- The Men of the Forest
One of our closest animal relations, sharing 97% of the same DNA, is the orang-utan, which are only found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.
- Small is beautiful
A highlight of your Borneo adventure will undoubtedly be a cruise along the Menanggol river, a small tributary of the Kinabatangan river.
Classic Tour Standard
Borneo Rainforest Adventure
Borneofrom £3,099 per person
2 passengers 14 nights Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £71 if not required
- Small Group 15 or less
- VIP door to door
- Full board
Enjoy the exhilarating experience of a lifetime travelling into Borneo's rainforests
Enjoy the exhilarating experience of a lifetime travelling into Borneo. Its rainforests are blessed with a stunning botanical diversity and unique wildlife which you can discover as part of a small group on this fascinating tour. Explore the foothills of Mount Kinabalu, cruise tropical rivers and thrill at the chance of seeing the orang-utans of Sepilok.
12 nights in hotels and 2 in flight
35 meals: 12 breakfasts (B), 11 lunches (L) and 12 dinners (D)
Local expert guide
Plus all this...
- Return flights and transfers
- Sundowner drink at a memorable location
- Porterage at all hotels
Excursions and visits
- Poring Hot Springs and Kinabalu National Park
- Gomantong Caves
- Evening cruise on the Menanggol River
- Birdwatching cruise on an oxbow lake
- Sepilok Orang-utan Centre
- Sun Bear Conservation Centre
- Rainforest Discovery Centre
- Labuk Bay Monkey Sanctuary
- Sandakan sightseeing tour
- Kota Kinabalu city tour
- Day 1 UK-Kota Kinabalu
- Day 2 Kota Kinabalu
- Day 3 Kota Kinabalu
- Day 4 Kota Kinabalu-Kinabalu Park
- Day 5 Kinabalu Park
- Day 6 Kinabalu National Park-Poring Hot Spring
- Day 7 Poring Hot Springs
- Day 8 Poring Hot Springs-Sukau
- Day 9 Kinabatangan River
- Day 10 Sukau-Gomantong Caves-Sandakan
- Day 11 Sandakan
- Day 12 Sandakan-Kota Kinabalu-Manukan Island
- Day 13 Manukan Island
- Day 14 Manukan Island-Kota Kinabalu-UK
- Day 15 UK
Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel
Proboscis Lodge Bukit Melapi
Manukan Island Resort
Day 1 UK-Kota Kinabalu
After taking Saga’s included UK door-to-door travel service to Heathrow, depart in the evening for your overnight flight to Kota Kinabalu.
Day 2 Kota Kinabalu
Transfer to the locally rated 4-star Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel (4Q), where you'll spend two nights.
Situated on the seafront and close to the Filipino Market this contemporary hotel has four restaurants, a bar/lounge, a coffee shop, an outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre and free Wi-Fi throughout. Each of the 332 air-conditioned rooms has a television, telephone, free bottled water, safe, iron and ironing board and hairdryer.
Conclude your day with a welcome dinner this evening when you can get to know your fellow guests over a relaxing meal. D
Day 3 Kota Kinabalu
Relax this morning, then look forward to an afternoon tour when you can discover some of the highlights of Kota Kinabalu. With museums, mosques, markets, temples and panoramic views, there's lots to see here. B, L, D
Day 4 Kota Kinabalu-Kinabalu Park
Start your day with a visit to the Sabah Museum in Kota Kinabalu, whose galleries range from ethnography to natural history and ceramics, all relating to the culture and history of Sabah. The museum is also home to a ‘Heritage Village’ where you can see several traditional reconstructed houses, as well as an ethno-botanical garden.
After visiting the museum, head for Kinabalu Park (a drive of approximately two hours), pausing en route at Nabalu handicraft market with its selection of local products. Kinabalu Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with habitats that range from tropical lowlands to rainforest. It is also home to Mt Kinabalu and a centre of plant diversity for southeast Asia.
