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Best of Borneo

Connect with your inner animal on a 12-day journey into the unusual and awe-inspiring landscapes of Borneo. Experience the otherworldly limestone cliffs of Mulu National Park and its famed bat exodus; encounter the orangutans of Matang; set off on a river cruise in search of elusive Bornean pygmy elephants; and discover the Lipad mud volcano, a mineral salt lick for local wildlife.

  • Duration: 12 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: AABNG/205138
  • Starts: Kuching, Malaysia
  • Finishes: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
You will Visit
  • Kuching
  • Gunung Mulu National Park
  • Kota Kinabalu
  • Sungai Kinabatangan
  • Sukau
  • Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Kuching

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

02

Day 2: Kuching

Enjoy a full-day excursion to the Bidayuh tribal village, a thriving rural community which is home to one of the few remaining traditional Bidayuh longhouses in Sarawak. The Bidayuh (or Land Dayak) are the second largest indigenous tribe in Sarawak and we spend the day learning about their culture, history, and contemporary life. With our local guide, explore the old longhouse and village, walk through the farmlands, and enjoy a traditional lunch. Return to Kuching in the evening.
This village is located near the Sarawak-Kalimantan border. Along the way stop at the colourful local market in the small town of Serian, which features a variety of jungle produce such as edible ferns, bamboo shoots, tropical fruits and more.

03

Day 3: Kuching

Visit the Matang Wildlife Centre, a rescue centre for all protected wildlife in Sarawak, including orangutan, sun bears, clouded leopards, and binturong. Tour the centre and meet an conservationist who will explain the importance of their work. Enjoy a break and savour a traditional lunch prepared by women from the surrounding villages. Later, return to the wildlife centre and learn more about the daily care and rehabilitation of the orangutans, and the ultimate goal of releasing them back into the wild.
Learn about the NGO ‘Orangutan Project Sdn. Bhd.', a conservation company offering alternative solutions and sustainable funding opportunities for the endangered wildlife on Borneo, with help from the Sarawak government. The vast majority of the animals here have been confiscated or surrendered from illicit pet trade. Learn about the important work the centre does, its challenges in rehabilitation and concerns for wider conservation throughout the area.

04

Day 4: Kuching/Gunung Mulu National Park

Catch a flight and transfer to our hotel near the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mulu National Park, known for its lush rainforest and impressive cave systems. Take a night walk with our local guide to search out nocturnal wildlife; watch for blinking fireflies and luminescent fungi.
Enjoy this stunning National Park and UNESCO World Heritage, home to the world-famous Mulu Caves. The caves hold many world records in terms of size, height and length including the Sarawak Chamber; thought to be the largest known natural underground chamber. As well, considered the largest known cave passage in the world, the Deer Cave is home to a phenominal 2-3 million bats. Finally, the Clearwater Cave boasts an extensive system of passages, currently known to be the longest in South-East Asia. To date approximately 100 km of the system has been explore, and much still remains a mystery.

05

Day 5: Gunung Mulu National Park

Board a longboat and travel along the Melinau River to a Penan Village for a short visit. Continue our exploration, to the Wind Cave, noting the rock calcite formations and cool breeze of the Kings Chamber. After, climb up the steps to reach and the stunning underground river in Clearwater cave. Later take a dip in the cool, clear waters, and enjoy a picnic lunch in the rainforest at Clearwater Springs. This afternoon, enjoy a walk through the rainforest to the Lang and Deer caves. Marvel at Lang's stunning stalagmites and stalactites, and be awed by Deer Cave – the largest cave passage in the world and home to an estimated 2 to 3 million bats.

06

Day 6: Gunung Mulu National Park/Kota Kinabalu

Enjoy the morning at leisure to explore the rainforest and opt to take a canopy walk. This afternoon, catch a flight to Kota Kinabalu and enjoy the evening at leisure.

07

Day 7: Kota Kinabalu/Sungai Kinabatangan

Catch an early morning flight to Sandakan and visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, where we enjoy a talk on the bears and the conservation efforts to protect them. After, transfer by boat to our rainforest lodge and enjoy a wildlife cruise and night walk.

08

Day 8: Sukau

Enjoy wildlife excursions on foot and by boat with local guides and naturalists into the jungle. Cruise the Kinabatangan River in search of birds and wildlife, keeping your eyes open for one of Borneo's seven primate species, including the proboscis monkey and orangutan, as well pygmy elephants. Also enjoy a hike to an Ox-Bow Lake.

09

Day 9: Sungai Kinabatangan/Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Drive to Tabin Wildlife Reserve and check into our rainforest lodge. Then enjoy a hike along an elephant trail to the active Lipad mud volcano which provides a mineral salt lick for wildlife. After dinner, enjoy a night safari and look out for nocturnal wildlife.

10

Day 10: Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Spend the day exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve with local guides. Enjoy an early morning bird walk, serching out some of the 300 species of birds in the area. After breakfast, take a wildlife drive and if we're lucky, catch a glimpse of one of the three largest mammals of Sabah; Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Tembadau; nine species of primate are present, as well as three species of cats all of which are on the protected wildlife list. Later trek through the lush green rainforest known for its rich diversity of plants and animal species to the Lipad Waterfall. Relax and take a dip in the natural pool and enjoy a natural and refreshing shower under the waterfall. This evening, take a night walk in search of sleeping birds, frogs and insects.

11

Day 11: Tabin Wildlife Reserve/Kota Kinabalu

Spend the morning at leisure before catching a flight back to Kota Kinabalu. Enjoy some free time to explore.

12

Day 12: Kota Kinabalu

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Matang Wildlife Centre, Kuching
    • Arrival transfer
    • Excursion to a Bidayuh Tribal Village
    • Night walk in Mulu National Park
    • Boat excursion to Wind and Clearwater Caves
    • Walking excursion to Deer and Lang Caves
    • Visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
    • Kinabatangan River and wildlife excursions on foot and boat
    • Tabin Wildlife Reserve excursions by jeep and on foot
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (7 nts), Lodge (4 nts)
    • 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 4 dinners
    Transport
    • Private vehicle, plane, boat, hiking, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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