Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Borneo Wildlife Discoverer tour
Borneo Mount Kinabalu Borneo Wildlife Discoverer Trip
Cultural Bird watching Borneo Wildlife Discoverer package

Borneo Wildlife Discoverer

Exodus Travels Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
99%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
17 days
From: $ 4,799 $ 282 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Orang-utan spotting
  • Mulu N.P. with the impressive Deer Cave bat exodus
  • River cruising in Kinabatagan
  • Luxury jungle lodge in Danum Valley
  • Proboscis monkey spotting

Short Description

Borneo is home to some of the most diverse and beautiful wildlife in the whole of South East Asia. Starting with a visit to majestic Mt Kinabalu, we then continue to one of the trip highlights - the pristine Danum Valley. A nature lover's paradise, whose beauty and animals are equalled only by Sarawak and the World Heritage Mulu National Park with its immense cave system and the oldest rainforest in the world. We come face to face with Orang-utans at the Sepilok sanctuary, stay at a bamboo longhouse in Sabah on a tea plantation, and finish the trip in the historic port town of Sandakan.Showcasing the best of Borneo - wildlife, rainforests and tropical beaches

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Kuching
End City Sandakan

Destinations

Malaysia

Cities & Attractions

Borneo Mount Kinabalu

Age Requirement

16

No Single Supplement
See more

Trip Includes

  • 14 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

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Itinerary

Flight Inclusive

Day 1 Depart London

Depart London

Day 2 Arrive Kuching

The capital of Sarawak, Kuching, is a vibrant riverside city full of different ethnic groups who have migrated from the surrounding forests. With a great museum and a well preserved colonial centre there is much to do in this fascinating cultural hot spot. Those arriving using their own arrangements can arrive at any time. There will be a group briefing this evening with your tour leader at 6pm after which we can have dinner at the hawkers stalls on the waterfront. *Hotel Lime Tree or similar*

Day 3 Day trip to Bako N.P. famous for Proboscis monkeys

Our first foray into Borneo’s amazing nature as we head to nearby Bako National Park famous for its Proboscis monkeys. This is where the rainforest meets the sea and the only way to get to the park is by boat (after a 1hr drive out of the city). It has abundant wildlife, jungle streams, waterfalls, interesting plant life, secluded beaches and trekking trails. Despite being the smallest National Park in Sarawak, Bako contains almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo. Please note that as Bako NP is only accessible by boat, our time there is often dictated by tides and weather conditions. Our leader will inform us of the details the previous day. We return to Kuching for the night. *Hotel Lime Tree or similar*

Day 4 Fly to Mulu N.P.; sunset walk to Deer Cave for bat exodus

We leave the city behind and fly to Mulu National park (schedules for this flight often vary). After checking-in at the Park HQ, we will be introduced to the park guides and head through the forest to Deer Cave. Some of the caves have been mapped by occasional expeditions; they have their own ecosystems with plants and animals living in the cave chambers. Deer Cave, the largest cave passage in the world, is home to millions of bats and swifts that live side by side on the roof of the cave. The cave floor has a raised platform, though that is no escape from the smell of the 'guano' – the excrement from millions of birds and bats. Close-by is Lang's Cave, which though much smaller, has some excellent stalactites and stalagmites and other cave formations. The forest around the caves is spectacular and there is plenty of time to examine it closely. The walk to Deer Cave is 3kms (each way) along boardwalks and there are wooden steps leading to different viewing platforms inside the show caves. We will arrive at Deer Cave in time for dusk which is when the bats leave the comfort of the cave to feed on insects (as long as it is not raining). This is a sight to behold with the bats leaving the cave in a long line snaking across the sky for quite some time. Dependent on the timings of the day we may visit the caves tomorrow instead. Please note that due to flight schedules there isn’t much time for lunch between the time we arrive at Mulu NP and the time we depart for the caves. You should buy something at the airport to have later. *Mulu National Park Garden Cottages or similar*

Day 5 Full day exploring Mulu N.P.

