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Borneo Adventure

Sarawak and Sabah, located in the north of Malaysian Borneo, offer the ideal base for exploration of indigenous cultures, limestone formations, jungles, forests and an array of wildlife. Sarawak is home to amazing limestone caves, headhunter trails and the razor sharp Pinnacles. Sabah is covered in impenetrable tropical rainforest where the rafflesia the world's largest flowering plant, thrives together with an eclectic mix of other unusual plants. However, it is the wildlife for which Sabah is best known and we will wander trails through the forest reserves and visit the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Our adventure continues where we ascend high above the jungle canopy to the summit of Mount Kinabalu. It is unlikely that you could find a trip with more diversity and adventure.

Inclusions

16 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 12 dinners
Airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 17
Local guides (English speaking). You will have a different local guide for each major section of the trip including Kuching, Mulu and Kinabalu
Comfortable hotels, simple park lodges/camps/longhouse
Private air conditioned vehicles
National park permit fees
Sightseeing and entry fees as per itinerary
Hightlights
Summit Mt Kinabalu and witness sunrise
Discover orangutans and wildlife in their natural habitat
Ascend Gunung Api for the limestone pinnacles
Travel by longboat and explore cave formations
Learn about the local indigenous communities and stay in longhouses
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
17
Price From
AUD $4,950
Start Location
Kuching, Borneo
End Location
Borneo
Age Range
Min :14
Group Size
5 to 16
Tour Style
Original
Tour Themes
Adventure, Relaxing
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
29 Apr 201815 May 2018AvailableAUD $4,950
24 Jun 201810 Jul 2018AvailableAUD $4,950
08 Jul 201824 Jul 2018AvailableAUD $4,950
29 Jul 201814 Aug 2018AvailableAUD $4,950
18 Aug 201803 Sep 2018AvailableAUD $4,950
02 Sep 201818 Sep 2018AvailableAUD $4,950
03 Feb 201919 Feb 2019AvailableAUD $4,950
03 Mar 201919 Mar 2019AvailableAUD $4,950
28 Apr 201914 May 2019AvailableAUD $4,950
19 May 201904 Jun 2019AvailableAUD $4,950
23 Jun 201909 Jul 2019AvailableAUD $4,950
07 Jul 201923 Jul 2019AvailableAUD $4,950
28 Jul 201913 Aug 2019AvailableAUD $4,950
17 Aug 201902 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $4,950
01 Sep 201917 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $4,950
ItineraryExpand
Day 1
On arrival in Kuching you will be greeted by our representative who will transfer you to your centrally located hotel. We will have an important tour briefing in the late afternoon, so check with reception for the time and location. If you arrive early, you are free to discover the charms of the Kuching, a city established by Sir James Brooke, the first White Rajah of Sarawak. The White Rajahs refers to a dynasty that founded and ruled the Kingdom of Sarawak from 1841 to 1946, namely the Brookes, who came originally from England. In Kuching you can see buildings dating back to the days of the White Rajahs, ancient Chinese temples and colourful markets displaying the produce that first brought traders to Borneo. A visit to Kuching will not be complete without making a stop at the Sarawak Museum. Completed in 1891, the museum has an excellent collection of ethnological and archaeological artifacts and is reputed to be the best in South East Asia. *** This evening you will need to pack the clothing and personal items you need for the next 4 nights in a separate backpack. Please make sure you keep these items to the bare minimum, as you will be expected to carry your own pack. Overnight: Hotel
Day 2
This morning we depart for our journey through rural Sarawak to Batang Ai reservoir (approx 4-5 hours). Our journey will pass pepper gardens, cocoa and rubber plantations and we will make a stop at the colourful native market in Serian town where a variety of jungle produce such as edible ferns, bamboo shoots and unusual tropical fruit are on display. We will also visit a pepper garden and stop by to view wild orchids and several species of pitcher plants. Batang Ai means "main river" and the river has been dammed to form the site of one of the largest hydrlectric schemes in the region. A huge manmade reservoir provides a magnificent backdrop to some breathtaking scenery. From here we travel upriver by longboat (approx 90mins) to Nanga Sumpa Longhouse. On arrival we will settle into our simple accommodation and then we can relax on the ruai (common verandah) and spend time with the Iban people to learn about their culture and enjoy some local rice wine. Woven blankets and handicrafts may be purchased directly from the longhouse people. Our dinner this evening will include some local delicacies. Overnight: Lodge
Day 3
After breakfast, we depart Nanga Sumpa and trek for about 3 hours through orangutan habitat to Mawang jungle camp. This camp is located at an elevation of 195 metres. Spend time looking for wild orangutans and other wildlife like the pig-tailed macaques, giant squirrels and a variety of birds. While the orangutans are only occasionally seen, their nests can usually be observed. Upon arrival camp will be set camp and we will have lunch. In the afternoon we will go for walk near the camp to search for orangutans and their nests. We return to camp and prepare for an evening meal. Overnight at Mawang jungle camp. (Accommodation at Mawang Camp is basic and comprises wooden shelters. Thin mattresses, bedding and mosquito nets are provided. There is a toilet block with western style toilets.)
