Borneo - Sabah Tour - SAB18
Number of Days: 18
Borneo - Sabah Tour
It has an incredible range of biodiversity with hundreds of species of birds, bats, plants, flowers and insects living in this ecologically precious part of the world. Probably the most well-known being the orangutan and the proboscis monkey or Long nose of Borneo On this 17 day exploration you will travel through the oldest rainforest in the world, marvel at the massive cave systems, ride the jungle rivers by longboat and sleep in dense forests amid the sounds of the jungle, all in the hands of one of Borneo’s most experienced tour leaders. You will be exposed to nature, wildlife and cultural experiences, wander the markets, tempt your taste buds with exquisite delicacies, meet some of the friendliest people imaginable and stay in a variety of local hotels, guest houses and national park lodges.
Day 1 Thursday KOTA KINABALU
Meet your guide at the hotel for a group meeting and tour briefing. Welcome dinner at the night market and an opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers. Overnight hotel
Day 2 Friday KINABALU, KUNDASANG WAR MEMORIAL, PORING HOT SPRINGS
Drive up into the Crocker Range to Kinabalu National Park. Dominated by the highest mountain in South East Asia Mt Kinabalu at 4,095mt this is a popular mountain climb and an option on this tour. The park is surrounded by dense jungle and walking trails, restaurants, a mountain garden and information centre which can be explored on our return. Continue to Kundasang War Memorial. Kundasang is in the shadow of Mt Kinabalu, it is here that the garden memorial to allied soldiers who died during WW2 was erected to commemorate the brave Australian and British Prisoners of War who died during the infamous death marches to Ranau. Transfer the short distance to Poring Hot Springs. Hopefully along the way we will see signs saying if the rafflesia flower is blooming (the largest flower in the world). Walk to the butterfly farm, canopy walkway or take a swim in the swimming pools. Overnight Lodge
Day 3 Saturday GUIDED NATURE TRAIL – KOTA KINABALU
Subject to park opening take a guided walk up a hillside trail to hopefully see the rare pitcher plant, the Nepenthes Rajah, Mesilau has the only population in the world. The plants grow on a steep hillside overlooking Mesilau East River. Share your adventures on our journey to Kota Kinabalu the capital of the State of Sabah. Overnight hotel
Day 4 Sunday KOTA KINABALU REST DAY
Today we have a well-earned rest, a chance to do laundry and to explore the city. Today is the Gaya Street Market and your hotel is right near the start of this huge affair. Here you will find local foods, souvenirs, clothes, street buskers etc. Overnight hotel
Day 5 Monday BRUNEI
Depart Kota Kinabalu for the Brunei Border. The journey is first along the coast and then heads inland to Beaufort. From there we cross the Padas River and proceed to Sipitang. We cross from the State of Sabah to the State of Sarawak which involves a simple immigration border crossing. Later we come to the Brunei customs at Labu. We then transfer to Temburong's administrative centre - Banger. Overnight at a riverside lodge.
Day 6 Tuesday TEMURONG CANOPY, LONGBOAT- WATERFALL, NIGHT WALK.
With the early morning mist still rising from the forest canopy, you may be lucky enough to see some of the wildlife that are active early in the morning. Off to the canopy walkway in time to climb to the top in time for sunrise. Return on a jungle trail then board the longboat to travel to the waterfalls. Return to lodge for lunch then transfer to the longhouse. While there are still many more traditional longhouses in very remote parts of Borneo this one is more modern but still an opportunity to experience the Iban culture, dance, traditional cooking and hospitality. Lend a hand at making Bamboo rice and enjoy the fresh jungle produce used by the local people. Overnight at longhouse.
Our longboat meets us and takes us up-river to Clearwater and Wind Cave stopping along the way at the craft stalls at the Penan settlement. Picnic lunch and swim in Clearwater stream. Return to park HQ afternoon free to explore, information centre etc.
Day 7 Wednesday LIMBANG SARAWAK
The independent Sultanship of Brunei and how it fits into the map of the Malaysian States of Sarawak and Sabah is a complicated one so we have added a map to the bottom of this itinerary to explain the route from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei then back to Sarawak, the head-hunter trail to Mulu and Miri.The trip from Bangar town in Brunei to Limbang town in Sarawak is a short trip and we will be in town in plenty of time to visit the market and museum. Overnight hotel
Day 8 Thursday MIRI
Transfer to the airport for our flight to Miri. Miri is an unusual city, as it is close to the border with Brunei it is a service town for the oil workers who work in Brunei and live in Miri. However it still retains its `local` side and have an interesting `Tamu` (ethnic market) interesting local shops and great places to eat. Today is also a day to catch up on laundry and shop for any goodies you wish to take with you when we head back into the interior. Overnight hotel
Day 9 Friday MULU NATIONAL PARK DEER AND LANG CAVES BAT EXODUS
Transfer to the airport for our morning flight to Mulu National Park. Transfer to our accommodation. In the afternoon we visit the Deer and Lang Caves via a 3 km comfortable plank walk to the caves. After visiting the caves those who wish may wait for the bat exodus from the observation point outside the cave and return to the cabins late evening. Overnight Mulu National Park Lodge.
Day 10 Saturday MULU CAVES, CLEARWATER AND WIND CAVE
Our longboat takes us up-river to Clearwater and Wind Cave stopping along the way at craft stalls at the Penan settlement. Picnic lunch and swim in Clearwater stream. Return to park HQ afternoon free to explore, information centre etc. Overnight Mulu National Park Lodge.
