Wild Borneo - 15 days
Welcome to Borneo! Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to our hotel.
This morning explore and discover the charms of Kuching on a guided tour. Your tour is the perfect introduction to Sarawak’s historic capital, including Kuching’s Chinatown, the Cat Statue (Kuching means “Cat” in Malay), the colourful Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple, the Civic Centre Viewing Platform and the world famous Sarawak Museum. Reputed to be one of the best in South East Asia, it has an excellent collection of Bornean ethnological and archaeological artefacts.
Return via the golden-domed City Mosque and passing through Old Kuching, crammed with spice dealers and textile shops. Pass by the heritage buildings of the White Rajah era, the Pavilion, the Square Tower, the Court House, the Charles Brooke Monument and the Post Office. View the Astana, the former residence of the White Rajahs from across the river at the Kuching Waterfront.
Overnight: Kuching | Breakfast
Bako National Park
Kuching - Bako NP - Kuching. Today travel by road and then a take a boat ride along the shoreline of the South China Sea to Bako National Park one of the best places in Sarawak to view wildlife in a natural setting. Bako’s most famous residents are the bizarre proboscis monkeys, and it is also home to silvered langurs (leaf monkeys), long-tailed macaque monkeys, wild boar, flying squirrels and monitor lizards as well as hundreds of different bird species. Fascinating plant life includes mangroves, strangling figs, carnivorous pitcher plants and symbiotic ant plants. Unique geological features mark the coastline, whilst well-marked trails lead to rugged jungle-covered hilltops and secluded beaches. Walking within the park, you will experience this amazing wilderness with some trails leading to some good swimming beaches. After spending the day in the park we return to Kuching.
Overnight: Kuching | Breakfast, Lunch
Kuching - Batang Ai. After breakfast visit the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Semenggoh is the best place in Sarawak to view semi-wild orangutans, who have been rescued from captivity and trained to survive in the surrounding forest reserve. The rehabilitated animals roam freely in the rainforest, and often return to the centre at feeding time (between 09-10am). Thanks to the successful breeding programme at Semenggoh, there is a good possibility of experiencing one of the most heart-warming sights in Borneo - an orangutan mother with a young baby. Note: As the orangutan in Semenggoh are semi-wild, sightings cannot be guaranteed.
After Semenggoh, continue your journey passing through lush green countryside dotted with paddy fields, pepper gardens and rubber plantations, flanked by rugged jungle-clad mountains. Along the way we stop off at the Serian farmer’s market, visit a pepper garden and view carnivorous pitcher plants.
We stop for lunch at a roadside bazaar deep in Iban country. Arriving at Lemanak jetty mid-afternoon take a longboat ride up the Lemanak River, passing through typical Borneo countryside with a longhouse tucked behind almost every bend in the river.
Arrive at Serubah Longhouse or Kesit Longhouse and visit the “entire village under one roof.” Watching the local Iban people at work making mat, baskets and handicrafts. Dinner, featuring delicious fresh jungle produce, is served in the simple guest-house. After dinner return to the longhouse for an evening’s entertainment, including traditional dancing, music, games and a glass or two of tuak (rice wine) with the longhouse chief. The Iban are a fun-loving people and visitors are expected to join in! Spend the night in the guesthouse with very basic amenities (communal area for sleeping, with no air-conditioning and shared facilities). The accommodation is built by the longhouse people to help supplement their income for their livelihood and children's education.
Overnight: Serubah/Kesit Longhouse | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Batang Ai Nature Walk
After breakfast we watch a blowpipe demonstration, before taking a guided nature walk through the pristine jungle where we learn about the medicinal plants used by the Iban and other shoots and roots used as food. We stop by the river beach for a tasty backwoods style picnic lunch where our food is cooked in bamboo. After lunch, we travel by longboat to the Batang Ai Longhouse Resort (managed Hilton) where we spend the night.
Overnight: Batang Ai Longhouse Resort | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Return to Kuching
Batang Ai - Kuching. After breakfast take a ferry from the resort to the jetty, before driving back to Kuching, stopping for lunch en route.
Overnight: Kuching | Breakfast, Lunch
This morning drive to Bengoh village where you take to the water for an exciting river kayaking adventure, visiting mini waterfalls and caves en route and feeding river fish. We'll also take a village walk and enjoy lunch at Bidayuh Village. This afternoon return to Kuching.
