- Borneo's Jungles and Orangutans - Private Tour
From the tops of towering Menggaris trees to the depths of its vibrant coral reefs, the island of Borneo is a hotbed of bio-diversity exploding with a multitude of wildlife. On this 9-day adventure, meet the hospitable Bornean Orangutans, explore the bat-filled Gomantong Caves, sail alongside majestic pygmy elephants and immerse yourself within the enchanting forest that surrounds the dramatic spectacle of Borneo's highest mountain.
Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Sandakan Airport, via Kuala Lumpur.
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Sandakan to explore at leisure. Overlooking the majestic Sulu Sea, this bustling coastal town enjoys a wealth of seafood specialities to sample including delicious fish mee noodles. Explore the town's fascinating wartime history at the serene Memorial Park - a moving tribute to prisoners of war - and discover the house of author Agnes Keith, now a quaint museum displaying remnants of the Japanese occupation, followed by high tea at the neighbouring English Tea House.
Breakfast & Lunch
This morning meet Borneo's most famous residents at the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, where these endangered creatures are rescued and returned to the ancient lowland forest. Wander wooden walkways to observe these cerebral primates glide between trees and feast on pungent durian fruits. Visit the Sun Bear Conservation Centre to meet the world's smallest bears, before reaching the Rainforest Discovery Centre; exhibiting native flora and fauna, its highlight is undoubtedly a spectacular 80ft canopy walkway allowing a unique perspective of Borneo's diverse avian inhabitants.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Begin today exploring the limestone Gomantong Caves, the fascinating domain of over a million wrinkle-lipped bats suspended from the 130ft limestone ceiling. Sharing this unique shelter are the swiftlets who dart overhead to construct the key ingredient for bird's nest soup, a valuable delicacy within China. Travel to your lodge in the remote village of Sukau before a relaxing late afternoon motorboat cruise to witness the drooped nose proboscis monkeys, leaping from great heights into the Menanggul River with an amusing belly flop.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Awake to the atmospheric melody of the surrounding jungle for a motorboat journey along Malaysia's second longest river and centrepiece for Bornean wildlife, the Kinabatangan. Spot prehistoric monitor lizards, wandering pygmy elephants and leopard-like civet cats before reaching the tranquil Kelenanap river bend to spot Rhinoceros Hornbill, extraordinary birds famed for their peculiar beaks. Explore the jungle by foot in search of enchanting wildlife under the watch of macaque colonies. Spend the afternoon at leisure within the sleepy village of Sukau before heading back out onto the river for another chance to observe Borneo's biodiversity.
Breakfast & Lunch
Travel back to Sandakan and visit the spectacular Puu Jih Shih Temple, a Buddhist place of worship with a striking Oriental design. Situated within the town's mountainous surroundings, it boasts stunning panoramic views of Sandakan bay; illuminated by an explosion of red and gold, the temple's magnificent collection of opulent Buddha statues are surrounded by towering pillars and ornate Chinese dragons. After lunch fly to Kota Kinabalu, a bustling city whose Chinese, Kadazan and Malaysian influences are displayed through its architecture and tasted in its night markets.
Breakfast & Lunch
Journey to Kinabalu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia's highest mountain. Enjoy a guided nature trek to spot Borneo's dynamic bio-diversity including tiny mouse-deer, playful gibbon troops and the unusual Nepenthes rajah, a carnivorous plant that attracts birds and small mammals into its deadly urn shaped trap. Continue to the nearby Poring Hot Springs to relax in the warm baths before traversing a 134ft Menggaris tree canopy walkway, which provides a breathtaking view across one of the oldest rainforests in the world.
Breakfast & Lunch
This morning, discover the home of five tribes at the Mari Mari Cultural Village to gain a fascinating insight into Borneo's indigenous people. Witness the sculpting of blowpipes, learn traditional bamboo cooking, sample the curiously shaped Jala 'net' cake and encounter the Murut people who were the last tribe to renounce headhunting. Following lunch explore Kota Kinabalu at leisure; study the captivating exhibits of Sabah Museum, wander aromatic night markets to enjoy delicious street eats or head to the grand Imago Mall for a unique South East Asian shopping experience. Travel back to Kota Kinabalu for your final evening in Borneo.
Transfer to Kota Kinabalu International Airport for your indirect flight back to the UK.
T Kennard22 Oct 19
The tour guide Vincent very knowledgeable, polite, informative and good fun. Thoroughly enjoyable thank you.
Kim Drury23 Jun 19
All hotels good standard
H Brockhurst07 Jun 19
Our tour guide James was excellent throughout, his experience and knowledge had shined through and made this holiday more special.
C Williams03 Jun 19
James your rep was marvelous, very informative/ knowledgeable about plants, wildlife and local culture. The tour has exceeded my expectations. The lodge was brilliant and the staff superb.
H Probert03 Jun 19
Good tour and the tour guide James was very knowledgeable he was excellent.
M Edwards03 Jun 19
Very good guide very friendly and excellent knowledge a great tour.
G Henderson23 Apr 19
The guide based in Sandakan was exceptional.
J Reynolds25 Oct 18
Douglas our guide in Sandakan was excellent. The whole experience was great from start to finish.
Colette Suzanne Roberts07 Nov 16
The Mari Mari tour and Kinabalu National Park were both very interesting. The botanical gardens were lovely and very interesting. Both were incredibly well organised.
Adriana Defreitas03 Nov 16
Great value for money.
Jayne & Paul Putland03 Nov 16
We enjoyed the holiday very much.
Ann & Peter Macdonald03 Nov 16
We had a good holiday and the trip was good value for money.
A visa is not required for your trip to Borneo. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you check your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding passport validity.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight to Sandakan Airport is with Malaysia Airlines MH, Via Kuala Lumpur, departing from London Heathrow, Terminal 4. Each passenger is entitled to 30kg of hold luggage plus 1 item of hand luggage not exceeding 7kg. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure. Please note that all flight times are subject to change. Final flight details will be confirmed on your e-ticket and final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves moderate days of walking and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
This is a fully escorted tour, meaning the you will have the services of an English speaking guide throughout ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in Borneo is the Malaysian Ringgit (RM). We recommend that you exchange you currency before you leave the UK, however cash machines are available in all the major cities to withdraw money in the local currency. Tipping is at your discretion. Tips are accepted in the local currency, however it is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency that you only pay with notes, as coins cannot be exchanged.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any meals where these are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £200-£300 per person should be sufficient for the duration of your tour.