Borneo - Into the Heart of the Rainforest

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Day 1: Arrive in Kuching

Arrival in Kuching, where you are met at the airport and transferred to our comfortable hotel on the waterfront. The remainder of the day is free to relax or explore Kuching.

In the evening you are invited to a welcome dinner and an orientation meeting. Accommodations in Kuching are at our comfortable, centrally located hotel.

Overnight in Kuching.


Day 2: Sarawak Cultural Village

After breakfast, we take a morning tour of the Sarawak Cultural Village. The village is a unique “living museum’ on a sprawling 17 acre site. It has seven representative ethnic houses with natives residing and making handicrafts. A trip here will enable you to gain a comprehensive insight into colourful traditions and cultures of the various races in Sarawak. Watch daily live performances highlighting the many vibrant dances of the people of Sarawak.

After lunch, we return to our hotel in Kuching. The remainder of the afternoon is free to rest.

Overnight in Kuching.


Day 3: Explore Colonial Kuching

A full day of exploring Kuching, one of East Malaysia's most beautiful and interesting cities. Located on the banks of the Sarawak River, Kuching was the center of the White Rajah dynasty which ruled Sarawak until 1945 when the state became a British Crown colony.

The city has beautiful parks, colorful markets, churches, mosques, temples, historical buildings and an interesting waterfront with Fort Margherita on its banks. We proceed to the nearby Orchid Garden to see a various type of hybrid Orchid collection around 65 types of flowers. We stopover at Darul Hana Bridge for a good view of Kuching city.

Overnight in Kuching.


Day 4: To Mulu National Park

We depart Kuching for Mulu by air, via Miri. We then transfer to our lodge, located at the edge of the renowned Mulu National Park.

The remainder of the day is free to relax. We enjoy dinner and spend the following three nights in this beautiful setting.

Overnight at our lodge in Mulu.


Day 5: Mulu National Park - Lang and Deer Caves

We have the morning at leisure to enjoy the lodge. In the afternoon we travel by foot (3km) to Lang Cave and Deer Cave - home to the world's largest cave passages. There are two huge entrances at either side of the mountain, leaving most of the one-mile passage illuminated by daylight.

Following a rainstorm, it is possible to see a 70-foot waterfall inside the cave. At dusk, an exciting natural spectacle takes place: millions of bats leave the cave in a twisting cloud that spreads into a dramatic black ribbon across the sky.

Overnight at our lodge in Mulu.


Day 6: Mulu National Park - Moonmilk and Clearwater Caves

We depart by a long boat going up river to Wind Cave via Penan settlement. We visit the settlement and observe the lifestyle of this tribe. We also visit Wind Cave and explore the limestone formation of this unique eco system. We continue the journey by plank walk to Clearwater Cave where more interesting stone formation can be seen. Afterwards we will enjoy a picnic lunch at Clearwater summer huts.

Overnight at our lodge in Mulu.


Day 7: To Kota Kinabalu

A morning departure from our lodge takes us to Mulu airport to connect with our flight to Kota Kinabalu, in the province of Sabah. We arrive in the late afternoon and settle into our hotel for the next two nights.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu.


Day 8: Islands of Gaya and Mamutik

We spend the day exploring the tropical island parks of Gaya and Mamutik, located just off the coast. We explore the jungle trails by foot and learn about the unique medicinal plants, tropical hardwood trees, coastal vegetation and the ecology of the mangrove forest.

After the trek, we enjoy a picnic lunch by the beach and the opportunity to go for a gentle coastal walk and to swim and snorkel in the warm, turquoise waters.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu.


Day 9: Kinabalu National Park - Poring Hot Springs

Today we drive overland to the foothills of Mt. Kinabalu. We make a short stop at Pekan Nabalu market to sample local fruits in season and to stretch our legs. We then continue the drive to Poring, east of Kinabalu Park HQ, to walk amidst tropical lowland rainforests leading up to the treetop canopy walkways. Enjoy lunch, before visiting the Kipungit Waterfall, stopping for a soak here or in the rejuvenating hot sulphur public pools. If the weather permits, treat your foot to a delightful but very ticklish fish massage at the Moroli River in Luanti, which will almost certainly leave you in giggles.

Overnight in Kundasang.


Day 10: Kinabalu National Park, Kundasang War Memorial

After breakfast, we visit the Kundasang War Memorial Park to learn about Sabah's WWII history and for great photos with the majestic Mount Kinabalu (if weather permits). Thereafter, we proceed to the Kinabalu Natural History Gallery and Mountain Garden in Kinabalu Park Headquarters. If weather permits, take a guided walk on one of the trails to explore the cool montane forest. Return to Kota Kinabalu after lunch.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu.