Day 11 Sunday MULU LONG IMAN PENAN LONGHOUSE - KUCHING
Travel from the park headquarters by longboat down the Melinau river, into the larger Tutoh River and then up the Langsat River tributary. Once on the Langsat River, you can enjoy a leisurely trek upstream, experiencing the forest and watching for birds. Swim in the cool waters or sit under the small waterfalls. Make a stop at Long Iman on the way there or back to see the now settled lives of the once nomadic people, the Penan. This journey and is to a beautifully secluded place, untouched by people and development and a privilege to visit. Return to Park HQ to collect bags and travel to airport. 15 min flight to the city of Miri then change flights for Kuching. Overnight hotel
Day 12 Monday KUCHING
Kuching is Malay for cat and the city definitely has a cat theme, various statues and even a museum though actual cats wandering the streets is rare. This city is often described as one of Asia’s most beautiful cities, it has an amazing waterfront, lined with cafes, restaurants and food stalls and often buskers. It is a city you could spend a lot of time in even if cities are not for you. Take an orientation walking tour of the waterfront, china town and little India. This evening we have a dinner at a large food market. Overnight Hotel
Day 13 Tuesday KUCHING
Early departure for the Semenggoh OrangUtan Centre. Here wild, orphaned or injured Orang Utan are treated and taught the skills needed to return to the wild. Remember these apes are wild and there is no guarantee how many you will see but we are rarely disappointed. This is a much smaller and more personal centre than Sepilok in Sandakan. This afternoon visit the Cat museum.Overnight Hotel
Day 14 Wednesday BAKO NATIONAL PARK
Transfer to Bako Bazaar where we board our longboat that will take us along the coast and up into the mangrove swamps to Bako National Park. Bako National Park is situated on the coast overlooking the South China Sea, with magnificent views of Mt Santubong. It is home to the Proboscis monkey, the ‘long nose of Borneo’. This highly endangered species is believed to number only about 1,000 making it one of the rarest monkeys in the world and found only in Borneo. Also at the park you may meet the silver tailed langur monkey, wild pig, and the naughty macaque monkey, snakes, etc. A full day to explore the park.
There is an option to join your guide to trek to the waterfall for a picnic lunch, two and a half hours. A boat will pick us up and transfer us back to park HQ. Longer more energetic trails are available. Return to Kuching.Overnight Hotel
Day 15 Thursday DAMAI BEACH - SANTUBONG
We leave Kuching to travel to the Wetlands National Park. This 6,610 hectares is comprised of a saline mangrove system that includes an extensive network of marine waterways.
The park is an important spawning and nursery ground for fish and prawn species and contains a wide diversity of wildlife, including proboscis monkeys, long tailed macaque monkeys, silver-leaf monkeys, monitor lizards, estuarine crocodiles and a range of birdlife, including kingfishers, white-bellied sea eagles and shore birds, including the rare lesser adjutant stork. On occasions Irrawaddy dolphins can also be seen.
We explore branches of the Santubong and Salak River delta systems as they join the South China Sea. Enjoy a close view of the heavily silted mangrove swamp which is a safe haven to the myriad of creatures such as reptiles, mud skippers, crabs, shell fish, monkeys, etc. The mangrove swamp sustains many different species of trees. The main species are of course the black and red mangrove, locally known as the ‘Bako’. They are used in the construction industry for piling and also as charcoal for cooking. Often mistaken as wasteland, the tidal swamp in which mangrove thrives, enjoys a symbiotic relationship with prawns, fish and other coastal organisms. The Irrawaddy, or Snubfin dolphin, inhabits rivers, estuaries and shallow coastal areas. The Santubong area is one of the best places in Sarawak to view this unusual looking marine mammal. The dolphins are often swimming and diving around small boats in the estuary. Occasionally they are seen playing in the open water. Return to the boat club for transfer to your hotel. Overnight hotel at Damai Beach Resort
Day 16 Friday CULTURAL VILLAGE OR BEACH – YOUR CHOICE
N.B; These options need to be prebooked.
Option 1: Visit the nearby Kuching Cultural village. In the village are many examples of longhouse communities of the various tribes of Sarawak. You can wander through the houses, sample ethnic food, try out a blow pipe and join in ethnic games (option fee applies).
Option 2: Simply be a beach bum and enjoy swimming in the pool or the sea.Overnight hotel at Damai Beach Resort
Day 17 Saturday DAMAI BEACH RESORT
Enjoy the beach or there are plenty of walks to take. Tonight we have a farewell dinner. Overnight hotel at Damai Beach Resort
Day 18 Sunday TOUR ENDS
You may end the tour here or we can arrange for you to stay on longer for an extended beach break or onward travel to Sandakan, the Kinabatangan River, Turtle Islands and Sepilock OrangUtan Centre.
The tour includes:
- Guided small group tour
- Kota Kinabalu and Gaya Street Market
- Mt Kinabalu National Park and Poring Hot Springs
- Check out the Rafflesia (world’s largest flower)
- The Sultanship of Brunei
- Stay in traditional longhouse
- Temburong National Park (Brunei Interior) cruise
- Mulu Caves National Park World’s largest cave system
- See the Bat Exodus from Deer Cave
- Take a longboat to visit the Penan nomads
- Visit Kuching (Cat City). Asia’s most laid back city
- OrangUtan viewing.
- Trek and cruise to Bako National Park
- Longboat ride, cultural and wildlife experiences
- 4995 Per Person, Twin Share