Malaysian Borneo - Sabah & Sarawak Explorer

11 Days / 10 Nights

After a sightseeing in Kuching, set off for a dolphin spotting speedboat tour, meet the Orang Utans at Semenggoh, stay deep in the jungle at Batang Ai and visit the Iban tribe and their longhouses before continuing to Kinabalu National Park and up to Sandakan to visit the Sepilok Orang Utan Centre and spend a few days in the Kinabatangan region where you will find some of Borneo's highest concentrations of wildlife.

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Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.

Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience Malaysia with Seven Senses.

SUGGESTED ITINERARY

Day 1. Arrive Kuching (-/-/-)

On arrival at Kuching International Airport, meet with our guide and transfer to your hotel for check-in. At 14:00 hrs, depart for a city tour. This includes a visit to the Tua Pek Kong temple, the oldest Chinese temple in Sarawak, built in 1876. From there, view the imposing Fort Margarita. Drive by St. Joseph’s Cathedral, the Syariah (Muslim) Court, traditional Malay houses built on stilts and the mosque built along the bank of the river, which winds through the heart of the city. Look out for the majestic Astana, the former palace of the White Rajahs, now the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak. Stop for a few minutes in front of the old colonial Court House, complete with a clock tower and a granite obelisk built in memory of the second White Rajah, Charles Brooke. The highlight of the tour is a visit to the Sarawak Museum, one of the finest in South-East Asia. It is a treasure house of artifacts and exhibits of great archaeological and cultural significance. After the tour, transfer back to the hotel.

Day 2. Kuching - Mangrove Tour & Dolphin Spotting by Speedboat (B/L/-)

After breakfast, depart for a 45-minute drive to the beach of the Damai Peninsula where you will board a speedboat and proceed to the river mouth of the mangrove belt in search of the Irrawaddy (or snub fin) dolphins. The Irrawaddy dolphin is a slow swimmer; it surfaces in a rolling fashion and lifts its tail fluke clear of the water for a deep dive only. Observe the dolphins while they swim around the boats of the local fishermen in search for food. Afterwards, we will try to spot wild crocodiles along the riverbanks of the mangrove forest. Another 30 minutes’ ride will bring you to the Satang Islands, located off the coast of Santubong. On the way, pass by ‘Bird’s Rock’, a rocky islet which is an important habitat for Black-naped and Bridled terns. A packed lunch is provided on the island. Enjoy the beautiful view from the island, relax at the beach or go for a swim or snorkel in the clear water. By latest 14:00 hrs, before the winds make the sea rough, return to Damai and from there back to your hotel in Kuching.

 

From October to March, sea conditions may not allow for the day trip and in such cases the day's activities will be substituted with a visit to Bako National Park with lunch.

Day 3. Kuching - Semenggoh Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre - Batang Ai (B/L/-)

In the morning meet your guide in the hotel lobby and start your journey to the Longhouse Safari along the Pan Borneo Highway, passing through beautiful scenery of rural villages, towns and gardens of pepper, rubber and rice fields. Along the way, visit the Semenggoh Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre situated about 30 minutes drive from Kuching. It provides a rare opportunity to be at close range with the “Wild Man of Borneo” and to observe its behaviour and activities in its natural habitat. Before arriving at the feeding platform for the 09:00 am feeding, you will have a brief experience walking through the amazing untouched rainforest. The centre closes at 09:30 am. A short stop will be made at the town of Serian where you can explore the market where the locals sell fruits and vegetables. From Serian your trip will bring you to Lachao where you will have your lunch and the opportunity to buy presents for the Iban families in the longhouse. After lunch in Lachao your onward journey will bring you to the Batang Ai jetty from where you will cross the lake by boat (at 16:15 or 17:30 hrs) to the Batang Ai Longhouse Resort. Check-in. Overnight at

resort. Orang Utan presence is not guaranteed.

The Amran Batang Ai Lounghouse Resort, integrates nature, adventure and culture. Located on the shore of a spectacular man-made lake, it has 100 guest rooms, all individually air-conditioned, with ceiling fans, private bathrooms and IDD phone. A “Ruai” (the traditional longhouse veranda) provides an unobstructed view of the lake and its surrounding forest. Restaurant, bar, lounge and swimming pool are available.

Day 4. Batang Ai (B/L/-)

At around 09:30 hrs, board a boat across the Batang Ai Lake to reach an original Iban longhouse. Tour the longhouse, watch the natives while they organize their daily chores, and enjoy a 'native style' lunch. Return to the resort in the early afternoon.

Day 5. Batang Ai - Kuching (B/L/-)

After breakfast, depart for Kuching, with a stop for lunch at a local restaurant en route.

Upon arrival in Kuching, estimated in mid-afternoon, transfer to your hotel.

Day 6. Kuching - Kota Kinabalu (B/-/-)

In the morning, transfer to the airport for the flight to Kota Kinabalu. Upon arrival in Kota Kinabalu, transfer to your hotel. At around 13:00 hrs, depart for the Mari Mari Cultural Village, located amidst a remote forest setting in Kionsom, Inanam, 25 minutes from the city. Upon arrival at the village, you will be ushered to various traditional homes of Sabahan ethnic communities - the Dusun, Rungus, Lundayeh, Bajau and Murut, while the friendly village guide will give you a thorough introduction to the different houses, customs and ritualistic ceremonies which are enacted to enable guests to get acquainted with each village tribe and experience their rich culture. You will see demonstrations on blowpipe- making, fire-starting using bamboo, tattoo-making, and will have a chance to dance and jump on the Lansaran, a traditional trampoline-like floor. Sample Sabahan traditional delicacies and enjoy a cultural show performance followed by a delectable traditional high tea, before being transferred back to your hotel in Kota Kinabalu.

