22 independent reviews for Borneo tailor made vacations, wildlife & beaches

Reviews for Borneo tailor made vacations, wildlife & beaches

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review 15 Jul 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Difficult-there were many. Seeing a wild Orangutan, just outside the cave at Gomantong, close up and "posing" for us, or rounding a bend on the Kinabatangan river to see 30-40 pigmy elephants of all ages on the bank. A set of experiences rather than just a vacation.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be clear what you want from the vacation/what you would like to see, but wildlife isnt predictable. Take a camera with a good zoom if identifying birds/insects is a priority and an ID book or note names as you go along as when you get home it is difficult to remember. Allow time to relax afterwards -early starts, multiple flights and living out of a suitcase can be very tiring. The leeches are manageable without socks if you are careful and not nearly the "horror" I was expecting! Don't expect to do any shopping unless you plan this in to your trip -but this wasnt important to us.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes all local companies used, planted a tree, and money given back to different projects

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Perfect! The highlight was the Borneo rainforest lodge which must be in the most beautiful place in the world. The guides used throughout the trip were knowledgeable and flexible to what we wanted to see and do and special thanks to Acoh, Freda, Rose and Denny. All the transport arrangements went well and service at hotels excellent.

review 12 Jun 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

There was not one thing that was the most memorable or exciting about this trip, it all was memorable and exciting. Night time was like Christmas Eve and being excited about waking the next morning to see what was under the tree, or in this case, what is in the tree. I met so many Borenians that had no formal education, that spoke very good English, were extremely knowledge about their country, and were passionate about their wildlife. If they were bored with their jobs or the tourists you would never know it. They made my husband and I feel so welcomed. Other guests said the same thing. Every spotting of the orangutans, gibbons, birds, lizards, or even pigs was delightful. My husband and I adopted an orphaned Orangutan At the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary. All along the way of our safari, the guides told us how we would recognize the child Orangutan. I spotted her immediately when she came out for the 4 pm feeding. Our last morning in Sepilok, my husband and I went back to the sanctuary to see that child Orangutan for the last time. She did not disappoint us. She acted just like a 3-4 year old that wanted to get dirty, had a temper tantrum when she didn't get her own way, played on the jungle gym. It was hard to leave. I almost forgot the Sun Bear Concervation Center. Do not miss it!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I felt that our vacation benefited the local people very much. The group participated in a tree planting project along the river banks. The small trees are being grown in the small village of Abai. Our group also had lunch in the village, made by local women. There was a small handicraft table where we had lunch. None us went home without something from that table.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Borneo was a big surprise to me. This was a very organized trip. Each guide either handed us over to another guide, or driver, that handed us over to another guide or driver. There was always a report given to the next person. It was a well oiled machine. They paid close attention to the details.

review 5 Mar 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Wildlife encounters

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If a special diet is required, take a card giving requirements in the local language. Take food supplies with you.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Not really apart from employment opportunities.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very good.
Tour op to respond to Q3 - 07/03/2017

Read the operator's response here:

