Day 1 - Kota Kinabalu
Welcome to Kota Kinabalu! This bustling waterfront city is surrounded by nature with offshore coral islands, forest covered hills, scenic rivers and of course, Mt. Kinabalu, the highest peak in South East Asia.
Explore its street markets, dine on popular local and international cuisine, and enjoy one of the best sunsets this side of the world.
Pickup upon arrival, check in and rest for today.
Day 2 - Kota Kinabalu
After breakfast, take a guided walk to see the historical buildings and monuments such as Australia’s place - one of the oldest building in town.
In the afternoon, drive to KK Wetlands Center to learn about the importance of the mangrove swamps to the environment.
At one time, mangroves used to cover almost the entire coast of Kota Kinabalu. KK Wetlands is one of the last remaining patches & it’s an important breeding ground for various marine species. It acts as flood retention to hold heavy rainfalls and prevents possible flooding downstream. Take a walk around the mangroves on the board walk with the staff from the centre.
Day 3 – Kinabalu park
Travel to Kinabalu National Park – Home of the Mt.Kinabalu, the highest mountain on the island of Borneo. Mount Kinabalu is one of the youngest non-volcanic mountains in the world. Kinabalu National Park covers an area of 754 square kilometers and was Malaysia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The mountain and its surroundings are among the most important biological sites in the world, with over 800 species of orchid, 600 species of ferns, 326 species of birds, and is the richest place in the world for the Nepenthes insectivorous pitcher plants (five of the thirteen are found nowhere else on earth).
Travel to Sabah Tea Garden – the only tea plantation in Sabah. Located 2,272 feet above sea levels, the harvests are 100% pesticide free as insects are drawn towards the 130 million-year-old rainforests surrounding the plantation.
Day 4 – Poring hot spring
After breakfast, head to Poring Hot Spring. Poring is situated in lowland rainforest, contrasting with the montane and sub montane rainforest of Kinabalu National Park.
You'll also get to explore the Langanan Waterfall. Standing at 120 meters in height, it's the highest waterfall in Poring. The trek will take approx. 2 hours through the lowland tropical forest. Along the trek, you will see many trees labelled with species tag. Proceed to the canopy walk traversing the treetops in search of birdlife. The canopy is over 175 Meters long and 41-43 Meters in height, so this is not for those who have height phobia!
In the afternoon, you can choose your own activity; enjoy the swimming pool, visit the butterfly farm, Orchid farm or explore the area to spot the biggest flower in the world, Rafflesia before returning to Sabah tea garden for your overnight stay.
Day 5 - Sabah Tea / Kinabatangan
The morning starts early, with a sunrise walk through the tea plantation with the mist drifting over the undulating tea plants with a backdrop of Mount Kinabalu, before heading overland to Kinabatangan.
Your hosts for the next 3 nights are the local ecological organization, KOPEL, whose aim is to provide villagers with environmental education and the means of making a living from the forests, without the need for their destruction. Part of the program is to develop an ecologically sound wildlife and ecotourism center, owned and operated by the villagers themselves.
After a late lunch and a presentation from KOPEL, head by boat into the jungle (approx. 30 mins) and stay by the beautiful Oxbow Lake - the best way to experience untamed Borneo. Wild elephants are rarely seen but you'll hopefully find crocodiles, macaques, wild orangutan and the freaky looking proboscis monkeys, as hornbills fly in the skies overhead. Be prepared for an adventure!
Later in the afternoon take a river safari in search of wildlife and then as it gets dark you'll take a night walk in search of nocturnal animals and creepy crawlies. Fall asleep to the noise of cicadas with an overnight stay in the jungle.
Day 6 - Kinabatangan
Wake to the sound of Hornbills and proceed for sunrise wildlife river cruise. After Breakfast, you'll split into groups to start your project work removing the Salvinia weed from Oxbow lake.
Salvinia weed is an invasive weed from South America that started appearing in the beautiful oxbow lake in 2001. Salvinia today covers around 60% of the lake’s surface and poses a severe threat to all aquatic life including three Otter species and a host of rare water birds such as Kingfishers and Oriental darters. Your help in removing this weed will help preserve the biodiversity of the lake.
Following your work, you’ll head off for a sunset wildlife cruise and then after dinner be ready for another wildlife observation walk – keep your eyes peeled for Western Tarsiers.
Day 7 – Kinabatangan
Start the day with a morning walk and bird watching and after breakfast, visit the Bat cave Sapataring.
