Borneo vacations, tailor made

“This vacation is all about seeing the best of Borneo in style - wonderful wildlife, private guides, comfortable transport and a few days luxury thrown in too.”

Highlights

Kuala Lumpur | Kuching | Bako National Park | Batang Ai | Sandakan | Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary| Kinabatangan River | Kota Kinabalu | Rasa Ria

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor-made and departures can be arranged all year. The sample itinerary below can be modified to your personal wishes including departure date, duration, accommodation used & how long you spend in each destination.
Our top tip:
Take some leech socks for rainforest trekking.
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Activity level:
Leisurely.
Accomm:
12 nights luxury hotels, basic jungle lodges and longhouses.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. Single rooms available at hotels.
Meals:
Some meals included dependent on your accommodation choices.
Included:
Accomm., transfers, driver/guide, flights (if booked).
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Tailor made vacations

This trip can be tailor made to create a unique vacation for your individual requirements by travel experts with intimate knowledge of the destination. It is a more individual trip that will suit those who enjoy immersing themselves in new cultures and environments, with the flexibility to plan a trip at your own pace. Quality and value are the hallmark of these trips, with most services being provided on a private basis.

Responsible tourism

Borneo vacations, tailor made

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

Bako National Park is a small, coastal, mangrove forest well known for its conservation and education work and is one of the best places in the state to see proboscis and other rare monkeys as well as an array of colourful birdlife. It is possible to stay overnight in the park if you wish.

This Borneo vacation itinerary includes a visit to the Iban Headhunter tribe who live in their traditional longhouse homes and here you experience their age-old culture. You can stay for a night or two with one of the Iban families or at the Hilton Resort. Do not be put off by the fact that this is a Hilton: as one of the international chainís most remote properties it is built in the style of a wooden longhouse. The resort employs and trains local staff and demonstrates a refreshing awareness of the natural environment and local culture. Through your visit to the resort and Iban longhouses you contribute financially to the medical and educational needs of the Iban people.

The Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary is the leading orangutan conservation and rehabilitation center in the world. Here you are virtually guaranteed some impressive sightings of one of manís closest relatives at the twice-daily feeding sessions. The orangutans at the sanctuary are orphaned youngsters and adults who have lost their jungle homes due to deforestation. Whilst they are fed and protected by rangers at the sanctuary they are free to venture into the forest. There are no cages or bars: when the orangutans are ready to return fully to the wild they can simply disappear into the forest.

Spend a couple of nights at the village of Sukau in the Kinabatangan River Area. The small and basic lodges in this stunning area of rainforest are making a conscious effort to minimise the impact of tourism on the environment whilst using the income to support local projects and preserve the forest. Villagers are paid to collect seeds, become involved in tree-planting programmes and grow their produce using organic techniques. Most of your wildlife viewing is done from small boats supplied by locals and many are moving towards electric motors which are more environmentally friendly. The lodges use solar-power; recycle as much of their waste as possible and employ staff and guides from local villages. In this way the people are encouraged to preserve the forest and avoid hunting the diverse wildlife of the area.

After your stay in the rainforest you might like to have a few days of luxury enjoying one of Sabahís beautiful beaches. North of Kota Kinabalu, Sabahís capital city, the 5* Rasa Ria Resort might appear to be a surprising choice. However, this large resort has its own Nature Reserve and plenty of conservation programmes that you can be involved in. You can foster one of its animals or plant a tree as well as learn about the amazing flora and fauna of the two main types of rainforest in the country (dipterocarp and mangrove).

4 Reviews of Borneo vacations, tailor made

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Reviewed on 13 Aug 2019 by

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


Staying in a mangrove swamp, or the nature reserve. Somewhere authentically genuinely wild.

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


DO take leach socks and bug spray. DON'T take a change of clothes for the evening or any cosmetics whilst touring the jungle or river.
Do give yourself time to enjoy each place (2 nights is ideal) and some tine to rest on the beach at the end.

