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What is tailor made? Customised itinerary | Every trip is unique | Flexible accommodation options | Designed to your budget

    Places visited:

  • Kuching
  • Lemanak River
  • Kota Kinabalu
  • Sandakan
  • Kinabatangan River
  • Gaya Island
  • Wander the back streets and enjoy a river side stroll in the colonial city of Kuching.

  • Enjoy the famous hospitality of the Iban tribe as you overnight in a traditional longhouse located on the banks of a river in the middle of the jungle.

  • Visit Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary where you will see the work being done to rehabilitate rescued orangutan.

  • Take a boat through the jungle covered backwaters of the Kinabatangan River.

  • Relax on tropical Gaya, a rainforest covered island off Kota Kinabalu.

Audley Travel specialist Charlotte

What our specialists say...

This trip is an ideal choice if you are planning to visit Borneo once, visiting many of the key sites as well as some less explored areas. With a combination of incredible wildlife and cultural experiences, this will give you an insight into Borneo’s fascinating tribal culture and wildlife. Starting off in the state of Sarawak, you can soak up the island’s colonial influences as well as staying in a traditional Iban longhouse. Flying across to the state of Sabah, you can immerse yourself in the lush jungle, spotting orangutan and proboscis monkeys before relaxing on an island retreat.

We recommend this trip for:

  • Kuching
  • Lemanak River
  • Kuching
  • Kota Kinabalu
  • Sandakan
  • Kinabatangan River
  • Sandakan
  • Kota Kinabalu
  • Gaya Island
  • Kota Kinabalu

Itinerary idea in detail

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Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Day 1 International outbound flight

International outbound flight

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Kuching.

Day 2 Kuching

Kuching

Arriving into Kuching you'll meet an Audley representative before being taken to your hotel by private transfer, with the rest of the today at leisure. You might like to head to Jalan Ban Hock, known locally as "new town", which has a hub of vibrant local restaurants and street stalls.

Accommodation options

Day 3 Kuching

Kuching

Explore Kuching on a private guided walking tour of this quaint riverside city. Your guide can show you the temple and churches as well as Fort Margherita and the stately Istana Palace. The Sarawak Museum is particularly fascinating, with an extensive collection of tribal artefacts and a recreated longhouse. The rest of the day is free to explore, or simply relax. You might like to visit Chinatown, with plenty of bright temples, markets and restaurants.

Accommodation options

Day 4 Kuching

Kuching

This morning drive with your private guide 30 minutes outside the city to Santubong village. On meeting your boat, cruising down the river, past stilted villages to the mangroves where you can hopefully see the proboscis monkeys who live here. On reaching the coast, travel for a further 45 minutes by boat to Satang Island to enjoy a packed lunch before exploring the island - and a spot of swimming if you wish. You will be accompanied by a private guide but due to the limit to the number of boats in the area, may have to share your boat with other travellers.

Accommodation options

Day 5 Lemanak River

Kuching , Lemanak River

Drive to the Lemanak River today, stopping at Semenggok Orang-utan Sanctuary for feeding time, a traditional market in Serian, a pepper farm and a local restaurant on the way. Accompanied by a private guide, it's a great way to explore the local area. The final 40 minutes of your journey are on the river, by longboat. This journey takes most of the day, arriving at the longhouse between 4:00pm and 5:00pm. On arrival at the Iban longhouse you'll be welcomed with a traditional meal. The family are keen to teach you their local customs, performing dances and music before bed.

Accommodation

Day 6 Kuching

Lemanak River , Kuching

After breakfast your private guide takes you on a nature trail in the area surrounding the longhouse. See a blowpipe demonstration, which you are welcome to try for yourself. Lunch is served on the riverbank where you also have the chance for a swim. You will then retrace your steps back to Kuching with your guide, with a final night to enjoy the ambience and great food.

Accommodation options

Day 7 Sandakan

Kuching , Kota Kinabalu , Sandakan

This morning drive to the airport by private transfer to catch your short flight to Sandakan, with a short connection in Kota Kinabalu. On arrival in Sandakan you'll be met by an Audley representative and driven by private transfer to Sepilock Nature resort in time for dinner.

Accommodation

Day 8 Kinabatangan River

Sandakan , Kinabatangan River

Enter Sepilok orang-utan rehabilitation centre this morning to see the 10am orang-utan feeding as part of a small group tour. After this, head in the jungle with a journey up the Kinabatangan River and on to your riverside lodge. The boat journey takes about an hour, accompanied by a guide and other lodge guests. Once you are checked in, head out on to the river for an afternoon cruise with a small group of fellow guests. Your guide will help you to spot some of the wildlife that is so prevalent in the area - you may see proboscis monkey, orang-utan and pygmy elephants. Your excursions whilst at the lodge are part of a small group of fellow guests, but if you would prefer private excursions instead, we can arrange this for you. All meals are included during your stay.

Accommodation options

Day 9 Kinabatangan River

Kinabatangan River

Rise early for a second trip on the river and the chance to visit the nearby ox-bow lake. The early morning is one of the best times of the day to spot wildlife. Breakfast is served back at the lodge. You have free time back at the lodge to catch up on some sleep or for the more energetic, take the jungle boardwalk trails around the lodge. Lunch is served at the lodge. Enjoy a final trip on the river this afternoon and try to tick some more animals off your list before a final dinner at your lodge.

Accommodation options

Day 10 Gaya Island

Kinabatangan River , Sandakan , Kota Kinabalu , Gaya Island

After breakfast travel back to Sandakan by boat to transfer to the airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu with a small group of hotel guests. On arrival in Kota Kinabalu, you'll be met and transferred to the dock to catch your 25 minute shared speedboat to the tropical Gaya Island.

Accommodation options

Day 11 Gaya Island

Gaya Island

Today you are free to relax or explore the island. You might like to take a guided nature walk through the dipterocarp forest which surrounds the hotel with the resort's resident naturalist, with the opportunity to spot flying squirrels, proboscis monkey and other wildlife.

Accommodation options

Day 12 Gaya Island

Gaya Island

Today is free to relax. Located in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Gaya Island Resort is surrounded by a vibrant array of marine life. On your free day today, you might like to visit the hotel's Marine Centre which focuses on turtle rescue and coral conservation. You can hire snorkeling equipment from the hotel's reception to explore the coral yourself, or book a guided snorkeling excursion with an experienced guide.

Accommodation options

Day 13 Gaya Island

Gaya Island

A final day on Gaya Island today. A variety of excursions are available to book through the hotel including a guided kayak through the surrounding mangrove forests, or a private deep sea fishing lesson.

Accommodation options

Day 14 International return flight

Gaya Island , Kota Kinabalu , International return flight

This morning catch a shared speedboat transfer back to Kota Kinabalu where you're met and driven to the airport for your onwards flights.

Day 15 International return flight

International return flight

Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Audley Travel specialist Vicki
Audley Travel specialist Charlotte

Contact a specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to Borneo will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.

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When to go

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Place Daily Max Temperature Monthly Rainfall
Kuching
 
 
 
Kota Kinabalu
 
 
 
Sandakan
 
 
 
Kinabatangan River
 
 
 
Gaya Island
 
 
 

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