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  • Borneo
  • Borneo's Jungles and Orangutans with Kota Kinabalu - Private Tour

Borneo's Jungles and Orangutans with Kota Kinabalu - Private Tour

9 Day Escorted Tour With 4 Day Extension

Borneo, South East Asia
Intermediate Pace

Nestled between the spectacular Crocker range and the inviting waters of the South China Sea, the bustling metropolis and tranquil resorts which surround the city offer visitors a warm climate with a wealth of activities to suite your pace.

2022 Dossier

2023 Dossier

Tour Highlights

  • Peace and tranquillity for 3 nights
  • Visit an Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
  • View the magnificent Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple
  • Cruise the Kinabatangan River to spot wildlife
  • Visit traditional Mari Mari cultural village
  • Trek through the Kinabalu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Number of nights

This map is for the main tour only


Day 1
UK to Sandakan

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Sandakan Airport, via Kuala Lumpur.

Day 2

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.

Day 3

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.

Day 4
Sandakan to Sukau

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

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. After dinner, proceed for a night cruise to search more wildlife.

Day 5

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.

Day 6
Sukau to Kota Kinabalu

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.

Day 7
Kota Kinabalu

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.

Day 8
Kota Kinabalu

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.

Day 9
Kota Kinabalu to the UK


Transfer to Kota Kinabalu International Airport for your indirect flight back to the UK.

Day 10
Kota Kinabalu


Transfer to your chosen beach hotel on the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu.

Day 11-12
Kota Kinabalu


Relax at leisure at your chosen beach hotel.

Day 13
Kota Kinabalu


Transfer to Kota Kinabalu International Airport for your flight back to the UK.

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Dates & Prices

Price (per person)
Dates available
July 2022
from £2,427
August 2022
Enquire for price
September 2022
from £2,297
October 2022
from £2,437
November 2022
from £2,497
December 2022
Enquire for price


The hotels listed below are provided for guidance only and final confirmation of your accommodation will be sent to you approximately 90 days before you travel
Beringgis Beach Resort and Spa
3 nights
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
More details
Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort
3 nights
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
More details
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Tour Reviews

T Kennard

22 Oct 19

The tour guide Vincent very knowledgeable, polite, informative and good fun. Thoroughly enjoyable thank you.

Kim Drury

23 Jun 19

All hotels good standard

H Brockhurst

07 Jun 19

Our tour guide James was excellent throughout, his experience and knowledge had shined through and made this holiday more special.

C Williams

03 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 Probert

03 Jun 19

Good tour and the tour guide James was very knowledgeable he was excellent.

M Edwards

03 Jun 19

Very good guide very friendly and excellent knowledge a great tour.

Thank you.

G Henderson

23 Apr 19

The guide based in Sandakan was exceptional.

J Reynolds

25 Oct 18

Douglas our guide in Sandakan was excellent. The whole experience was great from start to finish.

Colette Suzanne Roberts

07 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 Defreitas

03 Nov 16

Great value for money.

Jayne & Paul Putland

03 Nov 16

We enjoyed the holiday very much.

Ann & Peter Macdonald

03 Nov 16

We had a good holiday and the trip was good value for money.

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Important Information

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.

You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:<br /><table class="basic" cellspacing="0"><thead><tr><th><b>Age in Years</b></th><th><b>Up to 64</b></th><th><b>65 - 74</b></th><th><b>75 - 85</b></th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Up to 17 days cover</td><td>£42</td><td>£79</td><td>£135</td></tr></tbody></table><br />For all persons 86 years and over, please contact us for insurance prices. 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 2. 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. IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure. A printed E-ticket is no longer required at check-in, all you need to do is present your passport to the staff at the desk and your boarding pass will be given to you.

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.