Discover Borneo on a wild family adventure.

Travel to Borneo on an 11-day family adventure and discover the curious wildlife and spectacular landscapes of the region. Learn how orphaned orangutans are rehabilitated back into the wild, swim among colourful fish, watch baby green turtles take wobbly steps towards the waterfront and relax on sandy beaches. Along the way you'll make friends, try some delicious cuisine and forge some incredible memories. With all of the essentials included, and plenty of free time to explore at your own pace, you and your family will fall in love with the unique animals, lush ecosystem and sandy islands of Borneo.


Start
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Finish
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Destination
Malaysia
Style
Original
Theme
Family, Wildlife
Code
TMFG
Physical rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 2, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Take a guided walk through the lush lower trails of Kinabalu National Park and witness Mt Kinabalu in all its glory at dawn.

  • Stay overnight among the birds and beasts of the jungle, right next to an oxbow lake, at Kinabatangan Eco Camp.

  • Visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and, if you're lucky, watch baby orangutans learn to swing in a special enclosure.

  • Enjoy a special opportunity to watch protected turtle hatchlings scatter across the beach to the water under the cover of night.

  • Swim, snorkel and stroll along the sandy beaches of Dinawan Island on an included family day trip to this island paradise.

Is this trip right for you?

  • There's a wide range of accommodation on this trip, from hotels and guesthouses to jungle camps. Some may be a little more basic than your standard Intrepid hotel, but their unique location and close proximity to wildlife is what makes them special.

  • There are a few days that we cover long distances with some travelling times of 4–5 hours. A little bit of patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment of this beautiful land!

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Selamat datang! Welcome to Malaysia. Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, is an intriguing city located between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea. Having survived WWII bombings, KK (as it's commonly known) has a charm unique to the frontier town. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5 pm at your hotel. Here you will meet your leader and fellow family travellers. Following the meeting, perhaps head out with your fellow families to the waterfront market. Here you’ll find smoky stalls serving up grilled meat and fish and heaps of local delicacies. If you arrive with significant time before the welcome meeting, you can immerse yourself in history at the Sabah State Museum or explore the islands off Kota Kinabalu which are excellent for swimming or snorkelling.
Accommodation
  • Dreamtel Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kota Kinabalu - Sabah Museum entrance fee - MYR15
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information for each member of your family. 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.
Head for the beautiful Kinabalu National Park. Stretch your legs and take in the mountain views on any of the numerous walking trails. As you walk along, keep a close eye on the sky and on the trees, as there are many exotic birds to spot – the mountain serpent-eagle, Dulit frogmouth and bare-headed laughing thrushes among them. It's also important to keep an eye on the ground for snakes, and you might encounter a leech or two. There's plenty to see and do in this World Heritage-listed park. The Botanical Garden is an excellent showcase of the diverse plant life on the mountain, and flora from all over the park has been replanted here. The walk in the park takes about one hour. From here we head to the Poring Hot Springs with a scenic canopy walk and a quick dip in the springs themselves.

