10 days

Untamed Borneo

Untamed Borneo

Kinabatangan River wildlife cruise

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park's marine reserve

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mount Kinabalu National Park

Sandakan's war history

Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre

Sabah's capital Kota Kinabalu

Trip rating
  • Iconic of both Borneo and Sumatra, the curious and intelligent orangutan is perhaps one of the most humanlike creatures in the world. In fact, this great ape shares 97% of its DNA with us and can live for over 60 years. Males can grow up to 1.5 metres tall and their strong arms can stretch over 2 metres from fingertip to fingertip – perfect for all that climbing, swinging and general treetop loitering.

    Why we love it

    • Borneo is one of the last of the world’s wild places, with its dense rainforests, tropical coastal islands and mysterious jungle valleys.
    • It has become a rare place on this planet today – somewhere where you can still encounter a rich variety of colourful and endangered wildlife, amidst amazing natural scenery.
    • This trip to the Malaysian state of Sabah takes you face to face with many unique species, including orangutans, proboscis monkeys and hornbills.
    • Explore with a wildlife cruise on Kinabatangan River.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Kota Kinabalu

    • You will be free to explore Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah until your Welcome Meeting at the hotel. You can find details of the meeting at the hotel’s reception.
    • Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, is an intriguing city that was born between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea. Having recovered from World War II bombings, 'KK' now possesses a gateway charm that can only be found in a frontier town.
    • If you have enough free time, why not immerse yourself in local history at the Sabah State Museum, visit the Monsopiad Cultural Village (once home to a notorious headhunter).
    • Tonight you enjoy a Welcome Dinner that showcases the delicious cuisine in Kota Kinabalu.
    Horizon Hotel or similar
    Dinner

    Day 2 - Kinabalu National Park

    • Leaving Kota Kinabalu behind, you'll head for the hills and the beautiful Kinabalu National Park that encompasses Mount Kinabalu.
    • Arriving in time for lunch, you will have the afternoon to stretch your legs and take in the mountain views or many of the numerous walking trails - keeping an eye out for birds, snakes and the odd little leech.
    • There is plenty to see and do here. The Mountain 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.
    • In the afternoon you will drive to Sabah Tea Plantation where we will stay.
    Sabah Tea Garden Cottage or similiar
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Kinabalu National Park - Poring Hot Springs

    • Today you will get up early to catch glimpses of this mighty monolith before the cloud rises for the day. You will then get to visit the tea factory and learn about tea production. Please note that at various times throughout the year the tea factory may not be in production.
    • After an Asian breakfast you then take a day trip to Poring Hot Springs (approx. 1 hr), where you will 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.
    • You will take to the treetops on the canopy walk.
    • Please note for the trip departing on the 19th of April 2014 there is an amendment to the accommodation. Please see "Other Important Information" section of this document for further information.
    Sabah Tea Garden Cottage or similiar
    Breakfast

    Day 4 - Kinabatangan River

    • You will travel to the lower Kinabatangan River, Bilet, today (approximately 4-5 hours).
    • The Kinabatangan River itself is the second longest in Malaysia. It stretches 560 kilometres from Mt Trus Madi to the Sulu Sea. It is surrounded by a protected forest reserve, and an abundance of Borneo’s wildlife.
    • You will take a lazy river cruise in the afternoon, where you will have the opportunity to spot some of the aforementioned wildlife, crocodiles, macaques, orangutan, proboscis monkeys, along with kingfishers and hornbills are among the more frequently spotted animals. Wild elephants are a rare sight these days.
    • You will return to the chalet in time for dinner, and for the adventurous, there will be an optional night trek.
    Myne Resort or similiar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5 - Sandakan

    • After a morning river cruise you will depart for Sandakan today (approx 2.5-3 hours).
    • On the way you will have the opportunity to visit Black Cave, located within an intricate network of caves called Gomantong Caves. These caves are particularly noteworthy thanks to the valuable and edible swiftlet nests that lie within. These nests are used in bird’s nest soup. Traditionally, bird’s nest collection was an art and ritual, but in the modern era locals are required to have a license to climb to the rood of the caves to harvest the nests
    • As we near Sandakan we will make a stop at the Sandakan War Memorial.
    • You will gain an insight into the city's tumultuous past at this emotive War Memorial. The memorial was built on the site of a Japanese POW camp.
    • This site also marks the starting point of the tragic Sandakan Death Marches – where 2400 POWs were forced to walk through the jungles of Borneo.
    • Only six Australians survived this march, and all six were only able to do so because they escaped.
    • Once capital of British North Borneo, Sandakan has strong trading ties with Hong Kong traditionally.
    • The myriad of Chinese temples, the flavours in the local cuisine and bustling harbourside markets are a testament to these ties.
    Nak Hotel or similiar
    Breakfast

