Land of the Orangutan - Family Adventure
|Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
||Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Take the kids on a magical journey to explore the natural wonders of tropical Borneo. Be enchanted by the ancient legends and traditions of Sabah, enjoy a relaxing soak in Poring Hot Springs, make local friends on a village homestay, experience a night in the wild on a jungle camp, get up close to gentle orangutans, explore an incredible underwater world in Pulau Tiga National Park. Round up the family and jump on board this excellent family holiday into the heart of Borneo.
Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.
Our Family Adventures are designed specifically for the spirited family and operated by our sister company The Family Adventure Company. We understand that travelling with kids sometimes requires a slightly different perspective. Keeping this in mind, we travel at a slower speed - recognising that showing your family around our exotic destinations can take time. By travelling at a relaxed pace, while still offering plenty of optional activities along the way, we're providing your family with the ultimate travel experience together.
Accommodation is chosen carefully to ensure your family gets the best of both worlds, with some of the creature comforts of home as well as experiencing accommodation unique to the region you are travelling through. Wherever possible you will stay in hotels with small comforts to make your stay more enjoyable - such as restaurants nearby, or accommodation with a pool. On some trips you may even find your family being rocked to sleep on an overnight sleeper train or drifting off while camped out under a canopy of stars - and we reckon it'll be these experiences the kids will love and remember the most.
Best of all, we find trips with children are so successful because kids have such a special ability to break down barriers with their natural curiosity, and because delighted locals always greet them with much affection. For all these reasons and more, you'll discover that Family Adventures are an amazing experience for all.
Why we love it:
- Get up close to gentle orangutans.
- Experience a night in the wild on a jungle camp.
- Explore an incredible underwater world in Pulau Tiga National Park
- Visit Snake Island
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: Kota Kinabalu
- Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia.
- Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
- Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, is an intriguing city between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea. Having survived World War II bombings, 'KK' (as it's commonly known) now has a charm that can only be found in a frontier town.
- If you arrive early, you can immerse yourself in history at the Sabah State Museum, visit the Monsopiad Cultural Village, once home to a notorious head hunter, or explore the islands off Kota Kinabalu, excellent for swimming or snorkelling.
Day 2-3: Mount Kinabalu National Park
Meals included: 1 breakfast
- Leaving Kota Kinabalu behind, head for the beautiful Kinabalu National Park. Stretch your legs and take in the mountain views on any of Kinabalu National Park's numerous walking trails - keeping an eye out for birds, snakes and the odd leech. There's plenty to see and do in this World Heritage-listed park. The Botanic Garden is an excellent showcase of the diverse plant life on the mountain, as flora from all over the park has been replanted here. This afternoon is free for you to relax here. The next day we get up early to catch glimpses of this mighty monolith before the cloud rises for the day, before you take a day trip to Poring Hot Springs (approx. 1 hr), where we have time to soak in the famous thermal pools, take in the trails that abound within the reserve, or have a refreshing swim in a nearby waterfall.
Day 4-5: Kinabatangan Jungle Camp
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
- We travel by private bus to Batu Puteh, a small village on the banks of the Kinabatangan River (approx 5 hrs).
- Our hosts for the next two nights are the local ecological organisation, MESCOT, whose aim is to provide villagers with environmental education and the means of making a living from the forests, without the need for their destruction. Part of the program is to develop an ecologically sound wildlife and ecotourism centre, owned and operated by the villagers themselves. After learning about forest rehabilitation, head by boat into the jungle (approx 30 mins) and stay by the beautiful Oxbow Lake - the best way to experience untamed Borneo. Wild elephants are rarely seen but you'll hopefully find crocodiles, macaques, wild orangutan and the freaky looking proboscis monkeys, as hornbills fly in the skies overhead. Be prepared for an adventure!
- Stay in the jungle in simple huts where sleeping facilities are basic and only cold bathing is available. We'll pack an overnight bag for the jungle camp and leave our main luggage at the MESCOT office.
