Best of Borneo

National Geographic Journeys, Kuching to Kota Kinabalu

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Connect with your inner animal on a 12-day journey into the unusual and awe-inspiring landscapes of Borneo. Experience the otherworldly limestone cliffs of Mulu National Park and its famed bat exodus; encounter the orangutans of Sepilok; set off on a river cruise in search of elusive Bornean pygmy elephants; and discover the Lipad mud volcano, a mineral salt lick for local wildlife.

What’s included

  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Nature Walk in Kubah National Park, Kuching
  • Arrival transfer
  • Excursion to a Bidayuh Tribal Village
  • Santubong River wildlife and dolphin cruise
  • Night walk in Mulu National Park
  • Boat excursion to Wind and Clearwater Caves
  • Walking excursion to Deer and Lang Caves
  • Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre visit
  • Visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
  • Kinabatangan River and wildlife excursions on foot and boat
  • Tabin Wildlife Reserve excursions by jeep and on foot
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Visit bidayuh tribal village
  • Explore the rainforest and caves of mulu national park
  • Cruise the kinabatangan river in search of borneo's seven primate species

Itinerary

Day 1 Kuching Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 2 Kuching (1B, 1L) This village is located near the Sarawak-Kalimantan border. Along the way stop at the colourful local market in the small town of Serian, which features a variety of jungle produce such as edible ferns, bamboo shoots, tropical fruits and more. Included Activities: Visit Bidayuh Tribal Village Transport: Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours) Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)
Day 3 Kuching (1B) In the morning, embark on a cruise down the Santubong River. Take in the mangrove scenery and keep an eye out for rare Irrawaddy dolphins. After a free afternoon, join an amphibian expert for an evening nature walk in Kubah National Park. Enjoy the beautiful sounds of the jungle at nightfall and search out a wide variety of frog species, including the newly discovered Kubah narrow-mouthed frog — one of the smallest frogs in the world. Included Activities: Santubong River Wildlife and Dolphin Cruise Nature Walk in Kubah National Park
Day 4 Kuching/Gunung Mulu National Park (1B) Enjoy this stunning National Park and UNESCO World Heritage, home to the world-famous Mulu Caves. The caves hold many world records in terms of size, height and length including the Sarawak Chamber; thought to be the largest known natural underground chamber. As well, considered the largest known cave passage in the world, the Deer Cave is home to a phenominal 2-3 million bats. Finally, the Clearwater Cave boasts an extensive system of passages, currently known to be the longest in South-East Asia. To date approximately 100 km of the system has been explore, and much still remains a mystery. Included Activities: Mulu Wildlife Night Walk Transport: Plane (1.50 hour(s))
Day 5 Gunung Mulu National Park (1B, 1L) Board a longboat and travel along the Melinau River to a Penan Village for a short visit. Continue our exploration, to the Wind Cave, noting the rock calcite formations and cool breeze of the Kings Chamber. After, climb up the steps to reach the stunning underground river in Clearwater Cave. Take a dip in the cool waters and enjoy a picnic lunch in the rainforest at Clearwater Springs. This afternoon, enjoy a walk through the rainforest to the Lang and Deer Caves. Marvel at Lang's stunning stalagmites and stalactites, and be awed by Deer Cave — the largest cave passage in the world and home to an estimated 2 to 3 million bats. Included Activities: Wind and Clearwater Caves Exploration Deer and Lang Caves Exploration Bat Exodus Observation
Day 6 Gunung Mulu National Park/Kota Kinabalu (1B) Enjoy the morning at leisure to explore the rainforest and opt to take a canopy walk. This afternoon, catch a flight to Kota Kinabalu and enjoy the evening at leisure. Transport: Plane (1.50-2.00 hours)
Day 7 Kota Kinabalu/Sungai Kinabatangan (1B, 1L, 1D) Catch an early morning flight to Sandakan and visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Continue to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and enjoy a talk on the bears and the conservation efforts to protect them. After, transfer by private vehicle to our lodge and enjoy a wildlife cruise and night walk. Additional Notes: This activity might see you in relatively close proximity to the orang utan but you cannot touch or directly interact with them. Most primate care centres, especially those attempting rehabilitation and release in accordance with the IUCN guidelines, prohibit tourist and volunteer contact with any and all animals for two main reasons: risk of zoonosis (the risk of us passing diseases to our primate cousins) and habituation & behavioural implications (detrimental impact of having a large, ever-changing human presence around apes which might lead to a reluctance to return to their natural habitat). Included Activities: Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre Visit Kinabatangan River Evening Cruise Jungle Night Walk Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre Visit Transport: Plane (1.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s))
Day 8 Kampung Bilit (1B, 1L, 1D) Enjoy wildlife excursions on foot and by boat with local guides and naturalists into the jungle. Cruise the Kinabatangan River in search of birds and wildlife, keeping your eyes open for one of Borneo's seven primate species, including the proboscis monkey and orangutan, as well pygmy elephants. Also enjoy a hike to an oxbow lake. Included Activities: Kinabatangan River Wildlife Cruise Guided Oxbow Lake Walk and Wildlife Spotting
Day 9 Kampung Bilit/Tabin Wildlife Reserve (1B, 1L, 1D) Drive to Tabin Wildlife Reserve and check into our rainforest lodge. Then enjoy a hike along an elephant trail to the active Lipad mud volcano which provides a mineral salt lick for wildlife. After dinner, enjoy a night safari and look out for nocturnal wildlife. Included Activities: Hike to Lipad Mud Volcano Night Safari Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)
Day 10 Tabin Wildlife Reserve (1B, 1L, 1D) Spend the day exploring the Tabin Wildlife Reserve with local guides. Enjoy an early morning bird walk, searching out some of the 300 species of birds in the area. After breakfast, drive to the main wildlife-spotting area. Later, trek through the lush green rainforest, known for its rich diversity of plants and animal species, to the Lipad Waterfall. Relax and take a dip in the natural pool and enjoy a refreshing shower under the waterfall. In the late afternoon, take a wildlife drive and if we're lucky, catch a glimpse of one of the two largest mammals of Sabah — the Borneo Pygmy Elephant and the Tembadau. Nine species of primate are present in the park, as well as three species of cats, all of which are on the protected wildlife list. This evening, take a night walk in search of sleeping birds, frogs, and insects. Included Activities: Morning Bird Walk Lipad Waterfall Visit Dusk Wildlife Drive Jungle Night Walk
Day 11 Tabin Wildlife Reserve/Kota Kinabalu (1B, 1L) With free time opt to watch a video about the Tabin Wildlife Reserve or make a keepsake using mud from the Lipad Mud Volcano. Transport: Private Vehicle Plane (1.00 hour(s))
Day 12 Kota Kinabalu (1B) Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day
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