    Day 6 - Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre - Sandakan

    • You will head to Sepilok today to visit some rare and beautiful creatures.
    • You will visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, where you will have an opportunity to see these famous monkeys - found only on the island of Borneo - feeding with their different family or bachelor groups. If you are lucky you might also see a hornbill or two.
    • You will also spend some time at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre - a reserve set up to help rehabilitate and re-introduce orphaned or domesticated creatures back into the wild.
    • To aid their adaptation, a supplementary diet of bananas and milk is laid out on feeding platforms twice daily. You will be able to watch and photograph these charming creatures as they swing into view on ropes and vines from a viewing platform.
    • It is very important that you don’t interrupt the orangutans, as human contact must be kept to a minimum to ensure their full recovery and successful re-introduction.
    • Return to Sandakan for the night.
    Nak Hotel or similiar
    Breakfast

    Day 7-8 - Kota Kinabalu - Manukan Island

    • You will be transferred to the Sandakan today for a flight to Kota Kinabalu. Keep in mind that the luggage allowance for this flight is only 15kg, and any excess baggage charges will have to be covered by you.
    • Manukan Island is found just 20 minutes off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, and is one of the larger islands found in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine National Park. You will take a boat from Kota Kinabalu to Manukan Island
    • You will spend two days on the island, the first of which will be free for you to explore and partake in some local activities.
    • You might enjoy going for a walk along the 1.5km beach at low tide, going for a swim, or simply taking the opportunity to relax at the end of a bit trip.
    • On your second day on the island, you will go on a snorkelling trip, where you will hopefully see brightly coloured tropical fish and coral.
    • You will spend one last night in tropical paradise before returning to Kota Kinabalu.
    Manukan Island Resort or similiar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 9-10 - Kota Kinabalu

    • You will return to Kota Kinabalu today by boat.
    • The rest of the day will be free for you to relax beach side before an optional farewell dinner with your new travel friends.
    • The trip will come to an end after breakfast on Day 10.
    Horizon Hotel or similar
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of an expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour, and local guides at some sites.
    • Local flight: Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu.
    • Visit Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary and orangutan encounter at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
    • Boat trip to Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park: visit Manukan Island and relax, snorkel or swim.
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Kundasang - war memorial, guided walk around lower Mt Kinabalu, Sabah tea factory tour and Poring Hot Springs canopy walk.
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Sepilok - Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
    • Search for wildlife on a cruise on Kinabatangan River.
    • Free time to explore Kota Kinabalu.
    • Arrival transfer.
    • Meals: 9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners.
    • Accommodation: 4 nights hotel, 2 nights cottage, 1 night jungle/rainforest lodge, 2 nights low key beach resort

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Visas
    • Insurance
    • Other meals
    • Camera fees
    • Any optional tours and activities during free time
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature
    • Departure transfer

    Safety Information

    It is recommended that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information prior to your departure.Peregrine strongly recommends the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Please leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Most of our hotels will have a safety deposit box, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and Peregrine makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING CONDITIONS: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Be aware that traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home.

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    SWIMMING POOLS: You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

    BALCONIES: Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

    SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.

  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Untamed Borneo

    Michelle - Australia, 7 Apr, 2012
    5
    Overall Rating

    All activites, accommodation, transport etc were well organized. The whole thing was a great experience. The Borneo Rainforest Lodge is amazing luxury at the end of a long 4wd road- but we saw an orangutan on the way!

    Untamed Borneo

    Michael - Australia, 22 Oct, 2011
    5
    Overall Rating

    A life changing, extraordinary adventure, brilliantly arranged. My second Peregrine tour, that proved just as amazing as the first. And will no doubt, not be the last. Because of the tour, Borneo is now one of my favorite places in the world.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PASW
Start City: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
End City: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

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