If you’re looking for the ultimate holiday in Borneo, this grand tour will give you a taste of everything with a few luxurious stays. Wildlife, traditional culture, nature, beaches, and a little time to see the cities. It starts in the west in Kuching and ends on Gaya Island near Kota Kinabalu in the east. In between you’ll visit national parks, wildlife conservation centres, ancient rainforest, caves, beaches, traditional villages and longhouses, glide down a river looking for wild orangutans, and try your hand at a few traditional activities. By the end of these three weeks, you’ll have a real understanding of Borneo’s warm and friendly people, rich lands, and its myriad flora and fauna.
Please remember this is a sample itinerary to inspire you and we are happy to modify it to suit your plans. We can add or remove days, look at different places to stay, include additional or remove some of these destinations. To start planning your holiday, give us a call at UK 020 7112 0019 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to Borneo! Your flight arrives today at Kuching International Airport where your private driver will greet you. Check in to your historical hotel along the river and perhaps go out for a walk to see this vibrant, multicultural city.
Get your first glimpse of some of Borneo’s endemic animals in Bako National Park. You’ll be collected after breakfast and driven to the port. Bako is home to wild proboscis monkeys, bearded pigs, flying lemurs, and loads of other wildlife. To maximize your chances of seeing animals, you’ll stay overnight and enjoy a night walk with your guide.
Enjoy a morning walk in Bako to look for more wildlife. There’s time to explore the trails in search of pitcher plants and take in a few hilltop views of the South China Sea before transferring back to Kuching. The rest of the day is yours to relax and explore.
This morning your guide will take you to Semenggoh Nature Reserve in time for the morning feeding. If you’re lucky, some of the semi-wild orangutans in the area will pay a visit to the feeding platforms. Stay the night in Kuching and consider visiting some of the museums or go for a stroll along the Sarawak River.
Your driver will deliver you to Kuching International Airport this morning for your flight to Mulu. After checking in to your hotel, the afternoon is yours at leisure. Consider heading into the park for a self-guided walk along the trails. Grab a seat outside Deer Cave at dusk to look for bats setting out on their nightly hunt.
Wear comfortable shoes and bring your torch today. In the morning you’ll head upriver to a Penan settlement to learn about their previously nomadic lifestyle. Continue to Wind and Clearwater Caves to marvel at one of the largest cave systems in the world. After lunch, venture back down the river for a walk into Deer and Lang Caves. Marvel at the stalagmites, stalactites, and mountains of black snow.
The morning is yours at leisure to walk in the national park or relax at your resort. In the afternoon, you’ll be taken to the airport for a flight to Kota Kinabalu where you’ll be collected and taken to your downtown hotel. Consider a walk to the night market for a truly local dining experience.
This morning your guide and driver will take you to Mari Mari Cultural Village where you’ll learn about five of Borneo’s indigenous tribes. See the different styles of longhouse, dress, and learn about the old practices of headhunters. The afternoon will be at your leisure.
Get a taste for countryside living by heading to the Kiulu Valley. Your driver and guide will deliver you to your rustic ecolodge where you’ll meet the local team. Spend the afternoon walking, learning, and trying your hand at traditional activities.
This morning you’ll head up into the cooler air around Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain of Southeast Asia. Visit the Natural History Gallery and Mountain Garden. Your guide will be on the lookout for tiny orchids, pitcher plants, and other unique flora. If you’re lucky, perhaps you’ll be able to see a rafflesia in bloom. Return to Kota Kinabalu for the night.
You’ll be collected for your early morning flight to Sandakan today. Upon arrival, your guide will transfer you to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in time for the morning feeding. After a visit to the Sun Bear Conservation Centre, you’ll head down the Kinabatangan River and check into your riverside lodge. Look for crocodiles and monkeys along the way.
Rise early for a morning river cruise to look for wildlife and birds with your guide. If you wish, join an easy walk behind the lodge, attend a talk about orangutans, or relax by the pool until your afternoon wildlife-spotting river cruise. The area here is rich with animals and if you’re very lucky, you may even spot Borneo pygmy elephants.
Head south to Lahad Datu and then to Tabin Wildlife Reserve today. In the afternoon, walk to the Lipad mud volcano and after dinner, enjoy a night walk to look for nocturnal critters of all shapes and sizes. The area is home to an incredible array of birds, mammals, and insects so keep your eyes open at all times!
A bird walk, dip under a waterfall, a dusk wildlife spotting drive, and perhaps another night walk are on today’s schedule. You’ll also have a bit of time to relax by the river.
The morning will be a bumpy ride as you return to Lahad Datu then head for Danum Valley. This ancient primary rainforest is teeming with life, if you can spot it through the trees! You’ll have time in the afternoon to stretch your legs with a walk on some of the nature trails.
Spend today exploring the nature trails of Danum Valley. Look for animals, ancient burial coffins, and trek to a waterfall for a dip in the rock pools. For those not afraid of heights, take an afternoon stroll on the canopy walkway.
After a morning walk, you’ll return to Lahad Datu for your flight to Kota Kinabalu. You’ll be transferred from the airport to Jesselton Jetty to catch your ferry across to Gaya Island. Relax and settle in to your seaside resort.
There’s nothing scheduled for you these final days while you’re on Gaya Island. Consider snorkeling, spending time on the beach, arranging a spa treatment, or otherwise taking it easy. Perhaps start thinking about where your next trip will take you.
Enjoy the resort until the time comes for your ferry to Kota Kinabalu and transfer to the airport for your flight homeward. Safe travels!
This itinerary costs from £4,100 per person B&B and is based on two people sharing excluding peak season surcharges such as July-August, Christmas and New Year, and Chinese New Year. The price includes all transfers and domestic travel but not international flights.
International flights tend to cost between £500 and £800 per person return – do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.