Experience the best of Borneo in 8 days
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Group Size: Max 15.
Trip code: AAES
Duration: 8 days
Explore one of the most bio diverse environments in the world on this amazing 8 day trip. From unforgettable animal encounters with orang-utans and sea turtles, to jungle lodges, homestays, beaches, boat trips and teeming tropical cities, this once in a lifetime adventure has it all. What are you waiting for?
- Visit an orang-utan rehabilitation centre and a sun bear conservation project
- Learn about turtles with a guided tour of a hatchery on Libaran Island
- Cruise through crocodile infested waters on an evening river-boat trip
- Look for proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, macaques and gibbons on a guided jungle safari
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Day 1: Welcome to Borneo! Arrive into Kota Kinabalu airport and head to your accommodation to meet your group and guide. If you arrive early, you’ll have time to explore this lively city. In the evening, head out for a bite to eat with your new friends.
Day 2: Homestay in Mesilou. We’re heading into the mountainous highlands today, to Mesilou, a traditional village. Share a welcome lunch with the villagers, take a short hike to Mesilou Hill, then visit two local farms and pick ingredients to be used later when cooking with our hosts. This evening, prepare a meal with the community and enjoy a delicious dinner and traditional Sabahan performance.
Day 3: Jungle Lodge on Kinabatangan River. Hop on the minibus towards Sandakan and check into your home for the next 3 nights – a jungle lodge on the Kinabatangan River! Drift through crocodile-infested waters on our evening river-boat cruise. After dinner you can opt to take a guided walk through the jungle to look for some of the unique nocturnal wildlife.
Day 4: River Safari on Kinabatangan. Board the boat for a morning river safari. After breakfast you’ll visit a nearby lake to look for proboscis monkeys and pygmy elephants with your guide. Later you’ll enjoy dinner at the lodge with your travel buddies.
Day 5: Sepilok Orang-utan Centre. Get the bus to Sepilok before enjoying a visit to the Orang-utan rehabilitation centre where you can see these amazing apes being fed and frolicking in the grounds. Next stop is the sun bear project where you can learn about the efforts being made to conserve this charismatic species.
Day 6: Libaran Island & Turtle Hatchery. Transfer to Sandakan and then on to Libaran Island by boat. Learn all about turtles at the island’s hatchery. Depending on the time of year, you might see turtles laying their eggs on the beach or watch their babies being released into the sea! Use your free time this afternoon to snorkel, swim or kayak in the crystal clear waters around the island.
Day 7: Return to Kota Kinabalu. Hop on the boat back to the mainland after breakfast then take an internal flight back from Sandakhan to Kota Kinabalu. Head out into the city and try some of the excellent seafood Kota Kinabalu is so famous for.
Day 8: Departure Day. Your Bornean adventure has come to an end. Pack your bag and say goodbye to everybody. You can leave Kota Kinabalu at any time, or stay on for more adventures!
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Arrive into Kota Kinabalu Airport on day 1, where you can arrive at any time for the welcome meeting in the evening. Airport transfers are not included the cost of the tour, but a taxi from the airport is safe, reliable and easy to arrange from the pre-paid booth outside the arrival hall. A taxi is roughly RM20 from the airport to starting hotel.
Please note, we can arrange an airport transfer for you when you arrive. Please contact a Travel Advisor for more information.
You can depart at any time on day 8 of the tour from Kota Kinabalu. Return airport transfers are not included as part of the tour, but your tour guide can help you arrange this for an extra cost.
We really get away from the tourist trail on this trip and immerse ourselves in local culture, so we’ll be staying in some quite unique places! 7 nights’ accommodation is included and is a mix of guesthouses (2 nights), homestay (1 night), jungle lodge (3 nights) and permanent tents (1 night).
Rooms are twin (5 nights) or multi-share (2 nights) and are basic but clean and comfortable. There may be shared toilet facilities and showers.
7 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners are included on this trip. All other meals and snacks will need to be purchased by you. This is a great opportunity to try Malaysian food. The local cuisine is very diverse, with Chinese, Malay and indigenous Bornean influences. Typical staples include grilled or barbecued fish, fried rice, noodles, and dishes made with spices and coconut milk. Your guide will be able to suggest restaurants and food is generally of a good standard and very affordable. While trekking in remote regions, meals are usually included.
The minimum age to join this trip is 18. This is an open-aged trip, so your group may be made up of a variety of different ages, backgrounds and nationalities.
British citizens can enter Borneo without a visa for a stay of up to 3 months, provided you have a valid return or onward travel ticket and six months’ validity on your passport. It’s your responsibility to obtain the necessary visas for your time away. Visa rules are subject to change without prior notice, so please do check visa requirements at the time of your trip.
This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:
Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.
Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.
Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.
Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.
Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.
Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.
24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.
It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.