Map of Premium Borneo in Depth including Malaysia

Discover Borneo, one of the wildest places on the planet

Come face to face with Borneo’s remarkable wildlife on a 12-day Premium adventure. Travelling with a local leader means you’ll not only uncover Borneo’s natural wonders, but also its fascinating culture, history and ancient traditions. Journey to the jungles of Sabah and Sarawak, learn about the Iban way of life deep within Batang Ai National Park, get swept up in the frenetic energy of Kuching, connect with nature at the Kinabatangan River and visit an Orangutan rehabilitation centre in Sandakan. From dense rainforests to misty rivers and jungle valleys, this diverse island is a joy to explore.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Kuching, Malaysia
Finish
Sandakan, Malaysia
Destination
Malaysia
Style
Premium
Theme
Explorer
Code
TMPB
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

premium accommodation

Our best accommodation and highest level of service.

premium experiences

Unusual, exceptional and authentic on-trip experiences.

premium knowledge

Led by our most experienced and highest rated local leaders.

  • Learn how to live off the land and forage for food in the rainforest. This Exclusive Experience includes an unforgettable foraging session and lunch where your freshly picked ingredients will be turned into an incredible meal.

  • Surround yourself with rich wildlife and wonderful creatures during two nights at the stunning and perfectly located Kinabatangan Wetland Resort, your Feature Stay accommodation.

  • Visit beautiful endangered orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, meet the Malaysian sun bear and take multiple cruises down the Kinabatangan in search of wildlife.

  • Gain unique insight into the Iban way of life during an Exclusive Experience where you stay in a rustic jungle lodge in the rainforests of Batang Ai, visit a traditional longhouse and chat to the locals about their culture.

  • Get a taste of Borneo’s diverse food scene during Exclusive Experiences, including dinner at a bustling food court that’s popular with locals, and a freshly caught seafood dinner after touring the seafood market.

Is this trip right for you?

  • With internal flights, spend less time travelling and more time taking in the wildlife and natural beauty of your destinations. Travelling light is essential, as the included domestic flights have a strict 15kg maximum for check in luggage.

  • The accommodation varies from hotels to a jungle lodge. The jungle lodge is more basic than our standard hotels, including shared bathroom facilities. The unique location and close proximity to wildlife is what makes the jungle lodge special.

  • There will be a few walks included on this trip on forested paths that can get wet and slippery. Shoes with a good grip are highly recommended, and will also be useful for getting in and out of low rise long tail boats.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2022 to 31 Dec 2022.
View the 2023 itinerary
Welcome to Borneo! Your adventure begins in the animated city of Kuching. You will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel, where you will meet your tour leader and small group for a 6pm welcome meeting. If you arrive early, you may like to take a stroll along Kuching’s scenic waterfront, stopping in at a local cafe to watch life unfold in front of you. After your meeting, your leader will help you get acquainted with the city on a walk to one of Kuching’s food courts that’s popular with the locals, where you can sample all manner of traditional delights under one roof. Perhaps try some kolo mee, an aromatic noodle dish, or gong pia, a crispy bun filled with savoury minced pork. Kuching really is a food lover’s paradise!
Accommodation
  • Riverside Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Kuching - Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
The arrival transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through us. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 14 days prior to travel, as we may not be able to confirm a request made within 14 days of travel. .

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
This morning, begin your journey to Batang Ai National Park. The remote and lush rainforests of the park are alive with the calls of hornbills and gibbons, and home to the highest density of wild orangutans in central Borneo. The Iban people have called these rainforests home for 400 years, with entire villages living under one roof in longhouses built alongside the river. Hidden away from the modern world, these communities have retained centuries-old traditions. Stop off at the native market in Lachau where you can pick up locally made goods like woven baskets and traditional Iban clothing, and something tasty for lunch. To get to your accommodation for the evening, take a longboat down the Delok river, with your leader on hand to help spot wildlife disguised in the trees. Arrive at the serene and secluded Nanga Sumpa lodge, tucked away among vegetation on the riverbank. Tonight you will enjoy a traditional dinner at the lodge.
Accommodation
  • Nanga Sumpa Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Batang Ai - Nanga Sumpa Dinner
  • Batang Ai - Lachau Bazaar Lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total drive time is approximately 4.5 hours plus a 1.5 hour boat journey.

