Borneo culture and wildlife tour

Let us take you through the best of Borneo, from Sarawak’s stunning Mulu Caves to historical Brunei, the majestic mountain of Kinabalu and finally for superb wildlife viewing at the multi-award winning Sukau Rainforest Lodge.

Best time for this itinerary: July and August

Touring Style -  private 

Prices are seasonal, include hotels, breakfast, wildlife excursions and transfers. Starts from:
GBP 2265 per person sharing a twin room, Standard Class Lodges

International and domestic airfares are extra..

Borneo culture and wildlife tour at a glance
  • Day 1: Kuching
  • Day 2: City Tour
  • Day 3: Lemanak Longhouse
  • Day 4: Lemanak Longhouse - Kuching
  • Day 5: Miri - Mulu
  • Day 6: Wind and Clearwater Caves
  • Day 7: Miri - Bandar Seri Begawan
  • Day 8: Bandar Seri Begawan City Tour
  • Day 9: Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
  • Day 10: Kinabalu Park World Heritage Site - Poring Hot Springs
  • Day 11: Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre - Sukau
  • Day 12: Sukau Rainforest Lodge
  • Day 13: Sandakan - Kota Kinabalu
  • Day 14: Departure
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Day 1: Kuching

Arrive Kuching and transfer to your hotel.

Distance and journey times: 13 km, 30 to 40 mins

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Day 2: City Tour

Today’s city sightseeing will take you to attractions such as the Chinatown, Cat monument, City Tower for a bird's eye view of Kuching city, the Malay Houses on stilts, Old State Mosque, Main Bazaar, India Street, Gambier Road, Wet Market, Colonial Centre, Textile Museum, Chinese Museum, Sarawak Museum, and Kuching Waterfront to view the ultra modern State Legislative Assembly building, alongside the historical Astana and Fort Margherita.

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Day 3: Lemanak Longhouse

We depart Kuching for a 4-hour drive through the evergreen rainforest, fields of pepper and rubber. The first stop will be at Serian town where you will be taken to visit an excellent farmers' market. Continue the drive to the Lemanak River where a delightful longboat ride under the rainforest canopy takes you to the longhouse. Pay a courtesy visit to the headman of the longhouse before visiting the pepper garden and a brief exploration of the surrounding forest. In the evening a traditional style dinner sitting on the mat will be served, followed by a night of traditional ceremonial dances and merry merry-making. Overnight in the longhouse.

Distance and journey times: 260 km, 4 hrs

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Day 4: Lemanak Longhouse - Kuching

After breakfast, witness and participate in the blowpipe demonstration and a guided nature walk which gives you an opportunity to learn about some medicinal plants, edible fruits, and leaves, the agricultural activities of the community and some game traps used in the past for trapping animals. We will stop by the river beach for a backwoods style picnic lunch where our foods are cooked in bamboo. After lunch, depart by longboat downriver and continue overland for your return journey to Kuching.

Distance and journey times: 260 km, 4 hrs

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Day 5: Mulu National Park

Take a private transfer to the airport for a short flight to Mulu. Meet at Mulu Airport and transfer to your accommodation for check-in. After lunch, trek 45 minutes on a raised plank walk through lowland rainforest and peat swamp to Skywalk Canopy and Lang Caves. Walk inside the largest cave passage of Deer Caves. Witness the daily exodus of millions of bats at the Observatory at sunset. Overnight.

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Day 6: Wind and Clearwater Caves

Take 45 minutes ride by longboat up Melinau River to explore Wind Caves. Visit Clearwater caves to see the subterranean river passage which at 100 km, is the longest cave system in South East Asia. Lunch at nearby Clearwater River and swim in the crystal clear water.

Day 7: Miri - Bandar Seri Begawan

Fly back to Miri and then transfer overland with your driver to Brunei. Overnight at Bandar Seri Begawan.

Distance and journey times: 156 km, 3 hrs

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Day 8: Bandar Seri Begawan City Tour

A private sightseeing tour includes a photo stop outside the Royal Palace, Istana Nurul Iman "Palace of Light", which is the biggest residential palace in the world. Visit the magnificent, "The Jame 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque" before we take a boat ride through the famous Water Village with a chance to stop and walk around. Proceed to the Brunei Museum and learn about the birth of Brunei and see the Borneo ethnographic display, natural history collection, treasures of ceramic, glassware and carpets. Fly to Kota Kinabalu where you will be met and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.

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Day 9: Kota Kinabalu, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Enjoy a full day at the Coral Islands within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, 15 minutes off the coast of Kota Kinabalu. From the jetty, take a speedboat to Mamutik Island and then continue in the afternoon to Manukan Island. Enjoy the white sandy beaches and pristine waters of the TAR Marine Park

Return to the mainland and then to the hotel.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu.

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Day 10: Kinabalu Park World Heritage Site - Poring Hot Springs

Drive 2 hours overland to the foothills of Mt. Kinabalu at 5,000 ft. After a short stop at Nabalu market to savour local fruits in season, visit the Education Centre and Mountain Garden. Continue on the 40 km overland journey to Poring. Explore tropical rainforest among the jungle trail leading to the treetop canopy walkway suspended 41 meters above the forest floor. Return to Kota Kinabalu. Overnight.

