13 Days Borneo’s Nature and Wildlife

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Tour type

Tour Level: High Level

Tour Comfort: Standard

Tour Period: 13 Days

tour highlights

  • Learn about vibrant and diverse ecosystems
  • Familiarize yourself with local customs as you trek through stunning scenery
  • Enjoy boat trips surrounded by lush forested land
  • See wildlife in action in forest, mountain, and river environments


tour details

If you’re easily entranced by scenic views, beware. This trip begins at an eco-resort in pristine rainforest, and only improves from there. Early on, you’ll visit the Semenggoh Nature Reserve to see orangutans before departing for Kuching Wetlands National Park. Next, you’ll enjoy a boat ride to Bako, where you’ll trek through pristine rainforest and swim in clear waters. In Kota Kinabalu, you’ll admire majestic Mt. Kinabalu, as well as the 250+ orchid species that call the region home. Next up, you’ll stay by the Kinabatangan River. The last three days will include a visit to the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, and the nearby Lipad mud volcano, a natural salt lick for local animals. A bird walk, waterfall visit, and foot soak end the trip in true Malaysian style. Your final day takes you back to Lahad Datu.

Meet & greet at Kuching International Airport upon arrival. Transfer to Permai Rainforest Resort, located about 25 km north of Kuching. Permai Rainforest Resort is a small eco-resort set in pristine rainforest located on the shores of the South China Sea, and at the foot of Mount Santubong. Carefully designed to minimize the impact on the natural environment, it offers a great rainforest experience. The 10 treehouses, which are built on stilts 20 feet above the ground, offer you the unique experience of sleeping amongst the canopy of the trees and waking to the sound of the sea lapping against the shore. Besides the treehouses the resort offers 23 cabins spread out through the resort surrounded by lush forest vegetation.
After check-in, the afternoon is free at leisure to use the many facilities of the resort or simply relax at the beach. If you are lucky you get a first glimpse of one of the three different species of monkeys that do occasionally roam in the resort's premises.

Overnight at Permai Rainforest Resort, ROH.

Meals included:None
After an early breakfast at the resort you depart for the Semenggoh Nature Reserve of Sarawak. Here, rangers are teaching the once captive orang utans (Malay for "man of the forest") to return to the forest. During the feeding times you can observe these great animals moving up in the trees or enjoying their meals of fruits and vegetables. However, please take note that due to the fact that they are semi-wild, there is no guarantee to see the animals. After this amazing experience return to the resort. The early afternoon is free at leisure to use the many facilities of the resort or simply relax at the beach.
In the late afternoon you will embark on a sunset mangrove cruise. This cruise takes you to the mouth of the Santubong river and along the mangrove forest of Kuching Wetlands National Park. Enjoy the amazing scenery of the mangrove swamp and learn how the various animals, like the proboscis monkeys, and the uniquely adapted mangrove trees develop a complex symbiotic eco-system. The Irrawaddy or snub fin dolphins are often seen as well. If the weather permits you will get to see a breath-taking sunset over the unique scenery of the mangrove forest. In the dark you will continue your cruise through the mangroves in search for the estuarine crocodile. Their eyes shine in a bright red colour when hit by the light of torchlights. Another natural phenomenon are the fireflies that congregate in the mangrove trees and let them shine like Christmas trees! After this exciting experience return to the resort.

Overnight at Permai Rainforest Resort, ROH.

Meals included:Breakfast
Breakfast at the resort. Check-out and travel by air-conditioned vehicle to the small Malay village of Bako, where you then venture on a 30 minutes' boat ride to the national park. After registration and check-in at Bako National Park, proceed for trekking in the park. Get to see various animals, such as wild boars, silver leaf monkeys, macaques or monitor lizards. If you are lucky you might also spot the odd-nosed proboscis monkeys that can only be found on the island of Borneo. Please discuss with your guide about the trails that you wish to take, according to your interest. A packed lunch is included.
After dinner at the park canteen, you can choose to follow your guide on a nocturnal walk and if you are lucky you might see some sea otters.

Overnight at Bako National Park, ROH (simple rest house).

Meals included:Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
After breakfast at the canteen, you may wish to spend your own time around the park headquarter or discuss with your guide about any other short trails that would interest you before check-out from your rest house. After your lunch at the park canteen, depart by boat back to Bako village jetty and travel to Kuching by air-conditioned vehicle. Transfer to Abell Hotel & check-in.
The rest of the afternoon is free at your own leisure to explore the charming city of Kuching.

Accommodation at Abell Hotel, Superior Room.

Meals included:Breakfast
Lunch
Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out and transfer to Kuching Airport for your flight to Mulu (airfare not included).
Meet & greet upon arrival in Mulu and transfer to Mulu National Park for check-in. After a local lunch you will proceed to the headquarters of Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An approximately 45 minutes' walk along a wooden plank path through peat swamp forest will lead you from the park headquarters to Lang's Cave. Explore this beautiful cave with its astonishing rock formations! Next, you will venture into the Deer Cave, the world's largest cave passage! After the exploration of these two caves you will wait at the bat observation platform to witness the bats flying out of the caves for their nightly hunt (no guarantee to see the bats; subject to weather conditions). Walk back the same path to the park headquarters and return to your accommodation.

Overnight at Mulu National Park, ROH.

Meals included:Breakfast
Lunch
This morning, after breakfast, take a boat ride (30 to 40 minutes) to reach Wind Cave, with a stopover at a Penan village. After exploration of Wind Cave, take a 10 minutes' walk to reach the Clearwater Springs. After a short tea break, climb the 200 steps up to the cave entrance and explore Clearwater Cave. A simple picnic lunch will be served next to the Clearwater Springs, after which you can enjoy a swim in the beautiful stream outside the cave. Return to your accommodation.