Today is a day for exploring this stunning park with a local guide. In the morning we visit three of the 'show caves' including Clearwater where a picnic (not included) lunch can be had in the gorgeous riverside location. The park has some incredible statistics; It has over 3,500 plant species, 8,000 different types of fungi and 170 species of orchid. Over 100 new plant species were discovered between 1960 and 1973, and many are still being added. There are 262 species of bird, almost 300 species of butterflies and many reptiles and mammals. Members of the Penan tribe live within the park. They are a small population of nomadic forest dwellers who live as hunter-gatherers. There has been fierce international opposition to the Malaysian government who tried to settle them in permanent longhouses and indeed the Penan themselves have also resisted. In 1994 they were granted an area of the forest where they could continue their traditional lifestyle. Although you are unlikely to meet these elusive people, you occasionally see their fishing shelters or areas in the forest where they have recently visited. This afternoon there are a number of options available including a visit to one of the local Penan settlements to learn a little more about their unique way of life. Alternatively, simply relax in the park and listen to the weird and wonderful creatures that call it home. Those with a head for heights can try the optional canopy walkway. This 480-metre skywalk is the longest tropical canopy walkway in the world and takes approximately 2 hours to complete. Along the way, visitors may be able to see macaque monkeys, hornbills, flying lizards, squirrels and a variety of rainforest birds. In the evening there is an optional night walk or we can try the local Mulu 'firewater', Tuak. *Mulu National Park Garden Cottages or similar*

Day 6 Early rise for dawn chorus in Mulu; fly to Kota Kinabalu

We aim to catch the morning flight out of Mulu and on to Kota Kinabalu via Miri though delays are not uncommon. Depending on what time we fly out of Mulu there may be some time to walk along self-guided trails or at the visitor’s centre. Known as KK to the locals, the capital of Sabah is a now a modern multi-cultural city. The evening is free to relax, explore the bustling Filipino markets or enjoy a sundowner on the waterfront. *Hotel Dreamtel or similar*

Day 7 Free day; optional snorkelling and island trip, wetland birdwatching or cultural village

Today you are free to enjoy some of the many activities Kota Kinabalu has to offer. A popular option is to visit one of the tropical islands in the marine park, a 15 minute boat journey from the city and offering excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities. Here you can never be bored whether you are relaxing on the white sand, snorkelling or just swimming in the warm South China Sea. There is some good birdwatching opportunities in the wetlands not far from KK as well as a cultural village in Mari Mari for an insight into the different cultures of Sabah. Your tour leader can help organise any of these options. *Hotel Dreamtel or similar*

Day 8 To Kinabalu N.P.; visit Sabah Tea Plantation

Transfer about 2 hours and explore World Heritage Site; Mount Kinabalu National Park, home to the highest mountain in South East Asia, Mount Kinabalu at 4,095m. This impressive peak of huge granite walls can be viewed from the Crocker mountain range which we pass over, with panoramic views of the countryside and soaring hills. The lower mountain slopes are covered in thick vegetation and it is well known for its diverse botanical and biological species. En route, we stop at Nabalu market where villagers come to sell their produce and handicraft. It’s possible to walk through the plantation on your own if you want this afternoon. Tea, medicinal herbs, fruit and vegetables are just some of the things produced locally. From the plantation, the sunrise with a view of Mount Kinabalu is often spectacular. If we are lucky it may be possible to view the spectacular rafflesia in flower nearby or en route to the plantation. *Sabah Tea Gardens Longhouse*

Day 9 Visit Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary en route to Sepilok

Day 10 Visit Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary; optional visit to Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Up early we return to the Rainforest Discovery Centre for some more bird and wildlife viewing before returning to our lodge for breakfast. We then visit Sepilok Orang-utan Centre, the largest orang-utan sanctuary in the world. Here rehabilitated orphans and captured orang-utans are cared for until they are ready to be released into the wild. We get the opportunity to see these incredible relations of ours close-up and learn about the very real threats to their continued existence. You will have the chance to visit both morning and afternoon feedings. There is also an orang-utan nursery where youngsters are trained in climbing skills with the aim of reintroduction to the wild. We will have the chance to view the youngsters from a special viewing platform that sits behind one-way glass so as not to disturb or influence them. There is the option of visiting the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre which works with rescuing and rehabilitating captured bears as well as research and providing education to the community. *Sepilok Jungle Resort*

Day 11 To Gomantong Caves; onto Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary

Day 12 Wildlife cruises on Kinabatangan River and forest walks

We are up with the animals for a dawn wildlife cruise followed by a trek. In the afternoon, we will once again take a river cruise to spot wildlife and if we are lucky a crocodile or two. *Nature Lodge Kinabatangan or similar*

Day 13 To Danum Valley Conservation Centre; jungle walk and nocturnal safari

We drive to Lahad Datu approximately 2-3 hours where we change vehicles and drive off road into Danum Valley conservation area (approx. 3 hours), the largest protected lowland dipterocarp forest in Borneo. It is one of the last remaining pockets of primary lowland rainforest in Asia. Danum Valley is at the forefront of tropical rainforest research, and home to many rare and endangered species of mammals and birds – it is a real privilege to spend 2 nights here in the comforts of the Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Danum Valley is probably the very best place in Malaysia to see wild orang-utans in their pristine habitat. Apart from orang-utans, it has just about the complete range of Bornean wildlife and great trails. After settling in, there is an afternoon jungle nature trek to try and spot the elusive orang-utan, and after dinner a night drive is possible to spot many of the shy and retiring creatures of the forest. We will spend our time here with very experienced guides who accompany us on all our walks. One night drive and one night walk is included during our stay. *Borneo Rainforest Lodge*

