Best of Borneo

Start: Kuching Finish: Kota Kinabalu

Visiting: Kuching, Gunung Mulu National Park, Kota Kinabalu, Jalan Kampung Bilit, Kampung Bilit, Tabin Wildlife Reserve


Duration: 11 Nights

Physical rating: 3 - Average

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Vegans

Tour Operator: G Adventures

Group size: 12 - 16

Age range: You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $3894

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Tour Overview

Discover the astounding landscapes and unusual wildlife of Borneo, the world’s third largest island, on a journey through the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah. Experience the otherworldly limestone cliffs of Gunung Mulu National Park, witnessing its famed bat exodus; and encounter rescued orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Set off on a cruise along the Kinabatangan River in search of elusive pygmy elephants, and learn about the customs and traditions of indigenous Bornean tribes.

Highlights

  • iconVisit Bidayuh tribal village
  • icon Cruise the Kinabatangan River in search of Borneo's seven primate species
  • icon Explore the rainforest and caves of Mulu National Park

Places You'll See

Countries:
Best of Borneo
Best of Borneo
Best of Borneo
Best of Borneo
Best of Borneo

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 : Kuching

Location: Kuching

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: The Waterfront Hotel (or similar)

Meals: No Meals

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

ACTIVITY: The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

icon Day 2 : Kuching

Location: Kuching

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: The Waterfront Hotel (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Venture out of Kuching on a full-day excursion to a Bidayuh tribal village. The Bidayuh (also known as the Land Dayak) are the indigenous people of southern Sarawak, and we’ll spend time learning about their culture, history, and lifestyle. Alongside our local guide, visit a traditional bamboo longhouse, where several families typically reside, and take a stroll in the village farmlands, passing through rice fields and fruit orchards. Witness a traditional dance performance, and observe how the Bidayuh prepare a daily meal, using fresh, local ingredients.

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.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle on the drive to the village and back.

ACTIVITY: Enjoy a full day excursion to Mongkos village of the Bidayuh tribe, 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. Upon arrival the community will welcome us with a traditional dance performance, then visit the 24-doors traditional longhouse, which was made out of wood and bamboo in the 1950s. After enjoy a walk through the farmlands to see the rice fields (seasonal), pepper farm, rubber plantation, and tropical fruit orchards. You will also experience how the Bidayuh prepare a traditional lunch, cooked with simple natural “pots,” leaves and ingredients. Enjoy your local lunch of delicious and fresh dishes.

icon Day 3 : Kuching

Location: Kuching

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: The Waterfront Hotel (or simlar)

Meals: Breakfast

Head to the verdant Santubong Peninsula this morning, crowned by the jungle-covered Mount Santubong. Embark on a cruise down the Santubong River, taking in the stunning mangrove scenery and keeping an eye out for proboscis monkeys and the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin. Spend the afternoon at leisure before joining an amphibian expert for an evening walk in fern-filled Kubah National Park. Enjoy a delightful jungle orchestra at nightfall and search for a variety of frog species, including the Kubah or Matang narrow-mouthed frog—one of the smallest frogs in the world.

ACTIVITY: Visit Santubong peninsula this morning, and embark on a river cruise. Explore the mouth of the Santubong river and mangrove forest of Kuching Wetlands National Park. Enjoy the stunning scenery of the mangrove swamp and learn how the various animals, like the proboscis monkeys, and the uniquely adapted mangrove trees develop a complex symbiotic eco-system. The rare Irrawaddy Dolphins are often seen here. While most commonly associated with the Mekong river delta and the Irrawaddy river (Myanmar), this dolphin is also found in coastal areas of the island of Borneo in estuaries close to mangrove forests. This slate gray dolphin species features a bulging forehead and short beak and only a very small dorsal fin. Increasing levels of bycatch and habitat degradation in recent years have led to decreasing numbers of this elusive animal and have driven it almost into extinction in some areas of its habitats in Southeast Asia.

FREE TIME: AFTERNOON Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to further explore your surroundings.

ACTIVITY: Visit Kubah national park for an evening nature walk with an amphibian expert. View rare ferns and orchids, as well as a wide variety of palm species. The recent discovery of a new tiny frog species at the park has made this place famous for frogging. Commonly refered to as the Kubah Narrow-mouthed Frog, this newly discovered species is one of the smallest frogs in the world at the size of a pencil’s tip. This frog is often found living in insect-eating pitcher plants and while these carnivorous plants kill insects, there is no harm to the frogs and their tadpoles grow in the liquid inside of pitcher plants. With our expert, we will search for this famous little creature as well as other popular amphibians such as the Bornean Horned Toad, several species of Sticky Frogs, White-eared Tree Frog, Wallace’s Flying Frog, Harlequin Tree Frogs and many more. While on the look-out for frogs and other amphibians, enjoy the stunning jungle orchestra during night fall, which made Kubah National Park the winner of the ‘Most Beautiful Sound in the World’ contest. The recording ‘Dusk by the Frog Pond’ by an Australian professional in photography and bioacoustics beat out hundreds of entries, standing out among the 11 other finalists that also featured nature recordings.

icon Day 4 : Kuching/Gunung Mulu National Park

Location: Kuching, Gunung Mulu National Park

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast

Catch a flight to Mulu and transfer to our hotel near Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its incredible biodiversity, old-growth tropical forest, and impressive karst features. The park is also home to the renowned Mulu Caves, one of the largest and most spectacular cave systems on Earth. Set out on a night walk with our local guide to look for the park’s nocturnal wildlife, spotting blinking fireflies and luminescent fungi along the way.