The Batang Ai Jungle Lodge is more basic than our standard Premium properties, including shared bathroom facilities. The unique location, close proximity to wildlife, and cultural contact make this rustic jungle lodge a truly special experience.
After a peaceful breakfast surrounded by nature, take a longboat up the river and begin a walk to the beautiful Enseluai waterfall. Here you will enjoy some time to relax, swim and soak up your idyllic surroundings. Then for a truly special experience – head into the forest to learn first hand how the Iban people live off the land. Learn about foraging for edible jungle delights, like wild ferns and ginger shoots. Next, learn traditional fishing methods by casting a net into the river. Once you’ve got your local catch, take part in an unforgettable lunch experience and see how local ingredients turn into a wonderful meal. Later on, visit a traditional longhouse and spend time with the Iban people who will be happy to introduce you to their way of living. Hang out on the common veranda, share some rice wine and enjoy an unrivalled insight into the unique Iban culture. Tonight’s dinner will be back at the lodge.
Accommodation
  • Nanga Sumpa Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Batang Ai - Jungle Forage and Cooking Demo
  • Batang Ai - Local Longhouse Visit
  • Batang Ai - Waterfall Walk
  • Batang Ai - Nanga Sumpa Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Wake up to the songs of birds under a luxuriant canopy of trees. After breakfast, take a longboat out of the rainforest and make the journey back to Kuching, stopping off for lunch at a local coffee shop along the way. Spend an evening at leisure in Kuching. The name Kuching literally translates to ‘cats’, and the city has fully embraced this moniker. A wander of its streets will unearth giant cat statues, spray-painted cat street art and even a cat museum! For a less feline-focused experience, the Sarawak museum is the oldest in Borneo and well worth a visit. If you’d like to dive deeper into the city’s fabulous food scene, your leader can recommend some splendid spots to eat.
Accommodation
  • Riverside Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kuching - Group Lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total drive time is approximately 4.5 hours plus a 1.5 hour boat journey.
Say goodbye to Kuching and take a flight to Mulu National Park. The national park is unbelievably diverse and spectacular to look at, full of rainforests, mountains, caves and karst formations. Your leader will be able to provide insight on how the park’s weird and wonderful geographic features came to be. In the late afternoon, visit Deer Cave and Lang Cave, which are reached by following a scenic jungle walk along a three-kilometre plank path, passing through peat swamp, alluvial flats and limestone outcrops. Watch millions of bats fly out of Deer Cave at sunset and see the large ring-shaped formations they make as they circle higher up the cliff face, before moving out across the rainforest in spiralling ribbons. Get ready to give your camera batteries a good workout because this landscape surprises at every turn. Return on the same path and head to your accommodation for the evening, gorgeous forest bungalows tucked away in the national park.
Accommodation
  • Mulu National Park Garden Bungalows or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mulu National Park - Sunset bat experience
  • Mulu National Park - Deer & Lang Caves guided walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s flight is approximately 1.5 hours. Today you will be walking up to 2.5 hours along forested paths with some steep steps, 3 KM in each direction. Shoes with a good grip are recommended.
Today, join your leader for continued explorations of Mulu National Park where they will help you uncover more of the unusual and varied landscape. First head to Wind Cave – located along the Melinau River, the cave is named for the cool breeze that blows through it. Your leader will share details on the formation of the cave as you explore fascinating stalagmites and columns. Later, discover the caverns and crags of Clearwater Cave, one of the longest caves in Asia. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and take in the magnificent scenery.
Accommodation
  • Mulu National Park Garden Bungalows or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mulu National Park - Wind & Clearwater Caves guided walk
  • Mulu National Park - Picnic Lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Please note you will travel on low rise, long tail boats today. These boats can be difficult to get in and out of so a good level of balance is required. Today you will also be walking up to 2.5 hours along forested paths and some steep steps. Shoes with a good grip are recommended.
Today you will take a flight to Kota Kinabalu, the bustling capital city of the Sabah state. With a modern metropolis, traditional charm and charismatic locals, Kota Kinabalu has something for everyone. In the late afternoon, head to one of the city’s rooftop bars and enjoy a cocktail while watching the sun set over the stylish skyline. The rest of the evening is free for you to explore. The city’s exciting food scene is best experienced like a local, so for dinner tonight, be sure to ask your leader for advice on hidden treasures away from the main tourist trail.
Accommodation
  • Horizon Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kota Kinabalu - Sunset Cocktail