Day 14 Full day guided walk in Danum Valley

We will spend a full day with our very experienced guides. We will have an opportunity to explore the trails, the canopy walkway and waterfalls whilst searching for wildlife in this remarkable place. The trek to a look out point over the Danum Valley takes approximately 1.5 hours each way. Danum is home to over 275 bird species, 110 species of mammals including orang-utans, five species of deer, giant flying squirrels, gibbons, bearded wild boars, flying frogs and the Asian elephant. One of Danum's least known animals is the elusive Sumatran rhinoceros, unfortunately facing imminent extinction. *Borneo Rainforest Lodge*

Day 15 Transfer to Sandakan

Today we will journey to Sandakan (approx. 5-6 hours). En-route we stop at Sandakan War Memorial. Sandakan was once a huge logging centre (it first exported wood in the late 1880s to supply the building of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing) and is home to many Chinese and Filipinos. The waterfront is a good place to take an evening walk and the roof top restaurant at the Nak hotel is a great place to sip a cocktail or two. *4 Points Hotel or similar*

Day 16 Depart Sandakan

There may be some free time to enjoy the hotel’s pool or explore Sandakan some more before those on the group flights are transferred to the airport for their flight home. For land only clients, the trip finishes this morning after breakfast.

Day 17 Arrive London

**



Land Only

Day 1 Start Kuching

The capital of Sarawak, Kuching, is a vibrant riverside city full of different ethnic groups who have migrated from the surrounding forests. With a great museum and a well preserved colonial centre there is much to do in this fascinating cultural hot spot. Those arriving using their own arrangements can arrive at any time. There will be a group briefing this evening at 6pm with your tour leader after which we can have dinner at the hawkers stalls on the waterfront. *Hotel Lime Tree or similar*

Day 2 Day trip to Bako N.P. famous for Proboscis monkeys

Our first foray into Borneo’s amazing nature as we head to nearby Bako National Park famous for its Proboscis monkeys. This is where the rainforest meets the sea and the only way to get to the park is by boat (after a 1hr drive out of the city). It has abundant wildlife, jungle streams, waterfalls, interesting plant life, secluded beaches and trekking trails. Despite being the smallest National Park in Sarawak, Bako contains almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo. Please note that as Bako NP is only accessible by boat, our time there is often dictated by tides and weather conditions. Our leader will inform us of the details the previous day. We return to Kuching for the night. *Hotel Lime Tree or similar*

Day 3 Fly to Mulu N.P.; sunset walk to Deer Cave for bat exodus

We leave the city behind and fly to Mulu National park (schedules for this flight often vary). After checking-in at the Park HQ, we will be introduced to the park guides and head through the forest to Deer Cave. Some of the caves have been mapped by occasional expeditions; they have their own ecosystems with plants and animals living in the cave chambers. Deer Cave, the largest cave passage in the world, is home to millions of bats and swifts that live side by side on the roof of the cave. The cave floor has a raised platform, though that is no escape from the smell of the 'guano' – the excrement from millions of birds and bats. Close-by is Lang's Cave, which though much smaller, has some excellent stalactites and stalagmites and other cave formations. The forest around the caves is spectacular and there is plenty of time to examine it closely. The walk to Deer Cave is 3kms (each way) along boardwalks and there are wooden steps leading to different viewing platforms inside the show caves. We will arrive at Deer Cave in time for dusk which is when the bats leave the comfort of the cave to feed on insects (as long as it is not raining). This is a sight to behold with the bats leaving the cave in a long line snaking across the sky for quite some time. Dependent on the timings of the day we may visit the caves tomorrow instead. Please note that due to flight schedules there isn’t much time for lunch between the time we arrive at Mulu NP and the time we depart for the caves. You should buy something at the airport to have later. *Mulu National Park Garden Cottages or similar*

Day 4 Full day exploring Mulu N.P.