The Mulu 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 phenomenal 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.

TRANSPORT: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.

ACTIVITY: Venture out into the lush Sarawak rainforest with a guide and flashlight to check out the wild jungle inhabitants at night, when they really come alive. Keep your eyes peeled and watch your step!

icon Day 5 : Gunung Mulu National Park

Location: Gunung Mulu National Park

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Hop on a longboat and glide along the Melinau River to a Penan settlement for a short visit. The Penan are a hunter-gatherer tribe native to Sarawak whose traditional way of life is increasingly threatened by deforestation. Continue to the Wind Cave, observing its surreal calcite formations and the cool breezes that blow through. Climb up a series of steps to reach the breathtaking underground river in Clearwater Cave, the longest cave passage in Asia. After a picnic lunch, walk through delightful foliage to the Lang and Deer Caves. Marvel at Lang Cave's magnificent stalagmites and stalactites, and tread with awe into Deer Cave—one of the largest cave passages in the world and home to more than three million bats. We’ll try to time our excursion to coincide with the bat exodus, when these nocturnal creatures fly out en masse to hunt for insects.

ACTIVITY: Visit Wind Cave, named for the breezes that blow through it, and the vast Clearwater Cave, home to a subterranean river. After checking out the caves, enjoy a refreshing swim and a picnic amongst the beautiful scenery of the rainforest.

ACTIVITY: Walk along a series of planks through the rainforest to reach Deer and Lang caves. Explore these impressive caverns (Deer cave is never less than 90 metres high or wide!), home to more than two million bats.

ACTIVITY: Head to the cave entrance or the bat observatory to watch as millions of bats exit the Deer Cave to hunt insects.

icon Day 6 : Gunung Mulu National Park/Kota Kinabalu

Location: Gunung Mulu National Park, Kota Kinabalu

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Grandis (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast

Spend the morning exploring Gunung Mulu National Park at leisure, and opt to discover the majestic landscape from Mulu Skywalk, the world’s longest canopy walk. This afternoon, catch a flight to Kota Kinabalu and enjoy the evening on your own.

FREE TIME: MORNING Enjoy you morning free, take some time to explore the rainforest.

TRANSPORT: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.

icon Day 7 : Kota Kinabalu/Kampung Bilit

Location: Kota Kinabalu, Jalan Kampung Bilit

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Borneo Natural Sukau Bilit Lodge (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Travel on an early morning flight to Sandakan and visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, where injured, orphaned, or rescued orangutans are cared for and then reintroduced into the wild. Orangutans are among the planet’s most critically endangered creatures, found only in Borneo and Sumatra. Later, head to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre to meet rescued Malayan sun bears. We’ll enjoy a talk on these elusive creatures—the smallest species of bear in the world—and learn about the efforts underway to protect them. Afterward, transfer to our lodge in the small village of Kampung Bilit and embark on an evening cruise on the Kinabatangan River, seeking out monkeys, birds, elephants, and crocodiles.

Additional Information: At the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre you may come in relatively close proximity to the orangutans, but you cannot touch or directly interact with them. Most primate care centres, especially those attempting rehabilitation and release in accordance with the IUCN guidelines, prohibit tourist and volunteer contact with any and all animals for two main reasons: risk of zoonosis (the risk of us passing diseases to our primate cousins) and habituation & behavioural implications (detrimental impact of having a large, ever-changing human presence around apes which might lead to a reluctance to return to their natural habitat).

TRANSPORT: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.

ACTIVITY: Visit the conservation centre and see the world’s smallest bear. Learn more about the sun bears and the conservation efforts being made to protect them.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: Cruise through the crocodile-infested waters with an expert boatman. While wildlife-spotting can't be guaranteed there's a good chance you will spot some monkeys, birds and the occasional saltwater crocodiles.

ACTIVITY: Take a night walk on the trails near the Jungle Lodge and look for the unique creatures that are active at night.

ACTIVITY: The orangutans at the centre were either rescued as orphans or from illegal domestication. Once rehabilitated, they are set free to live in the wild. Watch these creatures being fed or roaming the grounds along with other animals such as macaque monkeys.

icon Day 8 : Kampung Bilit

Location: Kampung Bilit

Accommodation: Borneo Natural Sukau Bilit Lodge

Accommodation Name: Borneo Natural Sukau Bilit Lodge (or similar)

Meals: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER

Located along a curve on the thriving Kinabatangan River, the small village of Kampung Bilit offers a wide array of wildlife-viewing opportunities. Set out on foot into the jungle with local guides and naturalists; then cruise the rich waterways of the river, keeping your eyes open for proboscis monkeys and orangutans, as well as the rare pygmy elephant.

