Explore the highlights of Borneo on an Intrepid family adventure.

Travel to Borneo on a family adventure tour 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 delicious cuisine and make incredible memories. 

Travel more, deposit less. Book now with just R1250!

Save a space on your 2019 trip with only a R1250 deposit until 31 August 2018.

Terms & Conditions

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, witness Mt Kinabalu in all its glory at dawn, and enjoy a well-earned dip in the Poring Hot Springs

  • 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 orangutangs learn to swing in a special enclosure

  • Swim, snorkel and stroll at Pulau Tiga, the world-famous 'Survivor Island' – the ideal tropical destination for the whole family

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 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

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. Make sure you have insurance and next of kin details for your family ready to pass on to your leader during the meeting. 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 befoe the welcome meeting, you can immerse yourself in history at the Sabah State Museum, visit the Monsopiad Cultural Village, or explore the islands off Kota Kinabalu which are excellent for swimming or snorkelling.
Accommodation
  • Dreamtel Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kota Kinabalu - Mari Mari Cultural Village
Optional Activities
  • Kota Kinabalu - Sabah Museum entrance fee - MYR15
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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 – 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. The afternoon is free for you to relax. 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
  • Mt Kinabalu National Park - Lower trails guided walk
  • Mt Kinabalu National Park - Botanical Gardens
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise and shine to catch glimpses of the mighty Mt Kinabalu before the cloud rises for the day. A little later in the morning, embark on a day trip to Poring Hot Springs. Located about an hour away, these famous thermal springs are mineral-rich and believed to have medicinal properties. Take a rejuvenating soak in the warm waters and let your muscles relax. For those who simply can’t keep still or are eager to explore the surrounding park, there will also be time to embark on an included canopy walk or go for a refreshing swim at a nearby waterfall.
Accommodation
  • Sabah Tea Garden or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Poring Hot Springs
  • Poring Hot Springs - Canopy Walk
Optional Activities
  • Poring Hot Springs - Orchid Conservation Centre - MYR15
  • Kundasang - War Memorial - MYR10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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 time for lunch and enjoy a traditional cooking lesson at the jungle camp with your hosts. Learn a little bit more about KOPEL’s work over lunch, then head into the jungle on a 20-minute boat ride, keeping an eye out for crocodiles, macaques and the big-nosed proboscis monkeys. Settle into a jungle camp by an oxbow lake, then cruise up river in search of more wildlife. As night falls, take a one-hour walk to look for black and white civets and bug-eyed tarsiers. Return to camp and let the cicadas sing you to sleep.
Accommodation
  • Kinabatangan Eco Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kinabatangan River - Sunset wildlife boat trip
  • Kinabatangan - Night jungle walk
  • Kinabatangan - Cooking class
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 and cold bathing. There is no electricity at the camp so please see below for must have packing items. Mosquito nets are provided.

PACKING LIST FOR THE JUNGLE: A torch, insect repellent and rain jacket are essential.
Embrace a very early start and set out on a dawn wildlife cruise, scouring the water and the jungle for any sight of elusive beasties that call them home. Following this final cruise, drive back to Sandakan. This city is full of Cantonese influence evident in the lively harbourside market, the many Chinese temples and the local cuisine. There will be time upon arrival to catch up on laundry and banking, as well as to explore the city or relax by the pool.
Accommodation
  • 4 Points by Sheraton or similar (1 night)
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. Spend the day as you please, either swimming, relaxing on the sand or snorkelling with some hired gear. Under the cover of darkness, watch as giant green turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs under the moonlight. Watch as 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 in basic accommodation.
Accommodation
  • Chalet or similiar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The accommodation on Turtle Island is very basic. We will view the turtles as they come ashore which can be anytime during the night. This may mean a late night for the children. A head torch is needed for your stay.
Wake up on the beautiful island and enjoy breakfast before returning to the mainland. Collect your bags and make the 45-minute drive by minibus to a guesthouse located near 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 the supplementary diet of bananas and milk that is 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 recently added 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 sun bears that have been rescued from mistreatment are cared for. Those who have fallen in love with the bulbous noses of the proboscis monkeys can visit a sanctuary dedicated to helping these endangered creatures. Alternatively, spend some time relaxing and cooling off by the pool.
Accommodation
  • Sepilok Jungle Resort or similiar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sepilok - Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
  • Sepilok - Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
An island paradise awaits after a long morning of travel. Transfer to Sandakan Airport for a one-hour flight to Kota Kinabalu. Keep in mind that the luggage allowance for this flight is only 15 kilograms, and any excess baggage may incur a further charge. Upon arrival, begin the 2.5-hour drive to Kuala Penyu, where you will board a speedboat. In just 30 minutes, you’ll arrive in a secluded, rustic hideaway on Pulau Tiga, a gorgeous island you may recognise from the first season of Survivor. The jungle trails, mud volcanoes and white sand beaches are yours to explore over the next few days. Arrive in the late afternoon, and choose how you wish to spend your first few hours. Choose to take a guided hour-long walk through the jungle to a mud volcano perfect for your first mud bath, then return to the ocean to rinse yourself off. Accommodation for the next 2 nights is in basic chalets but the natural surroundings make up for the simplicity.
Accommodation
  • Chalet (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pulau Tiga National Park
  • Pulau Tiga - Guided walk to Mud Volcano
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today (weather permitting) you'll take a boat to nearby snake island, a breeding area for yellow-lipped sea kraits or banded sea kraits. If you are lucky your guide might be able to find one of these slithery creatures lurking under a rock. Later we head to a sand spit where we can snorkel in the clear waters. The waters surrounding the island are home to over 132 species of fish as well as sea turtles. The rest of the day is free to relax in a beachside hammock or perhaps take to one of the jungle trails to explore.
Accommodation
  • Chalet (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pulau Tiga - Snake Island Snorkelling
  • Pulau Tiga - Boat trip to Snake & Sand islands
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Bid farewell to your patch of paradise and head back to Kota Kinabalu by speedboat for your last night. Visit the Mari Mari Cultural Village in the afternoon 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 or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kota Kinabalu - Mari Mari Cultural Village
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast. You are free to depart the accommodation at any time following check-out.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

10 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Bus, Minibus, Plane, Van

Accommodation

Guesthouse (2 nights), Hotel (3 nights), Jungle Camp (1 nights), Resort (1 nights), Chalet (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Kota Kinabalu - Mari Mari Cultural Village
  • Mt Kinabalu National Park
  • Mt Kinabalu National Park - Lower trails guided walk
  • Mt Kinabalu National Park - Botanical Gardens
  • Poring Hot Springs
  • Poring Hot Springs - Canopy Walk
  • Kinabatangan River - Sunset wildlife boat trip
  • Kinabatangan - Night jungle walk
  • Kinabatangan - Cooking class
  • Sepilok - Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
  • Sepilok - Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
  • Pulau Tiga National Park
  • Pulau Tiga - Guided walk to Mud Volcano
  • Pulau Tiga - Snake Island Snorkelling
  • Pulau Tiga - Boat trip to Snake & Sand islands

Dates & availability

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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 & 3 (Kinabalu National Park) and Days 4 & 5 (Jungle Camp)

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.

Reviews

Our Borneo Family Holiday trips score an average of 4.77 out of 5 based on 73 reviews in the last year.

Borneo Family Holiday , August 2018

Elizabeth Newton

Borneo Family Holiday , July 2018

Janine Hosegood