Dear John, Thank you for choosing us to take you to see Borneoís Wildlife and Beaches, we are pleased that you rated your vacation as Ďvery goodí, and had exciting wildlife encounters. We are sorry to hear that you didnít feel your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation. Whilst on vacation it may appear that the benefits are minimal, however by booking with us through Responsible Travel, you contributed in the following ways: Yes, as you mentioned, tourism provides a lot of job opportunities in the areas you visit, and the local community directly benefits from your visit through the employment of the local guide, hotel staff and entrance fees to sites. We try to take our clients into areas that directly help the local communities there by supporting local trade and livelihoods, bringing economy to rural villages. As well as this, it benefits the local people to get a better cross cultural understanding between the local culture and visitor so that tourism can impact in a positive way. By interacting and contributing to local communities and projects we aim to minimize any negative impact tourism may have on the local environment. Where possible, we focus on locally owned and managed accommodation, but of course this is not always possible in all of the locations of our tours. You stayed at Abai Jungle lodge which is an eco-lodge built by the villagers and today is run and operated by local people with all the food coming from the surrounding area, wherever possible. Some of the accommodation on your vacation was within protected nature conservation reserves, for instance at Sepilok, Selingan, and Tiga Island Park. Tourism here contributes to maintaining natural environments and protecting rainforests and marine life from deforestation or destruction. You also visited Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre and the Sun Bear conservation centre where money youíre your entrance fees is used to help protect and care for endangered and threatened wildlife in Borneo. We give our guests the option to adopt and orphaned orangutan which provides money for medical care for the wildlife affected by burning rainforests for palm oil. And we offer a tree planting scheme in Abai with the locals at the village to help with reforestation. One element of your vacation was to enjoy scuba diving in the beautiful reefs of the coast of Borneo. Through the efforts of Sabah Parks the islands off the coast of Kinabalu are under protection to preserve the unique flora & fauna and marine life which includes Tiga Island Park, a protected forest reserve covering 158 square kilometres of mostly ocean. As a result, reefs around Pulau Tiga island where you stayed are in excellent condition and attract divers from around the world. Without the regulations and protection in these areas the coral beds would be destroyed, there would be over population, over fishing and developments on the islands, instead accommodation is basic and made from wood with a low impact on the environment and tourism is limited in some areas of the parks. You also visited The Turtle Island Park which is a safe haven for the endangered green and hawksbill turtles. Where you stayed was on the largest island of Selingan, which houses the park's headquarters, tourist accommodation and basic facilities, however the other two islands within the park are more for conservation activities which goes on behind the scenes and not for tourism. We thank you for traveling to Borneo on vacation with us, and hope to welcome you back again sometime soon. Warm regards, Liz

review 1 Jan 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing the Pygmy elephants on the banks of the Kinabatangan river playing, tugging up plants and placing them on their head. Abai was superb, with Orangutang, Pygmy elephants, Rhinoceros hornbill and Crocodiles all being seen. The local people were very friendly and made the trip extra special.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Book it, it really was exceptional.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

10 out of 10, first class service all the way.

review 25 Apr 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

First sight of Borneo Pygmy Elephant and of wild Orangutan. Also the lodge in Danum Valley

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If returning, we would probably include Tabin in our itinerary and exclude Shangri-La, Rasa Ria

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, the tree planting scheme is specifically designed to help local communities

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

We really enjoyed it and it lived up to expectations.

review 18 Mar 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

100 pygmy elephants on the bank of the Kinabatangan River.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Tabin Wildlife Reserve - You need at least 3 nights there. We preferred it to Danum that feels more 'commercial' and where there were more people.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, particularly at Abai Jungle Lodge where we planted a tree in Abai village.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Brilliant. Would do it again, and spend more time in each place.

review 14 Feb 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing the orangutans, proboscis monkeys and all other wildlife in their own environment. On the boat going up river in the evening. Fantastic. There are so many exciting and memorable memories of the vacation.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Beware the leeches ha ha

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes I do think so. I believe they are trying to balance the wildlife with the palm oil companies. I was really concerned over what I had seen in the television before I went to Borneo but feel much better after seeing and hearing what is being done to conserve the wildlife.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was a fantastic vacation and done so much and met so many lovely people. My sister and I were totally overwhelmed with the vacation. We felt like royalty while we were there.

review 15 Apr 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Lots of it but especially seeing the orangutans in the wild and spending time on site with the Iban people

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

They were well detailed .