Spend two nights at the locally-rated 3-star Hill Lodge (2Q) situated within the Park. Facilities at the lodge include two restaurants. The simple but comfortable accommodation is in bungalow-style rooms situated on a hill side, each equipped with en suite facilities. Look forward to enjoying complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks from 6pm to 9pm at the Lodge’s Liwagu Restaurant. B, L, D
Day 5 Kinabalu Park
Look forward to visiting the Park’s Mountain Garden today when you’ll be able to discover some of the 4,500 different species of flora and fauna to be found in the park. There are also nature trails you may wish to enjoy – perfect for bird watching, reptile spotting and plant discovery.
Relax at your lodge this evening. B, L, D
Day 6 Kinabalu National Park-Poring Hot Spring
Depart after breakfast stopping first at the Kundasang War Memorial, erected in 1962 in memory of the Australian and British POWs who perished in the infamous Sandakan Death Marches during World War II.
Next you’ll see Kundasang Market for a glimpse of the local produce, before continuing to Sabah Tea Plantation – an organic tea farm surrounded by rainforest. Afterwards continue to Poring Hot Spring where you’ll stay for the next two nights at a Glamping Centre (2Q). Facilities at the centre include a restaurant. Accommodation will be in well-appointed tents equipped with their own bathroom facilities, an air cooler, television and ceiling fan. B, L, D
Day 7 Poring Hot Springs
This morning, take a short trek into the forest to the Canopy Walkway, suspended between trees at a height of some 40 metres.
Enjoy a bird's-eye view of the tropical rainforest, that is both home and a hideaway for many animals and birds. (Please note occasionally the walkway is closed for essential maintenance (often in April), in which case an alternative tour of the tropical gardens will be arranged.) During your visit you can also look forward to perhaps enjoying an activity which may include jungle trekking, or wildlife activities in the the rainforest.
Relax and enjoy dinner at your glamping site this evening. B, L, D
Day 8 Poring Hot Springs-Sukau
Leave Poring Hot Springs area and and travel along the infamous ‘Sandakan Track’ route where you'll stop at points of significant interest.
During World War II, British and Australian prisoners were marched by the Japanese in three groups from their Sandakan POW camp to Mount Kinabalu. Ultimately, only six survived from a total of 2,700 prisoners. Stay two nights at the locally rated 2-star Proboscis Lodge Bukit Melapi (2Q). Designed to sit unobtrusively within its tropical surroundings, and overlooking the river, the accommodation is clean, comfortable and simple. As well as an open-air (but covered) restaurant, bar and recreation room, see if you can find the ‘secret’ tree-house room! Your accommodation is in individual lodges tucked away amid the trees and linked by well-lit paths. All lodges have a balcony, air conditioning, a ceiling fan, shower and toilet.
Later today, enjoy a cruise on the Menanggol River, home to a range of birdlife including the kingfisher, oriental darter and the colourful bee-eater. B, L, D
Day 9 Kinabatangan River
A great concentration of wildlife can be found along the Kinabatangan River.
The region is home to many primates including orang-utan and proboscis monkeys, elephant, crocodile, civet and even rhino. Enjoy an early morning cruise on an ox-bow lake where you have the chance to view some of the world’s most dramatic and beautiful birds in their natural surroundings. B, L, D
Day 10 Sukau-Gomantong Caves-Sandakan
Travel to Sandakan today, pausing en route at the Gomantong Caves where precious edible birds’ nests – considered a delicacy in China – are collected.
Swiftlets nest in the caves and twice a year their used and empty nests are harvested from high up. Continue to Sandakan where you'll visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. The proboscis monkeys are only found in parts of Borneo and with a diminishing habitat it has become increasingly difficult for them to find food. Located amid the mangroves in a region of vast palm oil plantations, this private sanctuary provides food and water each day to supplement their diet. Watch from the observation platform where, hopefully, you'll be able to see these fascinating and rare creatures, the males distinguished by their distinctive, pendulous noses and pot bellies!