In the afternoon, visit Batu Tulug to learn more about the life of the local people by taking part in traditional music & cultural performances. Enjoy some local games before heading back on the boat for some more wildlife spotting.
After dinner, take your headtorches and head out into the jungle for a night walk in search of insects and nocturnal animals. See what happens to the jungle at night, and what creatures come out to play!
Day 8 - Kinabatangan / Sepilok
After breakfast, visit Labuk Bay. Located within a mangrove forest surrounded by cultivated palm oil lands, the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary is a unique opportunity to get up close with this primate. Take your best shots on camera from an observation area while keeping a lookout for other wildlife that frequent the sanctuary such as silver-leaf monkeys, macaques, hornbills and kingfishers.
Return to your resort for short rest & lunch. In the afternoon, visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre situated within the famous Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve.
Take the opportunity to walk on a suspension bridge, ending with the only Canopy Walk (147 metres long) in Sandakan. The 28 metres above ground walkway allows you to walk among the rainforest giants such as the mengaris trees. Birdwatchers will be fascinated by this place as it has one of the rarest birds in Sabah, The Borneon Bristlehead and another 250 species of other birds.
Day 9 – Sepilok
After breakfast, head out for a visit to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and Sun Bear Conservation Centre. After registration, follow a guided boardwalk that will lead you to the Feeding Platform, a chance for you to explore the lowland rainforest trees.
Witness the feeding of the Orang Utan, watch the scheduled video programme about the Orang Utan and SOURC (25 mins) at the Nature Education Centre and pay a visit to the Exhibition Hall at the centre. Walk to nearby Sun Bear conservation centre before proceeding for lunch at a local restaurant.
The rest of the afternoon is yours, but you can opt to visit Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre for the 2nd feeding at 3pm.
Day 10 - Kinabatangan / Kudat
Enjoy breakfast before heading to Kudat. It will be a long 7-8hrs land journey. Upon arrival at Kudat, you will take part in a cultural tour to North Kudat in which the Rungus maintain their longhouse lifestyle & traditions. Learn about their grain planting and their crafts such as basketry, bead work & cloth weaving.
You’ll spend overnight at Tampat do Aman reserve, which has rescued and released a number of animals into the reserve (Marbled Leopard cat, Mouse Deer, Borneon Muncjac barking deer, Scops Owls, Slow Loris’ , Civet cats , Fresh water turtles , non-poisonous snakes), the animals are free to leave the reserve and carry on with their lives elsewhere in the area but a lot also come back and even make their homes in the reserve. In the reserve there is a 100ft suspension bridge, 40ft high watch tower and pond viewing platform.
Day 11 - Kudat
In the morning visit Gombizau village and receive a tour of the bee farm in which a local guide will highlight the villages practices. Then head off to the nearby village Sumangkap where the villagers produce their own gong using a traditional method.
After lunch, visit the Tip of Borneo – Simpang Mengayau, overlooking the South China Ocean & Sulu Ocean. Tonight will be spent in an eco-lodge where their sustainable sanitation is unique to this area and has allowed them to educate locals to the benefits of resourceful and considerate waste management.
Day 12 – Kudat
Today is your own. Revisit the Tampat Do Aman wildlife reserve, Rungus cultural museum, viewing platforms for birds and wildlife watching and top it all off with a free shuttle service to the beach at the Tip of Borneo.
Day 13 - Kota Kinabalu
Say goodbye to your host and proceed overland for 3-4hrs to Kota Kinabalu. Free at leisure, with dinner later that evening
Day 14 – Departure
There are no activities planned for the final day, you can depart the accommodation at any time.
Duration: 14 days / 13 nights
- Hotel x 5 nights
- Multi-share x 8 Nights
- 13 x Breakfast, 4 x dinner
- 2 English speaking tour leaders throughout
- 24h emergency service
Marine conservation work day 12 & 13
On day 12 you could choose to head to Kota Kinabalu instead of remaining in Kudat, to allow for a Marine conservation work on day 13.
On day 13, discover a different side to Sabah life when you head to the jetty and head out on a boat. Learn why coral reefs are so important for protecting the local shores and supporting local livelihoods. Learn how to identify fish and collect marine data. After lunch, support some conservation work, help to clean up the beach, sea or both, then after a debrief and team photo, it’s back to the hotel to rest before flying home later that evening.