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I believe so

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent

review 22 Nov 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

That's quite a hard question to answer as we thoroughly enjoyed the entire adventure from start to finish! Most memorable and exciting has to be seeing the incredible and varied wildlife, Danum Valley really stands out, the rainforest is stunningly beautiful, pristine primary rainforest which is teaming with life. Our guide was fantastic and really informative and personable we spotted 5 orangutan and a number with tiny babies. The night drive was surprisingly a great way to spot some of the smaller animals, tarantula, slow loris but my favourite, seeing a bush baby, with those huge eyes looking back at us while clinging on to some tall grass. We really had an incredible time here, the jungle was fantastic and then when your legs are tired and you are in need of a good feed and a little relaxing the lodge takes care of you with the best food and wonderfully attentive staff. When we were at kinabatangan river we spent the first evening before sunset searching the river banks for proboscis monkeys among over things and we were treated to a fantastic stand off of the males on one side of the river leaping 10-15m from tree to tree and then males on the opposite side then responding, the noise, the energy was impressive, whilst we all sat in our boat being highly entertained. On route to Abai the following morning, George from the local operator with his keen sense of smell made the driver of our boat cross 80m to the opposite river bank as he felt he could smell elephants! We in the boat found this amusing but were not certain as to whether we would actually see any of the pygmy elephants, well George started barking and we all thought him mad. Yet his madness paid off and sure enough we soon heard roaring, more like a tiger roar than anything else, we weren't sure what to expect but slowly and surely we saw the elephants emerge from the greenery. We felt very lucky to have seen them and we spotted them three times in all at our stay in Abai. The following day we watched the large male swim across the river to his family waiting patiently on the opposite bank, two young males were rough housing playfully in the water by the bank, the females watching on and the baby staying close to mum, what a site, just magical. There is so much more than all this but am trying to keep it brief! Finally beautiful lankayan island, we stayed on the dive package, and were glad we did, we could dive three times a day and I think we almost did! The guys at the dive centre we're really informative and just lovely, really nice and good fun. We had some great dives, we were there from the 10th - 15th Oct and the visibility differed most days from good to 5m, having said that we saw a lot and what can beat seeing a turtle feeding and swimming off into the distance. I also swam with a turtle while snorkelling, both is great here. The hatchery released almost 700 hatchlings in the time we were at lankayan, we saw a turtle nesting at night and really felt that lankayan was playing an important role in giving the turtles a good start on their long road to survival. Lankayan was a lovely place to relax and chill out 5 days was a good amount of time, we were very sad to leave and would have loved another few days.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

I have to say that Stef from the tour operator really was an incredible help with booking and planning our itinerary, any queries or questions, of which I had many Stef answered straight away and really helped us to organise the best trip for us. We wanted to relax a little at the beginning as it was our honeymoon and yet we didn't want to be in a large resort, we wanted it to be small and intimate yet with things to do and see. We stayed at Gayana Eco Resort for the first 3 nights, then the Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley for 2 nights, Kinabatangan River lodge for one night, then Abai Jungle Lodge for 1 night, then Sepilok Nature Reserve for 1 night and finally on to Lankayan Dive Island Resort for 5 nights including the dive package. I think we chose the right combination as we got to relax and swim and take it easy at the beginning and at the end while trekking etc for the middle part. I was a little unsure as to spending 3 nights at 3 different places but it worked out perfectly. We had a vacation filled with adventure, and so many different types of wildlife, whilst staying in varied accommodation which suited the locations and our requirements. Stef and her team were imperative for this type of vacation and varied itinerary, we were truly impressed!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, to all, the MERC centre at Gayana was a conservation centre for the varied clams in the area and coral, we enjoyed planting coral with them at the centre. They have a great set up, they educate the schools to the importance of conservation so they benefit the locals and the tourists too. The tree planting at Abai was fun and we met with the locals at the village, this also helped support the local community. The conservation work with the turtle releases at Lankayan is impressive, the team working there are passionate and dedicated, it is part of the large marine protected area. We regularly saw the area being patrolled by the army. The waste water at lankayan was treated on the tiny island by an impressive system helping to reduce their environmental impact. Only one issue we had was at Gayana Eco Resort, was that there was a smell of sewage around the bathrooms by the pool which was beside the breakfast area. Not great for an eco resort but having said that we did not enquire when we were there and donít have the full story.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