Stay two nights at the locally rated 4-star Sabah Hotel (3Q). It is located near the town centre, yet still surrounded by attractive rainforest. Facilities include a choice of restaurants, an outdoor swimming pool with jacuzzi, a gymnasium, steam room and sauna, and a souvenir and gift shop. All 116 guest rooms are air conditioned and have a television, telephone, radio, tea and coffee-making facilities, mini-fridge, hairdryer and Wi-Fi. Safety deposit boxes are available at reception. B, L, D
Day 11 Sandakan
This morning, after breakfast, visit two wildlife conservation projects that rehabilitate animals with the goal of returning them to the wild – Sepilok Orangutan Centre and Sun Bear Conservation Centre.
Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary was established in 1964 and is dedicated to rehabilitating orphan orangutans. The sanctuary lies in the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve where the orang-utans are taught to climb, feed and ultimately live independently. Walkways and viewing galleries make it possible to watch these fascinating and threatened creatures in their natural habitat (although sightings can't be guaranteed). You'll also be able to find out more about the orangutans at the Information Nature Education Centre on the reserve.
Later on you'll visit the Sun Bear Conservation Centre. The centre slowly rehabilitates the bears, recognisable by the gold crescent-shaped patch that adorns their breast, ready to release them into the wild – though, like much of the wildlife on the island, their natural habitat is under increasing threat from deforestation.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant today, then visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre, a local bastion of environmental education. Here you'll learn how life at the roots of the trees differs from that in the canopy as you follow trails through the jungle at ground level, and then ascend to the high walkways. B, L, D
Day 12 Sandakan-Kota Kinabalu-Manukan Island
Join an included orientation city tour of Sandakan.
Always an important trading post, Sandakan was the capital of British North Borneo from 1884 until it was destroyed in World War II. The Anglican Church of St Michael and All Angels contrasts with the beautiful 1880s Chinese Temple, dedicated to the goddess of mercy, and set on a hillside above the town. For an unrivalled view of Sandakan Bay, you'll visit the Puu Jih Shih Buddhist temple, which was built in 1987 and is an ornate blaze of red and gold.
Then travel to the airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu from where you'll tranfer to Manukan Island where you'll spend two nights at the locally rated 4-star Manukan Island Resort (3Q) and enjoy lunch on arrival.The resort is situated on a private island and offers the opportunity to enjoy a stay on a tropical island. Facilities include the P’rahu Restaurant which offers a selection of local and international food, and bar-b-que lunches. During your stay you can also look forward to enjoying included beer, wine, soft drinks, juices, spirits, water, coffee, tea and cocktails from 11am to 11pm.
Relax beside the resort's swimming pool or on the private beach. the resort's 20 rooms are in air-conditioned chalets with television and tea and coffee-making facilities. B, L, D
Day 13 Manukan Island
Manukan Island is one of five tropical islands that together form the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. Manukan Island is surrounded by a coral reef, and is home to rainforests and beautiful beaches, perfect for relaxing. Activities available on the island (for an extra charge) include scuba diving, and kayaking. B, L, D
Day 14 Manukan Island-Kota Kinabalu-UK
It's time to bid the magical land of Borneo goodbye as you travel to the airport for your overnight return flight to the UK. B
Day 15 UK
Arrive this morning for your included UK door-to-door travel service home.
Pre-holiday extension - breakfasts included
Before your holiday, stay at the locally rated 4-star Renaissance Kuala Lumpur (4Q), set in the city's 'Golden Triangle'. Available when flying with Malaysia Airlines.
4 nights post-tour extension. All inclusive.
After your holiday, stay a further four nights at the locally rated 4-star Manukan Island Resort.
Mulu National Park and Miri
Post-holiday extension - All breakfasts and two lunches
Spend 3 nights in Mulu National Park before travelling to Miri for your final night.
A note about food
A note about food
The diverse cultural and ethnic mix of Malaysia is reflected in its cuisine, which incorporates elements of Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Nyonya and Thai. Many of the lodges on this tour will only serve Asian-style buffet food such as stir fries, noodles and rice, and alternative dishes will be limited.
Please note: some of the sites visited during the tour may levy a small charge for photographs.
Departures in 2021 will follow a slightly different itinerary, spending two nights in luxury glamping accommodation at Poring Hot Springs instead of staying in Keningau.