- The next day, return to a local Malay village where we're invited into the lives and homes of the local people. This is an amazing privilege and your leader will explain local cultural expectations to ensure that you get the most out of our stay.
- Our accommodation is a homestay experience where you're split into different homes throughout the village. Accommodation is traditional but simple and you can expect squat toilets and cold water bucket showers.
- Please note that the order of these activities may occasionally be reversed depending on seasonal variations and if the weather is inclement (rainy season is November to April) we may not be able to visit the jungle stay.
- Out of respect for your Muslim hosts, alcohol is not to be consumed and women need to ensure that their arms and legs are kept covered. It is quite a conservative Muslim Village.
Day 6-7: Sepolik Orangutan Reserve
Meals included: 1 breakfast
- We head to Sepilok by minivan (approx 2 hrs) where we have free time to settle into our guest houses to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings. This afternoon we visit Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary where you can watch up close the amazing bachelor proboscis lazing and feeding - an experience that can only be found in Borneo. The sanctuary is a protected forest reserve inhabited by several groups of wild proboscis monkeys.
- The following day we visit The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre that was set up to help re-introduce these wonderful creatures back into the wild after a life of domestication or having been orphaned. To aid the orangutans adapt to the wild, a supplementary diet of bananas and milk is laid out on feeding platforms twice a day. From the viewing platform, you can watch and photograph these charming creatures as they swing into view on ropes and vines. We're not permitted to hinder the orangutans as human contact must be kept to a minimum and it's essential that we follow the instructions of the park, as directed by your leader. There's also a short film about the orangutan rehabilitation process to watch in the reserve's interpretation centre. This afternoon we have free time to relax and look at some photos of the morning.
- Visit the newly opened Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. This is a wonderful new center taking care of rescued Sun Bears that have spent many years mistreated and locked away in cages. Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre is giving a better life to these bears by caring for them with the hope of reintroducing them back into the wild. They are doing great work at promoting Sun Bear conservation in Borneo through animal welfare, conservation, rehabilitation, research and education - to put a stop to these cruel practices. There is plenty of time for an optional visit to see these very cute bears!
Day 8: Pulau Tiga National Park
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
- This morning we will make the short trip to Sandakan Airport before flying back to KK - keep your eyes open for views of Mount Kinabalu.
- We then drive to Kuala Penyu (approx 2.5 hrs) from where we'll travel by speedboat (approx 30 mins) to our secluded, rustic hideaway on 'Survivor Island'. Please note due to limited space on our transport to Pulau Tiga we'll be taking overnight bags only and dropping our main luggage off at our mainland accommodation.
- Pulau Tiga played host to the first ever series of Survivor - an American television program that was filmed on the island in 2000. The island is full of mud volcanoes, jungle walking tracks and is surrounded by beautiful beaches and amazing snorkelling opportunities. The waters surrounding the island are home to over 132 species of fish, as well as sea turtles, while the island's wildlife consists of proboscis and macaque monkeys, flying foxes, bats and monitor lizards. Keep an eye out for the hornbills overhead on their flight for the day's food. It's the ideal place to snorkel, swim or just relax on the beach.
- Arriving in the afternoon we will spend the night on the island. After settling into our accommodation, you can take a walk through the jungle to visit one of the mud pools where you can wallow in the mud like buffaloes, then walk back to the beach for a swim in the sea. Weather permitting, we will take a boat for a trip to Snake Island, home to the yellow-lipped sea krait who use the island as their breeding ground.
- We spend 2 nights on the island, we will stay in basic family twin share accommodation with private amenities. Please note only cold water is available. The resort offers the opportunity to sight the morning hornbills on their flight for the day's food.
Day 9-10: Kota Kinabalu
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch
- Today after lunch you will say goodbye to your patch of paradise and head back to Kuala Penyu, and on to the seaside guesthouse on the mainland where you will spend your last night. You will travel via speedboat (approx. 30 mins) to the mainland where you will transfer to a minivan (approx. 2 hrs) to take you to your final destination by the beach.