Optional Activities
  • Kota Kinabalu - Sabah Museum entrance fee - MYR15
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s flight is approximately 1 hour.
Enjoy a free morning in Kota Kinabalu, a city overflowing with possibilities. You may like to go snorkelling in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park and search for marine life, or perhaps take a tour of the local villages. If you’d prefer to stay in the city, you can visit the colourful handicraft market on the waterfront or explore the vibrant Chinatown. Your leader will be on hand to help you plan activities for the day. Later in the afternoon, head to a local vegetable and fish market, learning about and sampling regional snacks along the way. End the tour with a tasty and fresh seafood dinner at a local restaurants.
Accommodation
  • Horizon Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kota Kinabalu - Seafood Market Tour and Seafood Dinner
  • Kota Kinabalu - Local Market Tour
Optional Activities
  • Kota Kinabalu - Tunku Abdul National Marine Park Snorkeling Trip - MYR245
  • Kota Kinabalu - Cultural Village Tour (excludes transportation) - MYR100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Take a flight to Sandakan, then visit the Sandakan War Memorial. Here you will learn about the city's past as you stand on the same ground of the former Japanese POW camp. This site also marks the starting point of the tragic Sandakan Death Marches. Next, head to the jetty for a boat ride to the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, your Feature Stay accommodation. Nestled on the banks of the Kinabatangan river, the resort offers matchless access to local wildlife. Wooden boardwalks cut through the jungle and connect spacious and bright chalets which serve up marvellous views of the surrounding mangrove forests. A world away from Borneo’s busy cities, this is a place to really connect with nature. This afternoon, take a river cruise, where your leader will help you spot some exotic local creatures. Wild elephants seldom reveal themselves, but crocodiles, macaques, wild orangutan, proboscis monkeys, hornbills and kingfishers are more easily seen. Enjoy dinner at the resort before heading back out for a night-time wildlife walk. Geared up with a headlamp and leader in tow, set out in search of interesting insects or other animals that pop up after dark.
Accommodation
  • Kinabatangan Wetland Resort (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kinabatangan River - Afternoon Wildlife Spotting Cruise
  • Kinabatangan River - Evening Wildlife Walk
  • Kinabatangan River - Kinabatangan Wetland Resort Lunch
  • Kinabatangan River - Kinabatangan Wetland Resort Dinner
  • Sandakan - War Memorial
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s flight is approximately 1 hour plus a 1.5 hour boat journey.
You might awake to the call of a Bornean gibbon, or perhaps a hornbill. Enjoy an early morning cruise through the fog as the sun rises, eating breakfast on board while searching for more birds and wildlife. Keep an eye out for long tail macaques and pig tail macaques – ask your leader about the difference. Continue to the nearby fishing village of Kampung Abai, meet the local Orang Sungai people and see how daily life plays out here. Return to the resort for lunch and search the property with your leader for some insects, plants and birds. This afternoon, set off for another river adventure, exploring small tributaries by boat in search of more interesting creatures. Enjoy dinner back at the resort before heading out for a night-time cruise where you will be on the lookout for nocturnal animals – perhaps a wide-eyed slow loris hanging from a tree.
Accommodation
  • Kinabatangan Wetland Resort (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kinabatangan River - Morning wildlife spotting cruise
  • Kinabatangan River - Afternoon Wildlife Spotting Cruise
  • Kinabatangan River - Evening Wildlife Spotting Cruise
  • Kinabatangan River - Kinabatangan Wetland Resort Lunch
  • Kinabatangan River - Kinabatangan Wetland Resort Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Return to Sandakan by boat and visit the orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Watch and photograph these delightful creatures as they swing into view on ropes and vines. It is important not to interrupt the orangutans, to aid in their successful re-introduction to their natural environment. Check in at the outdoor nursery where young orangutans, born in captivity or orphaned, are cared for. You will also visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, seeing the world’s smallest bears in large forest enclosures as they are rehabilitated after being rescued. This evening, tuck into some of Sandakan’s famously delicious seafood during a final dinner with your group and leader.
Accommodation
  • Sabah Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sepilok - Sun Bear Conservation Centre
  • Sepilok - Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
  • Sandakan - Farewell Seafood Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s boat journey is approximately 1.5 hours.
Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast. If you would like to extend your stay, we can arrange additional accommodation (subject to availability). Flights depart most days from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu or Kuala Lumpur.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners

