Welcome to Borneo! Arrive at Sandakan Aiport and included transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the town on your own before your welcome briefing in the early evening. This is
traditionally followed by a meal at a local restaurant (not included) so that you can meet your fellow travellers whilst sampling some of the traditional food of Sabah.
Sandakan. Today we explore the town and surrounding area. Our first stop is at the St. Michael and All Angels Cathedral, one of the few stone buildings to be found anywhere in Sabah. Construction started over 120 years ago and took almost 30 years to complete with stone being brought in from as far away as Hong Kong. We continue to the somber Sandakan War Memorial, and learn of the hardships faced by the locals and POWs alike. We continue out of town to the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, a centre that works to
rehabilitate orphaned Orang Utans before returning them to the wild.
You get to walk on an elevated walkway through the jungle to see these apes in their natural environment, and the twice daily feeding programs are often a highlight. Whilst close contact with the animals is discouraged, some cannot contain their curiosity of humans so there is always a chance you could have a ‘close encounter of the furry kind!’ We return to Sandakan in the late afternoon and the rest of the day and evening is free for you to relax or explore some more.
Overnight: Sandakan | Breakfast
Sandakan - Bilit. We set off this morning to visit the Gomantong Caves where you may get to witness the cultural spectacle of skilled ‘bird nest harvesters’ as they climb rattan ladders and use bamboo poles to collect these highly valuable swifts nests. The cave complex is accessed via boardwalk and there is a great opportunity to spot crested serpent eagles, kingfishers, and Asian fairy bluebirds as well as bats and the nesting swifts. The immense caves are a spectacle in themselves with ceilings 90m above the floors providing perfect nesting areas.
We continue to the Mynes Resort in Bilit where you can relax in the afternoon before we take a cruise on the river in the early evening in search of Long Tail Macaques, Pig Tail Macaques, Borneo Gibbon and the Borneo Pygmy Elephant. There is also the chance to hear one of the noisiest primates in the world, the Proboscis Monkey. We return to the resort for dinner and to discuss the day’s events over a cool drink.
Overnight: Bilit | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Bilit - Nalapak. Today we get to experience some of the wilderness and nature of the region on foot as we retrace a section of the infamous ‘Sandakan Ranau Death March’. Our walk will take us about four hours, with stops along the way to learn about the history and flaura and fauna that we encounter.
The POWs who set out on the forced march were not so lucky, with almost all perishing from illness or hunger long before they made it to Ranau. We continue to our hotel in Nalapak arriving in the late afternoon for some well earned rest.
Overnight: Nalapak | Breakfast, Lunch
Nalapak - Kungasang. This morning we set off for the Kinabalu National Park, taking time to stop at the Kundasang War Memorial erected to remember the POWs who lost their lives in Borneo and the incredible bravery shown by many local people who tried to help them in their desperate situation. The Kinabalu National Park is the oldest in Malaysia, and is dominated by the immense Mt Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South East Asia. The afternoon is free for you to explore some of the park, enjoy the spa facilities in the hotel or to simply relax and admire the view of the mountains in
Overnight: Kota Kinabalu | Breakfast
Kota Kinabalu. Today we set out to explore the Kiulu River by raft and get to run exhilarating rapids with our expert raft guide. The rapids are fast and challenging, but ideally suited to those looking for their first taste of this unforgettable experience. It’s an hours drive after this to our hotel in Kota Kinabalu where you have the rest of the afternoon free following check-in. The sunsets on Tanjung Aru beach, some 6 km from town are famous and the 2 km long sandy beach is ideal for relaxing and having an evening meal
Overnight: Kota Kinabalu | Breakfast, Lunch
Kota Kinabalu. Today is free for you to enjoy the town and the surrounding attractions at your leisure. Your guide will be able to advise you of what activities are available so that you can get the most from your time. From beachcombing and island exploring to a visit to the aquarium or bird sanctuary there is something for everyone. The city is also an ideal spot for you to pick up and last minute souvenirs
before you head home.
Overnight: Kota Kinabalu | Breakfast
Kota Kinabalu. Today you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight home.
Sea Turtle Bolt On
Extend your stay with a 4-day Sea Turtle Bolt On trip to Talang Talang Island. Here you can help in the conservation of the majestic sea turtle. You can even adopt a turtle and be updated on its future progress.
Tipping is not a natural part of many Western cultures and many of us feel uncomfortable, or unsure, about when, or how much, to tip. However, in Borneo, tipping makes up a significant part of many people's wages so it's important that we get it right. For this reason we've developed a very simple system to take all the hassle out of tipping. With our 'tipping made easy' policy, a nominal pre-determined amount is collected from all group tour participants to cover tips en route. This then saves you the hassle of when and how much to tip bellhops, luggage handlers, local guides and other support staff through the tour. Our 'tipping made easy' doesn't include a tip to your group tour leader. Naturally, though, the amount is up to you as tipping is an entirely personal gesture.