Day 11: Fly to Danum Valley

Today we fly to the Danum Valley, with its ancient tropical forest, it is an ecological paradise.

Danum Valley Conservation Area is a 438 square kilometres tract of relatively undisturbed lowland dipterocarp forest in Sabah, Malaysia. The area holds unique status in the sense that before it became a conservation area there were no human settlements within the area, meaning that hunting, logging and other human interference was non-existent, making the area almost unique. It is managed by Yayasan Sabah for conservation, research, education, and for habitat restoration training purposes.

After lunch, take a walk along the 500m self-guided nature trail and get to know the rainforest, marvel at its beauty and experience the pristine ambience of the rainforest as has been for hundreds of years.

Overnight in the Danum Valley.


Day 12: Danum Valley

We will have a chance to continue our exploration of the incredible flora and fauna that this area is known for. Be on the lookout for the rare Wallace flying frog, soft-shelled turtles, skinks, vipers and unique birds and butterflies. The area is home to more than 120 species of mammals including the 10 species of primates, notably the orangutan, and due in part to minimal hunting pressure, is particularly rich in other large mammals including the Bornean pygmy elephant, banteng, Malayan sun bear, clouded leopard, bearded pig and five species of deer. Danum Valley also provides one of the last refuges in Sabah for the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros. We visit Tembaling Waterfall and where you can take a refreshing swim in the cold, unpolluted rainforest stream.

After dinner, proceed to Night Walk in search of Borneo’s nocturnal animals (If weather permits)

Overnight in Danum Valley.


Day 13: Danum Valley, Fly to Sandakan

Depending on our flight schedule we may have additional opportunities to explore the biodiversity in the region. We will then fly to Sandakan for our overnight before departing for Seligan in the morning.

Overnight in Sandakan.


Day 14: Boat to Selingan 'Turtle' Island

After an early breakfast, we drive to our boat for the trip to Selingan Island, also known as Turtle Island. The afternoon is free to explore the island, with opportunities to swim and snorkel.

After dinner, we witness a fascinating natural spectacle - giant green sea turtles (weighing up to 200 lbs.) come to the beach every night to lay their eggs. Viewing is supervised by a park ranger dedicated to the turtles' welfare. We can also see the transplanting of eggs to the hatchery and the release of baby turtles to the sea. Note that flash photography of turtles is strictly prohibited between 6pm - 6am.

Please note: Our accommodation on Seligan Island is very small and can only be confirmed 4 months before the tour departs. In the event that we cannot stay at the lodge, we will stay at Sukau Rainforest Lodge along Sabah's longest river, Kinabatangan, where we will take a river cruise to explore birds and wildlife.

We stay overnight on Selingan Island in a lodge - space permitting.


Day 15: Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary

This morning we will transfer back to Sandakan where we drive to Sepilok, the largest orangutan sanctuary in the world. Here, we can see adolescents, adults and babies in their natural habitat, the tropical rainforest. During the morning feeding, we witness orangutans converging on the platform for a meal of bananas and milk. Afterwards, we visit the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Center to learn about conservation of the world’s smallest bear.

We continue to Sukau, to our tranquil lodge on the Kinabatangan River. We enjoy a late afternoon journey on the waterway and search for rare proboscis monkeys (long-nosed primates, unique to Borneo). Return for a hot shower, candle-lit dinner and slideshow conducted by naturalists.

Overnight at Sukau


Day 16: Kinabatangan River Wildlife

Early this morning we explore the ox-bow lake and the tremendous rainforest that surrounds it. In this area, there are macaque monkeys and many species of birds, including the white-bellied sea eagle and the rhinoceros hornbill. A herd of elephants also roam here, seen numerous times by our groups. In the afternoon, we enjoy another river cruise with more great wildlife viewing opportunities.

Overnight at Sukau


Day 17: Gomantong Caves, to Sandakan

After breakfast we return to Sandakan with a chance to visit the Gomantong Caves. Trek 20 minutes through the rainforest to the cave entrance. Our guide will brief us on the cave faunas including bats, swiftlets and crabs among others and their contribution to maintaining a balanced ecology and significance to the local economy. Tonight we enjoy our Farewell Dinner.

Overnight in Sandakan.


Day 18: To Kota Kinabalu

An early morning flight takes us back to Kota Kinabalu for homeward international flights. Please check with ElderTreks regarding the domestic flight times before booking your international departure.

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