Today is a day for exploring this stunning park with a local guide. In the morning we visit three of the 'show caves' including Clearwater where a picnic (not included) lunch can be had in the gorgeous riverside location. The park has some incredible statistics; It has over 3,500 plant species, 8,000 different types of fungi and 170 species of orchid. Over 100 new plant species were discovered between 1960 and 1973, and many are still being added. There are 262 species of bird, almost 300 species of butterflies and many reptiles and mammals. Members of the Penan tribe live within the park. They are a small population of nomadic forest dwellers who live as hunter-gatherers. There has been fierce international opposition to the Malaysian government who tried to settle them in permanent longhouses and indeed the Penan themselves have also resisted. In 1994 they were granted an area of the forest where they could continue their traditional lifestyle. Although you are unlikely to meet these elusive people, you occasionally see their fishing shelters or areas in the forest where they have recently visited. This afternoon there are a number of options available including a visit to one of the local Penan settlements to learn a little more about their unique way of life. Alternatively, simply relax in the park and listen to the weird and wonderful creatures that call it home. Those with a head for heights can try the optional canopy walkway. This 480-metre skywalk is the longest tropical canopy walkway in the world and takes approximately 2 hours to complete. Along the way, visitors may be able to see macaque monkeys, hornbills, flying lizards, squirrels and a variety of rainforest birds. In the evening there is an optional night walk or we can try the local Mulu 'firewater', Tuak. *Mulu National Park Garden Cottages or similar*

Day 5 Early rise for dawn chorus in Mulu; fly to Kota Kinabalu

We aim to catch the morning flight out of Mulu and on to Kota Kinabalu via Miri though delays are not uncommon. Depending on what time we fly out of Mulu there may be some time to walk along self-guided trails or at the visitor’s centre. Known as KK to the locals, the capital of Sabah is a now a modern multi-cultural city. The evening is free to relax, explore the bustling Filipino markets or enjoy a sundowner on the waterfront. *Hotel Dreamtel or similar*

Day 6 Free day; optional snorkelling and island trip, wetland birdwatching or cultural village

Today you are free to enjoy some of the many activities Kota Kinabalu has to offer. A popular option is to visit one of the tropical islands in the marine park, a 15 minute boat journey from the city and offering excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities. Here you can never be bored whether you are relaxing on the white sand, snorkelling or just swimming in the warm South China Sea. There is some good birdwatching opportunities in the wetlands not far from KK as well as a cultural village in Mari Mari for an insight into the different cultures of Sabah. Your tour leader can help organise any of these options. *Hotel Dreamtel or similar*

Day 7 To Kinabalu N.P.; visit Sabah Tea Plantation

Transfer about 2 hours and explore World Heritage Site; Mount Kinabalu National Park, home to the highest mountain in South East Asia, Mount Kinabalu at 4,095m. This impressive peak of huge granite walls can be viewed from the Crocker mountain range which we pass over, with panoramic views of the countryside and soaring hills. The lower mountain slopes are covered in thick vegetation and it is well known for its diverse botanical and biological species. En route, we stop at Nabalu market where villagers come to sell their produce and handicraft. It’s possible to walk through the plantation on your own if you want this afternoon. Tea, medicinal herbs, fruit and vegetables are just some of the things produced locally. From the plantation, the sunrise with a view of Mount Kinabalu is often spectacular. If we are lucky it may be possible to view the spectacular rafflesia in flower nearby or en route to the plantation. *Sabah Tea Gardens Longhouse*

Day 8 Visit Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary en route to Sepilok

Day 9 Visit Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary; optional visit to Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Up early we return to the Rainforest Discovery Centre for some more bird and wildlife viewing before returning to our lodge for breakfast. We then visit Sepilok Orang-utan Centre, the largest orang-utan sanctuary in the world. Here rehabilitated orphans and captured orang-utans are cared for until they are ready to be released into the wild. We get the opportunity to see these incredible relations of ours close-up and learn about the very real threats to their continued existence. You will have the chance to visit both morning and afternoon feedings. There is also an orang-utan nursery where youngsters are trained in climbing skills with the aim of reintroduction to the wild. We will have the chance to view the youngsters from a special viewing platform that sits behind one-way glass so as not to disturb or influence them. There is the option of visiting the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre which works with rescuing and rehabilitating captured bears as well as research and providing education to the community. *Sepilok Jungle Resort*

Day 10 To Gomantong Caves; onto Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary

Day 11 Wildlife cruises on Kinabatangan River and forest walks

We are up with the animals for a dawn wildlife cruise followed by a trek. In the afternoon, we will once again take a river cruise to spot wildlife and if we are lucky a crocodile or two. *Nature Lodge Kinabatangan or similar*

Day 12 To Danum Valley Conservation Centre; jungle walk and nocturnal safari

We drive to Lahad Datu approximately 2-3 hours where we change vehicles and drive off road into Danum Valley conservation area (approx. 3 hours), the largest protected lowland dipterocarp forest in Borneo. It is one of the last remaining pockets of primary lowland rainforest in Asia. Danum Valley is at the forefront of tropical rainforest research, and home to many rare and endangered species of mammals and birds – it is a real privilege to spend 2 nights here in the comforts of the Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Danum Valley is probably the very best place in Malaysia to see wild orang-utans in their pristine habitat. Apart from orang-utans, it has just about the complete range of Bornean wildlife and great trails. After settling in, there is an afternoon jungle nature trek to try and spot the elusive orang-utan, and after dinner a night drive is possible to spot many of the shy and retiring creatures of the forest. We will spend our time here with very experienced guides who accompany us on all our walks. One night drive and one night walk is included during our stay. *Borneo Rainforest Lodge*

