This Borneo holiday focusses on the wildlife, rainforests and beaches of the Sabah region of Borneo, one of the best areas for seeing the great variety of Borneo’s fauna and flora. The jungles are literally millions of years old and teeming with wildlife, from the smallest insects and amphibians to orangutans, gibbons, monkeys, pygmy elephants and exotic birds. There will be plenty of time for us to trek in the rainforest and experience it at first hand, both during the day and at night. There is plenty of time to relax too, at some of Borneo’s best lodges as well as at some of the best beaches where this holiday in Borneo can be extended for a few days to include a Borneo diving or snorkelling trip.
Key facts about the Borneo rainforest and its wildlife: • The Borneo rainforest is 140 million years old, making it probably the oldest rainforests in the world. • There are about 15,000 species of flowering plants with 3,000 species of trees (267 species are dipterocarps), 221 species of terrestrial mammals and 420 species of resident birds in Borneo. Source: Wikipedia.
BORNEO WILDLIFE AND RAINFOREST HOLIDAY ITINERARY
Day 1: Kota Kinabalu
The trip starts when you arrive at Kota Kinabalu Airport. You meet our driver and transfer to your hotel. Check-in at hotel and free at leisure. Overnight
Day 2: Kota Kinabalu – Sandakan(B,L)
Early morning meet our driver at the main lobby for the transfer to the Kota Kinabalu Airport for the flight to Sandakan.On arrival to the Sandakan Airport, we meet our guide and proceed to Labuk Bay Sanctuary. We drive through small villages and past endless palm oil plantations- a stark reminder that the natural habitat of the orangutans and gibbons is under constant threat from commercial interests. We arrive at the the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, arguably the best Borneo endemic Proboscis monkey observation post. We will wait to see the feeding time, when the animals will approach the feeding platforms. Oriental pied hornbills, squirrels, silver-leaf monkeys, can often be spotted here as well. Following our introduction to the Proboscis monkeys we proceed to the unique English Tea House for lunch. Located in the grounds of the Agnes Keith house, we experience the lush, tropical greenery and cool breezes while enjoying spectacular views of the town and bay. After lunch, we transfer to your hotel and the afternoon is free at leisure. Overnight at Sandakan
Day 3: Sandakan – Sukau – Kinabatangan River (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel restaurant This morning we start our tour of the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, the largest and most renowned in the world. We can view displays at the Nature Education Center to learn more about the work to rehabilitate orangutans into the wild and see a slide show on the functions and rehabilitation efforts of the reserve. Walk into the rainforest to view orangutans being fed in their natural habitat. After the feeding, proceed overland to the Gomantong Caves– famous as a source of swiflets’ nests which are the raw material for Bird’s Nest Soup, an expensive Chinese delicacy. The journey takes just over 2 hours and upon arrival we walk on a planked walkway to the cave and then explore one of the most fascinating caves in Sabah. Thereafter continue overland for about half an hour to Sukau where we will check into our lodge. Lunch at the Lodge. In the late afternoon we will cruise up to the Kinabatangan River to search for wildlife, in particular the proboscis monkey and possibly a wild orangutan. We will observe the simple lifestyle of the local villagers and in the evening, watch with amazement as the proboscis monkeys come to feed on the leaves of mangrove trees at the river bank. Dinner at the lodge. Overnight at Kinabatangan River
Day 4: Kinabatangan River (B,L,D)
We are woken up by the calls of hornbills and other exotic birds. In the early morning we proceed to the oxbow lake to observe wildlife and experience the early morning river ambience of the longest river in Sabah, looking for the many birds and monkeys that look for food in the early morning. Return to lodge for breakfast. After Breakfast we proceed for trekking in the surrounding jungle in search of wildlife and to know more about the surrounding environment. Return to the resort for lunch. Late afternoon we take a river cruise upstream of the Kinatabagan river to search for more wildlife and to explore more of this mystic river, where most of Borneo’s fauna is located. Return to the resort in the evening for an enjoyable dinner. After dinner proceed for a night cruise along the river, one of the most exciting and adventurous trips you will take while staying here. This unique night cruise will allow you to see the nocturnal wildlife and experience the spotting of birds perched on the branches at a distance of about three or four feet. Bird enthusiasts will indulge in this particularly unique moment of getting “up close and personal” to the Borneo’s bird population. An absolutely amazing and memorable experience. Back to the Lodge and overnight. Overnight at Kinabatangan River
Day 5: Kinabatangan River – Sukau – Danum Valley (B,L,D)
Wake up to the calls of birds, insects and other animals. After breakfast, we will drive for about 4 hours to the Danum Valley where we will check into our lodge. We will notice the changing landscapes of the regenerating forests to the virgin rainforests of a million years old! Check-in to Borneo Rainforest Lodge followed by lunch. Day free at leisure to explore the forest or go trekking on its guided trails to the nearest Fairy Waterfall and coffins on a cliff of an old burial site. In the evening, Dinner at the lodge and if weather permits, go for a night drive to spot more wild animals and birds. Dinner and overnight at Lodge
Day 6: Danum Valley (B,L,D)
We get up early to go bird-watching. Danum has populations of pygmy elephants and rare cats, all highly protected animals. Luck plays a good part in your chances of spotting them. Night safaris almost always guarantee spotting of the different cat families. Elephant comes near the main roads early in the morning, so the chances of spotting them on a safari are higher in the early morning hours. The rangers will know the best times to go out. There are at least 10 species of primates in Danum jungle, including the orangutans. The jungle is millions of years old, and some trees grow as tall as 70 meters. There are watch towers from where you can view animals and especially birds. The river at Danum is beautiful, especially when the water is low. During the day we can go on treks with the rangers to learn more about this ancient forest. Tonight we can either go on a night trek or another night safari. Dinner and overnight at Danum Valley
Day 7: Danum Valley-Lahad Batu-Kota Kinabalu (B,L)
Breakfast at the lodge, then we go bird watching on the canopy walkway. Walk down to lodge for Lunch after which we will depart for Lahad Datu which will take about 3.5 hours. We will reach Lahad Datu Airport for your next flight to Kota Kinabalu. Arrive in Kota Kinabalu, meet and greet by our representative and proceed to your hotel. Check-in. Rest of the day at leisure and own activities.Overnight Hotel
Day 8: Kota Kinabalu – out or Beach Extensions (B,L)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport in time for your flight home.
Day 8: Gaya Island or Shangri-La Rasa Ria(B) (Beach Extensions)
Breakfast at the resort restaurant. Rest of the day at leisure and own activities. Relax, swim or snorkel around the resort. Diving trips can also be arranged. Overnight at resort. Please contact us for more info.
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