Day 4
After breakfast, we begin the 3-4 hour trek through the surrounding jungle in search of orangutans and other wildlife. We return to camp for lunch and you are invited to help the guides gather jungle produce like bamboo shoots or edible ferns for your dinner. In the late afternoon we'll take aother walk in the vicinity of the camp to search for wildlife. Return to camp before dusk; dinner and overnight are at Mawang jungle camp.
Day 5
Today we bid our farewells to the jungle camp and head back to the lodge at Nanga Sampa on the Delok River. Refresh before enjoying lunch at the lodge after which you can relax or join the circular trek through the surrounding rainforest. Overnight: Lodge
Day 6
Following breakfast, we depart the lodge to travel for a couple of hours downstream to the Batang Ai Lake jetty. From here we then travel overland back to Kuching with lunch enroute. We arrive in Kuching in the late afternoon to check in to the hotel. Note: Leeches are found in the forest along the Red Ape Trail. Insect repellent is effective against leeches. This tour requires a reasonable level of fitness. For more details on the fitness level required to complete this trek please contact us. Weather conditions and the water level of local rivers may force our guides to modify the tour in the interests of safety. For example, some trekking activities are not possible during heavy rain or a thunderstorm. No refunds will be offered if a trek is cancelled or boat transfer delayed due to bad weather or river conditions. Overnight at Hotel
Day 7
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight to Mulu National Park. Upon arrival we will be met and transferred to your accommodation. In the afternoon we travel to the Park Headquarters for registration. Visitors are not permitted to enter any of the caves within the Park without a Licensed Park Guide. Important both for its high biodiversity and for its karst features, Gunung Mulu National Park, is the most studied tropical karst area in the world. The 52,864-ha park contains seventeen vegetation zones, exhibiting some 3,500 species of vascular plants. Its palm species are exceptionally rich, with 109 species noted. The park is dominated by Gunung Mulu, a 2,377 m-high sandstone pinnacle. At least 295 km of explored caves provide a spectacular sight and are home to millions of cave swiftlets and bats. We will take a scenic 3 km plank walk through the rainforest to the entrance of Deer Cave. Deer Cave has the world's largest cave entrance and is the largest single cave passage in the world with a 120m - 150m in diameter,it can fit London's St. Pauls' Cathedral under its massive archway. The cave has a moon-like landscape and from one vantage point a perfect profile of President Lincoln can be observed! Most evenings at sundown (between 5.30-6.30pm), a spectacular exodus of about 2-3 million wrinkled-lipped freetail bats can be observed as they leave the cave in search of food. Deer Cave is awesome, large and bold but only 100 metres away is Langs Cave. Small and intimate, with walls beautifully decorated with long shawls, layers of rim stone pools on the floor, and throughout the cave, spectacular stalagmites and stalactites. In this smaller cave the bats are easier to see, small white cave prawns hide in pools of water and shimmering near the roof are strands of web spun by the thread worm larvae waiting for a passing meal. We return to Park Headquarters by torchlight for dinner and overnight. The return trip is a wonderful time to move through the forest, listening to the calls of the frogs and insects and often seeing fireflies and stick insects. Overnight: Lodge (toilet facilities are shared) Please Note: Excess luggage/luggage that is not needed on day 7-11/12, to be air-freighted to Kota Kinabalu from Kuching. All arrangement / luggage charges by flight and handling services are to be borne by pax (Pax own account). Porter for luggage can be hired under pax own account. However, advance notice is required as to ensure that porter is available. Please speak to your guide.
