Discover Malaysian Borneo

Meet the wildlife, cultures, caves, and mountains of Sabah and Sarawak
Overview

overview

Nothing stirs images and fantasies of exotic rain forest cultures and wildlife like Borneo. On this trip, you will be exploring rich rain forests, caves, the villages of ancient people, and the protected slopes of the highest mountain in Southeast Asia. This trip, combining visits to Sabah and Sarawak, is designed as an active nature and culture experience based from comfortable eco-lodges and tourist hotels. Your itinerary will include three of Malaysia's most cherished national parks and wilderness travel by foot and boat. Expect very privileged access to observe orangutans and  primates. Comfortable accommodations include award-winning ecolodges, comfortable hotels, and superbly-sited cottages.  Extend your trip to include mainland Malaysia, Singapore, or Brunei.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Kuching Sightseeing
    Kuching waterfront.

    Welcome to Borneo! You will be met on arrival at the airport in Kuching and will be transferred to your hotel. Your afternoon exploration of Kuching city includes visits to the Cat Monuments, the oldest Chinese temple, Fort Margherita, the Istana (the former palace of Rajah Brooke), the colonial Court House, and the City Tower for the panoramic view of the city. Other highlights include a visit to the world-renowned Sarawak Museum and a delightful walk along the Kuching Waterfront. 

    Lodging
    Grand Margarita
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  • Day 2: Bako National Park and Wildlife Safari
    Wild Orchids

    This morning drive to a Bako fishing village and continue by speedboat to Bako National Park. Bako National Park offers a superb opportunity to see wildlife in its natural surroundings. Possible sightings include Proboscis monkeys, monitor lizards, bearded pigs, silver leaf monkeys and more than one hundred species of birds. The bio-zones found here include tropical rainforest, mangrove swamp forest, kerangas (heath forest), cliff and beach vegetations. Special plants found along the trails include the several species of pitcher plants and wild orchids. Your guide will select a trail, which ends at a beautiful secluded swimming beach. Return to Kuching for your overnight stay.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Grand Margarita
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  • Day 3: Orangutan Center / Ngemah Eli Longhouse
    These guys are everywhere.

    This morning, drive to Semenggok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Walk through the scenic forest reserve to the feeding platform, where you will enjoy the sight of the orangutans swaying in the trees as they come down for feeding. This is the rare opportunity to be close to orangutans. Continue the drive through the rainforest, pepper, rubber and cocoa plants. Stop at Serian to visit an interesting farmers’ market. Continue to the Lemanak River where a delightful longboat ride brings you to Ngemah Eli longhouse. Pay a courtesy call to the headman of the longhouse, visit the pepper garden and explore the farms and forest behind the longhouse. Dinner will be a traditional ceremony served at the headman’s home followed by the colorful welcoming gestures of traditional warrior dance and music. Overnight in a longhouse.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Ngemah Eli Longhouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: Longhouse
    Stay in a longhouse for a great cultural experience.

    After breakfast, participate in the blowpipe demonstration. Depart the longhouse by longboat, marveling at the spectacular rainforest along the Lemanak River. Enjoy a “backwoods” picnic lunch of food cooked in bamboo at the river bank.  Explore the longhouse, visit the inhabitants, and observe their traditional daily lifestyle.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Ngemah Eli Longhouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: Longhouse / Kuching / Miri

    After breakfast, proceed down river by boat and then overland for your return journey to Kuching. Later, transfer to the airport for your onward flight in the evening. Upon arrival in Miri, you will be transferred to your hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort or similar
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  • Day 6: Niah

    Begin the morning with a scenic countryside drive to Niah National Park through oil palm plantations and local pepper farms and villages. On arrival at the Niah National Park, we will register at the park, have lunch in the canteen, and then take the longboat ride at Pangkalan Lobang to cross the river where we will start off with a visit to the Niah Museum. The prehistoric Niah Caves are famed as one of the birthplaces of civilization in Asia. The oldest human remains were found in Niah, making the park one of the most important archaeological sites of the world. A tour of the cave will take you through the Great and Painted Caves to see the age-old remnants of bird’s nest harvesting equipment inside the cave (now a government controlled activity). The cave tour takes about 3 – 4 hours. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: Mulu: Deer, Lang Caves, and Bat Viewing
    Rinocerous Hornbill may be seen in the park.