Transport

Boat, Plane, Private mini van

Accommodation

Lodge (4 nights), Hotel (5 nights), Resort (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Kuching - Welcome Dinner
  • Batang Ai - Nanga Sumpa Dinner
  • Batang Ai - Lachau Bazaar Lunch
  • Batang Ai - Jungle Forage and Cooking Demo
  • Batang Ai - Local Longhouse Visit
  • Batang Ai - Waterfall Walk
  • Kuching - Group Lunch
  • Mulu National Park - Sunset bat experience
  • Mulu National Park - Deer & Lang Caves guided walk
  • Mulu National Park - Wind & Clearwater Caves guided walk
  • Mulu National Park - Picnic Lunch
  • Kota Kinabalu - Sunset Cocktail
  • Kota Kinabalu - Seafood Market Tour and Seafood Dinner
  • Kota Kinabalu - Local Market Tour
  • Kinabatangan River - Afternoon Wildlife Spotting Cruise
  • Kinabatangan River - Evening Wildlife Walk
  • Kinabatangan River - Kinabatangan Wetland Resort Lunch
  • Kinabatangan River - Kinabatangan Wetland Resort Dinner
  • Sandakan - War Memorial
  • Kinabatangan River - Morning wildlife spotting cruise
  • Kinabatangan River - Evening Wildlife Spotting Cruise
  • Sepilok - Sun Bear Conservation Centre
  • Sepilok - Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
  • Sandakan - Farewell Seafood Dinner

Premium Inclusions

  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport
  • Luggage transfer
  • Daily breakfast and signature local meal experiences
  • 24/7 on-ground support

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Premium Borneo in Depth trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips that start on or before 31 December 2022 are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy.

1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip except for nights 2 and 3 (Batang Ai) and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 
3. This trip includes domestic flights. The luggage allowance is 15kg for check in luggage and 7kg for carry on.
4. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Eastern Sabah before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. Further information can be found in our "Safety" section of the Essential Trip Information. We also have links to prominent government travel advisories and any updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page http://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-au/travel-alerts
5. Travel is always an adventure and, as destinations reopen, there are a few challenges as everyone gets back up to speed and adjusts to the new normal. Our leaders are experts when it comes to dealing with anything unexpected along the journey, so pack your understanding and flexibility, sit back and relax while they take care of the rest.
6. Please check and monitor for any entry requirements update through this website:https://covidprotocol.moh.gov.my/. You'll be required to take a test within 24 hours after arrival, even if you'll transit in Kuala Lumpur for your flight. You'll need to leave enough time for the test result to return if you transit through Kuala Lumpur International Airport, so please check with your airline for the best approach. We highly recommend finish booster shot before travelling as Malaysia applies different quarantine measures for travellers when there's a positive case or a close contact, depending on their vaccines, vaccination status and age. You'll find out which category you belong to when you verify your vaccination on their official portal.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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