ACTIVITY: Jump into a boat and explore the muddy river; keep your eyes peeled for monkeys, birds, and crocodiles.

ACTIVITY: Enjoy a guided trek along the lake and seek out proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, macaques, and gibbons.

icon Day 9 : Kampung Bilit/Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Location: Kampung Bilit, Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Accommodation: Tabin Wildlife Resort (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drive to Tabin Wildlife Reserve and check in to our rainforest lodge. This stunning reserve is home to nine primate species, three species of cat, and hundreds of bird species. Embark on a hike along an elephant trail to the Lipad mud volcano, which provides a natural mineral lick for local wildlife, and climb to the top of the observation tower for incredible views of the surrounding forest. After dinner, enjoy a presentation on Tabin’s natural wonders, followed by a night safari in search of the reserve’s nocturnal creatures, such as the Horsfield’s tarsier, the clouded leopard, the slow loris, and more.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: Hike from the Elephant trail to the active Lipad mud volcano, which provides a mineral salt lick for wildlife. Climb the observation tower and admire the contrasting landscape of the bare mud volcano to the surrounding lush forest, where birds are commonly seen. Try to identify the multitude of animal footprints here. The adventurous can try the effects of the volcanic mud, said to be beneficial for a glowing complexion.

ACTIVITY: A night safari is an excellent way to see wildlife that’s nocturnal, such as the Western Tarsier, the Slow Loris, the Clouded Leopard, Leopard Cat, Palm Civet, Mousedeer, flying lemur and Colugo. Care is taken not to disturb them with high-powered lighting.

icon Day 10 : Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Location: Tabin Wildlife Reserve

Accommodation: Tabin Wildlife Resort (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend the day exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve with local guides. Enjoy an early morning bird walk, seeking out the park’s colourful variety of avian species. After breakfast, trek through lush rainforest to the lovely Lipad Waterfall. Take a refreshing dip and shower here, or relax by the edge of the pool. In the late afternoon, set out on a wildlife drive through the reserve. After dinner, venture out on a night walk around our lodge in search of sleeping birds, frogs, and insects.

ACTIVITY: Tabin is a bird-watcher's paradise as the forest here attracts an amazingly rich diversity of birds, including rare and endemic species. The relatively low canopy with sufficient natural light makes birding and photography here a delightful experience.

ACTIVITY: Trek through the lush green rainforest known for its rich diversity of plants and animal species to visit Lipad Waterfall. Take a dip in the natural pool and enjoy a refreshing shower under the waterfall. Alternatively, explore the surrounding vegetation or just relax.

ACTIVITY: Set off on a dusk drive to look out for nocturnal wildlife and birds that come out to look for food during this time of the day.

ACTIVITY: Go for a night walk along the trail close to the resort in search of sleeping birds, frogs, and nocturnal wildlife.

icon Day 11 : Tabin Wildlife Reserve/Kota Kinabalu

Location: Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Kota Kinabalu

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Grandis (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Spend the morning at leisure, opting to watch a video about Tabin Wildlife Reserve or fashioning a souvenir using mud from the Lipad volcano. Later, board a flight to Kota Kinabalu and enjoy free time to explore the bustling coastal city.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

TRANSPORT: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.

icon Day 12 : Kota Kinabalu

Location: Kota Kinabalu

Meals: Breakfast

Depart at any time.

ACTIVITY: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

What's Included

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    Santubong River wildlife and dolphin cruise

  • icon
    Fully Guided

    CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.

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    Boat excursion to Wind and Clearwater Caves

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    Accommodation

    Hotels (7 nts), Lodge (4 nts)

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    Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Nature Walk in Kubah National Park, Kuching

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    Kinabatangan River and wildlife excursions on foot and boat

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    Night walk in Mulu National Park

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    Tabin Wildlife Reserve excursions by jeep and on foot

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    Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre visit

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    Meals

    11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners Allow USD130-170 for meals not included.

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    Internal flights

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    Visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

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    Excursion to a Bidayuh Tribal Village

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    All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

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    Walking excursion to Deer and Lang Caves

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    Arrival transfer

What's Not Included

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    Tipping and Gratuities

Meals Included

11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners

Accommodation

Hotels (7 nts), Lodge (4 nts)

Transport

Private vehicle, plane, boat, hiking, walking.

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    G Adventures requires a deposit of 200 GBP to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 60 days before departure..

  • icon
    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


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Dates & Availability

Sunday Aug 08, 2021

Nights

11

Available

13

$4116.30

Sunday Sep 19, 2021

Nights

11

Available

13

$4116.30

Sunday Dec 12, 2021

Nights

11

Available

16

$3893.72

Sunday Jan 09, 2022

Nights

11

Available

16

$3893.72

Sunday Apr 10, 2022

Nights

11

Available

14

$3893.72

Sunday Jun 05, 2022

Nights

11

Available

12

$4116.30

Sunday Jul 03, 2022

Nights

11

Available

16

$4116.30

Sunday Aug 07, 2022

Nights

11

Available

16

$4116.30

Sunday Sep 04, 2022

Nights

11

Available

12

$4116.30

Sunday Oct 02, 2022

Nights

11

Available

16

$3893.72