We both gave the vacation a massive thumbs up, best vacation ever, trip of a lifetime kinda vacation! - we were delighted with it. I was unsure if the two weeks would be long enough as the itinerary was full on, however we really got so much out of the trip, it felt like we were away for three weeks with the amount that we got to do and see and yet it wasn't too rushed and we weren't over tired. We would have happily stayed longer. It was just brilliant. Again many thanks to Stef and her team and to all the staff we met along the way.

review 5 Oct 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing the orangutans, going to lankayan island and living in pure paradise as well as seeing turtles and seeing elephants in Tabin.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Stay longer in lankayan island that in ther Shangri-la.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, the people were lovely and enjoyed working in tourism, it is a good source of income for them.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent but I am sure we could have done it cheaper.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your feedback regarding your vacation to Borneo, we are delighted that you had such a good time. We work very closely with our local agents in Borneo to offer our clients the best value for money we can. We always strive to maintain the highest levels of service throughout our vacations which in turn allows our trips to run efficiently and smoothly.

review 7 Aug 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Observing the Proboscis monkeys in the wild.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you protect yourself from sand fly bites.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, that was one of the main reasons we booked with Responsible Travel. Some of our vacation fees went to coral conversation, local villages and of course protection of the wildlife.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Great it was a fabulous experience. We're lucky to have seen such beautiful animals and landscapes.

review 25 Apr 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The variety: Diving in Lankayan; the river cruise in Kinabatangan seeing the pigmy elephants; and the wild orang-utans and gibbons in the Danum Valley.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Spend three nights in each location so that you get the maximum out of each. Be prepared for the high humidity. Take an umbrella with you Ė itís much easier than a raincoat in the heat.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It benefited the locals to a small degree - this was confined to the Abai Village on the river. The food was generally sourced locally especially in the River Lodges. With regard environmental impact this was clear in all three locations - esp the turtle hatchery programme in Lankayan.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very enjoyable - we would recommend it highly.

review 17 Sep 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing A Buffy Fish Owl next to our chalet door and spectacular Fire flies at Abai Jungle lodge. Seeing baby turtles released on the shore at Lankayan Island - unfortunately the Reef sharks appeared in abundance and had them for supper!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Airbus - roomy but not v comfortable seats. Very good with free drinks and bringing juice and water round regularly. Miss out Seligan Island - you can see the same things at Lankayan Island where the accommodation and food are far superior. If you like a tipple or two, beer is the option unless you want to pay £20-£30 a bottle for wine. Gin and tonic only available at the Jessleton and the Shangri-La. Take lots of insect repellent, particularly to Sepilok Nature Resort. Souvenirs - T shirts but not much else. We didn't come home with anything. Go shopping at Kota Kinabalu as you arrive in Borneo - we didn't come across any 'local' shops at all. Don't bother with leech socks just tuck trousers into long socks and give 'em a good spray. Dinners and drinks at Shangri- la are quite pricey. Lock your holdall/suitcase - we had two things stolen between Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort and Heathrow.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Local people benefitted from their employment as guides, drivers and accommodation staff. The Orang-utan Sanctuary at Sepilok benefitted from our support and 'adoption' of 4 year old Bella.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent organisation - everything ran like clockwork and all the drivers, guides and accommodation staff were delightful in every way. The operator was extremely helpful and gave speedy and very helpful replies to all my pre-vacation queries - nothing was too much trouble.

review 21 Jun 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

It was all amazing but the Borneo Rainforest Lodge was definitely a highlight for us. We stayed there for 3 nights but could have easily stayed longer. This place was fantastic. The staff were courteous and so helpful, our guide Theo went above and beyond to make our vacation fantastic and, of course, thank you to all the wildlife...just one word... amazing!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you take high strength mosquito repellent, as we did. A lot of people didn't and were getting bitten. Keep an open mind and try to keep a journal of each day. We did and I'm glad we did too... we did so much, that trying to remember it all has been difficult. I have a reference on my Ipad.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Absolutely! We were delighted at the eco-friendliness of all the places we stayed. This was quite an eco-tourist vacation and has definitely made us rethink the way we will travel in the future.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fantastic!! Words can't describe how much my husband and I enjoyed ourselves. The last 6 days on Mabul was lovely and the diving was excellent.