Day 8
After breakfast we travel by longboat to Wind Cave, gliding down the Melinau River past the everyday life of the Mulu community. Wind Cave, with its impressive 'King's Chamber' is where, stalactites and stalagmites with delicate lace-like patterns are found. A short walk along a plank walk suspended to the limestone cliff leads to Clearwater Cave. Like most caves in Mulu, Clearwater Cave is the habitat of unique species of plants. One of them, the one-leafed plant, can only be found at Mulu; rare species of orchids and pitcher plants can be seen in many locations and photo-sensitive algae grow on certain rocks and have produced needle-like formations that point towards the source of light. Outside Clearwater Cave, swim in the crystal-clear waters where the river emerges from the cliff face. Float with the fish and enjoy the rainforest around you. After lunch, we continue upriver to Long Litut (approx 1 hour). From here we start trekking through riparian forest (approx 3 hours) to reach our overnight camp. Overnight: Camp 5 (basic dormitory accommodation, in open space, with basic common toilet facilities. Bedding - foam mattresses and blankets - and mosquito nets are provided. Lights are powered by solar energy. Although not required, for more comfort please bring your own sleeping bags.)
Day 15
An early start (2.00am) is in order to reach the summit by sunrise It should take no more than 4 hours to reach the summit. We commence climbing by torchlight (a head torch is most useful). As we ascend the terrain becomes less vegetated, and on the steep sections we are assisted with ropes, ladders and handrails. The final stages of the ascent crosses bare granite slabs before a steep section up to Lows Peak and the highest point of Mt Kinabalu at 4,093m. As the sun rises over Sabah the most extraordinary view unfolds (weather permitting). Contrasting with the pink tinged granite is the deep green of the forest below, stretching to the fertile croplands and beyond to the island dotted South China Sea. We return to the Laban Rata guesthouse (approx 2 hours to descend) for breakfast before continuing the long descent to Park Headquarters (approx 4 hours) in time for a late lunch. We can collect your climbing certificate before heading to Kundasing. NB: It can be very cold with strong winds at the summit. On many days clouds could obstruct visibility. Overnight: Lodge in Kundasang
Day 14
Following breakfast, we travel by coach to the Power Station (approx 25 minutes). We then commence our climb to Laban Rata with a packed lunch. The climb will take approximately 4 hours. We commence the climb at Timpohon Gate (1800m). The trail ascends steeply in deep forest, with gnarled tree-roots and orchid covered trees to the side of the staircase. As we ascend the vegetation begins to change and on reaching Layang at 2740m it is possible to see the pitcher-plant. The edge of the tree line is reached at 3350m and it is possible you will notice the reduced oxygen in the air. We should reach the Laban Rata guesthouse by early afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon is spent exploring the surrounding area and resting in preparation for our early morning climb. Overnight: Cabin / guesthouse (accommodation is very limited and will be in multishare rooms with dormitory bunk beds.)
Day 13
Early this morning we depart for our drive (approx 130kms / 3 hours) to Poring Hot Spring. En route, make a stop at Nabalu village to savour local fruits and for handicrafts. We will explore some of the many jungle trails and enjoy this unique opportunity to get closer to the rainforest 'web of life' on the canopy walkway 30m (100 feet) above the forest floor. Take a dip in one of the soothing, steaming hot mineral springs set in beautifully landscaped gardens. We then proceed to another World Heritage site - Kinabalu National Park (approx 40kms). Visit the botanical garden, home to many species of orchids, pitcher plants, birds, insects and butterflies with our guide. The unique flora of the area, including numerous species of rhododendrons and orchids and there is said to be more than 2,000 flowering plants in the forests of Kinabalu.The rest of the afternoon will be at free. NB: For the Kinabalu climb porters can be booked on arrival at Kinabalu Park. Cost is MYR60-100 per porter per person (until Laban Rata Guesthouse) with maximum 10 kg per porter with every additional kg at MYR6 per kg. This is to be paid directly to the porter. Costs are subject to change without notice. We recommend for clients to pack separately for Summit routing (Days 14-15). Excess luggage/main luggage can be stored at Kinabalu National Park luggage room. Charges are to be borne by pax (Pax Own Account). Overnight: Cabin / guesthouse
Day 9
Early this morning we start to scale the Gunung Api for the limestone pinnacles. The trail to view the Pinnacles is challenging. Whilst only 2.4 km long, it rises 1,200m and takes around 3-4 hours each way. You are however rewarded with fantastic views of the stone pinnacles from the viewpoint and the neighbouring peak of Gunung Mulu. Following a packed lunch, we descend to Camp 5 to relax and refresh. Mulu's Pinnacles tower above the surrounding landscape, some reaching heights of 40 to 50 metres. Centuries of water have eroded and dissolved the rock into razor sharp spikes which knife skywards through the surrounding rainforest. Next to Gunung Api is the second highest peak in Sarawak, Gunung Mulu (2,376m). Overnight: Camp 5 (basic dormitory accommodation, in open space, with basic common toilet facilities. Bedding - foam mattresses and blankets - and mosquito nets are provided. Lights are powered by solar energy. Although not required, for more comfort please bring your own sleeping bags.)
