This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Responsible tourism: Bali and Borneo tailor made vacation
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.
We stay at Sepilok, 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 National Park, which is 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.
On a wider level, nature based tourism such as this can help to show local communities that the natural world is worth preserving, and give them a financial incentive for doing so - rather than it just being seen as a resource to be used.
We only ever use local tour leaders and guides on our trips; not only does this mean that travelers get local insights that they might not get from a westerner, but it means that the communities we travel through benefit directly from the presence of tourism. This doesn't just mean an Indonesian / Malaysian guide from start to finish, but guides from the various places visited on the itinerary, ensuring that it really does filter down to that micro-level.
We tend to avoid including meals on our itineraries, and encourage people to get out of the hotels and spread their spending among local businesses, again meaning that the benefits are spread a bit more equitably.
We visit a number of temples and religious sites on this itinerary, which hold great significance for local people. Travelers are fully briefed on appropriate dress and behaviour so as not to offend the cultures through which they are traveling.
At Tunjuk on Bali we visit a community based tourism project and learn traditional cooking from local people, helping to ensure that income from tourism reaches some of the smaller communities of the island. We make an effort to stop at small villages along the way to gain further insights into local culture. These are carefully selected to ensure that our presence is welcome, rather than obtrusive, and we discuss with local elders how best to show our appreciation in terms of appropriate donations.
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.
All travelers are issued with detailed guidelines about how to travel responsibly, and are given notes on local culture and customs, so that they are aware of appropriate behaviour throughout their time in Indonesia.