    Wake up early today for a short nature walk before breakfast. Pack up and leave the park, returning to Miri for your afternoon flight to Mulu. (Excess luggage can be stored until your return.) On arrival into Mulu, transfer to the Royal Mulu Resort, or similar. Enjoy a set lunch in the resort before setting off on a visit to the Deer and Lang Caves. The journey by van from the resort to the Park’s Headquarters will be around 5 minutes. Have a quick look at the visitor center before proceeding on the elevated plankwalk through the jungle to arrive at the caves. After visiting the caves, you will await the exit of the bats on the observation platform outside. Return to the resort late in the evening.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Royal Mulu Resort or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: Mulu: Wind and Clearwater Caves

    After breakfast at the resort, visit the Wind and Clearwater Caves. Your upriver longboat journey will be around 35 minutes. On the way, stop at the Penan settlement to see the interesting handicrafts made by this semi-nomadic tribe. After visiting the King’s Chamber in the Wind Cave, continue walking the plankwalk flanking the limestone cliff to the Clearwater Cave. A picnic lunch is served at the Clearwater rest house. You will have time to relax and swim in the natural pool. Return to the resort in the late afternoon to enjoy your free time.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Royal Mulu Resort or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: Kota Kinabalu

    Depart after breakfast for our flight from Mulu to Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of Sabah. On arrival in Kota Kinabalu, you will be transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, proceed on a city orientation tour, which covers Signal Hill for a bird’s eye view of the city and the five offshore islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. The tour includes the Atkinson Clock Tower, Likas Wetland, Sabah Foundation building, Kampong Likas, Sabah Museum (closed on Friday), Tanjung Aru beach, hawker stalls and Sembulan water village.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hyatt Regency or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: Kinabalu National Park / Poring
    Mt. Kinabalu.

    Drive 2 hours overland through paddy fields and Dusun villages, over the ridges of the Crocker Range to the foothills of Mt. Kinabalu at 5,000 ft, to arrive at the park headquarters at Kundasang. Stop at the Visitor Centre and Mountain Garden; home to some of the 24 species of flowering rhododendrons, 10 species of carnivorous pitcher plants, 1,400 species of orchids, 600 species of ferns, 40 species of oak trees and 300 species of birds. Continue your drive to Poring. Explore tropical rainforest along the jungle trail leading to the treetop canopy walkways suspended 130 feet above the forest before returning to Kota Kinabalu.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hyatt Regency or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: Sepilok Orangutans / Kinabatangan River
    Sepilok Orangutan.

    Proceed overland to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Trek ten minutes through the rainforest on a wooden plankwalk to witness the feeding of the orangutans at 10:00 am. Continue to Sandakan jetty for a two hour boat journey to Sukau Rainforest Lodge along Sabah's longest river, Kinabatangan, with the opportunity to view birds and wildlife in virgin mangrove, wetland and rainforest habitats. In the late afternoon, take a two hour river cruise in search of some of the ten local primate species, including Proboscis monkeys, as they settle down on treetops along the Kinabatangan River. Return for a solar heated hot shower, a candlelit dinner and a slide show conducted by a naturalist guide.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Sukau Rainforest Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: Oxbow Lakes and Sukau
    The Gibbons are wonderful alarm clocks.

    Wake up to the calls of gibbons and hornbills. Take a 6:00 am morning river cruise up the Kinabatangan River to view more birds and wildlife. Proceed to the Kelenanap ox-bow lake for a short jungle walk (if weather permits), truly experiencing the wilderness of Borneo. You also have the option to participate in our conservation project by planting trees in our 64 acres of adopted land. In the afternoon, take another river cruise for more wildlife. After dinner, you can take an optional night safari cruise in hopes of spotting nocturnal animals, such as crocodiles and birds.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Sukau Rainforest Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: Sandakan / Kota Kinabalu

    After breakfast, return to Sandakan by boat. Enjoy lunch in Sandakan before proceeding to the airport for your departure flight to Kota Kinabalu. Upon arrival in Kota Kinabalu, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hyatt Regency or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 14: Onward

    Transfer to the airport for your flight out.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Jul 11-24, 2015 Flexible departures joining small groups
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$3,895
Domestic flights not included
Single Supplement:
$790
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
14 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
1
rustic longhouse & comfortable hotels and lodges
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
3
hiking & some boating & snorkeling

Terms & Conditions: 

Malaysia

Please note: Prices may fluctuate based on the exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Malaysian Ringgit.

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation & check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in JOURNEYS Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure. Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditionsas noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Air fares: JOURNEYS can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Brunei

Duration: 3 days

From Kota Kinabalu fly to Brunei.  Spend the day touring Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei’s capital, and discovering Brunei’s history, heritage, religion, and culture. The day's tour includes a photo stop outside the Royal Palace, called Istana Nurul... read more

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