Day 13 Full day guided walk in Danum Valley

We will spend a full day with our very experienced guides. We will have an opportunity to explore the trails, the canopy walkway and waterfalls whilst searching for wildlife in this remarkable place. The trek to a look out point over the Danum Valley takes approximately 1.5 hours each way. Danum is home to over 275 bird species, 110 species of mammals including orang-utans, five species of deer, giant flying squirrels, gibbons, bearded wild boars, flying frogs and the Asian elephant. One of Danum's least known animals is the elusive Sumatran rhinoceros, unfortunately facing imminent extinction. *Borneo Rainforest Lodge*

Day 14 Transfer to Sandakan

Today we will journey to Sandakan (approx. 5-6 hours). En-route we stop at Sandakan War Memorial. Sandakan was once a huge logging centre (it first exported wood in the late 1880s to supply the building of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing) and is home to many Chinese and Filipinos. The waterfront is a good place to take an evening walk and the roof top restaurant at the Nak hotel is a great place to sip a cocktail or two. *4 Points Hotel or similar*

Day 15 End Sandakan

There may be some free time to enjoy the hotel’s pool or explore Sandakan some more before those on the group flights are transferred to the airport for their flight home. For land only clients, the trip ends this morning after breakfast.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 4,799
Price Per Day: $ 282 per day
Check Availability
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateDouble StandardDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Jul-07-2019Jul-21-2019$ 4,799YesLimited Reserve
Aug-04-2019Aug-18-2019$ 4,799Yes1 spots left Reserve
Aug-18-2019Sep-01-2019$ 4,949Yes2 spots left Reserve
Sep-08-2019Sep-22-2019$ 4,799YesLimited Reserve
Sep-22-2019Oct-06-2019$ 4,799Yes4 spots left Reserve
Oct-06-2019Oct-20-2019$ 4,799Yes2 spots left Reserve
Dec-22-2019Jan-05-2020$ 4,799No8 spots left Reserve
Jan-26-2020Feb-09-2020$ 5,049No8 spots left Reserve
Feb-23-2020Mar-08-2020$ 5,049No8 spots left Reserve
Mar-01-2020Mar-15-2020$ 5,049No8 spots left Reserve
Mar-15-2020Mar-29-2020$ 5,049No8 spots left Reserve
May-10-2020May-24-2020$ 5,049No8 spots left Reserve
Jun-07-2020Jun-21-2020$ 5,049No8 spots left Reserve
Jul-05-2020Jul-19-2020$ 5,049No8 spots left Reserve
Aug-02-2020Aug-16-2020$ 5,049No8 spots left Reserve
Aug-16-2020Aug-30-2020$ 5,049No8 spots left Reserve
Sep-06-2020Sep-20-2020$ 5,049No8 spots left Reserve
Sep-20-2020Oct-04-2020$ 5,049No8 spots left Reserve
Oct-04-2020Oct-18-2020$ 5,049No8 spots left Reserve
Dec-20-2020Jan-03-2021$ 5,049No8 spots left Reserve
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Stride Featured in

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13,051 Exodus Travels Travel Reviews & Ratings

99%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 9,189
Great 3,171
Average 528
Disappointing 113
Terrible 50
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Borneo Wildlife Discoverer

Write a Review

Excellent wildlife

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A fantastic trip to a beautiful country. My main purpose was to see orang
utans in the wild, although I was prepared to be disappointed. However
expectations were exceeded and we saw several in the Danum Valley and at
Kinatabangan. Also many monkeys, birds, amazing insects and reptiles.
Seeing the pygmy elephants was the icing on the cake, although it was a it
disturbing to see how close all the boats got to the elephant that was in the
river - I think they stopped her going where she wanted to go.
Hard to pick one as always, but watching a couple of orang utans making their
nests for the night and the next day watching a mother orang help her baby by
holding onto tree branches so you could get from one tree to the next are
both special memories


Beverley was very good, extensive knowledge of Borneo culture and history
that she shared with us. She went out of her way to organise extra
activities for us to increase our wildlife spotting. She took us to some
excellent and very cheap restaurants that the locals frequent, which is
actually what we want as tourists.


