Intro to Borneo
8 days from $1,418 (was $1,668)
- Meet the orang-utans at a jungle rehabilitation centre
- Get up close with sea-turtles with a guided hatchery tour on Libaran Island
- Immerse yourself in local life with a homestay in Tambatuon
- Go croc-spotting on an evening river-boat trip down the Kinabatangan
- See proboscis monkeys and pygmy elephants in their natural habitat on a jungle safari
This epic 8 day tour takes you to all the highlights of East Borneo with the most amazing wildlife experiences. Get up close and personal with orang-utans, watch turtles lay their eggs, and see proboscis monkeys, crocodiles and pygmy elephants in their natural habitats. You’ll also stay with a local family in a rural village, snorkel the crystal clear seas around Libaran Island and enjoy the vibrant street-life of Kota Kinabalu – it’s the trip of a lifetime!
Want to find out more?
Download more trip information and detailed itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Borneo
Fly into Kota Kinabalu airport and make your way to your accommodation. Depending on what time you arrive, either relax at the hotel or plunge straight into the bustling city. Check out some of the local markets, museums or malls before meeting with the rest of your group this evening.
Day 2: Homestay in Tambatuon
You’ll really be immersing yourself in rural life today. On arrival in Tambatuon, visit a farm and pick ingredients to use in a Malay cooking class, after which you’ll eat what you’ve made. Later we’ll trek through the lush green valley to a nearby river. Round off your amazing day with an authentic dining experience with your hosts.
Day 3: Kinabatangan River Evening Cruise and Jungle Lodge
Head to Sandakan, where you’ll stay in a jungle lodge for the next 3 nights. Take an evening riverboat cruise down the Kinabatangan and look for monkeys, birds and crocs. You can also opt to take a guided night walk through the jungle to look for more of the unique animals that come out after dark.
Day 4: Kinabatangan River Safari
We’ll start the day with an early river safari. After breakfast, take a guided trek to a local lake to look for proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, gibbons and macaques. Later, chat to your group over dinner about all the amazing animal encounters you’ve had today.
Day 5: Sepilok Orang-utan Centre
We’re off to jungle-fringed Sepilok today to meet the orang-utans at the rehabilitation centre. After spending some time with these amazing apes, you’ll visit the neighbouring Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Freshen up at the accommodation later, before wandering into town for some dinner and drinks.
Day 6: Libaran Island & Turtle Hatchery
Hop on the boat to Libaran Island. Here we’ll visit the island’s turtle hatchery. Depending on the time of year, you might be lucky enough to see turtles laying their eggs on the beach, or watch baby turtles being released into the sea! Spend the afternoon on the beach, snorkelling, kayaking or just topping up your tan.
Day 7: Return to Kota Kinabalu
After breakfast, we’ll get the boat back to the mainland, before taking a flight from Sandakhan to Kota Kinabalu. You’ll have some time to explore the city further this afternoon.
Day 8: Trip End
Pack your bags, and say your farewells. Your fabulous Intro to Borneo has come to an end.
- 7 nights’ accommodation
- 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches & 4 dinners
- Cooking class at Kota Belud
- Morning & evening Kinabatangan river safaris.
- Guided oxbow lake visit & wildlife spotting in Kinabatangan
- Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre visit
- Sun bear conservation centre visit
- Turtle hatchery visit.
- Internal flight
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- 24 hour emergency support
- Some meals
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Optional activities
- Any camera entry fees
- Airport transfers
We’ll be getting right off the beaten track on this trip, staying in some very unique accommodation. In some areas we’ll stay in very simple guesthouses that may be different to what you’re used to at home. Rooms are clean and comfortable, but can be small and basic and there may be shared toilet and shower facilities. The package includes 7 nights’ accommodation with 2 nights in guesthouses, 1 night in a homestay, 3 nights in a jungle lodge and 1 night in a permanent tent. Rooms are twin or multi-share.
7 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners are included on this trip. You’ll need to buy all other meals and snacks yourself. This allows you to eat where and when you want, and to get to know the incredibly diverse cuisine of this region. Your guide can recommend restaurants for you and you will find that food is generally very affordable and of a good quality. While trekking in remote regions, food is included within the package.
Fly into Kota Kinabalu Airport on day 1. Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been organised, so arrive whenever you wish. There is a welcome meeting in the evening where you will meet the other members of your group and learn about the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you know when and where to meet the group. Airport transfers are not included in this trip, however we can help you arrange an airport pick up at additional cost. Please speak to a Travel Advisor for more information.
You can leave from Kota Kinabalu at any time on day 8. Your guide can help you arrange return transfers to the airport at an additional cost. If you’re planning to continue your travels in Borneo, they can assist with onward travel as well.
This trip is open to everybody over the age of 18. This is an open-aged trip so your group may be made up of people from a variety of different age brackets, backgrounds and nationalities.
British citizens can enter Borneo without a visa for a stay of up to 3 months, provided you have a valid return or onward travel ticket and six months’ validity on your passport. You should also ensure that your passport will still be in date for six months after your return. All visa information is subject to change and you should consult the nearest High Commission or Embassy for the most up to date information.
What Sort Of Bag Should I Take?
You’ll be expected to carry your own luggage (although not for any great distance!), so it’s important to bring a bag that you find comfortable. Most travellers find backpacks to be the most suitable, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would be an option. Suitcases are definitely not appropriate! You’ll need a main bag, plus a smaller backpack for overnight trips.
What Should I Wear?
Borneo is a religious island and conservative dress is culturally appropriate, especially for female travellers. As a general rule this means covering upper arms to the elbow and upper legs to the knee. Your tummy shouldn’t be exposed and the neckline of your top shouldn’t dip down more than an inch or two. Longer sleeves and trousers can also help protect you from mosquitoes when you’re in the jungle. Swimwear is fine on the beaches and around pools. Borneo is hot and humid, so you’ll need lightweight cotton clothing, sun hats and light rainwear such as raincoats or ponchos. And of course, don’t forget your swimwear!
How Much Spending Money Do I Need?
Your accommodation and some meals are included in the trip price, but you’ll need to bring cash for drinks, snacks, other meals and any additional activities you might want to participate in. Extra activities range in price, depending on what you want to do. As a rough guide, £200-£300 should be a good amount for the 8 days, depending on personal spending habits.
Do I Need Vaccinations?
We’re not qualified to offer you medical advice, so you should visit your GP well ahead of time to find out what vaccinations you might need. Remember to tell them exactly where you’re travelling to as vaccination and medication requirements vary between different Asian countries. You’ll also need to make sure you have enough of any prescribed medication to see you through the duration of your trip.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.