10-Day Beautiful Borneo Tour
BORNEO TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
This exotic excursion to Malaysia’s Borneo is perfect for any solo traveller looking for an adventure! We’ll visit some of the beautiful islands that dot the coastline, discover the exciting cities of Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan, go on some beautiful hikes to take in the stunning surroundings and of course, no visit to Borneo would be complete without seeing the orangutans! We will start our Beautiful Borneo tour in Kota Kinabalu. Here, we’ll be visiting the Mari-Mari Cultural Village to discover the traditional ways of the tribes people, we’ll snorkel around the stunning Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, trek St. Veronica’s Hill at sunrise, soak in the sulphur rich waters of the Poring Hot Spring, and take a sunset cruise around the islands of North Borneo. The second half of our tour will be spent near Sandakan, deep in the jungle, where we’ll hope to see wild orangutans, Proboscis monkeys, and maybe even a rare Pygmy elephant. On our last day we’ll visit the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to learn about the work being done and of course see the orphaned orangutans at feeding time! So if you’re a nature lover, beach enthusiast or enjoy hiking for spectacular views – this one’s for you!
Visit the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sepilok
Snorkel in the crystal clear waters of the Tunku Abdul Rahmen National Park
Hike St. Veronica’s Hill at sunrise for amazing views of Mount Kinabalu
Take a sunset river cruise around the islands of North Borneo
Chance to see the Proboscis Monkeys and other animals in the rainforest
Day 1 - Arrive Kota Kinabalu (Sabah, Borneo)
On arrival at Kota Kinabalu International Airport you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in. The afternoon will be spent at your leisure to relax. In the evening we’ll have a meeting with our guide to discuss your Borneo tour and then head out for dinner with the rest of the group.
Day 2 - Mari Mari Cultural Village / Kota Kinabalu City Tour (B,L)
Today we’ll be heading inland to visit the Mari-Mari Cultural Village to see traditional house displays, rice-wine drinking, blowpipe shooting and bamboo fire-starting! There will also be cultural performances by the tribes before we have a traditional lunch. In the afternoon we’ll discover the leafy streetscapes, heritage streets and the historical sites of Kota Kinabalu city.
Day 3 - Fun Boat Snorkeling & Island Visit (B)
After breakfast, we’ll be picked up from our hotel and taken to the jetty, ready for a day in the sun! Upon arrival we’ll hop on to our boat and be whisked off to the first snorkelling stop at the cluster of Islands that make up Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. We’ll hit a few snorkelling spots before stopping for lunch on Gaya Island. Afterwards you’ll have some free time to relax on the golden or explore the forest trail. For those who love an adrenaline rush, jump on the flying fox and zipline between two islands! In the mid-afternoon, we’ll take the boat to the mainland and head back to our hotel.
Day 4 - Sunrise Hike / Nabalu Market / Viewing Point Mount Kinabalu / Kundasang War Memorial (B,L,D)
Today is full of fun activities! Your adventure starts in the early morning with a 4.30am pick-up from your hotel and leisurely drive to Tamparuli Town. Upon arrival at the starting point, we’ll begin the trek to the summit (278m) of St Veronica’s Hill, also known as Bukit Perahu. Once you have reached the summit, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the breath-taking Mount Kinabalu and the shimmering river snaking past Tamparuli Town. If we are fortunate to climb with good weather, you will witness an incredible sunrise over Sabah. Descend and transfer to Tamparuli Town. We’ll take a walk on the famous “Jambatan Tamparuli” suspension bridge and soak up the small-town charm as we stroll past numerous historical wooden shop houses and visit the local market where we’ll stop for breakfast. Our next stop is at the Kundasang War Memorial which is made up of four beautiful gardens to represent the different nationalities involved in the tragic war. Established in 1962, this was one of the first memorials to commemorate the brave Australian and British Prisoners of War who died during the infamous death march to Ranau during World War II, as well as a touching tribute to the people of North Borneo who risked their lives to help the Prisoners of War.
Day 5 - Kinabalu National Park / Poring Hot Spring & Canopy Walk (B,L,D)
After breakfast we’ll be heading into Kinabalu Park which boasts an impressive amount of plant, bird and butterfly species. We’ll spend the morning here exploring and then after lunch we’ll head to the Poring Hot Spring for a soak in the sulphur-rich waters. Afterwards, we’ll head out for a canopy walk for magnificent views of the rainforest. Suspended 43m above the lush tropical jungle of Borneo the walk is 157m long and you’ll have plenty of time to take in all the beauty it has to offer.
Day 6 - Free Day / North Borneo Sunset Dinner Cruise (B,D)
Today will be spent at your leisure. In the late afternoon, at around 4.30pm, we will be setting off on a sunset cruise around the islands and water villages of North Borneo. We’ll have panoramic ocean views and the warmth of the setting sun on the upper deck whilst a live band serenade us! Dinner will be served buffet style on board the boat. At around 7pm we’ll be back on dry land!
