Your day-by-day itinerary
Kota Kinabalu: Gateway to Sabah
This bustling coastal city at the foot of the immense Mount Kinabalu is the starting point for your journey through Sabah. On arrival, you’ll be transferred to your central hotel close to the restaurants and colourful markets of the city. Kota Kinabalu is a relatively modern city with many western influences and a whole host of delicious local food to try. The next day you’ll head to Kinabalu National Park with a guide to discover the wildlife and plants which call this place home, getting a different perspective as you explore from the canopy walks high above the forest floor.
Orangutans and Jungle Boats
Borneo is the land of orangutans, and the very best place to see them and learn all about them is at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. This morning you’ll join a small group and will travel to Sepilok, where a guide will answer any questions you may have about the park’s hairy inhabitants. At feeding time you’ll find yourself at a safe distance, yet incredibly close to the endearing primates. You’ll also stop in at a Sunbear Sanctuary nearby, where you can see these unique, endangered bears. After your visit to Sepilok you’ll climb into a boat and you’ll travel deeper into the jungle, where you’ll spend 2 nights in a wooden lodge on the riverbank.
No other spot in Borneo features such a wide variety of wild animals: monkeys, monitor lizards, crocodiles, sunbears, hundreds of species of tropical birds, and if you’re lucky you may even see wild pygmy elephants! During your time here you’ll have the opportunity to go on morning and evening boat cruises, where a local guide will help you spot whichever amazing creatures happen to be about. You’ll sleep with the sounds of the jungle all around you, before heading back along the river to Sandakan, where you’ll arrive around lunchtime/early afternoon.
Castaway Beach on Lankayan Island
Lankayan Island is a secluded paradise hidden away in the tropical Sulu Sea just north of Sandakan, and the perfect place to rest up after your travels through Borneo. You can spend your days relaxing on the white sandy beaches or swimming in the crystal clear sea. The view beneath the sea is perhaps even more beautiful than above the water. Our local project, Reef Guardian is based on the island and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to watch the volunteers release baby turtles into the sea for their first swim!
You will be staying in a seafront bungalow, situated right on the beach. All your meals are included and are served at the restaurant, which boasts an amazingly beautiful open-air wooden terrace. After your dinner, you can sit on the terrace and watch the sun setting over the sea. On your last day on the island you will leave at 7am and head back to Sandakan.