review 21 Mar 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Diving with a dozen turtles off the coast of Sipadan and visiting the local villagers of Mabul. And then of course to see wild Orangutans in their natural environment.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If you have a few weeks don't spend them all in one place. Take the opportunity to see at least two different islands. Diving wise they are all so different.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I genuinely did. Because of the resort the local villagers of Mabul were given the chance to learn other languages and useful trades.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Five stars - nothing less! *****

review 6 Nov 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Meeting David Attenborough, but that wasnít on the itinerary. I canít pick one particular moment out the whole trip was an adventure from start to finish.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

We received a comprehensive package of advice from the operator that covered just about everything. This was a fast paced vacation and we did not have any shopping excursions so you need to have everything you will need with you. You also need to understand what you are getting yourself into. This felt more like an adventure or expedition than a vacation; but that's what we wanted.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I would say yes, In particular the Borneo Rain Forrest Lodge and Lankayan Island had gone to some trouble to minimise their impact on the environment and the evidence to support this was clearly visible. I have been professionally involved in Environmental matters and I was impressed by what I saw.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

One of the best that we have ever had, in over 30 years of fairly adventurous traveling. I would give it 5 stars against my own criteria, but "reborn" is a bit excessive for me. It would be good to have the option to have stayed at Kota Kimball at the end of the vacation. We stayed at an excellent resort about 45 minutes up the coast, however our personal preference would have been to explore the town, rather than relax by the pool side. The only real negative was that the quantity of food at the Kinnebatanga River Lodge, especially the fruit put out for desert, was too little for the number of people staying. You felt that you had to be careful in case another guest went hungry. Finishing on a high note, it really was an adventure. I would not say reborn, but it was a real mental detox, something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

review 28 Sep 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Being so close to wild animals but in a controlled way, under the guidance of our guides or the rangers. The guides were excellent, providing a wealth of information about the animals, their habitats and lifestyles as well as good advice for our wellbeing and that of the animals. We felt privileged to be so close to orang utans, turtles (while laying their eggs), crocodiles, various monkeys and birds etc. The treks through the jungle in daylight and at night were astonishing.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Prepare well. Take the advice of responsible travel operators such as ours. Listen to the guides for guidance as well as information about the animals. Respect the fact that you are a guest in the home of a whole variety of wild animals. Go with an open mind, a sense of adventure and be prepared to be amazed.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, all of our drivers and guides were local people with local knowledge. The guides and rangers are very committed to their localities and made sure that we did respect the animals and their habitats.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was a wonderful opportunity to experience authentic jungle - in our case, that of Malaysian Borneo. The communication with animals went beyond our expectations and all of the local people we met were absolutely delightful.

review 23 Aug 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We thoroughly enjoyed Borneo Rainforest Lodge. The welcome we received was incredibly warm and we were so well looked after throughout our stay. The guides were also great at sharing their knowledge and experiences with visitors.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Most of the 'resorts' we went to provided transport (included in the package) to and from them because they were often quite remote. Don't worry about leeches - we were really worried before we went (several frightening forums on the internet) but needn't have been. We didn't get any leech bites but we were wearing leech socks! We loved Lankayan Island!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Our vacation was very much focused on the protection of the environment and helping us to appreciate the nature we have all around us. Unfortunately, I think that the transportation arrangements for our trip would have had a significant, negative impact on the environment. We flew to cover distances in a short period of time, went on several long drives and boat rides (often with only two people in a large vehicle). In all honesty, I'm not sure what the solution is but this is my reflection.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent. We loved all of it.

review 14 Apr 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing our first wild orangutan - absolutely amazing. Could have sat and watched all day.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

