Day 1 UK - Kota Kinabalu
Depart the UK today. Fly to Kota Kinabalu via Kuala Lumpur, arriving on day 2.
Day 2 Kota Kinabalu
On arrival this morning we'll transfer to out hotel. Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah, one of two Malaysian states on the exotic island of Borneo and our base for the next three nights. Tonight we gather with your fellow travellers to enjoy a sumptuous Malaysian welcome dinner at a local restaurant, where you'll be able to try the iconic Kadaza-Dusun cuisine and try unique Malaysian foods. After dinner enjoy a lively cultural performance of Sabah dancers.
Day 3 Kota Kinabalu
A journey on the North Borneo Railway aboard a vintage British Vulcan steam locomotive takes travellers back to a bygone era when North Borneo was a Crown Colony of Great Britain. We'll take this nostalgic trip to Papar – Sabah's main rice-growing region – on track primarily used for the transportation of tobacco in its heyday. Sit back, relax and enjoy views of traditional villages, grazing buffalo and beautiful countryside interwoven with paddy fields as you are served a tiffin-style lunch on board.
We return this afternoon, where you have the opportunity to join our optional evening Sunset cruise. Get ready to become acquainted with the charms of Kota Kinabalu on a whole new level. Your evening unfolds along the sultry sun-tinged South China Sea, cruising pass the islands and water villages that dot Sabah’s west coast. You are free to wander around the vessel. Panoramic ocean views, warmth of the setting sun and gentle sea breeze grace the upper-deck while a live band serenades the ethnic themed air-conditioned restaurant below with acoustic favorites. As the sun sets and the stars come out, Kota Kinabalu’s coastline now comes alive with dazzling city night lights. The North Borneo Cruise will glide across the Waterfront as you indulge in dessert or your next glass of wine.Meals included: B,L
Day 4 North Borneo
Today our adventure will begin as we head towards the north of Borneo where we will travel past vast oil palm and coconut plantations on our way to the village of Bavanggazo, where we'll step inside a longhouse. Built on stilts, these buildings are home to several families of the indigenous Rungus tribes. The Rungus are mostly artisans who excel in woven basketry and intricate beadwork. En route we will also make a stop at Gombizou and Sumangkap villages to observe gong-making and honey bee farming. This evening return back to Kota Kinabalu and if you wish visit the local night market.Meals included: B,L
Day 5 Kinabalu National Park - Ranau
Kinabalu National Park is home to a huge variety of flora and fauna native to Borneo, including several hundred species that are found only in the park itself. We'll explore on our included guided nature trek along one of the many trails, and also catch a glimpse of Mount Kinabalu, which is South East Asia's highest peak. After a stop at Poring Hot Springs, where we can take a dip in the soothing waters, perhaps take a thrilling walk more than 40 metres up in the canopy of the Menggaris tree – the 'King of the Forest' – for fantastic views.Meals included: B,L,D
Day 6 Ranau - Sandakan
Enjoy scenic views of the Kundasang highlands as we travel by road to Sandakan. We'll stop for lunch in a restaurant before we visit Sandakan Memorial Park. This was built in honour of the Prisoners of War who died in the Sandakan Death Marches during the Second World War.Meals included: B,L
Day 7 Sandakan - Abai
Borneo is one of two places in the world where the endangered orangutan still lives in the wild, and we'll visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to observe man's closest relative and enjoy a walk in the tropical lowland forest. We'll also head to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre to see these endearing animals, also known as honey bears, whose numbers are dwindling due to deforestation and poaching.
After lunch, we'll transfer to the jetty in Sandakan, from where we'll cruise up to the Lower Kinabatangan River Sanctuary. This wonderful journey takes us on the Sulu Sea and through magnificent mangrove forests. On arrival in Abai, we'll check in at the Kinabatangan Abai Jungle Lodge where later this afternoon we'll head off on a river cruise to search for wildlife. Watch the sunset whilst enjoying a cup of coffee and at night fall, continue the cruise to witness beautiful fireflies. A further treat comes tonight after dinner, when we take another cruise to discover the jungle at night with an expert nature guide.
Day 8 Abai
Wake up to the wonderful sounds of the rainforest then cruise to the Pitas Lake to observe wildlife. We'll head back to the hotel for breakfast, before we are invited to join a tree-planting project with the locals. A simple lunch will be arranged by the villagers at Abai village.
Back at the lodge, perhaps take time to explore the boardwalk behind the lodge - you may be lucky and spot wild orangutan, silver leaf monkeys and many other types of wildlife. We will round off the day with another cruise to see more wildlife.
Day 9 Abai - Sukau
During a free morning at the lodge, perhaps join some of your travelling companions and head off to explore your surroundings – stilted paths up to 800 metres long stretch into the forest, and animals often venture quite close.
After lunch, our wildlife search continues as we cruise up river to our next destination, Sukau, for an overnight stay. Here we'll look out for primates, in particular orangutans, as well as pygmy elephants and exotic birds – some of the world's most spectacular species are resident in Borneo.
After checking in to our lodge, we'll take to the water again to enjoy wonderful views and search for exotic wildlife.
Day 10 Sukau - Sandakan
Today we depart Sukau by boat and make our way back to Sandakan. This rest of the day is at leisure before meeting with your fellow travellers for a farewell dinner.Meals included: B,D
Day 11 Sandakan - UK
Spend the day at leisure before leaving Sandakan, alternatively you may wish to see more of Borneo and one of its most fascinating sights - Gomantong Caves, an intricate limestone cave system, home to colonies of swiftlets and bats, before making our way back to Sandakan to catch our return flight home.Meals included: B
Day 12 UK
You'll arrive back in the UK today.