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Exploring Borneo

Highlights of Sarawak

Western Borneo is home to a rich culture of traditional tribes, an array of wildlife, and one of the largest cave systems in the world. On this 10-day trip, see the highlights of Sarawak. Get your wildlife fix by visiting Bako National Park to look for wild proboscis monkeys and flying lemurs and Semenggoh Nature Reserve with its semi-wild orangutans. Spend time with the Iban people in Batang Ai learning about the tribe once feared for their headhunting ways and catch a sunset over the lake. Explore diverse Kuching and share a meal with a Malay family in their home. Then visit the caves of Niah to see evidence of ancient civilization before ending your trip in Mulu, home to one of the largest cave systems in the world.

Please remember this is a sample itinerary for your inspiration and we are happy to modify it to suit your plans. We can add or remove days, look at different places to stay, and otherwise revise as you’d like. To learn more about the highlights of Sarawak, give us a ring at UK 020 7112 0019 or email to start planning your holiday.

Please note that Aiman Batang Ai Resort has closed indefinitely. Simple accommodation is available in a nearby town or in a longhouse.

Your Itinerary


Day 1 - Selamat Datang!

This afternoon your flight arrives in Kuching, a multi-cultural city on the banks of the Sarawak River. Your private driver will meet you at Kuching International Airport and transport you to your stylish accommodation. We’ve not planned anything for you today so that you can settle into a different time zone and pace of life. Relax at the hotel or head out and wander the town.


Day 2 - Bako National Park

Get your first glimpse of some of Borneo’s endemic animals in Bako National Park. It’s home to plenty of wild proboscis monkeys, bearded pigs, flying lemurs, and loads of other wildlife. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a few animals as you walk the trails with your guide. You’ll be collected after breakfast for the drive and boat transfer to the park where you’ll have the day to explore. Return to Kuching for the night.


Day 3 - Semenggoh & Batang Ai

Pack lightly for the next two days as you’ll be traveling part of the way by boat to Batang Ai. Stop first at Semenggoh Nature Reserve for the morning orangutan feeding. If you’re lucky, you’ll see an alpha male at one feeding platform and mothers with babies at another. Then head to Batang Ai, stopping at a local market to see some of Borneo’s unique fruits and vegetables. The last part of your journey today crosses Lake Batang Ai to reach your hotel where you can catch the sunset over the mountains.


Day 4 - Visit the Iban

Learn about the Iban way of life by visiting a longhouse and spending time with the residents. Once feared headhunters, the Iban maintain their communal way of living and have incorporated certain modern elements of today with their long-held traditions and beliefs. Enjoy lunch with your hosts and perhaps a bit of homemade rice wine. In the afternoon enjoy a guided canopy walk for beautiful views of the lake and mountains.


Day 5 - Batang Ai to Kuching

Travel back to Kuching stopping for lunch and to see a working pepper plantation and mill. In the evening, visit the home of a Malay, Indian, or Chinese family living in Kuching. Together, you’ll shop for ingredients, cook dinner, and share a meal.


Day 6 - Fly to Miri

Your flight to Miri isn’t until the afternoon so spend the morning on a city tour of Kuching. Visit the Sarawak Museum, South City Hall, Chinese Graveyard and more as you learn about the city’s multi-cultural history and residents. Take a short flight to Miri and relax in the evening.


Day 7 - Niah, Lambir, & Tusan Beach

This morning your guide and driver will take you to Niah National Park, home to one of Asia’s most important archeological sites. Evidence of human life as long as 40,000 years ago has been found in the caves of Niah. See some of it on display in the Niah Museum. A walk into the caves will take you to paintings and burial sites of these ancient dwellers. On your way back to Miri, stop at Lambir Hills for a short walk in the rainforest to Latak waterfall. After a refreshing swim, make one more stop at Tusan Beach. Watch the sunset with a local speciality: grilled coconut or coconut ice cream.


Day 8 - Mulu National Park

Take a morning flight to Mulu and transfer to your resort. In the afternoon, join a guided tour through Lang’s Cave and Deer Cave. These caves are home to swifts and more than two million bats. If the weather permits, you can watch them stream out of the caves at dusk. The walk is along wooden platforms and steps but inside the caves can be a bit slippery and stinky.


Day 9 - Wind & Clearwater Caves

This morning you’ll join a short longboat transfer to Wind Cave. On the way, stop to see a Penan settlement to learn about their formerly nomadic lifestyle. See Wind Cave with its rock calcite formations then begin the 200-step climb to Clearwater Cave. This is arguably the most impressive cave in Mulu but to see it, you’ll need to go up and down a number of stairs. Enjoy a picnic lunch and swim in the cool waters of Clearwater Spring. The afternoon is yours to relax or walk the trails of Mulu National Park.