When the travel tip says "wear comfortable walking shoes" ignore that advice and take the hard core hiking boots - ye gads - the mud!!!!!!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes and no. Definitely helped the local people - so many people wouldnít have a job if it wasnít for the tourists. Especially in Borneo we westerners need to keep paying the locals so that they value their environmental resource rather than pulling down the rain forest for palm oil plantations. Although we loved the fact that we were picked up and dropped off like real ladies of leisure I did notice at our last port of call that several small groups (couples) ended up in the same resort (Rasa Ria) from the airport. I would certainly be willing to pay the same money for the service but to somehow car pool (which I realise may be difficult) - so that the environment is having 4 mini vans all going to the same place virtually empty. Would need a high level of cooperation between tour companies so may be impossible. We also had a couple of early starts where the hotel packed our breakfast for us - which was unbelievably lovely of them but the packaging used was outrageous! So much polystyrene. Not sure what you could do about that as that is a whole of population issue.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fabulous, absolutely fabulous (apart from the rain but I even enjoyed that!). The balance between wildlife and relaxation was perfect.

review 5 Apr 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Our entire trip to Borneo, Malaysia was wonderful. The many sightings of wildlife such as Pygmy elephants, and the variety of birds were very special.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for clothes not drying out when it rains. Try to take the best fabrics for quick drying when you do not have the sun to help you out. Also pack thick socks and perhaps gators for leech protection if you are traveling in areas with leeches. We were not prepared for how quickly you pick up leeches when hiking. Be prepared to advocate for the local people at your lodging to not smoke near the eating areas or at lease smoke downwind from the tourists who do not smoke. There is not enough awareness that families do not want smoke near children or right by where people eat. So if you are a nonsmoker be prepared to smell smoke often through the trip in Malaysia.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We hope our trip helped the local people protect the local wildlife. Our guides were very involved in habitat protection but we have no idea if all the people working around the local lodges are doing their part when not at work. The amount of men smoking all the time also made us wonder how much our tip money was just going to be used later for smoking. There does not seem to be enough education about how smoking bothers tourist who do not smoke.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Overall all our expectations were met on this vacation. We learned a lot of new information from our guides about the local wildlife. I would encourage others to travel to the areas our family visited.

review 3 Mar 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

All of it was fantastic, it would be hard to choose the most memorable bit but probably the rainforest was the most exciting part, trekking through the jungle in search of orang utans and then actually finding some was amazing. The rainforest lodge was beautiful and the staff were lovely, food was fantastic. They thought of everything right down to meeting you after a trek with either a towel (if it was raining) or a cold flannel (if it was hot).

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Tuck your top in in the jungle! (we didnít on the first trek and got 'leeched' yuk! also invest in the leech socks-well worth the few pounds! Take a decent camera to capture those memories. Apart from that you donít have to think about anything-its so well organized!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, the locals were also very aware of there surroundings and very passionate about the animals and conserving the rainforest. It was a good feeling planting a tree-which if we ever went back we can actually locate through the registration system.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It wasnít a vacation it was an adventure. Amazing!! And well worth every penny.

review 16 Oct 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Our trip to Borneo was so varied that it is impossible to have just one memorable moment. The highlights for us were the Danum Valley, the tours were comprehensive and varied and the accommodation, food and service were excellent. A proper jungle experience without having to rough it Ė perfect! Our visit to Lankayan was also fantastic, the island was beautiful, peaceful and unspoilt. The snorkelling was amazing too. The accommodation and services were excellent - they have got it just right. Seeing the orang-utans in the wild during our river tour was also a wonderful experience.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

It was the perfect balance for adventure and relaxation. We managed to do a lot of activities but at a nice easy pace. Sepilok is a great place to see the orang-utans but be prepared for the crowds because it is very touristy. The river cruise was good, however, a lot of time is spent hanging around not doing very much "cruising" which can be a little frustrating, particularly as there are not many places to go off and explore by yourself by foot. If you have the time and energy try and take in Mount Kinabalu, I now wish we had done the climb.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I would like to think so but probably not very much.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Definitely fours stars. We had a fantastic time, we would love to go back some day.

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