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Best of Borneo
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Explore the very best of Borneo on this adventurous Journey, taking you from the museums of Kuching to the jungles of Sepilok. Venture into the forests and seek out exotic Malaysian wildlife, including the mighty orangutan, visit a traditional longhouse, and finish on the gorgeous white sands of Gaya Island.
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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Kuching
Borneo’s largest city is a good base for exploring the many natural wonders of Sarawak. The name Kuching is thought to mean ‘cat’ and indeed there is a cat museum and a prominent cat statue in town. While away the time with a wander among the market stalls, along the waterfront park and around the Chinese temples. Kuching sunsets are legendary, so be sure to stick around ‘til dusk. While you’re here, join a Bite of Borneo tour, where you’ll hike and bike the villages and taste the region’s delicious street food.
5* Hilton Kuching
Set off on your 2-night Tribal Life Adventure, departing Kuching for Batang Ai, passing through pretty countryside and lakes along the way to your hotel. The next day board a longboat and head for Mengkak Longhouse, which is nestled on a hill by the Engkari River. Enjoy a short cultural performance by the inhabitant of the longhouse followed later by a blow pipe demonstration. After another night in your resort, return to Kuching.
Head on to Kota Kinabalu where you’ll stay right on the coast, just a short drive from the city. Venture into town and browse the atmospheric night markets or stay closer to home and discover the local nature such as the rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, in Kinabalu National Park. Being by the sea, you can also try out various water sports such as jet skiing, parasailing, banana boating, windsurfing and paddle boarding. Dive beneath the waves and discover the corals and anemones, or if you’re lucky, a turtle or a reef shark.
Set off on your 4-night Wildlife Experience Tour, first flying to Sandakan and then going in search of orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, home to around 70 of these great apes who live freely on the reserve. Seeing them interact in their natural habitat is a truly magical experience – don’t forget your camera! After you’ve admired the orangs, head to the nearby Sun Bear Conservation Centre before spending the night at My Nature Resort (or similar). The next day, venture into the jungle to explore the mangroves and enjoy a wildlife cruise. Later that night, head out in search of the night-time jungle animals such as snakes and bats.
Head on to Kinabatangan where it’s all about the wildlife. Take a river trip and join the locals to see their work on a tree planting project, before looking orangutans, proboscis monkeys and macaques, and look out for birds including hornbills and kingfishers on a cruise to Sukau village. Late afternoon, take another river cruise to Menanggul River, a small tributary of the Kinabatangan. The next day, wake up to the sounds of hornbills and gibbons before spending the day exploring the oxbow lakes, chilling in your riverside lodge and looking for more wildlife on a river cruise.
4* Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge
Transfer to Gaya Island, which is only accessible by boat. Surrounded by coral reefs and mangroves with a forested interior, Gaya is perfect for a spot of diving or beach lounging. There’s plenty to do here - walk the forest trails with a naturalist guide, take a yoga class under a tree canopy, learn about the indigenous tribes, or perhaps try out deep sea fishing. Various animals call the island home, so look out for proboscis monkeys, hornbills, mouse deer, pangolin and bearded pigs and over 600 bird species. If wildlife is your thing, head down to the Marine Ecology Research Centre (MERC) and discover the world beneath the waves. Highlights include the maternity tank, filled with pregnant seahorses.
Depart Kota Kinabalu and return to the UK.
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