Best of Borneo

National Geographic Journeys, Kuching to Kota Kinabalu
Image by G Adventures

Information from G Adventures

Tour description

Discover the astounding landscapes and unusual wildlife of Borneo, the world’s third largest island, on a journey through the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah. Experience the otherworldly limestone cliffs of Gunung Mulu National Park, witnessing its famed bat exodus; and encounter rescued orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Set off on a cruise along the Kinabatangan River in search of elusive pygmy elephants, and learn about the customs and traditions of indigenous Bornean tribes.

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


  • 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


Day 1: Kuching Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Day 2: Kuching Venture out of Kuching on a full-day excursion to a Bidayuh tribal village. The Bidayuh (also known as the Land Dayak) are the indigenous people of southern Sarawak, and we’ll spend time learning about their culture, history, and lifestyle. Alongside our local guide, visit a traditional bamboo longhouse, where several families typically reside, and take a stroll in the village farmlands, passing through rice fields and fruit orchards. Witness a traditional dance performance, and observe how the Bidayuh prepare a daily meal, using fresh, local ingredients.

Day 3: Kuching Head to the verdant Santubong Peninsula this morning, crowned by the jungle-covered Mount Santubong. Embark on a cruise down the Santubong River, taking in the stunning mangrove scenery and keeping an eye out for proboscis monkeys and the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin. Spend the afternoon at leisure before joining an amphibian expert for an evening walk in fern-filled Kubah National Park. Enjoy a delightful jungle orchestra at nightfall and search for a variety of frog species, including the Kubah or Matang narrow-mouthed frog—one of the smallest frogs in the world.

Day 4: Kuching/Gunung Mulu National Park Catch a flight to Mulu and transfer to our hotel near Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its incredible biodiversity, old-growth tropical forest, and impressive karst features. The park is also home to the renowned Mulu Caves, one of the largest and most spectacular cave systems on Earth. Set out on a night walk with our local guide to look for the park’s nocturnal wildlife, spotting blinking fireflies and luminescent fungi along the way.

Day 5: Gunung Mulu National Park Hop on a longboat and glide along the Melinau River to a Penan settlement for a short visit. The Penan are a hunter-gatherer tribe native to Sarawak whose traditional way of life is increasingly threatened by deforestation. Continue to the Wind Cave, observing its surreal calcite formations and the cool breezes that blow through. Climb up a series of steps to reach the breathtaking underground river in Clearwater Cave, the longest cave passage in Asia. After a picnic lunch, walk through delightful foliage to the Lang and Deer Caves. Marvel at Lang Cave's magnificent stalagmites and stalactites, and tread with awe into Deer Cave—one of the largest cave passages in the world and home to more than three million bats. We’ll try to time our excursion to coincide with the bat exodus, when these nocturnal creatures fly out en masse to hunt for insects.

Day 6: Gunung Mulu National Park/Kota Kinabalu Spend the morning exploring Gunung Mulu National Park at leisure, and opt to discover the majestic landscape from Mulu Skywalk, the world’s longest canopy walk. This afternoon, catch a flight to Kota Kinabalu and enjoy the evening on your own.

Day 7: KOTA KINABALU/KAMPUNG BILIT Travel on an early morning flight to Sandakan and visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, where injured, orphaned, or rescued orangutans are cared for and then reintroduced into the wild. Orangutans are among the planet’s most critically endangered creatures, found only in Borneo and Sumatra. Later, head to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre to meet rescued Malayan sun bears. We’ll enjoy a talk on these elusive creatures—the smallest species of bear in the world—and learn about the efforts underway to protect them. Afterward, transfer to our lodge in the small village of Kampung Bilit and embark on an evening cruise on the Kinabatangan River, seeking out monkeys, birds, elephants, and crocodiles.

Day 8: Kampung Bilit Located along a curve on the thriving Kinabatangan River, the small village of Kampung Bilit offers a wide array of wildlife-viewing opportunities. Set out on foot into the jungle with local guides and naturalists; then cruise the rich waterways of the river, keeping your eyes open for proboscis monkeys and orangutans, as well as the rare pygmy elephant.

Day 9: Kampung Bilit/Tabin Wildlife Reserve Drive to Tabin Wildlife Reserve and check in to our rainforest lodge. This stunning reserve is home to nine primate species, three species of cat, and hundreds of bird species. Embark on a hike along an elephant trail to the Lipad mud volcano, which provides a natural mineral lick for local wildlife, and climb to the top of the observation tower for incredible views of the surrounding forest. After dinner, enjoy a presentation on Tabin’s natural wonders, followed by a night safari in search of the reserve’s nocturnal creatures, such as the Horsfield’s tarsier, the clouded leopard, the slow loris, and more.

Day 10: Tabin Wildlife Reserve Spend the day exploring Tabin Wildlife Reserve with local guides. Enjoy an early morning bird walk, seeking out the park’s colourful variety of avian species. After breakfast, trek through lush rainforest to the lovely Lipad Waterfall. Take a refreshing dip and shower here, or relax by the edge of the pool. In the late afternoon, set out on a wildlife drive through the reserve. After dinner, venture out on a night walk around our lodge in search of sleeping birds, frogs, and insects.

Day 11: Tabin Wildlife Reserve/Kota Kinabalu Spend the morning at leisure, opting to watch a video about Tabin Wildlife Reserve or fashioning a souvenir using mud from the Lipad volcano. Later, board a flight to Kota Kinabalu and enjoy free time to explore the bustling coastal city.

Day 12: Kota Kinabalu Depart at any time.