The rest of the day is free at your own leisure to enjoy the beautiful natural environment or to sign up for one of the many other activities (not included) offered by the national park, such as a canopy walk or a night walk.

Overnight at Mulu National Park, ROH.

Meals included:Breakfast
Lunch
After breakfast, transfer to Mulu Airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu (airfare not included).
Meet & greet at Kota Kinabalu International Airport and transfer to Shangri La Hotel. The rest of the day is free at leisure to explore the city on your own.

Accommodation at Shangri-La Hotel, Superior Room.

Meals included:Breakfast
After breakfast at the hotel depart for a two-hour drive to Kinabalu Park, nominated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery as you drive through the Crocker Range to the park headquarters. We shall stop at local fruit and handicraft stalls en-route. The Kinabalu Park is home to Mt. Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Malaysia, which towers majestically at 4,095 m (13,431 feet). Trek along cool forest trail to see and learn more about our unique insect-eating plants, orchids and the rainforest. In the late afternoon, check-in to your accommodation for the night.

Overnight at Kinabalu Pine Resort, Standard Room.

Meals included:Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Depart after breakfast for Sukau or Bilit in Sandakan. The drive will take about 5 hours passing through the towns of Ranau and Telupid. The scenery consists of native villages and palm oil plantations. Upon arrival at Sukau/Bilit, check-in to your accommodation at the lodge. The lodge is situated along the banks of the Kinabatangan River and surrounded by riverine forest.
Later this afternoon, we will take a boat ride along the Kinabatangan and into one of its smaller tributaries. The forest here is home to the proboscis monkey, an endemic of Borneo. The proboscis monkeys live in groups and come down to the river edges to sleep for the night.

Overnight at Bilit Rainforest Lodge.

Meals included:Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Early in the morning follow a boat cruise along Kinabatangan river. Birds and other wildlife can be spotted here. Return to the lodge for breakfast.
Free at leisure and lunch at the lodge.
In the late afternoon follow another boat cruise down the river in search for the odd-nosed proboscis monkey and other wildlife. Return to the lodge in the early evening for dinner.

Overnight at Bilit Rainforest Lodge.

Meals included:Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Check-out after breakfast and depart overland to Lahad Datu (overland transfer is without guide). Transfer by road to Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Check-in to an attractive timber lodge at Tabin Wildlife Resort, which comes complete with private balcony, ceiling fan and hot water shower, a welcome luxury in the forest. Nestled within the rainforest beside the Lipad river, this lovely setting is home to a surprising variety of birds, insects and small mammals, even right beside the buildings of the resort. Discover the rich variety of jungle herbs, some endemic, used for generations by local folks for the treatment of various ailments.
In the afternoon, visit the Lipad mud volcano, which provides a mineral salt lick for wildlife. After trekking through the rainforest for 20 minutes, arrive at the elevated bare area of the mud volcano, which is frequented, by wildlife and birds. Try to identify the multitude of animal footprints here. Climb the observation tower and admire the contrasting landscape of the bare mud volcano and its surrounding thick forest, where birds are commonly sighted.
After dinner, enjoy a slide presentation on Tabin's natural wonders, followed by a trip to look out for nocturnal wildlife and birds. Remember to look up at the clear, dark sky of Tabin, identify the constellations above you and make a wish or two.

Overnight at Tabin Wildlife Resort.

Meals included:Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
After breakfast you may opt to join the early morning bird walk to discover some of Tabin's rich collection of almost 300 bird species. After which, trek through the lush green rainforest known for its rich diversity of plants and animal species to visit Lipad Waterfall. Take a dip in the natural pool and enjoy a natural and refreshing shower under the waterfall. Alternatively explore the surrounding vegetation or just relax.
In the afternoon you may wish to try out the Tabin Rainforest Foot Soak made with a natural blend of herbs, to relax tired muscles after long jungle treks.

Overnight at Tabin Wildlife Resort.

Meals included:Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
After breakfast, stroll to the nearby rock pool or riverside where groups of macaques and other small mammals can sometimes be seen. Choose to take a dip in the river or simply listen to the sound of nature before saying goodbye to Tabin.
Enjoy lunch at Tabin. Transfer to Lahad Datu Airport for your departure flight in the afternoon.

Meals included:Breakfast
Lunch

includes

  • 11 nights accommodation in shared twin room with air-condition (AC) and private bathroom
  • 1 night accommodation in twin shared room with fan and private or shared bathroom (subject to availability) at Bako National Park
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner
  • Transfers and tours with local English-speaking driver guides in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees and/or boat fees as stated in the programme
  • Drinking water available on the vehicles, except in Mulu and overland transfer Bilit
  • Tabin
  • Package includes GST 6% (Good and Service Tax)

excludes

  • Domestic airfare and/or International airfare to/from Malaysia (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme

notes

  • Hotels can be changed without prior notice, but substitute will be within the offered category.
  • Shangri-la Hotel in Kota Kinabalu is not a 5*-property under Shangri-La Hotel & Resort chain.
  • Tours will be offered as stated in the programme, but some may be done on different days than stated in the programme. For example, if our programme states a city tour on Day 1,
    it may be postponed to Day 3 instead, without any prior notice given.
  • Even if the package is booked on private basis, certain services may be on shared basis in order to minimise impacts on the natural environment or if other circumstances require so.
    These services include the sunset mangrove cruise in Damai, boat transfers in Bako, land & boat transfers in Mulu, boat transfers and cruises in Sukau, and night drives in Tabin.
  • Sightings of wildlife depend on several natural factors (e.g. weather) and therefore cannot be guaranteed.
Tour code: KCHDKS13DBORP18

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