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, culture and environment, and to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions and a respect for the ecology of areas visited. Our guides and leaders thus facilitate communication of our values to both travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices.
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.
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. We carefully select the places we visit to ensure that none are involved in exploitative practices of people or animals.
In addition, some of the specific initiatives for this tour include the following: We work closely with The Penang Heritage Trust to organize our tour of some of the sites of Chinatown. The Heritage Trust provides a sensitive look at the culture and the history of the region. By our continued patronage of the service we contribute to the upkeep of the organization, which helps preserve the country's culture and educates its visitors to understand the genuine Penang.
We fully support the Rainforest Discovery Centre in Sepilok by sending our guests there for a visit. The centre’s primary function is to create public awareness and appreciation of the importance of conserving forests, as well as the sustainable use of forest resources. This is one of the projects developed by the Sabah Forestry Department. The minimal entrance fee paid helps in funding the centre.
We also visit and contribute to Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre, considered to be the largest orang-utan rehab sanctuary in the world. The entrance fee our guests pay goes to the badly needed fund to run this huge operation of saving and rehabilitating orphaned and confiscated orang-utans, in the hope that one day every single one of them be released to the wild. Even sun bears, gibbons, Sumatran rhinos and elephants get treated here.
The Kinabatangan Nature Lodge in Bilit, Sabah, as part of their ongoing contribution to the environment, is possibly the only lodge in Asia to use FSC-standard certified timber (recycled wood) for building their facilities! (FSC is Forest Stewardship Council). The lodge have environmentally aware and environmentally friendly policies on amongst other things, waste disposal, reusable materials, involvement of the local community and care for the environment. They are also a partner of the ‘Corridor Of Life’ vision project, brainchild of the WWF-Malaysia. This project, formulated towards sustainable development, addresses the issues of reforestation, protection and management of the lower Kinabatangan (among their chosen locations). The lodge is also very actively involved in and committed to raising funds for the Voluntary Conservation Levy to establish fund to finance the cost of protecting and reforesting the area. They are also in the process of setting up a Grey-water Project to use recycled bath water for gardening. In our continual support for all these endeavours, we are sending clients there.
We stay at, and support, the Sabah Tea Plantation and learn about it’s 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.
We participate in tree replanting scheme in 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 habitats 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.
Use of local transport (bus) for most part of the tour. The production of the tour is assisted by a small, locally based operator and using native Sabah guides only.
PeopleGroup Sizes: By limiting groups to small sizes we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment 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.
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. They are also advised against buying prohibited items and products made from parts of wild animals or plants.
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. .