Today is arrival day and since the group will be arriving at different times there are no planned activities apart from our meeting and dinner in the evening. For those who arrive early, there will be information at the reception desk to give you some ideas on what to do for the day. Look for a Welcome note from your CEO, meeting time is normally about 6pm.
Renowned for it's wildlife and secluded beauty, Bako is Sarawak's oldest National Park and is one of the best places to see the rare Proboscis Monkey. Situated on a promontory between the Bako and Sarawak Rivers, the park has a number of well marked trails ranging from short walks to strenuous day hikes, magical waterfalls and untouched beaches. Tonight we head out on a revealing guided night walk and drift off to sleep surrounded by nature in our National Park Lodges.
We bid farewell to the cheeky Macaque Monkeys of Bako and return to Kuching where we transfer to the airport and our late morning flight to Mulu National Park. Sarawak's largest National Park, World Heritage Listed Gunung Mulu National Park is a wonderland of natural and geological marvels. Spanning 529 square kilometers and 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 (a 10km round-trip walk to/from HQ). Instead of carrying all of your luggage on the Headhunters Trail it is possible to send any excess luggage onwards to Limbang. If you wish to do this your leader can help you arrange this and the additional cargo service charge for this is approximately $4 per kilo (2.2lbs).
This morning we head off on our trek initially by longboat and then a 3 hour (9km) walk through the jungle until we reach Camp 5, our destination for the day, perched beside the picturesque Melinau river. On the way we get to explore Wind Cave and swim in the entrance to Clearwater Cave, among the longest cave systems in the world. The flora and fauna is spectacular in this area, with many species only found in certain local cave and jungle habitats. Camp 5 is a basic hut with only sleeping mats, dining area and bathroom facilities. After the days exertions the best place to cool off is amongst the rock pools in the river overlooking the impressive rock faces of the Gunung Benerat. Of an evening listen to the tranquil jungle choruses with the occasional bat swooping through the candle light, you will feel like you are a world away!
Today we pass through thick rainforest and trek 12km (about 3-4 hours) along the 'Headhunters Trail', famous for when Kayan war parties used to raid the peoples of the Limbang region. Boarding our local longboat we continue downriver to our overnight in a simple Iban long-house where we are treated as guests by our Iban hosts. The nature of the accommodation is very basic but the experience offers a unique insight into the Iban culture and way of life. Sleeping arrangements are communal, with a mattress and sheet on the floor. The Iban are considered quite shy and reserved people, but it's amazing how much is shared by quiet observation and mutual interest.
Heading off in narrow longboats today we continue to Medamit, then by mini-bus to Limbang where we check into our hotel for some well deserved relaxation. Limbang in northern Sarawak, is located between the two parts of Brunei. It's a small prosperous town which sits on the eastern bank of the Limbang River. A short walk along the river you'll find one of Charles Brook's forts, which is now a small museum exhibiting some interesting historical artifacts and some of the regional crafts and cultures. You might like to visit the Buak Buak Mud Baths or perhaps try some famous Limbang 'Ikan Tahai', a local smoked fish speciality.
This morning we depart Sarawak on the Royal Limbang # 1 Ferry to the Duty Free Island of Pulau Labuan (90 mins). The afternoon is free to wander the town or head out to one of the neighboring uninhabited islands of the Labuan Marine Park; Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Rusukan Kecil or Pulau Rusukan Besar, for some snorkeling or just relaxing on a pristine beach. Labuan also has some of the best Wreck Diving in Asia including ships from the Second World War, testament to the heavy fighting this area experienced.
Our Ferry to Sabah takes roughly 2 hours and upon arrival we are met by our private vehicle which will transfer us to Kota Kinabalu. 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. In your free time 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.
You are free to depart at any time today.