Distance and journey times: 92 km, 2 hrs

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Day 11: Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre - Sukau

Transfer to Kota Kinabalu for a flight to Sandakan. On arrival at Sandakan Airport, transfer to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. Walk ten minutes through the rainforest on wooden boardwalks to witness the feeding of the orangutans. After lunch, transfer to Sandakan jetty for a two and a half hour boat journey to the multi-award winning Sukau Rainforest Lodge along Sabah's longest river, Kinabatangan. Take a river cruise in search of wildlife and birds. Enjoy a candle light dinner overlooking the riverbank. Stay overnight at the Sukau Rainforest Lodge.

Distance and journey times: 129 km, 2 hrs

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Day 12: Sukau Rainforest Lodge

Take a morning river cruise up the Kinabatangan River to view the birds and wildlife. After breakfast, proceed for an educational tour along the lodge's Hornbill Boardwalk with an in-house naturalist. In the afternoon, we proceed for another river cruise for more wildlife. Stay overnight at the Sukau Rainforest Lodge.

The Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary which covers an area of 26,800 hectares, forms part of the Kinabatangan region which is the largest floodplain the Malaysia covering a total of 23% of the land area of Sabah or 16,800 sq.km. Gazetted in 2005 as a gift to the Earth, it has a diverse ecosystem from coastal mangrove swamp, to riparian, freshwater and dipterocarp and oxbow vegetation teaming with wildlife supporting ten species of primates including orangutans, proboscis monkeys, to Borneo pygmy elephants, 50 species of mammals, 20 species of reptiles and over 1,026 species of plants.

Birdlife is especially rich here (over 325 species have been sighted in the area) including eight species of hornbills, kingfishers, darters, owls, kites, eagles, broadbills, doves, storm storks, herons, hawks, ospreys, falcon, pheasants, parakeets, bee-eaters, woodpeckers, pittas, bulbuls, forktails, babblers, warblers, flycatchers, orioles.

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Day 13: Sandakan - Kota Kinabalu

After breakfast, return to Sandakan by boat. Proceed to visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre. Take a bird's eye view of the centre from the canopy walk and hanging bridge and explore the botanical garden, home to various species of flora. Proceed to Sandakan Memorial Park for a short visit before a transfer to the airport for a flight to Kota Kinabalu. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Distance and journey times: 129 km, 2 hrs

Day 14: Departure

Pick up from your hotel and transfer to Kota Kinabalu International Airport for departure.

Distance and journey times: 8 km, 15 mins

Highlights

Kinabalu Park World Heritage Site

This UNESCO World Heritage site is located to the north east of Malaysian Borneo in Sabah State, and at over 4000 metres contains south-east Asia’s tallest peak – sacred Mt Kinabalu.

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Kinabatangan River for exceptional wildlife cruises

The Kinabatangan River is the longest river in Sabah, and have the highest concentration of wildlife in Borneo. Dawn and late afternoon river cruises provide the perfect opportunity to see 10 primate species – usually the Proboscis Monkeys, Orangutan and Bornean Gibbon.

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Kota Kinabalu: Gateway to Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Kota Kinabalu, or KB, is named after its eponymous mountain, and is the capital of Sabah State in Malaysian Borneo

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Kuching picturesque Malay villages

The capital of Sarawak State in Malaysian Borneo, the city is a fascinating mix of culture, architecture, and natural wonder.

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Mulu National Park caves and bats

Located in a remote region of Sarawak State, the national park is a wonderfully diverse natural environment of other-worldly limestone pinnacles, primary rain forest, and cave systems teeming with a unique array of wildlife.

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Sandakan: Gateway to Sabah's wonders

Formerly the colonial capital of British North Borneo, Sandakan faces the Sulu Sea on Sabah’s east coast

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Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

The centre is located at Sandakan in east Sabah State, in Malaysian Borneo. It offers a wonderfully unique opportunity to experience orangutans up close, while remaining entirely in their natural habitat.

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Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

The Marine Park is a cluster of islands; Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. Soft white beaches perfect for snorkellers and divers.

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Accommodation

Kuching, Superior Class
Hilton Kuching

Located on the beautiful waterfront overlooking the Sarawak River, with captivating views over the city and within walking distance to many popular attractions

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Kinabatangan River, Sabah, Unique Lodges
Sukau Rainforest Lodge

The Sukau Rainforest Lodge leaves the lightest of footprints upon its stunningly beautiful and ecologically important natural surroundings.

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Kota Kinabalu, Deluxe Class
Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa

Located an easy 15 minutes transfer from Kota Kinabalu, the Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa enjoys stunning views across palm fringed beaches, to islands of coral set in the South China Sea

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Kota Kinabalu, Deluxe Class
Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Beach Resort & Spa

Located on Pantai Dalit Beach, enjoying sunrise views over Mount Kinabalu, the Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Beach Resort & Spa is set within its own stunning nature reserve of lush green jungle

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Lemanak River
Lemanak Iban Longhouse

An overnight stay at the Lemanak Iban Longhouse offers a magical experience on a visit to Sarawak. During your visit, you will experience the atmosphere of the Iban traditional life, sharing their food and enjoying their friendly hospitality.

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Mulu, Superior Class
Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa

A luxury resort in a lush tropical rainforest five minutes from Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wake up each morning in a luxurious room suspended on a walkway set in the forest

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