Overnight: Kuching | Breakfast, Lunch
Kuching - Kota Kinbalu. Today you bid farewell to Sarawak and hello to Sabah! After breakfast transfer to Kuching Airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu. After hotel check in the remainder of the day can be spent at leisure.
Please note: The flight from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu is not included in the cost of this tour. Airport transfers on day 8 will be included if you book the Malaysian Airlines flight which departs daily.
Overnight: Kota Kinbalu | Breakfast
Kota Kinabalu - Mamutik Island - Kota Kinabalu. Just a 20 minute boat ride and you arrive at the beautiful coral islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. Offering pristine white beaches, clear water and coral reefs, this is perfect place for a day of relaxation and swimming. Snorkel in crystal clear water among coral reef and tropical fish or explore jungle trails before returning to Kota Kinabalu.
Overnight: Kota Kinabalu | Breakfast
Kota Kinabalu - Taun Gusi. Today travel north to Taun Gusi Village in Kota Belud, which is known as the rice bowl of Sabah. It's a scenic journey through paddy fields and rubber plantations, passing native houses with majestic Mount Kinabalu as the background. Upon arrival meet your host families and in the afternoon there's the opportunity to go horse riding, visit a place that makes swords (Bajau Parang Making) and bathe in the river. Spend the night at the home of our host families and gain a fascinating insight into village life.
Overnight: Taun Gusi Village Homestay | Breakfast, Dinner
Taun Gusi - Kundasang. Wake up to the calls of roosters and enjoy the tranquility of the village. Start the day by visiting the ‘Valley of Paddy field” which is a vast low valley of lush paddy fields. Transfer to Kinabalu National Park where we visit the education centre and mountain garden, home to various species of the flowering Rhododendrons, carnivorous pitcher plants, orchids, ferns, and birds. If time and weather permits, take a guided trail walk.
Overnight: Kundasang | Breakfast
Kundasang – Sepilok. Start the day by discovering Sabah’s WWII history with a visit the Kundasang memorial park, before heading to Poring, to explore tropical lowland jungle and rainforest some 1,500 ft above sea level. Take the jungle trail leading up to the treetop canopy walkways, suspended 41 meters above the forest floor across giant Mengaris trees. Next proceed by road to Sepilok, where this evening we experience the Sepilok Jungle Nightwalk.
Overnight: Sepilok Nature Resort | Breakfast
Sepilok – Sukau. This morning visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, where orphaned and injured orangutans are reintroduced into the wild. We take a walk through the Tropical Lowland Dipterocarp Forest and visit the outdoor nursery where around 25 young orphaned orangutans are housed.
Depart Sepilok and take a scenic boat cruise up to the Lower Kinabatangan River Sanctuary to our lodge in Sukau, through the magnificent scenery of the Mangrove Forest. After lunch look out for nature from the boardwalk, such as wild orangutan and silver leaf monkeys. Later in the afternoon take another cruise in search of wildlife. After dinner experience the jungle at night from our nature boardwalk, searching for birds, snakes, insects and other wildlife with our nature guide.
Overnight: Abai Jungle Lodge | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Wake up to the calls of nature. Early this morning take a river cruise to the Pitas oxbow lake to observe wildlife before returning to the lodge for breakfast. Then there's the opportunity to take part in a tree planting project with the locals before enjoying a simple lunch arranged by the villagers at Abai village.
After lunch cruise up river to Sukau village in search of primates especially the endemic Proboscis Monkeys, birds and other wildlife. After check-in at Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge and time to relax, we take another late afternoon cruise to Menanggul River, a small tributary of the Kinabatangan.
Overnight: Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sukau - Sandakan. Early this morning after breakfast take a two hour boat cruise back to Sandakan with the opportunity to spot wildlife en route. Your tour ends with a transfer to Sandakan airport. Flights should be booked after 2pm.
Prices & Dates
We had three or four days with each of these men. They were all wonderful, knowledgeable and very helpful with local information and about Sarawak and Sabah in general. They made sure we were safe (I am overweight) and able to negotiate all activities and boat transfers without hassle. I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday and have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who will listen. ”
On this range you won’t be joining other travellers, but will be on your own private itinerary. Accommodation, pace of travel and the style of trip is tailored to your individual needs. From pre-priced packages available off the shelf to fully curated tailor-made holidays, this range also includes our selection of one-night stopovers, day-tours and short breaks.
The OTG Independent range gives you all the great service aspects of our Signature range with the flexibility to create a truly unique and bespoke holiday or adventure to a variety of destinations around the world.