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Exploring Borneo

Trekking the Wilds

Trekking the wilds of Borneo is not for the faint of heart but it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. Deep within the heart of Borneo near the Malaysian and Indonesian borders lies the Maliau Basin. Known as the Lost World, it’s reachable only by 4WD and explored exclusively on foot.

Our two-week holiday will give you a few days to adjust to the climate as you walk around Kota Kinabalu and Kinabalu Park before your 5-day trek begins. Within the Maliau Basin, you’ll find steep hills, muddy paths, and more leeches than you can count. It’s a strenuous journey from one campsite to the next but the rewards are worth the effort. Wild animals abound including sun bears, proboscis monkeys, barking deer, and peregrine falcons. You may even come across a rafflesia in bloom or an elusive clouded leopard. Your meals, sleeping bag, and a pair of leech socks will be provided but you’ll need to carry the basics. We’ve ended this trip with time to rest, relax, and dry out on Gaya Island. It’s no easy feat, trekking the wilds of Borneo, so enjoy a bit of luxury at the end of your holiday.

Please remember this itinerary is here to inspire you as all of our holidays are tailor-made to suit you. We’re happy to add or subtract days and adjust as you see fit. If you’d like to start trekking the wilds of Borneo, give us a call at UK 020 7112 0019 or email

Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Kota Kinabalu

Salamat datang! Today your driver will meet you at Kota Kinabalu International Airport and take you to your downtown hotel. We’ve planned nothing for you so you can relax, take a stroll along the waterfront, and perhaps have a gander at the market.


Day 2 - Poring & Kinabalu Park

This morning you’ll head to Kinabalu Park with your guide and driver for some easy walks. Visit Poring where you can enjoy the canopy walkway and Kipungit waterfall.


Day 3 - Kinabalu Park

Walk some of the trails around Kinabalu Park with your guide. These are good warm-up walks for the real trek that’s ahead. Visit the Kundasang War Memorial to learn about Borneo’s role in WWII and in the afternoon, return to Kota Kinabalu.

Days 4-7 - Maliau Basin Trek

Set off for your five-day trek in the Maliau Basin. You’ll stay in campsites along the way as you trek 40km in Sabah’s Lost World, a dense rainforest teeming with unique flora and fauna. On the penultimate day, you’ll reach the spectacular 7-tier Maliau Falls. This trek is hard work but it’s an incredible journey into nature as it once was.

Day 8 - Rainforest to Sea

The day starts with a 9km hike in the Maliau Basin and ends when you reach your villa on Gaya Island. The ride from Maliau to Kota Kinabalu will take a few hours and then it’s only a 15-minute boat ride to the island.


Days 9-12 - Rest & recover

These days are yours to relax and rest after your memorable jungle trek. Stretch out on the beach, grab a mask and snorkel, or perhaps start thinking about your next trip to this incredible land!


Day 13 - Salamat Jalan

Today you’ll transfer back to Kota Kinabalu for your flight homeward. Safe travels!


This itinerary costs from £2,580 per person based on two adults sharing excluding peak seasons of July-August, Christmas and New Year, and Chinese New Year’s. The price includes all transfers and domestic travel but not international flights.

International flights tend to cost between £700 and £900 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 £2,580 per person
  • Accommodation on B&B basis
  • Full board on days 4-7
  • Transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle or by boat as mentioned
  • Local taxes excluding those only collected locally
  • Entrance fees
  • All excursions and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • 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
Empty beaches, clear water, and fantastic villas perfect for those looking to get away from it all. The Tip of Borneo is a quiet place for a self-drive holiday from Kota Kinabalu. A longhouse homestay, traditional villages, and a jungle home to proboscis monkeys are easy day visits. Snorkel, dive, kayak, trek, bicycle, or simply sit by the water. More
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
Considered by many one of the top dive sites in the world, Sipadan Island has coral-covered walls dropping well below recreational limits. Sharks, turtles, and schools of fish that number in the thousands are routinely seen by divers and snorkelers. Only 120 visitors are allowed per day so we recommend staying on nearby Mabul and diving its macro-rich waters on your non-Sipadan days. More
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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