- You will have the opportunity to relax in this peaceful beachfront resort. Clean, comfortable twin share bedding with private facilities including air-conditioning, TV, restaurant, and pool.
Day 11: Kota Kinabalu
Meals included: 1 breakfast
- The tour will come to an end after breakfast this morning. You can depart today; alternatively you can book an extension and stay on in this family friendly beach resort, enjoying more time in the tropical sun.
- English-speaking dedicated Family local tour leader.
- Sightseeing and entrance fees
- Local bus
- Private vehicle
- Visa costs
- International flights
- Arrival and departure transfers
- Departure taxes
- Insurance (obligatory on all trips)
- Other meals
- Any optional additional tours and activities during free time
- Spending of a personal nature such as tips, laundry and souvenirs
- Daily budget
We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
- Kota Kinabalu - Boat trip to Tunku Abdul Rahman National Marine Park
- Kota Kinabalu - Monosopiad Cultural Village
- Kota Kinabalu - River Rafting (full day)
- Kota Kinabalu - Sabah Museum
- Kundasang War Memorial
- Poring Hot Springs - Canopy Walk
- Poring Hot Springs - Orchid Conservation Centre
- Sepilok - Rainforest Discovery Centre
What to know
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region. We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.
Visas and Permits
Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
The below nationalities do not need a visa to travel to Malaysia, if you are travelling as a tourist for up to three months. Other nationalities will need to check with their closest Malaysian embassy or consulate.
Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, UK and USA.
The above information has been put together as a guide. We endeavour to update this information as much as possible, but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the traveller.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Customs and Culture
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.
Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
There are a number of books that make interesting reading and provide an insight into the history, politics and culture of the area. A few suggestions are: Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei -Lonely Planet, Into the Heart of Borneo by Redmond O'Hanlon, A Stroll through Borneo by James Barclay, Stranger in the Forest by Eric Hansen, The White Rajahs of Borneo by Robert Payne, A History of Malaysia by Barbara Andaya, The Jungle is Neutral by F.S. Chapma, Culture Shock Malaysia by Jo Ann Craig, Culture Shock Borneo by Heidi Munan
Local Emergency Contacts
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, the Peregrine local office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722.
FLIGHT: SANDAKAN TO KOTA KINABALU
Your flight ticket will be given to you by your tour leader, before you board this flight.
By employing and training local guides to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as important, however, is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour leader’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success.
Malaysia is liberal Muslim country as many Malaysian women do not wear headscarves. However, Malaysia is very conservative when compared with standards you may be accustomed to at home and you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline, shoulders, cleavage and knees should be covered when travelling in Borneo except when on the beach. Wearing skimpy clothing is considered disrespectful to local culture at many of the small local communities we visit.
Government Travel warnings for Eastern Sabah
Please be aware that a number of government travel warnings for different countries have been upgraded for parts of Eastern Sabah. Peregrine currently follows the advice of DFAT and we will continue to operate our Sabah trips as per normal. We ask that you familiarise yourself with your own government’s travel warning and check with your travel insurance company that you are adequately covered for your travel to Eastern Sabah.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers on our tours, however it is recognised that all travel insurers have potentially different levels of cover and exclusions depending on where they are purchased, the nationality/residency of the purchaser and the type of trips and destination being travelled to.
If you find you are unable to travel to Eastern Sabah as you are not covered by travel insurance, please contact your sales consultant to discuss your options.
Should you wish to continue with Travel to Eastern Sabah despite your government’s travel warning and without valid travel insurance, you will be asked to sign a Travel Insurance Waiver form at the Welcome Meeting on Day 1, which declares that you have read and understood your government’s travel advice and understand the personal risks of travelling to an area your Government warns against travelling to.
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
21 January 2015
General Contact Details
Web: Visit Peregrine