Wonders of Malaysian Borneo
15 Days / 14 Nights
Tour Malaysian Borneo on this comprehensive nature and wildlife tour. Start your tour in Kuching and visit a typical longhouse, then meet the Orang Utans at Semenggoh Nature Reserve. Explore caves and wildlife at Mulu National Park, then head to the Kinabalu Park, a World Heritage Site for its role as one of the world’s most important biological sites. Explore the jungle on canopy trails, take a dip in one of the soothing, steaming hot mineral springs at Poring Hot Springs. Stay at Sabah Tea Garden Resort and learn how tea leaves are processed, then visit the Sepilok Orang Utan Centre and the Bornean Sun Bear Centre before continuing to search for wildlife along the Kinabatangan River such as the Bornean Pygmy Elephants, Orang Utans, Proboscis monkey, Leaf-Monkeys, hornbills, kingfishers, Estuarine Crocodiles and many more. Go trekking in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, finally enjoy some village walks before ending your tour in Kota Kinabalu.
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.
Day 1. Arrive Kuching (-/-/-)
Upon arrival at Kuching International Airport, meet your guide who will transfer you to the Hilton Hotel or similar. The afternoon is free at leisure.
Day 2. Kuching City Tour - Annah Rais Long House (B/L/-)
After breakfast, proceed for a 3 hours Kuching sightseeing tour. Experience the beauty of this multi-racial community and see places of interest including the building of the White Rajahs (Colonial Law Court, Clock Tower, Charles Brooke Memorial, Square Tower), the bustling Chinatown, Chinese Temple. Discover the treasures of Sarawak Museum & Cat Museum, visit Astana, the Malay Village & the Kuching Waterfront. Lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, proceed to Annah Rais Bidayuh Longhouse.
On arrival at Annah Rais, the sight that greets you is a thriving village which bears no resemblance to a longhouse. As you navigate the detached homes you will notice that they are interconnected by walkways which in itself is still an affirmation of extended family living – perhaps just not in the traditional “entire village under one roof” longhouse sense. Annah Rais is considered one of the most beautiful longhouses in Sarawak, cradled by the mountains and a beautiful freshwater stream. Transfer back to your hotel after the tour.
Day 3. Semenggoh Orang Utan Centre - Fairy & Wind Cave (B/L/-)
After breakfast, depart for your tour to Semenggoh Nature Reserve. The entire facility occupies an area of 740 acres, the only remaining green belt near the city which acts as a sanctuary for Orang Utans. The main attraction is undeniably the Rehabilitation Centre, a temporary home for displaced Orang Utans that have been rescued from captivity and young orphaned primates. These animals are trained or re-trained to survive in their natural habitat. They learn how to forage for natural food and build nests in the trees. Many have been returned into the surrounding area. However there are few that will never re-learn their wild skills due to their long association with and resulting dependence on humans. Take a walk on the trails and try to spot semi-wild Orang Utans. There are feeding times scheduled everyday at the feeding platform. However always bear in mind that the main aim of the Centre is to return these animals back into their habitat. Do not be disappointed if you do not see any roaming the jungles or coming back to feed as this means they are able to forage on their own and do not need human assistance. Lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, we continue to Fairy Cave and Wind Cave. The Fairy Cave is about 3-storey high. After a quick climb through the cave with torchlight, the cave opens up into a main chamber. Sunlight streams into the chamber, enabling you to view several types of limestone formations. View the beautiful and some eerie shape nature creations, the stalactites and stalagmites. There is a formation that has been likened to the Goddess of Mercy which at about 3 meters in height, resembles a woman dressed in classical Chinese robes, complete with hat, looking down benignly upon worshippers. Another formation looks like an old man crouching down. Then proceed to the Wind Cave, only about 10 minutes’ drive away. Walking along the platform, you will find that this dark-tunnel like cave is filled with bats and swiftest. Look around the wall of the cave with torchlight and you might be lucky to spot the bird nest with some eggs in it. Transfer back to your hotel after the tour.
Day 4. Kuching - Mulu National Park (B/-/D)
After breakfast, free at leisure until your departure transfer to Kuching International Airport for your flight to Mulu. Meet on arrival at Mulu airport and transfer to Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa for check in. In the afternoon, transfer to Mulu Park HQ and take the 3km plank walk to explore Lang and Deer caves. Watch the bats’ flights out if weather permits and return to the Park HQ before transferring back to your hotel. Dinner at the resort.
Overnight at Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa.
Day 5. Full Day Mulu National Park (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will depart by longboat to explore Wind Cave with a stopover at the Penan Longhouse. Later we proceed to explore Clearwater Cave where you will have the chance to swim. Picnic lunch will be served at Clearwater hut before returning to the hotel. Dinner at the resort.
