2 independent reviews for Borneo family holiday, tailor made

Reviews for Borneo family holiday, tailor made

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review 10 Oct 2014

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

Probably a toss up between the fireflies on the Kinabatangan River or the stay at the Gayana Eco Resort.

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

Spend more time at the Abai lodge, this was a perfect stepping stone for wildlife. Spend more time in the Sandakan markets. Sponsor an Orangutan. Visit the Sunbear centre in Sepilok. Try and go diving on the East COast of Sabah. Don't expect too much from KOta Kinabalu or Lahad Datu. Expect more from Sandakan that Lonely Planet says. Climbing Mt. Kinabalu is bloody expensive. Expect everything to be punctual. The coffee is horrible but the people are universally friendly.

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

This is hard to tell, there was certainly an effort but it is hard to judge how much money trickles down. The work the Gayana Eco Resort is doing the Marine Research Centre is very admirable. I am hoping that the tree planting at the Abai River Lodge is not just a sop to tourists and is having a REAL impact. Can I suggest that an optional tariff is added to trips to benefits endangered species, sustainable Palm oil initiatives and local communities.

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

We had a wonderful time. A couple of pieces of feedback. Tabin Wildlife Reserve - You may want to suggest that the memorial to the woman killed by an elephant is repaired or replaced. At the moment it is being used as a default ashtray. Sandakan - The lunch at the Sabah Hotel was very ordinary, may be suggest lunch in the Sandakan markets, much more exotic. Operators - The punctuality and friendliness of all the operators was extraordinary. There was not a bad word to say about any of them Itinerary - Timing was good, not too frenetic, would suggest, if possible to go straight to Abai River Lodge and spend a couple of nights. We loved it there

review 15 Jul 2013

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

There were lots of highlights but we particularly enjoyed seeing the elephants swimming across the river and also releasing turtle hatchlings back into the sea. We also loved Abai jungle lodge. Beautiful scenery and wonderful staff.

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

Take a rain coat...... It does rain heavily sometimes and you are in open top boats. Take some binoculars. Make sure you wear trainers and cover up in the bat caves. It is an absolutely fascinating place but if you donít like insects its not the place for you. Try and make time to fit in an extra visit to the orangutan sanctuary by yourselves (not with the tour guide). You can hang around longer and we saw the orangutans actually playing in the wild rather than just at the feeding station. If you are staying at the rasa ria resort hotel or selligan island make sure you wear lots of insect repellant as sand flies are a big issue.

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

Absolutely. We thought it was great that we could plant a new tree in land damaged by fire. We thought it was good that you were only allowed to see 1 turtle lay its eggs rather than the 28 that came ashore that evening. They are keeping disruption of the turtles to a minimum. Our thoughts were that the money they get from tourism helps to ensure that lots of baby turtles are given a better chance of survival. All the jungle guides were very keen in conservation and protecting the animals which was good

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

9.5 out of 10. Everything was excellent apart from a couple of niggly things. The accommodation and facilities at selligan island needs to be improved and beware of the sand flies at the rasa ria resort and selligan island.

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