Immerse yourself in one of the most unique ecosystems on Earth
Mother Nature really outdid herself with Borneo. With mist shrouded mountains, sugar-white beaches, and lush equatorial rainforest, it’s as close to paradise as it gets. Add to that the most astonishing array of wildlife, and a rich cultural heritage, and you’ve got a dream travel destination on your hands. This group adventure takes you through the highlights of East Sabah, a compact treasure trove of a region that showcases Borneo’s raw beauty and biodiversity to perfection. Meet the majestic orangutans in Sepilok, go crocodile spotting at sunset on Kinabatangan River, stay with a local family in rural Sabah, see pygmy elephants on a wildlife walk, and watch baby turtles hatching on the shores of Libaran Island.
Day 1: Kota Kinabalu
Feel the rush of warm tropical air as you get off the plane in Kota Kinabalu. Make your way through streets lined with everything from gleaming malls and high-end condos to traditional wet markets and street food stalls. Meet your group at the hotel and head out for your first dinner in Borneo.
Day 2: Tambatuon Homestay
Travel into rural Borneo to the traditional village of Tambatuon. Visit two local farms and pick fresh vegetables from the fields. Back at the village, you'll cook dinner with the villagers using the produce you've picked. Spend the night eating, drinking, and sharing stories with your hosts.
Day 3: Kinabatangan River
Journey to our jungle lodge on the banks of the Kinabatangan River. Deep in the rainforest, with rooms carved from Bornean wood, it's an idyllic base. Take an evening cruise on the muddy river, looking for monkeys, birds, and crocs with an expert boatman, before an optional jungle night walk.
Day 4: River Safari
Wake up to the sounds of the jungle and head out for a morning river safari looking for proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, gibbons and more. Then take a guided trek through lush forest to a local lake to look for more wildlife. Round off with a second river cruise before dinner back at the lodge.
Day 5: Orangutans & Bears
Travel to Sepilok. Set within dense rainforest teeming with wildlife, it's the ideal place to see the wonders of Borneo's ecosystem. Watch the island's most charismatic primates feeding and roaming at the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and meet the world's smallest bear at the Sun Bear Centre.
Day 6: Turtle Experience
Transfer to Sandakan and take the boat to Libaran Island, a tranquil paradise, and nesting ground for thousands of sea turtles. Take a guided tour of the hatchery where at certain times of year you may see turtles being released. Then visit a local village to see handicrafts and fishing nets being made.
Day 7: Flight to Kota Kinabalu
Head to the jetty after breakfast for a ferry to Sandakan before a flight back to Kota Kinabalu. You'll have a free afternoon to explore the city before a final dinner and drinks with the group.
Day 8: Trip End
After a last breakfast, it's time to pack your things and say your goodbyes. See you again soon!
Accommodation & Meals
We’ve handpicked a selection of unique accommodation for this trip. You’ll spend two nights in a modern hotel in Kota Kinabalu, one night in a beautiful homestay in Kota Belud, two nights in an eco-resort nestled on the banks of the Kinabatangan River, one night in a jungle lodge with a pool, deep in virgin rainforest, and a night glamping on Libaran Island. Rooms are on a twin or double share basis, apart from the night in the homestay which is multi-share.
The above information is only intended to be used as a guide, giving you a flavour of some of our accommodation providers, and the style of accommodation you may be staying in. Please note that all nights are subject to change.
Lots of our travellers are solo travellers, so when you book with us, we’ll pair you up with a like-minded roommate of the same sex. Our trips are great for couples or friends as well - just let us know you’re together, so we can be sure to put you in the same room.
7 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners are included on this trip. The rest of the time you’ll have the freedom to eat wherever and whenever you like.
Borneo’s cuisine draws from the island’s abundant natural resources, indigenous traditions, and migrant influences. The result is a mouth-watering variety of dishes and flavours that are sure to get your taste buds tingling. Fragrant laksa (spicy coconut milk broth with rice noodles) can be found on every menu from Sabah to Sarawak, nasi lemak (rice served with peanuts, eggs, anchovies, and sambal) is a street market classic, and sago worms (palm weevil larvae) make an interesting protein source for more adventurous eaters!
Real Travelling reviews & media
Amy G review
Elisha was quick to deal with our query and responded adequately. Booking was swift and easy.
Japan 13 day budget tour ...Read more.
Chelsie P review
Great service. Never disappointed and they are always there to help with any questions!
Whitney B review
Very easy to navigate.
Stephanie B review
Amazing! The staff are incredible and so helpful. Couldn’t recommend enough. Becca has been fantastic in helping me plan my trip too! X
TESS WAS GREAT, SHE WENT ABOVE AND BEYOND TO HELP ME WITH MY TRIP. CANT THANK HER ENOUGH FOR HER HELP.
Incredibly helpful throughout the whole process, not just with the actual assistance the company provides but through the communication and transparency they've shown thus far.
CHARLOTTE S review
Becca was really good with all the questions I had about the trip and answered them fully without pushing me into booking anything. I decided on the Thai Experience and looking forward to it!...Read more.
Booked this as a surprise for my grandson. Very accomodating and helpful staff
Great- they made everything very easy and were very efficient!
Alexander M review
The advisor, Jane, was very helpful and tolerated our many requests!
The booking process is super easy and email responses are super quick!
Lucy C review
Great communication but not pushy, lots of options to choose from and really helpful team to help decide!
Amazing customer service!
Megan P review
So many amazing trips & deals available! All the information is clearly available and all the reps are friendly & helpful with fast responses- I can't wait for my trip!
Exciting trips and helpful agents... Tqvm..
Good information and easy website to navigate!!!
Sophie B review
Emma was a fantastic travel advisor, helping me every step of the way. This is a great company to book with and I highly recommend if you’re looking to travel!
I recently went on the 25 day Thai Experience, which had the most amazing itinerary. JJ was the BEST tour guide and made the trip so memorable. He was there 24/7 for all of us and made travelling...Read more.
Sophie O review
Very helpful xx
very helpful with lots of info
Emma was extremely helpful
Kallum S review
Really helped me get established in NZ for my working holiday.
Emma W review
Really helpful with questions and extremely easy to book with, I’m looking forward to the trips
Dates & Prices
To get a flight quote use the buttons below or call our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037.
The trip begins and ends in Kota Kinabalu. You’ll need to fly into Kota Kinabalu Airport (BKI) and to make your way to our starting accommodation. You can book a transfer through your travel advisor or pick up a taxi on arrival. Journey time is around 15 minutes depending on traffic. A welcome note will be left for you in reception with details of the welcome meeting (usually between 5pm and 7pm).
On the last day of the tour, you can leave any time after breakfast. Your tour guide can help with booking return airport transfers.
This is an open-aged trip, designed for travellers of any age with an enjoyment of adventure. You'll have the opportunity to meet people who are outside your own age group, and from different walks of life, adding depth and diversity to your travel experience.
The maximum group size is 15.