Day 6. Mulu Skywalk - Kota Kinabalu (B/-/-)
Have an early breakfast then transfer to the National Park Headquarters. Upon arrival, proceed for a guided walk to the Mulu Skywalk, the world’s longest tree based canopy at 480 metres which is suspended 20metres above the forest floor. The tour takes approximately 2 hours before transfering to Mulu Airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu. Upon arrival transfer to Le Meridien Hotel for check in. Lunch & Dinner at your own arrangement.
Day 7. Kinabalu Park - Poring Hot Spring - Sabah Tea Plantation (B/L/D)
Have an early breakfast before checking out. Depart for your excursion to Kinabalu Park (88km from Kota Kinabalu), Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site for its role as one of the world’s most important biological sites. En route, make a stop at Nabalu village to savor local fruits and to bargain for handicrafts. Upon arrival at the national park, take a guided walk on one of the trails to learn more about the biodiversity of flora and fauna of the region. Visit the mountain garden which houses unique endemic flora such as the rare Rothchild’s Slipper Orchid, also known as ‘Kinabalu Gold’. Lunch at Balsam Café, then continue to Poring Hot Springs (39 km from Kinabalu Park). Explore the many jungle trails and observe wildlife on the lush canopy of the Menggaris tree where the walkway lies. The walkway is around 157.8 metres long and 41 metres high. After that, take a dip in one of the soothing, steaming hot mineral springs set in beautifully landscaped gardens. If you are lucky, you might have the chance to see the largest flower in the world ‘Rafflesia’ nearby in the area. (Entrance fee for Rafflesia viewing is not included.)
Check into Sabah Tea Garden Cottage and the rest of the day free at leisure. Dinner at Sabah Tea Garden Resort.
Day 8. Sabah Tea Plantation - Sandakan (B/L/D)
After breakfast, proceed for an hour’s guided Tea Factory tour. A tour around the factory will showcase a brief overview of how authentic and genuine tea leaves with no added coloring are processed, from withering, rolling, fermenting, drying, tea-tasting to packaging. Take this opportunity to sample the tea.
After the factory tour, check out from the cottage and continue with an overland journey to Sandakan on the east coast. Upon arrival, check-in to Sabah Hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure.
Lunch & Dinner at Sabah Hotel.
Day 9. Sepilok Orang Utan Centre - Bornean Sun Bear Centre - Sukau-Bilit (B/L/D)
After breakfast, visit the world famous Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre situated within the Kabili forest reserve. There will be a short video documentary on the rehabilitation of the orphaned Orang Utan before heading to the boardwalk through the lowland rainforest to view the Orang Utans at the feeding platform. After that, continue to the nursery to observe the feeding of juvenile rehabilitated Orang Utans.
After that, visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre where you get to learn more about one of the smallest bears in the world, which is considered highly endangered due to poaching and deforestation. All the bears in the conservation centre are rescued by the Sabah Wildlife Department’s rescue unit and are undergoing rehabilitation before being released back into the wild. Lunch at Sepilok Nature Resort. After lunch, proceed for an approximately 2hrs drive to Bilit Rainforest Lodge which is located beside the Lower Kinabatangan River in the village of Bilit, a base for easy exploration of the incredible diversity of plant, mammal and bird species in the Kinabatangan region. Upon arrival at Bilit Jetty, take a boat transfer to the lodge. You will be served a welcome drink, and given a short briefing before check-in.
Late afternoon, proceed for an evening river cruise in search of wildlife along the Kinabatangan River such as the Bornean Pygmy Elephants, Orang Utans, Proboscis monkey, Leaf-Monkeys, hornbills, kingfishers, Estuarine Crocodiles and many more. There are no guarantees to see them in their natural habitat, however the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is noted as one of the best places in Borneo and in the whole of Southeast Asia to find and observe wildlife.
Return to the lodge before sunset. Evening free at leisure. Dinner at Bilit Restaurant.
Optional - You may join the optional night cruise after dinner in search for nocturnal wildlife alongside the river. (Not included in the package & subject to weather conditions.)
Day 10. Sukau - Bilit Full Day (B/L/D)
Optional - Today you have a choice to start your day with an early morning cruise or jungle trek to
Ox-Bow Lake for bird watching.
After your morning exploration, return to the lodge to freshen-up and enjoy your late breakfast. After that, take a short boat trip to the nearby village, home of the local Orang Sungai (river people). Visit one of the homes where delightful traditional local cakes and tea are served while mingling around with the locals. Return to the lodge and free at leisure till lunch time. Lunch at Bilit Restaurant. In the afternoon, proceed for another river cruise to search for more species of primates and wildlife along the Kinabatangan River. Return to the lodge before sunset. Dinner at Bilit Restaurant.
