North Borneo Explorer

Orangutan Baby Borneo
Gaya Borneo Beach Huts

Malaysian Borneo is split between the provinces of Sabah and Sarawak, and holidays to Borneo offer a tantalising mix of rain forests, volcanoes, idyllic tropical islands and trekking. The island is renowned for its huge variety of wildlife including orang-utan, proboscis monkey and exceptional birdlife but did you know that it was also a world-class diving site.

The island is the third largest in the world, where some of the oldest rainforest on earth is watered and feed by wide rivers that meander through supporting vulnerable ecosystems that are abundant in rare plant and animal species. In addition to the endless natural wonders on offer, journeys of Borneo also explore the intriguing culture of the tribal longhouse communities in Sarawak, and the colonial heritage from the days of British North Borneo.

A grand tour of Borneo can take 3 weeks offering a comprehensive explore to both Sarawak and Sabah, but if you don't have that much time enjoy the North Borneo Explorer without compromising on the experience of wildlife, including orangutans and pygmy elephants, jungles and the beaches.

‘At-a-Glance’ Illustrative Itinerary

DAY 1: An international overnight flight to Kuala Lumpar Airport.

DAY 2: On arrival at Kuala Lumpar Airport you will transfer onto a flight to Sandakan. Upon arrival at Sandakan airport you will be welcomed to Borneo by your private English speaking guide, and then transferred to your hotel in nearby Sepilok to check-in and relax for the rest of the day.

DAY 3: This morning you will visit Sepilok, home to one of only four Orangutan sanctuaries in the world. The Centre helps once captive Orangutans learn to climb and fend for themselves in the wild with the hope that one day they may return to the forest. You will then continue to the nearby Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre where there are around 28 rescued bears.  Sun bears are the smallest, cutest and least known members of the bear species, and their populations are rapidly diminishing in Southeast Asia as habitats are being destroyed by deforestation and sun bears are being killed for commercial exploitation. 

In the afternoon you will need a head for heights as you experience the Canopy Walkway.  At dusk there is a very good chance of viewing the Borneo Giant Flying Squirrel gliding from tree to tree.

Malayan Sun Bear Tree Borneo

DAY 4: After a leisurely breakfast this morning you will be transferred to a shared boat for a full day's journey to Sukau. Passing through pristine mangrove forests along the Kinabatangan River delta, and then along the river, itself in search of the local wildlife which includes orang-utans, macaques, red and silver leaf monkeys, elephants, crocodiles, civet cats, otters and proboscis monkeys. 

Elephant Borneo Kinabatangan River

DAY 5: After breakfast you will set out on a full day's discovery of the local area and its wildlife. The Kinabatangan River is Sabah's longest river, at 350miles, with extensive flood plains and several ox-bow lakes, making it an ideal environment for viewing some of the most interesting wildlife and bird life found in Borneo.

DAY 6 : After breakfast you will be transferred by road to the Danum Valley, a journey of approximately 3.5 hours. After lunch you will take to the ‘treetops’ to experience the sights and sounds of the jungle from a suspended walkway in search of the local wildlife. In the evening there will be the chance of experiencing a night-time drive in a jeep in search of nocturnal animals.

DAY 7: Enjoy a full day of shared wildlife excursions such as walking trails; water tubing in the Danum River or trekking along the Segama River. Dinner will be followed by a night-time walk around the lodge in search of nocturnal animals.

DAY 8: This morning there will be the opportunity to take a trek along the Hornbill Trail before leaving, after lunch, for your flight to Kota Kinabalu, and onward boat transfer to Gaya Island. 

DAY 9 – 11 : Days of leisure on the beach to relax in comfort on this wonderful tropical Island. A large range of watersports, including diving and snorkelling can be arranged. Or if you feel like an outing, the city of Kota Kinabalu is just a 15 minute speedboat ride away.

DAY 12: After a leisurely morning you will take a private speedboat back to the mainland, then travel on to the airport for your international flight home, in a private car.

Photos courtesy of Bamboo Travel