July is the dry season so our trip was not affected by the few torrential
downpours that we had, most of which happened during the evening/night.
Maybe that's a good time to go. Even so, a poncho is a must. When it rains,
it rains! I was glad I took my walking boots, though I had thought long and
hard about it. Prepare to be hot and very sweaty a lot of the time!
I'm not a mad-keen photographer myself, I think you can spend so much time
and effort trying to get a photo that you don't actually watch. However, if
you are a photographer, remember the light is low in the forest and also a
lot of the wildlife is high up so a good zoom is needed for good photos!


Make the most of it and join in with everything on offer! This is a very
enjoyable trip


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Great trip to Borneo

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I've been on plenty of Exodus hiking holidays, but this was my first wildlife
trip. I was a bit nervous in case my fellow travellers were a bit serious
about both wildlife and cameras, but they weren't at all. I bought a new
bridge camera for the trip, but found some people just had compacts and I
needn't have worried.
We were lucky and had great weather throughout apart from one of two quick
downpours. We saw loads of orang-utans, proboscis monkeys, various langurs
and macaques, pygmy elephants, squirrels - flying and otherwise, a crocodile,
4 types of snake, monitor lizards, and loads of birds, bats and insects. All
the destinations were great - Bako, Mulu, Sepilok, Danum Valley,
Kinanbatangan River. We did definitely see the highlights. We spent more
time in Sabah than in Sarawak, but I guess that's the most dramatic bit.
All the accommodation was excellent - Danum Valley reminded me of a game
lodge in Kenya. Got to admit I skived watching the second orang-utan feeding
session at Sepilok and spent a couple of hours by the pool instead. The food
was very good throughout, and I probably put on half a stone.
Rushing through a villager's house to catch sight of pygmy elephants in the
back garden.
Or, seeing a flying squirrel glide from one tree to another (at Sepilok).


Our leader Beverley Chin was great. She knows the country inside out, is
unflappable, and a great organiser. She's travelled a lot herself, and
thoroughly understands what westerners need.


I took football socks to act as leech socks, but we were lucky and didn't
really see leeches because it had been dry. The shop at Danum Valley does
sell leech socks.
Ponchos seemed to be the thing for keeping the rain off.
You definitely need a sun hat for the river cruises at least.
I'd agonised about taking trainers or hiking boots, but was glad I decided on
hiking boots.
Take your swimming costume - I swam 4 times in various places.
The Deet was disgusting, so most of us gave up trying to use it after a few
days. We only got a few bites, again maybe because it was dry weather.


I stayed on for an extra week after the holiday ended and climbed Mount
Kinabalu with a local agency (Amazing Borneo). It was very good, but very
steep - wish I'd trained more beforehand!


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Awesome adventure

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
If you want to see the best of Borneo this trip's for you. Beautiful country,
great food, lovely friendly people and oh boy did we see wildlife! So many
highlights. The incredible proboscis monkeys were hilarious and so much fun
to watch, silver leaf langurs including a mum and baby, red leaf langurs,
long tailed and pig tailed macaques, pit vipers, monitor lizards, orang utans
(of course) in Sepilok and also in the wild (very special moments), Bornean
sun bears at their rescue centre (definitely worth a visit), mouse deer,
Northern Bornean gibbon family in the wild (utterly brilliant to watch),
Bornean colugo (flying lemur - which isn't a lemur), red giant flying
squirrel which we watched flying with a beautiful sunset backdrop - really
special, slow loris, leopard cat - what a find! - sambar deer, loads of
frogs, lizards, the most amazing insects ever, a huge 3m long salt water
crocodile, baby salt water crocodile, flying lizard, bats galore in the most
amazing caves at Mulu and Gomantong which also has the swiftlet nests and of
course the bat exodus from Deer cave at sundown, had the most amazing
experience watching Borneo pygmy elephants swimming in convoy across a river,
young ones too with trunks up, heard them trumpeting and watched two mums
with young ones feeding right at the water's edge - so special. Then there's
the birds! Hornbills galore, eagles, hawks, Buffy fish owls, sunbirds,
kingfishers, broadbills, storks, egrets, flycatchers, bee eaters,
flowerpeckers, bulbuls, kites, sandpipers, herons, doves, mynas and more. The
bird watchers were very happy. Night walks and the night drive were a
revelation, so much comes out at night from scorpions to stick insects. Not
scary at all just fascinating. Boat trips were excellent, saw so many birds
and monkeys in the trees.
Loved staying in the longhouse, an experience not to be missed. The Borneo
Rainforest Lodge in the Danum Valley was exquisite, 5* in every way; the
rooms, the food, the attentive staff, the massage, the local guides, the
drivers who also spotted wildlife and the red leaf monkeys in the forest
having their breakfast at the same time as us.
Watching the wild gibbon family and orang utans in the Danum Valley was
pretty special. It was a hike to get there but the guides pace the walks so
well pointing out all the wildlife, birds and important trees/foliage used in
cooking and medicine so always interesting, worth every step.