Day 7 – Kota Kinabalu / Sandakan / Gomantong Cave / Kinabatangan River Cruise (B,L,D)
This morning we will be leaving Kota Kinabalu and taking a flight to Sandakan. Upon arrival, we’ll have a guided tour of the Gomantong Cave, the largest bird’s nest cave in Sabah. Afterwards, we will continue to one of the worlds richest ecosystems on the Lower Kinabatangan River, Sakau. When we arrive at Kampung Bilit, we’ll hop on a boat and cruise down the river heading to Bilit Rainforest Lodge where we’ll have some lunch. After settling in, the real adventure starts. A river cruise awaits, where you can spot endemic Proboscis Monkeys, wild Orang Utans, leaf monkeys, gibbons and macaque, and sometimes if you are very lucky, the rare Borneo Pygmy Elephant. After dinner we can go for a complimentary night safari cruise to spot nocturnal animals, crocodiles and birds.
Day 8 - Oxbow Lake / Optional Jungle Trekking (B,L,D)
This morning you will wake up early to the call of Gibbons and Hornbills! We’ll take an early morning cruise on the Ox-bow Lake for some bird-watching and tranquil moments amongst the lush wilderness. We’ll return to our forest lodge in the late morning for lunch. The rest of the day will be at your leisure and you have the option to go jungle trekking. We can do more wildlife spotting in the evening at the Sukau Kinabatangan riverbank.
Day 9 - Sepilok Orang Utan / Sandakan City Tour (B,L)
After breakfast, we’ll check out of our forest lodge and proceed to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, situated in the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. We’ll visit the Nature Education Centre and watch the video documentary show to learn about the rehabilitation of orphaned orangutans before taking a walk through the rainforest to view the feeding platform. We will then visit the Sun Bear Conservation Centre, where you will see about 44 rescued Sun Bears! After lunch, we’ll be given a city tour of Sandakan, visiting various landmarks and historical points of the city that was once known as the “Little Hong Kong.” The landmarks include Puh Jih Syh Buddhist Temple which offers a panoramic view of Sandakan Bay situated on the hilltop Tanah Merah, Sandakan Central Market, which has the most amazing variety of fresh seafood and agricultural products, and The Sim-Sim Water Village. Finally, we’ll make our way to our hotel for check-in.
Day 10 - Depart Sandakan (B)
Your Beautiful Borneo tour has come to an end! Today is a departure day so there are no planned activities. You will have the day at leisure until you need to transfer to the airport for international flights home.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE BORNEO TOUR
- Sharing a twin room at a mix of 4-star hotels and forest lodges
- Domestic flights within Malaysia
- All tours as mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B,L,D)
- All transportation as mentioned in the itinerary (excluding airport transfers)
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED IN THE BORNEO TOUR
- International flights
- Alcohol, soft drinks, bottled water
- Travel Insurance
- Tipping of guides and drivers
- Optional activities
- Up to eight weeks before departure, a place can be reserved on our Beautiful Borneo tour on payment of a deposit of £250.00, after this date it would be the full amount of the trip.
- Click the book now button and fill in the details and tick the box confirming you accept booking conditions.
- The outstanding balance is due 8 weeks before travel.
- International flights into and out of Borneo are not included in the cost of the tour and will need to be organised separately. Please get in touch for recommended flights, and do not book anything until we give the go-ahead.
- Please ensure you have checked visa requirements. Get in touch if you are unsure.
- Ensure you have purchased travel insurance, as this is mandatory for all trips.
Trip Type Adventure
Group Size Between 5-12
Physical Rating Moderate
Currency & Spending Money Malaysian Ringgits / Spending £20 and upwards per day
Hosts One of our local guides will be your main point of contact throughout this trip. They will be on hand to answer any of your questions, help arrange anything additional that you wish to do on your free days, and generally ensure you have a great time!
Clothing The weather will be very hot in the day with high temperatures as well as high humidity, so make sure you pack plenty of light, loose-fitting clothes. This will also help to keep mosquito bites at bay. Please bring comfortable walking shoes or trainers as well as sandals as there will be a decent amount of walking throughout, as well as a couple of treks.
Other Useful Items A head torch, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, a hat, a micro-fibre towel, long-sleeved tops and light trousers for the evenings, binoculars, good camera with a long lens.
Health UK health authorities have classified Malaysia as having a risk of Zika virus transmission, so make sure to always protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is a low to very low risk of Malaria throughout Malaysian Borneo. We recommend you seek medical advice from your local GP or travel nurse a minimum of 8 weeks before departure and make sure all your vaccinations are up to date. Remember that your travel insurance may not cover you if you do not have up-to-date vaccinations. This will also allow time for you to have any inoculations that you may require.
Single Supplement £349
Travel Advice We highly recommend that you read the foreign travel advice for Malaysia before your departure date.