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
  • Borneo is one of the last of the world’s wild places, with its dense rainforests, tropical coastal islands and mysterious jungle valleys. As such, 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.



    We are happy to advise that Mt Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Springs have now reopened and our trips will revert back to the normal itinerary.



    From 1st May 2016 this trip will have the following changes:
    Day 2 Kiau Village visit & home cooked lunch replacing Poring Hot Springs.
    Day 3 Overnight at resort accommodation in Kundasang and day trip to tea plantation instead of overnight at Sabah Tea.

    Day 9 Mari Mari Cultural visit now included


    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.


    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. Your group meeting will be at 6pm on day 1.
    • 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).
    • An arrival airport transfer is included please advise your flight details at time of booking so as we can book this transfer for you.
    Horizon Hotel or similar

    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. (approx 2 hours)
    • 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 Poring Hot Springs (approx 45 mins) where you will have time to soak in the famous thermal pools before taking to the treetops on a canopy walk.
    • It's then a 30 min drive from the hot springs to your accommodation at Sabah Tea Plantation.
    Sabah Tea Garden Cottage or similiar

    Day 3-4 - Kinabatangan River

    • Rising early, you may catch a glimpse of the sunrise while taking a morning walk through the tea plantation.
    • Then it is time for a tour of the tea factory itself, concluding in some tea sampling.
    • You then head to Kinabatangan River in private mini van (approx 5 hours)
    • Your jungle lodge alongside the Kinabatangan River gives you great opportunity to relax and take in the surrounds. The Kinabatangan River is the 2nd longest river in Malaysia at 560 kms from its source at Mt Trus Madi to the Sulu Sea and is also a protected forest reserve which contains some of Borneo's highest concentrations of wildlife.
    • In the late afternoon you will take a river cruise, hopefully spotting some of the local wildlife - wild elephants are rarely seen but you will hopefully find crocodiles, macaques, wild orangutan and proboscis monkeys, as well as hornbills or kingfishers - just some of the many types of animals and birds found in this area.
    • You will return to our jungle lodge for dinner.
    • On the following day you may be woken up by the calling of the Borneo Gibbon or Hornbill or both, breaking the silence around the resort. You head out on an early morning cruise down the Kinabatangan River. Search for more wildlife and birds today including Proboscis Monkey, Borneo Gibbon, Long Tail Macaques and Pig Tail Macaques.
    • In the afternoon you take a trek to Ox Bow lakes. The Oxbow lakes are an unusual and unique landscape feature of the Kinabatangan. It is a crescent-shaped lake which is lying alongside a winding river. These lakes are formed through erosion and deposits of soil changing the river’s course over time. Depending on the time of year you may not be able to trek to the Oxbow lake so instead you can trek up to a birdwatching tower overlooking the river and visit a Merabu tree.
    • In the evening you get a last chance to take as many photos as you can on a final river cruise. You spend one more night in your lovely accommodation right in the heart of the jungle.
    Myne Resort or similiar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5 - Sandakan

    • In our private minivan we stop to visit an intricate system of caves known as Gomantong Caves. The caves are renowned for their valuable edible swiftlet nests, which are harvested for bird's nest soup. Birds' nest collection is an ancient tradition, but nowadays locals must have licenses to climb to the roof of the caves, and collect the nests and penalties are imposed on unlicensed collectors. Be warned, like most caves they can have a rather interesting smell that you may find unpleasant. We then travel towards Sandakan approximately 3 hours stopping at Sandakan War memorial along the way.
    • Get some insight into the city's past at the emotive War Memorial, built on the site of a Japanese POW camp. This site also marks the starting point of the tragic Sandakan Death Marches, on which 2,400 POWs were forced to walk through the jungles of Borneo. By the end of the march, only 6 Australians survived, and only because they had escaped.
    • Sandakan was once the capital of British North Borneo and traditionally has strong trading ties with Hong Kong. The Cantonese influence is evident in the lively harbourside market, the many Chinese temples and the local cuisine.
    Sandakan Waterfront Hotel or similiar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    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.
    • A new section has now opened up at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre which is the outdoor nursery where young orangutans will be cared for from being born in captivity or when their mothers have been killed. These youngsters have not had the chance of a natural upbringing and don’t have the skills to be able to survive in the wild. The aim of the nursery is to train these your Orangutans to climb and be normal Orangutans so that they can be reintroduced to the wild. Included in our entrance ticket you will have the chance to view these young Orangutans as they learn how to climb on a specially constructed jungle gym. The viewing area is behind one-way glass so as not to disturb the Orang-utans.
    • Return to Sandakan for the night.
    Sandakan Waterfront Hotel or similiar

    Day 7-8 - Kota Kinabalu - Manukan Island

    • You will be transferred to Sandakan Airport 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.
    • There is the option to do a scuba dive trip from Manukan Island to see the wonderful underwater world of Borneo. Please let your leader know if you are interested in doing this and they can help you organise it on the trip.
    • Please note that we use twin share accommodation at Manukan: some chalets have 1 twin share room with ensuite bathroom whilst others have 2 bedroom chalets with a lounge room - these chalets have 1 bedroom with an ensuite bathroom and the other bedroom’s bathroom is located off the lounge room. Due to the limited chalets on Manukan Island we acknowledge that we are unable to provide exactly the same room for each passenger however we hope you understand that we allocate rooms as fairly as possible and we choose to stay on this Island for it's unique and beautiful environment. Please see other Important Information section below for further information.
    Manukan Island Resort or similiar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 9-10 - Kota Kinabalu

    • You will return to your hotel in Kota Kinabalu today by boat and mini van. (approx 40 mins)
    • There is the chance to take an optional visit to Mari Mari Cultural Village to see how indigenous ethnic groups of Borneo used to live. It's a great chance to see what the culture and lifestyle would have been like years gone by seeing first hand how the tribes would cook their meals, starting fire with bamboo and using a blow pipe to hunt. It's a fun, interactive and educational experience.
    • The trip will come to an end after breakfast on Day 10.
    Horizon Hotel or similar
  • 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 3 cruises on Kinabatangan River.
    • Free time to explore Kota Kinabalu.
    • Arrival transfer.
    • Meals: 9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners.
    • Accommodation: 4 nights hotel, 1 night cottage, 2 nights 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 tour 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 tour 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 tour 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.

  • 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
    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
    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.

  • From our Blog

    "Dad, those plants have tentacles" and other notes from a family trip through Borneo

    By Michael Robotham. First published in Escape Travel. Reproduced with permission by Michael Robotham and News Ltd.

    The brief was simple: a family holiday, somewhere unusual, somewhere memorable.

    It has to be outside Australia," said my eldest princess, a teenage travel snob. "And...

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    Seven of Malaysia's most delicious local dishes

    Southeast Asia is full of countries full of delicious food. You’ve got Vietnam, with it’s promises of banh mi, pho, bun, and banh xeo, Thailand with it’s green and red curries, pad Thai, massaman curry and tom yum soup, and even the likes of Laos and Burma now making an impact on the international food...

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    Christmas overseas: Our private family adventure

    For many of us, Christmas is about more than just the food and the swapping of gifts - it's about being with family. And what better way to reconnect with one another than creating a tailored itinerary and visiting the destination of your dreams!

    Michelle McCallum spent Christmas 2010 with...

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    All your South East Asia questions answered - with expert Stu Lyall

    We recently held another successful Facebook Q&A session. This time the topic was South East Asia, with our resident expert, Stuart Lyall. 

    Keep an eye out for future Q&A sessions on other destinations by liking us on Facebook, and have your questions handy. Or perhaps you could...

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PASW
Start City: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
End City: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Style: Small Group

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