One of the last remaining wild places on earth, Borneo offers a rare treat for the nature lover. It’s one of the last two remaining homes to the Orangutan in the world. See the full breadth of Borneo’s diverse terrain, from dense rainforest to hidden tropical islands. The Kinabatangan River is a bird-lover’s paradise. All eight of Borneo’s hornbill varieties are commonly spotted here. Gain insight into the rehabilitation of primates at the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary and the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
Borneo is one of the last of the world’s wild places, with its dense rainforests, tropical coastal islands and mysterious jungle valleys. As such, it has become a rare place on this planet today – somewhere where you can still encounter a rich variety of colourful and endangered wildlife amid amazing natural scenery. This trip to the Malaysian state of Sabah takes you face-to-face with many unique species, including orangutans, proboscis monkeys and hornbills.
Independent travel, without the stress. Peregrine’s Independent Journeys are a range of Peregrine’s best-selling group tours, available for 1-4 people. They depart on any day and are accompanied by a local guide in each location and 24/7 support from the local Peregrine office.
Breakfast Included: 9 Lunches Included: 4 Lunches Included: 3
Welcome to Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of Sabah. An arrival airport transfer is included. Please advise your flight details at time of booking so as we can book this transfer for you. Your local guide will meet you at your hotel upon arrival for a briefing, here they will collect travel insurance details and next of kin information as well as take you through the planned activities for the next couple of days. If you arrive early, you can immerse yourself in the history of this lively modern metropolis, between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea and reborn since World War II bombings, at the Sabah State Museum.
Kinabalu National Park - Kudasang
Bid farewell to Kota Kinabalu as you head for the hills, towards the beautiful Kinabalu National Park that encompasses Mount Kinabalu (approximately 2 hours). On the way there, you will stop in at a local home at Dusun Village. Here you will encounter some of the friendliest and most hospitable folk in Sabah. Enjoy a home-cooked lunch while you get an insight into local village life. Continue on to Kinabalu National Park, where you will be able to stretch your legs and soak up the mountain scenery. There are many walking trails from which you can birdwatch, and remember to watch for the odd snake or leach. The Mountain Botanic Garden here is open for exploration, displaying a fine array of the mountain's plant life, with flora and flora from all over the area planted here. Later in the afternoon you will travel for 15 minutes or so from here to your hotel. With lovely views of the mountain, it's a great place to unwind with a drink on your balcony.
You will have a local guide accompany you today during all the included activities.
Head out to Kinabatangan River in a private mini van (approximately 5 hours). Your jungle lodge, located beside the river, is ideal for taking in the lush surrounds. At 560 kilometres, the Kinabatangan River is the second longest river in Malaysia. It's also a protected forest reserve, containing some of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Borneo. Later in the afternoon you will take a river cruise, hopefully spotting some of the more exotic local creatures. Wild elephants seldom reveal themselves, but crocodiles, macaques, wild orangutan, proboscis monkeys, hornbills and kingfishers are more easily seen. After this short adventure you'll head back to the lodge to enjoy dinner.
Please note you will be unaccompanied on the journey from Kudasang to Kinabatangan River. We then use expert local guides from the Myne Resort for all included activities at Kinabatangan River.
You might awake to the call of a Bornean gibbon, or perhaps a hornbill. Enjoy a morning cruise down the river, searching for more birds and wildlife. Keep an eye out for Long Tail Macaques and Pig Tail Macaques – ask your leader about the difference. Later, you can trek up to a birdwatching tower overlooking the river and visit a Merabu tree. When it's all over, this evening's river cruise will be your last chance to photograph or simply marvel at your surrounds. Spend one more night in your lovely accommodation right in the heart of the jungle.
Please note we use expert local guides from the Myne Resort for all included activities at Kinabatangan River.
Travelling by private minivan, you will stop to visit the intricate Gomantong Caves. The caves are renowned for their valuable swiftlet nests, which are edible and harvested for bird's nest soup. Bird's nest collection is an ancient tradition, though nowadays licences are required for it. Travel to the coastal city of Sandakan (approximately 3 hours), stopping at the Sandakan War Memorial. Here you will learn about the city's past as you stand on the same ground of the former Japanese POW camp. This site also marks the starting point of the tragic Sandakan Death Marches, on which 2,400 POWs were forced to walk through the jungles of Borneo. By the end of the March, only 6 Australians survived, and only because they had escaped. Arrive in Sandakan, which was once the capital of British North Borneo and traditionally has strong trading ties with Hong Kong. The Cantonese influence is palpable in the lively harbour-side market, the many Chinese temples and the local cuisine.
You will have a local guide with you from Kinabatangan River to Sandakan who will accompany you on the Included activities today.
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre - Sandakan
Head to Sepilok today to visit some rare and beautiful creatures. You will visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, where you will have an opportunity to see these famous monkeys – found only on the island of Borneo – feeding with their different family or bachelor groups. You might also see a hornbill or two. You will also spend some time at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, a reserve set up to help rehabilitate and re-introduce orphaned or domesticated creatures into the wild. Watch and photograph these charming creatures as they swing into view on ropes and vines. It is important not to interrupt the orangutans, so as to aid in their successful re-introduction. A new section has opened up at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, an outdoor nursery where young orangutans are cared for if born in captivity or when their mothers have been killed. Entry here is included in your admittance. Take the chance to view these young orangutans as they learn how to climb on a specially constructed jungle gym. Afterwards, return to Sandakan.
You will have a local guide with you today during all included activities
Kota Kinabalu - Manukan Island
Transfer to Sandakan Airport today for a flight to Kota Kinabalu. Keep in mind that the luggage allowance for this flight is only 15 kg, and any excess baggage charges will incur a further charge. A short boat ride (approximately 20 minutes) takes you to Manukan Island, just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu. This is one of the larger islands found in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine National Park. The first of two days on this island will be free for you to explore the island at your leisure – perhaps swimming or local activities. The 1.5-kilometre beach is lovely to stroll along at low tide. You have free time on Manukan Island for your own adventures and it is easy to organise optional water activities with the resort staff on the Island at your own expense.
Please note you will fly to Kota Kinabalu unaccompanied and be met at the airport by a transfer driver who will take you to the boat jetty. You will then travel to Manukan Island unaccompanied.
Today, accompanied by a local guide, enjoy a snorkelling trip to an area where an array of coral and brightly coloured marine life reveals itself, conditions depending. An optional scuba dive trip from Manukan Island is also on offer for those interested in a more immersive experience. If you are interested, let your leader know and it can be arranged. After snorkelling, the afternoon is yours to enjoy. Soak up the turquoise vistas for another few hours as you stroll or swim about in this gorgeous corner of the world.
You will have a local guide accompany you on the snorkelling trip.
Head back to your hotel in Kota Kinabalu today by boat and minivan (approximately 40 minutes). You will then travel by private bus to visit the intriguing Mari Mari Cultural Village, nestled deep in the countryside. Please note you will be unaccompanied on the boat and bus journey. Here you will see how indigenous ethnic groups of Borneo used to live. The trip there should take less than an hour. This is a rare opportunity to see what the culture and lifestyle was like here in a bygone era. Witness first hand how the tribes would cook their meals, ignite flame with bamboo, and use a blowpipe to hunt. It's a fun, interactive and educational experience. Return to your hotel in Kota Kinabalu later on.
A member of staff from the Mari Mari Cultural Center will guide you around the center for this included activity.
Farewell Kota Kinabalu as your trip ends after breakfast today.