Watching the pygmy elephants swimming across the river in convoy, trunks up,
babies in tow and feeding at the water's edge while others were trumpeting
was an extraordinary experience.

Bat exodus from the Deer Cave in Mulu was pretty special, waves of bats that
went on for ages.

Watching the flying squirrel. An experience I'll probably not repeat.


Superb trip and we were very fortunate to be in the hands of a truly
exceptional trip leader in Rony. He went the extra mile every hour of every
day to make sure we had the trip of a lifetime and he succeeded. We all
trusted Rony completely, he earned that trust daily.


Do everything! Even if you don't particularly like insects or bats by a few
days in you'll love them, they're so incredible.

Drink loads of water! Makes all the difference in the heat and humidity. I
was a bit worried about that before I went but it's fine, doesn't stop you
walking up hill just take your time, everyone did. There's plenty of air-con
or fans to give you a break from it.

Trip notes advise cash to take. I adopted an orang utan at Sepilok, had a
fantastic massage in the Danum Valley, went snorkelling, bought a few
souvenirs and still came home with £120. Rony found us great food and beer
at local prices so it's very cheap to eat. He also told us the best
snorkelling trip for value for money.

Take videos on your phone and camera. They are so good to watch when home and
convey behaviour that a photo doesn't.

Get your laundry done it's so cheap. Got all mine done before I came home for
£4 and that was with a tip! (Not at the Sheraton!)


Go! So many species endemic to Borneo, you won't find them anywhere else so
you need to go. You'll be glad you did.


Read more

Wildlife and More

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
We knew December was the wettest month, but hearts sank when our first
wildlife trip had to be abandoned as the river was too high for safety to
take us there. However, our guides had a good backup plan and took us to the
Sarawak Cultural Village where we were able to see some traditional
longhouses and experience a display of spectacular tribal dances - including
one of the group having a go with a blow pipe. We were lucky enough to see
the bat exodus from Deer Cave at Mulu before the rain started again and
forgot to stop. We were evacuated from our comfortable lodges while it was
still daylight, wading through above-the-knee water to the restaurant. As it
got darker, and the water deeper we expected to spend the night elsewhere
than our comfortable beds. However, the rain did stop and the river
stabilised so we were eventually boated back. The poor villagers further up
the river didn't come off so easily in the worst floods for 14 years. All
praise to the Garden Park staff and our guides for their excellent control of
the situation, and their help to their neighbours as well as us. Don't
forget your PONCHO! Preferably a discreet colour. A wading nature walk next
day turned up a scorpion, various lizards and skinks as well as a Paradise
Flycatcher and the sunshine brought back the butterflies. From the Labuk Bay
Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary on, the mammals were amazing. The monkeys are
real characters with such expressive faces and it was good to see so many
mums and babies. Great photo opportunities. Sepilok was a mixed experience.
The youngsters are kept the other side of a glass wall and they didn't care
for the pouring rain much either - rolling around trying to don sacks and
holding leaves over their heads in attempts to keep dry. Although it was
disappointing to only see one adult orangutan, it demonstrated how successful
the rehab programme has been as far fewer babies and adults are coming in for
care. However, moving on to Danum Valley, our outing turned up a mother and
youngster orangutan yards from the centre. And they didn't stop coming.
Five in a couple of hours. Even the guides were amazed. In all we saw ten
or eleven over the whole of the trip, just doing their own thing in the
trees. We were lucky enough to see a herd of pygmy elephants on our
Kinabatangan river cruises. Again, loads of babies. There were a lot of
boats vying for the best position so unfortunately the disturbance to the
animals from noise and diesel was to be regretted. The birds were
spectacular here too, hornbills, hawks, eagles and little flowerpeckers in
the garden as well as more butterflies. Take binoculars and a camera with a
good zoom if you want to get any animal shots. You don't need huge lenses -
I got some great shots with a compact. And discreet colour clothing. Pack
light. It really is 'deal with your own luggage' on this one and there
aren't big retail opportunities so small is beautiful.
Watching the interactions of the proboscis monkeys
Seeing the orangutans wild in the trees
Fabulous birds - amazing hornbills and bulbuls
Pygmy elephants - adults barely taller than the tall grasses they were eating


He organised things well and was a good birder which suited myself and my
friend. He seemed to lack confidence in dealing with a group and found it
difficult to address us all in one go. He really wanted us to see everything
we came for but when things went against us weather wise, he found it hard
to deal with. Unfortunately he did lose it with one of the group after a
long day when it looked as though a river trip wouldn't be on because of
continuing rain and went on a rant 'why don't you like me', 'I'm trying to do
my best' and such like which was well out of order and had nothing to do at
all with the group member.