Optional - You may join the optional night cruise after dinner in search for nocturnal wildlife alongside the river. (Not included in the package & subject to weather conditions.)
Day 11. Sukau - Tabin Wildlife Reserve (B/L/D)
After breakfast and check-out, continue your journey overland to Lahad Datu (2 hours). Proceed to Tabin Wildlife Resort office for registration before continuing your journey (1.5 hours) overland to the resort. Lunch at Local Restaurant. Check into an attractive timber lodge at Tabin Wildlife Resort, which comes complete with private balcony, air conditioner, 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 locals for the treatment of various ailments.
Visit Trogon Hall gallery (closed on certain days) for information about the conservation of Tabin Wildlife Reserve and briefing on birds, insects and animals that are found in this area.
In the afternoon, visit the active 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. The adventurous can try the effects of the volcanic mud, said to be responsible for a fine complexion. Trek back to the resort along the elephant trail.
After dinner, enjoy a CD/Slide presentation on Tabin’s natural wonders, followed by a night safari 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.
Day 12. Tabin Wildlife Reserve (B/L/D)
Join the early morning bird walk to discover some of Tabin’s rich collection of more than 300 species of birds. After breakfast, drive to the core area for animal spotting before trekking through the lush green rainforest known for its rich diversity of plant 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. Lunch at the resort.
The afternoon free at leisure. You can try out the Tabin Rainforest Foot Soak made with a natural blend of herbs, to relax tired muscles after long jungle treks.
In the evening, a dusk drive to look out for more nocturnal wildlife & birds coming out to look for food during this time of the day. After dinner, go for a night walk along the trail nearby the resort in search of sleeping birds, frog and nocturnal wildlife.
Day 13. Tabin Wildlife Reserve / Kota Kinabalu (B/L/-)
After breakfast, free until check out. Lunch at the resort. After lunch, transfer back to Lahad Datu airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu. Meet your local guide upon arrival and transfer to Le Meridien hotel for check-in.
Evening free at leisure.
Day 14. Kiulu Village - Mari-Mari Cultural Village (B/L/D)
After breakfast, drive approximately 45 minutes to the countryside passing the scenic view of the Kiulu Valley. Upon arrival at the Fig Tree Hut in Kampung Mantob, you will be greeted with a warm welcome and briefed on the program of the day by our local guide. After enjoying your scrumptious traditional lunch, proceed for a leisurely village walk which would offer you stunning landscapes of the scenic valley as you pass by lush paddy fields, and a hanging bridge before returning back to The Fig Tree Hut. If time and weather permits, take a dip in the sensationally cooling Kiulu River. Lunch at Fig Tree Hut. After that, proceed to the Mari-Mari Cultural Village. Upon arrival, you will be given a short briefing by your village guides and you will be required to cross over the hanging bridge to arrive at the entrance of the village. Here, you will be ushered to the warmth of different homes of the ethnicities of Sabah. Each home was built by descendants of the tribes they represent namely the Bajau, Kadazan, Rungus, Muruts and Lun Dayeh. It offers you a truly genuine experience which takes you back to the time of our ancestors. Not only does this village portray these tribes through the architectural genius of their traditional houses, but also through the simulated lives of the olden epoch by the residents of the village. Acquaint yourself with each tribe as they let you come into their houses and their simple yet intricate lives. As you traverse the village, you will find demonstration huts along the main houses in which daily activities of old times come into life such as bamboo cooking demonstration, fire making demonstration, blowpipe demonstration and traditional dances in a remote forest setting where you are most welcomed to join in the performance.
After the tour, transfer back to Le Meridien Hotel.
Day 15. Departure (B/-/-)
After breakfast, check out and transfer to Kota Kinabalu International Airport for your departure flight.
The itinerary may be subject to change depending on circumstances.
PRICES AND INCLUSIONS
15 DAYS / 14 NIGHTS FROM £3,560 per person
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Domestic flights from Kuching to Mulu, Mulu to Kota Kinabalu and Lahad Datu to Kota Kinabalu.
Private boats according to the itinerary.
Accommodation at the following carefully selected hotels when available, based on twin/double occupancy:
3 Nights Stay at Hilton Hotel, Kuching
2 Night Stay at Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa
3 Nights Stay at Le Meridien Hotel, Kota Kinabalu
1 Night Stay at Sabah Tea Cottage, Ranau
1 Night Stay at Sabah Hotel, Sandakan
2 Nights Stay at Bilit Rainforest Lodge, Sukau
2 Nights Stay at Tabin Wildlife Resort, Lahad Datu
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
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
Peak season surcharges
Recommended things to bring along during your excursions:
Raincoat / Ponchos
Good Walking Shoes
Hat & light clothing
Sun block lotion
Personal items / medication (if any)
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