Tonight you will spend the night in a reconstructed longhouse on the tea plantation. Rooms are twin/triple-share and have fans and shared bathrooms.
Accommodation
  • Sabah Tea Garden or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mt Kinabalu National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Mt Kinabalu National Park - Botanical Gardens
  • Poring Hot Springs - Canopy Walk
Optional Activities
  • Kundasang - War Memorial - MYR10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning we visit a Sabah Tea Factory and learn the process of tea leaves before saying goodbye to the mountain and heading into the jungle. Travel by private bus to Batu Puteh, a small village on the banks of the Kinabatangan River (approximately 5 hours). Your hosts for the night are the local community-run conservation organization KOPEL whose aim is to provide villagers with the means of making a sustainable living from the forest. KOPEL are responsible for a reforestation project in which the community are actively involved in growing seedlings and replanting back degraded forested areas. Arrive in the afternoon meet your hosts and learn a little more about KOPELs work, before jumping in a boat and heading upriver to your accommodation in the jungle (approximately 30 minutes). This afternoon, you’ll head out on a sunset cruise up the river in search of wildlife, including macaques, wild orangutan and proboscis monkeys. Be prepared for an adventure! Return to your jungle camp by an oxbow lake, freshen up for dinner and afterwards, let the cicadas sing you to sleep.
Accommodation
  • Kinabatangan Eco Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kinabatangan River - Afternoon wildlife boat trip
  • Sabah Tea Plantation - Tea factory tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
You'll pack an overnight bag for the jungle camp and leave your main luggage at the KOPEL office. Stay in the jungle in a simple hut with basic facilities, including mosquito nets and cold bathing. You’ll be in deep jungle, so as not to disturb the wildlife, there is no generator and therefore little to no electricity at the camp. A torch, insect repellent and rain jacket are essential for tonight.
Wake up to the sounds of the jungle ready for a busy day. After breakfast you’ll head upriver to the village where you take a walk around the village to learn more about the life of the local people. For lunch, it’s all hands-on deck as you partake in a fun traditional cooking class, eating the fruits of your labour for lunch! The afternoon is free to relax, enjoy some boardgames or keep spotting some wildlife. Before heading back on the boat for some more wildlife spotting. After dinner tonight, you’ll don headtorches and head out into the jungle for a night walk in search of insects and nocturnal animals. See what happens to the jungle at night, and what creatures come out to play!
Accommodation
  • Kinabatangan Eco Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kinabatangan - Night jungle walk
  • Kinabatangan - Cooking class
  • Kinabatangan River - Afternoon wildlife boat trip
  • Kinabatangan – Cultural Performance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Say goodbye to the Eco Camp and take a drive to Sandakan. Arrive in the busy city and notice the strong Cantonese influence, seen in the lively harbourside market, the many Chinese temples and the local cuisine. Here there is free time to catch up on your essentials, like laundry and banking, as well as to explore the city. Otherwise, just spend some time relaxing by the pool!
Accommodation
  • Sabah Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is an exciting day and a favourite with the kids – here come the orangutans! It’s a 45-minute drive by minibus to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. The centre was set up to help re-introduce these wonderful creatures back into the wild after a life of domestication or having been orphaned. From the viewing platform, you can see these charming creatures as they swing into view and eat a supplementary diet of bananas and milk, laid out for them twice a day. Human contact must be kept to a minimum and it's essential that you follow the instructions of the park, as directed by your leader, but you are free to snap plenty of photographs. You will also have the privilege of viewing a nursery where you can view young orangutans as they learn how to climb on a specially constructed jungle gym. The viewing area is behind one-way glass so as not to disturb the animals. If you simply can’t get enough of Borneo’s incredible wildlife, you can choose to visit glossy-coated sun bears today at a recently opened conservation centre, where they have been rescued from mistreatment are cared for. Otherwise, those who have fallen in love with the bulbous noses of the proboscis monkeys can visit a sanctuary dedicated to helping these endangered creatures.
Accommodation
  • Sabah Hotel or similiar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Labuk Bay - Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary (including transport)
  • Sepilok - Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave your large bags at the hotel and transfer to a nearby jetty, then board a speedboat bound for Turtle Island. Travel past small fishing villages and bamboo fish traps, arriving at Turtle Island Marine Park after about an hour. The rest of the day is free for you to soak up the island life. Relax on the beach and take a swim or perhaps hire some snorkelling gear and investigate the underwater world. Under the cover of darkness, watch as giant green turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs under the moonlight. Witness the island researchers release protected hatchlings and guide them in their frantic dash to the ocean. It's a moving experience that is bound to be rewarding for you and your family, but please be aware that this is a very delicate environment and you must follow instructions from your leader and the local rangers to ensure minimal impact on the turtles. Spend the night on this beautiful island – even though the accommodation is quite basic, this will be a memorable experience.
Accommodation
  • Chalet (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The accommodation on Turtle Island is very basic. Also, you will view the turtles as they come ashore which can be anytime during the night. This may mean quite a late night for the children, as at times they don't come in until after 10 pm. Groups will wait in the dining hall until the rangers call us. We suggest you bring with you some games, cards, art supplies or other items to keep the children entertained. A head torch is advised to see the full experience.
Today you will transfer to Sandakan airport and fly to Kota Kinabalu (approximately 1 hour). Keep in mind that the luggage allowance for this flight is only 15 kg, and any excess baggage may incur a further charge. Then drive to the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu to our seaside resort on Beringgis Beach. Take the opportunity to relax, have a swim, enjoy a drink and enjoy the sunset.
Accommodation
  • Beringgis Beach Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sandakan - War Memorial
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
After breakfast, head out to Dinawan Island. The island is surrounded by reefs and sandbanks, and has pristine beaches, crystal clear water and unexplored forests to discover. You’ll have the full day to experience this slice of beauty, and the best thing is, it’s up to you what you do! Lunch will be included during the day and you’ll all get access to snorkelling equipment. Later in the evening, arrive back to your beach resort for a relaxing night.
Accommodation
  • Beringgis Beach Resort (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Dinawan Island - Day trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Bid farewell to your patch of paradise and head back to Kota Kinabalu. We visit the Mari Mari Cultural Village in the morning and learn about the cultural history and tradition of Borneo’s various indigenous ethnic groups. In the evening, take the opportunity to relax, enjoy a drink and look back on the week's adventures with your family and fellow travellers for your final night.
Accommodation
  • Dreamtel Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kota Kinabalu - Mari Mari Cultural Village
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
With no activities planned for today, you and your family are free to depart the accommodation at any time following check-out.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

10 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Bus, Minibus, Van

Accommodation

Hotel (4 nights), eco camp (2 nights), Resort (3 nights), chalet (1 night)

Included activities

  • Mt Kinabalu National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Mt Kinabalu National Park - Botanical Gardens
  • Poring Hot Springs - Canopy Walk
  • Kinabatangan River - Afternoon wildlife boat trip
  • Sabah Tea Plantation - Tea factory tour
  • Kinabatangan - Night jungle walk
  • Kinabatangan - Cooking class
  • Kinabatangan – Cultural Performance
  • Labuk Bay - Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary (including transport)
  • Sepilok - Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
  • Sandakan - War Memorial
  • Dinawan Island - Day trip
  • Kota Kinabalu - Mari Mari Cultural Village

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

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

Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Important notes

Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.

Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old.

A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 17 years and under at time of travel.

A single supplement is available on this trip with exception of Days 2 (Kinabalu National Park) and Days 4 & 5 (Jungle Camp)

WEATHER: Borneo is a tropical country so rain can be excepted at any time. The wet period in Borneo runs from November to February. Temperatures remain fairly constant year round with averages of 27-32°C/80-89°F and relative humidity of around 80%. Consider bringing a portable small neck fan with you to keep you and your family cool.

HOTEL LOCATIONS: Many hotels outside of the big cities of Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan have been built so travellers can enjoy the countryside, forest/mountain views, where people can wake up to nature sounds not cars. Many of the hotels we use are in such locations and can be quite remote. So access to restaurants are limited.

FOOD: Borneo’s food is known for being fairly mild, with high reliance on fresh fruit and vegetables.
The cuisine is a mix of Thai, Malay and Indian. Cuisine staples include grilled fish, barbecued prawns, fried rice, noodles, and local vegetables seasoned with garlic, ginger, and rich sauces. Fish and chicken based soups with noodles cooked in a hot clay pot are very traditional.

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

Reviews