Best of Borneo
Day 1 Kota Kinabalu (1D)
Arrive any time during the day. Meet your CEO and group for a Welcome Meeting, typically around 6pm, followed by an included local home meal in the evening (15km from the city). If you choose to arrive early, Kota Kinabalu has much to offer. Enquire about pre-night accommodation at the time of booking. The capital of Sabah is an intriguing city that was born between the wild jungles and the South China Sea. Having survived World War II bombings, KK now has a charm that can only be found in a frontier town. With any free time here, you can immerse yourself in history at the Sabah State Museum, visit the Monsopiad Cultural Village, home to a notorious head hunter, or explore the islands off-shore, excellent for swimming or snorkeling. Allow approximately USD15 for an island visit, although costs can vary depending on your negotiating skills, the time you wish to spend on the island and the number of people with whom you share a boat.
Day 2 Kudat (1B)
Drive to Kudat on the northern tip of Borneo to visit a nesting site for turtles. Lounge on secluded white-sand beaches. Opt to go fishing on a local boat, surfing, jungle trekking or get involved in a local beach cleanup project. Kudat is about a three hour drive from Kota Kinabalu, but feels worlds away. Enjoy the quiet fishing village and empty beaches at the 'Tip of Borneo'. Approx. distance: Estimated travel time: 3 hrs
Day 3 Mt Kinabalu (1B)
Enjoy some extra beach time in the morning before driving to Kota Kinabalu Park in the afternoon. In the evening, attend a briefing on the next day's hike. If you do not wish to climb, we can arrange for you to stay at the base of the mountain. Mt Kinabalu is the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. Hopefully you'll catch a glimpse of the summit, which is often shrouded in a cloud by the afternoon. We stay at the foot of the mountain, so there's the opportunity to stretch your legs by exploring the trails around the park. Approx. distance: Estimated travel time: 2.5 hrs
Day 4 Hike Mt Kinabalu (1B, 1L, 1D)
Store extra gear in the mountain's HQ and climb to Laban Rata, enjoying a packed lunch on the way. The hike can take from three to seven hours. Indulge in a buffet-style dinner then rest up for an early start to summit the mountain in the morning. We set off early to begin the ascent up Mt Kinabalu. It is not an easy walk, but it is incredibly rewarding. Willpower is the main requirement as it's uphill all the way! The well-marked trail is predominantly made up of steep steps that vary considerably in size. Altitude can affect anyone, no matter how fit you are, and it can certainly slow you down a fair bit. There's no rush. The key to success with altitude is to drink plenty of water, take your time and enjoy the pristine environment. We leave our main packs in storage. Carrying just an overnight pack, you pass an extraordinary variety of plant life including fungi, mosses, lichen, varieties of orchids and several types of carnivorous pitcher plants. If you a very lucky you may even see 'rafflesia', the world's largest flower. The climb is 8km and usually takes between 5-7 hours. There are shelters along the way to stop for brief rests. We spend the night of Day 4 at Laban Rata in basic mountain huts. Laban Rata is at an altitude of 3,272m. Food and refreshments are available and blankets will be provided so a sleeping bag shouldn't be necessary. You will need to bring your own towel if you want one. It's an early night in order to prepare for the final climb very early tomorrow morning! Getting to the summit (4095.2m) from Laban Rata takes 2-3 hours. If for any reason, you are separated from your group higher on the mountain, there is a thick white rope all the way to the summit. If visibility is very low it may be necessary to hold onto the rope and follow it. The rope leads all the way from the vegetation belt above Panar Laban to the summit. The weather on the summit can deteriorate very quickly, with thick mist reducing visibility to 3m, rain storms and strong winds can also occur at times. When climbing on the summit and the higher part of the mountain, it's important to have sufficient warm clothes, a head lamp/torch, spare batteries, waterproof rain coat, food and water. During the descent we stop at our mountain hut before continuing to the park headquarters and returning to our accommodation for the night. The descent is tough on the knees and takes approximately 5-7 hours. A certificate is available to prove that you completed the climb – this can be arranged for RM10. For an additional charge you can hire a porter to carry your bag. The porters charge per weight.