Day 7. Kota Kinabalu - Kinabalu National Park - Poring Hot Springs (B/L/-)

At around 0730 hrs, pick up from the hotel in Kota Kinabalu and depart for a 3-hour drive to Kinabalu National Park.

On the way, pass by small towns and villages and stop at Nabalu fruit market for a break. Kinabalu National Park is a paradise for botanists, bird watchers and nature lovers, being home to several plant species, some of which are found only in this area. Enjoy the cool and fresh air of the park, and visit the Exhibition Hall and the Mountain Garden (one of the biggest attractions at the Park). Proceed for lunch at a nearby resort, then head for Poring Hot Springs, a natural wonder where hot sulphur springs bubble out of the earth, and a canopy walkway (41 metres high), spanning 157 metres from tree to tree, provides a rare opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of the rainforest.

Then, proceed to Kundasang and check in at the resort.

Day 8. Mount Kinabalu - Sandakan (B/-/-)

At around 08:30 hrs, depart for Sandakan across the ridges of the Crocker Range, passing native villages and oil palm estates among others, and enjoying the spectacular mountain scenery. On arrival at Sandakan town (expected around 13:30 hrs), check in to your accommodation. The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Day 9. Sepilok Orang Utan Centre - Bornean Sun Bear Centre - Abai (B/L/D)

In the morning, pick up from the hotel in Sandakan and drive to Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre, where you will observe man's closest relative being rehabilitated to become wild in their natural habitat, and experience a walk in the Tropical Lowland Dipterocarp Forest of Borneo. Afterwards, visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. This centre manages to improve the living conditions of the rescued sun bear and release them back to their natural habitats in the 2.5ha enclosed forest. 11:15hrs depart Sepilok Centre and transfer to jetty in Sandakan for your scheduled boat depart ure at 12:00hrs. Take an hour long boat cruise up to the Lower Kinabatangan River Sanctuary where you will take your lunch at Abai Jungle Restaurant. This is a wonderful journey of discovery which starts from the waters of Sulu Sea off Sandakan Town through a magnificent scenery of mangrove forest. Check in and relax at the lodge's nature boardwalk; be sure to bring along your binoculars - you might have the chance to spot the wild orang-utan, silver leaf monkeys, birds and more... Late in the afternoon, you'll be taking another cruise to search for wildlife until the sun sets while enjoying a cup of coffee and by night falls continue the night cruise to witness the fireflies. Return to the lodge for dinner. After dinner, again experience the jungle at night at our nature boardwalk to search for birds, snakes, insects and other wildlife with the nature guide.

Day 10. Abai - Sukau (B/L/D)

Wake up to the calls of nature. After an early morning river trip to Pitas lake to observe more wildlife, you are invited to join our tree planting project with the locals, and enjoy a simple lunch arranged by the villagers at Abai village. This project is specially designed to help the locals. After lunch, cruise upriver to Sukau village in search of primates, especially the wild orang utan, birds, pygmy elephants and other wildlife. Arrive in Sukau, and check in at the Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge. In the late afternoon, take another river cruise to the Menanggul River, a small tributary of the Kinabatangan. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 11. Sukau - Sandakan - Departure (B/-/-)

After breakfast, transfer by boat back to Sandakan. Enjoy another chance for wildlife sightings during the 2-hour journey, with a short break in Abai. Upon arrival at Sandakan jetty, transfer to your hotel or proceed to the airport.

The itinerary may be subject to change depending on circumstances.

HIGHLIGHTS

PRICES AND INCLUSIONS

11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS FROM: REQUEST A QUOTE

based on 2 people travelling together

The price includes:

Domestic flights from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu.

Private boats according to the itinerary.

Accommodation at carefully selected hotels when available, based on twin/double occupancy:

Quality private air-con vehicles & experienced drivers for all transfers and sightseeing.

Experienced English-speaking local guides throughout the tour.

Entrance fees for all listed attractions.

Meals as stated in the itinerary (B/L/D) = (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner).

The price does not include:

 

Return flights from the UK to Borneo. Request a quote from us.

Anything not specifically mentioned above

Optional tours, camera fees.

Tips to the guide and driver, porters and waiters

Travel insurance

Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.

Peak season surcharges

TRIP NOTES

Suggested items to bring along: comfortable walking shoes, raincoat, insect repellent, swim wear, sandals or slippers, sun screen lotion, hat, torchlight, small hand luggage or backpack.

 

It is advisable to avoid carrying big luggage to the Batang Ai Longhouse Resort due to transportation restrictions.  We strongly recommend bringing along only what is strictly necessary for the short stay and leaving any big luggage in Kuching.  If you are travelling to an onward destination, you can opt to leave your luggage in deposit at the Batang Ai jetty instead.

* Please note that the boat and islands excursions are on shared basis to minimise the environmental impact of boats in the fragile mangrove areas of Damai.

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At Seven Senses Tours, the sky’s the limit in terms of creating your next unforgettable experience. Our knowledgeable and experienced travel consultants are waiting to plan every last detail of your upcoming trip, so all that’s left for you is to enjoy it.

We work Monday to Friday: 10am-6pm and we aim to respond to your query within one business day.

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SEVEN SENSES TOURS IS A TRADING NAME OF BRS TRAVEL SOLUTIONS LIMITED REGISTERED IN ENGLAND. COMPANY NUMBER 10287236. REGISTERED ADDRESS: 19 CROSSFIELD ROAD, LONDON, N17 6AY, UNITED KINGDOM.

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