Day 10 - Fly onward and head home

You’ll head to the airport in Mulu this morning for a flight that connects onward to your trip home. Safe travels!


This itinerary costs from £1,560 per person B&B and is based on two people sharing excluding the peak months of July and August. The price includes all private transfers and domestic travel but not international flights or the final connecting flight.

International flights tend to cost between £700 and £900 per person return – do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

What's included?

  • Prices start from £1,560 per person
  • Accommodation on B&B basis
  • Private transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Local taxes except Malaysia Tourism Tax (only collected locally)
  • Entrance fees
  • All excursions and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Internal flights except final connecting flight
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered
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Kota Kinabalu
An easy city to see on foot, Kota Kinabalu is the gateway to Sabah. Hop a ferry to the islands, relax by the beach north of the city, tuck into a meal at the night market, and settle into the easy pace of Sabahan life. More
Tip of Borneo
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Mount Kinabalu
The highest mountain in Southeast Asia offers more than an incredible hike. With multiple mountain environments and climate zones, Kinabalu Park hosts more than 300 bird species and 5,000 flowering plants including the large rafflesia. For those up for the challenge, climbing Mount Kinabalu is an unforgettable overnight hike to see the sunrise at 4,095 meters. More
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Danum Valley
The largest piece of preserved virgin rainforest in Malaysia sits within the Danum Valley Conservation Area. This remote jungle hosts a magnificent array of wildlife from the largest in the region to some of the smallest. Sun bears, orangutans, clouded leopards, wild cattle, Sumatran rhino, horned frogs, flying frogs, flying squirrels, the list goes on. Previously only accessible to researchers, campers, and those with a very high budget, we've found a lodge that gets you close to the action without the hefty price tag. More
Tabin Wildlife Reserve
Bornean gibbons, pygmy elephants, clouded leopards, proboscis monkeys, orangutans, and a few of the nearly extinct Sumatran rhinoceros are protected within the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. A stay here will have you trekking to a mud volcano and a waterfall, looking for birds and nocturnal creatures on night walks and drives, and if you're lucky, getting a peek at some of Borneo's incredible wildlife. More
Kinabatangan River
A trip down the Kinabatangan River to Sukau is an almost guaranteed way to see proboscis monkeys in the wild. These unique monkeys are endemic to Borneo and line the protected river corridor. Wild orangutans, pygmy elephants, silver leaf langurs, macaques, crocodiles, kingfishers, hornbills, owls, civets, and an array of other wildlife can be spotted in the region. Fireflies light up near Abai and the Gomantong Caves boast a bat population in the millions. Nearby Sepilok is the home to an Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and Sun Bear Conservation Centre, both worth a visit. More
The nation of Brunei Darussalam sits between the two states of Malaysian Borneo. Its capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan, reveals the country's wealth with lavish mosques, gold towers, and carefully groomed outdoor spaces. People are friendly and when the sun sets the country's name, abode of peace, makes perfect sense. More
Built along the Sarawak River, Kuching makes a lovely base for exploring western Borneo. Architecturally interesting with Malay, Chinese, Indian, Muslim, British, and other influences apparent, the city is pleasant to walk around and easy to navigate. Nearby Bako National Park and Semenggoh Nature Reserve are great places to see wild proboscis monkeys and semi-wild orangutans. Each can be visited on a day trip from Kuching although spending a night in Bako is well worth it. More
Mulu National Park
The caves of Mulu are some of the largest in the world and the only ways to get there are on foot or by plane. This remote rainforest is full of walking trails and caves, the latter of which can only be visited with a guide for safety reasons. For the adventurous, serious trekking options exist and for the comfort-seekers, a lovely little resort sits just outside the National Park. More
Batang Ai
Traditional culture is alive and well in Batang Ai where the Iban people still live in communal longhouses. No longer feared headhunters, the Iban have incorporated touches of modernity into their traditional way of life. Trek through the park in search of wild orangutans, walk through the canopy looking for birds, sit down with an Iban chief to learn about their culture, or just look out over the many waters for which the region is named.
Caves of Niah
With evidence of human habitation dating back more than 40,000 years, the Niah caves are a fascinating and beautiful area that can be explored on a day visit from Miri. See etchings on the wall of Painted Cave, traditional ladders for those collecting the nests of swiftlets, and huge caverns as you walk the boards and visit the small museum.
Maliau Basin
The "lost world" of Sabah, the Maliau Basin is a naturally enclosed basin drained by tributaries of the Maliau River. A multi-day trek in this dense rainforest is a challenging and rewarding way to get up close and personal with an extremely wide array of plants and animals. More

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