Day 11
We leave behind the longhouse and travel downriver by boat (approx 90mins) to Nanga Medamit and then drive to the small coastal town of Limbang, where we will be reunited with our luggage, and the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. A good chance to re-pack, have a shower and enjoy an afternoon drink by the river. Limbang is the biggest manufacturer of "ikan tahai" or "tahai" fish. It is a kind of smoked fish and very famous among people of Limbang. "Tahai" can be eaten raw or boiled with chili and tamarind juice toppings. In Limbang, "tahai" is called "Dadah Tahai" and can be bought from local market. The Limbang Regional Museum is located in a fort built by Rajah Charles Brooke in 1897. It is located in the area annexed to Sarawak by the White Rajah in 1890. Overnight: Hotel
Day 10
Today we trek to Kuala Terikan (approx 5 hours). Then we travel down river by longboat (approx 2-3 hours, depending on the water level) to Rumah Penghulu Sigah or Rumah Bala Lasong, an Iban longhouse. Overnight: Longhouse
Day 16
After breakfast, we depart overland to Sukau and have a short briefing on the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary. In the late afternoon, we go on a river cruise down the Menanggul River, a small tributary of the Kinabatangan River, in search of proboscis monkeys, birds and other wildlife. A view that never fails to delight is a glimpse of the playful porboscis monkeys who are particularly active at this time, socialising, crashing through trees or foraging for food. The Kinabatangan River is the longest river in Sabah, Borneo. It starts high in the mountain range and meanders through the interior and coastal lowlands for 560km before reaching the Sulu Sea on the East coast of Sabah. The lower reaches of the Kinabatangan River are home to an ecosystem of amazing richness - stranded ox-bow lakes, swamp and mangroves - which supports a rich, and diverse, concentration of wildlife. Here you will find Orangutans, Proboscis Monkeys, Bornean Elephants alongside a large array of birds, reptiles and amphibians. Overnight: Lodge
Day 12
After breakfast, we transfer to the jetty and depart Limbang town by Express Boat (approx 90mins) across the South China Sea to the island of Labuan. The island is located at the mouth of the Brunei Bay, 8kms off the coast of Sabah and this Federal Territory of Labaun acts as a duty free centre for day-tripping Bruneians and Malaysians; we don't stop for long but continue by another Express Boat (approx 2-3 hours) to Kota Kinabalu. Upon arrival at the jetty, we transfer to hotel. Mt Kinabalu, the majestic summit of Borneo has such importance that the state capital Jesselton was renamed Kota Kinabalu in 1964. Kota Kinabalu (or KK as it is known) is the sprawling capital of Sabah perched on the edge of the South China Sea. In the distance it is possible to see Mt Kinabalu, and the coral fringed islands off the coast. This afternoon, a short orientation with our new guide will be held with the remainder of the day set aside for personal exploration. Near the waterfront, the markets are bustling selling everything from live eels to household goods. The fish cooked on an open fire is a particularly tasty pre-dinner snack. Overnight: Hotel
Day 17
After breakfast, we depart to Sepilok Forest Reserve. We visit the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, the world's largest orangutan sanctuary, where captive orangutans (known as the wild man of Borneo) are reintroduced into the wild. You will be able to observe them at the feeding stations in the rainforest and see a video presentation on the rehabilitation program. The Sanctuary started in 1964 was established for the rehabilitation of orphaned baby orangutans from logging-sites, plantations and illegal hunting, and returning them to the wilds as soon as they are ready. After this visit your Borneo Adventure concludes. When time for your flight, you will be transfered to Sandakan airport for your onward connection. If your onward travel is later in the day, remember that check out time is 12:00 noon. You can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.