Day 5 Summit Mt Kinabalu/Poring (1B, 1L)
Arrive to the summit of Mt Kinabalu (3-5 hours) in time for sunrise. Rejoice! Return to Laban Rata for a rest, then to HQ for lunch. After, it's a short drive to Poring (40 km/25 mi) to enjoy the hot springs. The springs' hot sulphuric minerals are said to have healing properties and will be a nice reward after your arduous hike. Approx. distance: 40km (25 mi) Estimated travel time: 1 hr
Day 6 Poring (1B)
Free day in Poring. Options include hiking local trails, visiting Lupa Masa (a primary jungle with loads of wildlife), taking a canopy walk, visiting famous Sabah tea plantations, enjoying the hot springs and visiting a waterfall.
Day 7 Weston (1B)
Drive to the charming town of Weston. Enjoy the quaint atmosphere and in the afternoon, take a kayaking tour down the river to view wild proboscis monkeys and other wildlife, and opt for a post-dinner boat ride to see fireflies. Wander around this small town set on the Klias River, surrounded by an abundance of monkey and birdlife. Wander around the shops and restaurants near the hotel to get a feel for the real Sabahan lifestyle. Approx. distance: Poring to Tenom: 2.5 hrs Tenom to Weston: 1.5 hrs Estimated travel time: 4 hrs
Day 8 Miri (1B)
Drive to the jetty and take a boat to Labuan. Catch a flight to Miri. In the evening, take advantage of Miri's famous music scene and stock up on supplies for Mulu. Drive to jetty: 40km, 1-1.5 hrs Speed boat or ferry (depending on weather and availability): Speed boat- 45mins, Ferry- 3 hrs Flight: between 1.5-3 hrs, depending on the routing
Days 9-10 Mulu (2B)
Day 9 is a long travel day, heading first by 4x4s and then down river by private boat to reach Mulu. The journey winds through local villages. We'll make a lunch stop in Marudi, a very local area, where we can also stop up on supplies and snacks. We'll take a covered private longboat all the way to Mulu. The evening of Day 9 and all of Day 10 is free to try cave exploring, hiking part of the Headhunters Trail, enjoying wildlife night walks, viewing bats at dusk, taking boat rides, abseiling, visiting local villages and more. Sarawak's largest national park, World Heritage-listed Gunung Mulu National Park is a wonderland of natural and geological marvels. Spanning 529 square kilometers, with peaks rising to 2376 meters, Mulu encompasses a huge variety of tropical ecosystems and is also home to an amazing network of limestone caves. Here we explore some of the world's largest caves and witness the incredible nightly phenomena, where literally millions of bats leave the entrance to Deer Cave. Day 9 Miri to Marudi: 4x4s about 4-5hrs Marudi to Mulu: Private longtail boat between 6-10 hrs, depending on the river level
Day 11 Kuching (1B)
Fly to Kuching and enjoy a free day exploring the city. After a short orientation walk, opt to take a cooking class, visit the Sarawak Museum, the Chinese History Museum, Fort Margherita or walk along the waterfront promenade. Approx. distance: Estimated travel time (flight):
Day 12 Longhouse stay (1B)
Stay one night in a local tribe's longhouse outside Kuching. Enjoy the local food and culture. Kuching to the longhouse: 3-3.5 hrs
Day 13 Kuching (1B)
Depart the longhouse in the afternoon and head to Semenggoh Nature Reserve. Arrive for the afternoon feeding of the semi-wild orangutans and stay longer to get a real feel for these animals. Head back to Kuching for a final night out. Longhouse to Semenggoh to Kuching: 4 hrs, not including the stop
Day 14 Kuching (1B)
Depart at any time.