Poncho! Umbrella.
Waterproof shoes/boots (jungle walks need more than walking sandals). I
dubbined a pair of cheap, microfibre lightweight, non waterproof boots and
that really did do the business as I didn't want to take heavy leather boots.
So can recommend that as a solution.
Plenty of good mossie repellent as it gets washed off in the rain. Incognito
is a good natural (non Deet)
one.
Discreet colour clothing
Long walking socks and spray them with anti mossie to deter the leeches. I
took gaiters and some managed to creep under so wouldn't recommend.
Something simple to change into for dinner. Nowhere's 'dressie'.


Can thoroughly recommend this trip but possibly not in December. It is so
different and truly exciting. All the variety of creatures and plants are
wonderful. I thought ginger was just 'ginger' but not in Borneo - there are
tomes on the different varieties. And so it goes on - 4 or more huge volumes
on orchids - and that's only the ones that have been discovered. It was such
a pleasure to see orchids and other colourful, unusual to us, plants growing
in the gardens. I loved it all, despite the rain!


Read more

WOH

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Great taster for the delights of Borneo.
The jungle sounds when we arrived in Mulu; plus those enormous, beautiful
butterflies! That's when I knew I was really going to enjoy my holiday.


Manuel is my favourite guide! To say he went above and beyond the call of
duty is to put it mildly. Always knowledgeable, approachable, friendly and
funny. He was an integral part of my enjoyment of the trip.


Bring long trekking trousers, 3/4 lengths and shorts. Accept that you're
going to be hot and sweaty most of the time. Don't bring Deet in an aerosol
or you will inhale and choke.
And remember: 'go when you can, not when you need to'...


We expected a lot of rain but saw little, except for our rained out beach
day. So you have to roll with the punches!


Read more

Jenni Wade

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This holiday was amazing! I'm still buzzing 3 weeks later!! Just to be in
pristine rainforest looking up at animals and birds was incredible. If you
love wildlife you will surely love this holiday.
There were so many but I will never forget the first time I saw an orangutang
swinging down through the trees with a baby clinging to her tummy and when
she looked at me I had tears in my eyes it was amazing.
The proboscis monkeys were also incredible sitting up in the trees settling
down for he evening, just watching the big male stting there surrounded by
his family who were all jumping from branch to branch was such a privilege.


Rony was a brilliant leader. He was so enthusiastic and passionate about
wildlife and his beautiful country. He was smily and happy from the time he
greeted us at the airport to the time he waved us off at the end. He was
always ready to answer questions and nothing was too much bother for him.
Thank you.


Take lots of insect repellent. I used Jungle fomula maximum strength and this
worked fine. The 100% DEET stuff just seemed to eat its way through fabric!
Clothing I wore shorts and vest tops most of the time as it was too hot for
sleeves and legs, but we did have to wear long pants and long sleeves on some
hikes and on the night hikes.
A poncho is really good for the rain as it keeps your bag and clothes dry.
Waterproof bags for cameras etc were also really useful.


Its an incredible holiday and well worth the money in my opinion. The
accommodation was excellent and the wildlife spotting opportunities were all
there for the taking.


Read more

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 16

Accomodations

5 nights comfortable hotels, 8 nights standard hotels/lodges all en suite, 1 night basic longhouse with shared facilities
Travel by minibus, 4WD and boat
Two internal flights
Visit remote wild areas

Age Notes

Min. Age: 16

Additional Information:

  • 13 nights comfortable/standard hotels and lodges- all en suite, 1 night basic longhouse with shared facilities
  • Travel by minibus, 4WD and boat
  • Two internal flights
  • Visit remote wild areas

Trip ID#:

exodus-WOH

Trip Excludes

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations

Meals Included:

Dinner: All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners are included. You should allow about GBP 100-150/ USD 130-200 for food not included. If you fancy a few drinks then you may want to bring a little more as beer and other alcoholic drinks are expensive and you should expect to pay western prices. Malaysia is renowned for its culinary excellence however food can often be relatively unexciting and limited in the lodges and for hotel breakfasts.  Meals will be more varied for everyone in cities and seafood is widely available on the coast. In the bigger hotels and cities the full range of Western and local foods are available. We also suggest you take snack food with you, as it is not freely available. Most meals will be basic based around rice and noodles although most accommodation does offer a western breakfast of beans, toast and eggs. You can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish. Vegetarians will find the food choice limited but are well catered for. Please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in Borneo the availability of certain products is minimal or non-existent, for example wheat or dairy-free, please be prepared for this and you may need to bring these from home.

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