“This trip brings you the best of Sabah and Sarawak, maxing out on wildlife and culture. Stay in a longhouse, glimpse a pygmy elephant and learn the secrets of the jungle...”
Kuching | Longhouse Stay | Mulu caves | Gunung Mulu National Park | Gaya and Manukan Islands | Kinabalu National Park | Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre | Kinabatangan River Cruise |Gomantong Caves | Sandakan War Memorial | Kota Kinabalu | Opportunities for snorkelling and river swimming
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Solo travelers welcome. Single rooms available with surcharge.
Accommodation, transfers, transport, listed activities, local guides
13 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 7 dinners.
Responsible tourism: Best of Borneo vacation, tailor made
Borneo is globally renowned as one of the biologically diverse places on earth, with a huge array of flora and fauna within its forests and seas. During this tour travelers visit and stay in areas that are rich in wildlife, such as Sukau. Sukau Rainforest Lodge is committed to sustainable principles and donates a proportion of its income to both community and environmental projects in the surrounding area. Energy efficient lightbulbs are used, but the lodge tries to minimise use of electricity altogether, using kerosene lamps for lighting during the evenings. Hot water is provided using solar hot water heaters, and the lodge is self sufficient with water usage, using rainwater harvesting techniques.
This tour also visits the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, which carries out vital work with orang utans that have been reclaimed from the pet trade or have been orphaned. The goal here is to prepare these apes for eventual return to the wild, and the fees that we pay for visiting help the centre to sustain itself.
We also visit Kinabalu and Gunung Mulu National Parks, both of which are home to unique species and threatened habitat. The entrance fees that travelers pay are vitally important in ensuring that such important areas are protected for the future and conserved for the benefit of flora and fauna.
Sukau Rainforest Lodge is deeply involved with the local community around the Kinabatangan River, making extensive use of local craftsmen for construction and repair projects. In addition to this around 80% of the staff of the lodge are employed from nearby villages. They have been provided with extensive training both in hospitality and in English language skills, which apart from benefiting the lodge allows local people to progress further with their careers and income prospects.
As part of Malaysia, much of Borneo has modernised immensely in the past few decades and traditional heritage has been lost in many areas. During this trip travelers visit a traditional community and stay overnight in a longhouse as their guests. Apart from being an interesting experience, this provides income for the host community which allows them to maintain their unique traditions, without necessarily having to surrender to the onslaught of modernity in order to earn cash. This can also have the effect of giving enhanced legitimacy to local customs. In many traditional areas throughout the world, younger generations are starting to abandon the traditions of their elders as they see them as no longer being relevant; by providing an alternative framework, visits such as this can help to show that such traditions are worth maintaining, not only because tourism can provide an income but also because younger generations can see that the 'outside world' also sees them as valid lifestyle choices. Visits like this can have the danger if being little more than a human zoo - we are extremely careful to ensure that they are carried out as sensitively as possible and with respect and attention to local customs.