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


I felt local people benefitted but with regards to Gaya Island in particular we felt the 'eco-resort' description was unjustified and used to lure visitors.
The marine park does not really exist as talking to locals, it seems this is designated but not at all protected. The sea was full of plastic which nobody except tourists cleans up. Whilst this is a government issue, the hotel itself seems to think that banning water bottles and straws is enough.
They still change the beds and towels every day even if you ask them not to and have non-insulated rooms which let all the aircon out which is left on along with the lights by the maids all day. The shop is full of non-reef safe sunscreen and the other local hotels (in the protected area) spray pesticides to control
mosquitos. It was really upsetting.


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


Fantastic. A really refreshing vacation with so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences we'll never forget.

Reviewed on 15 Jul 2017 by

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


There really were too many to mention...but I think seeing the pygmy elephants on the Kinabatangan River

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


Make sure you take the right clothing, and plenty of insect repellent, invest in a good pair of binoculars if interested in the wildlife

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


We took part in a tree planting project and also stayed with a tribe at the Lemanak Longhouse. My observations of Malaysian Borneo while I was there is that it is a country that realizes the wonderful things that it has and has put laws and regulations in place in order to conserve its natural wildlife/habitat alongside
helping the people who live in these areas. - I was very impressed with the way the government and the separate commissions work in Borneo.

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


We had the most amazing time, our tour operator listened to our original spec and the sort or people we are and took this all into consideration when planning
the itinerary. My lifetime goal of visiting Sepilok and seeing the orangutans has been achieved along with seeing them in the wild which I never expected!

Reviewed on 02 Apr 2016 by

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


Spotting a mother and baby orangutan in Tabin

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


If you love nature and animals do not hesitate to book! Definitely come with an attitude of enjoying nature and whatever it may bring.
Use this time to getaway from it all and recharge in nature.
The fact that you are visitingis helping the eco-tourism in Borneo as well as giving you a chance to getaway from it all and recharge in nature. Every place we visited gave us a different experience: Sepilok Rehabilitation Center - semi-wild adult and young orangutans that we could watch for hours (ensure to definitely have a full day there, the tour with the guide is too quick); Kinabatangan River

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


Yes. It is bringing jobs and educating everyone involved to understand how we can help and support.

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


Unbelievable! I cannot wait to go back!!

Reviewed on 27 Apr 2014 by

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


We had lots so hard to choose, but this is our top three:
- Sitting on the Kinabantan River in a small boat watching proboscis monkeys fall asleep in the trees at sunset with a cup of coffee in our hands! Magical.
- Seeing wild Pygmy elephants on the riverbank and hearing their sounds as they call to each other
- Gaya Island Resort - Coming back after breakfast to a bath filled with beautiful pink petals, the customary towel swans and soft music playing followed by a man knocking at the door with a bottle of champagne. Amazing!

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


Spend more time on the Kinabantan River - it's an amazing place and with the palm oil plantations growing by the day it makes the rare experience of seeing animals in the wild all the more special. Accommodation is basic but the memories of the animals will far exceed that. We wished we'd spend an extra day there and less time at the Rasa Ria in Kota Kinabalu. In all honesty Iím not sure Iíd recommend the Rasa Ria. We did a number of the activities and I heard from one of the guests that on a trip to the nightflies locally, a guide recommended catching some nightflies and taking them back to guests rooms. This very much shocked me - more so that the other residents thought this was a good idea. The service in the Rasa Ria is also not great - itís just too commercial and non-personal for me. Invest in a high quality waterproof jacket for the jungle! You'll probably get one hideous downpour whilst you are there and you'll thank yourself for investing wisely. Same for a rucksack cover - invaluable.

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


Yes, especially on the Kinabantan River. The accommodation was very explicit that the food all comes from the local villages and most of the staff came from the local area also. Loved planting a tree that one day might be enjoyed by the proboscis monkeys.

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


Fantastic - comment from my husband "I normally am ready to come back to work, but this time i absolutely hated it!"

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