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Wild Borneo

Trip Length 11 days

From $5,795

  • Discover an incredible range of rare and endangered wildlife, including the Bornean orangutan, in untouched first-growth rainforests
  • Watch the sunrise over Danum Valley as the clouds part and the forest comes to life
  • Visit the famed stilt villages of the sea gypsies, the Bajau Laut, and learn about their nomadic way of life
  • Enjoy unique safari experiences at dawn and observe animals cooling off by the Kinabatangan River at dusk

The island of Borneo offers an amazing range of ecosystems, from its lush rainforests to its pristine beaches, and is home to a magnificent display of rare and endangered wildlife. It’s hard to top more than 1,200 species of orchids, the oldest rainforest in the world, and at least 44 species of endemic mammals. As you journey through Borneo, you'll encounter orangutans, clouded leopards, Asian pygmy elephants, and the Sumatran rhino—and our expert guides will explain the conservation efforts being made for their protection. We’ll spend nights in remote eco-lodges, soak up some sun at Borneo’s beautiful beaches, visit the remote Bajau Laut sea gypsy community, and take canopy walks through untouched Danum Valley. Always on the lookout, of course, for the region’s most well-known resident—the endangered Bornean orangutan. If you crave something new, head to Borneo!

Day 1: Welcome to Borneo

Welcome to Sandakan, a bustling city in the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo! The island is divided into three countries: Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, but our visit will focus on Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. An MTS representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you the Sepilok Nature Resort in Sepilok, where we’ll gather for a brief orientation and a welcome dinner in the evening.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Sepilok Nature Resort

Day 2: Visit the Sepilok Forest Reserve

Today we'll begin by exploring the amazing facilities at Sepilok Forest Reserve and watch the morning feeding at the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. Next we'll head to the Sun Bear Center for a private tour with the coordinator of the project. After enjoying lunch back at the lodge, we'll visit the Rainforest Discovery Center and learn about the rainforest ecosystem as we search for wildlife. We'll return to the lodge this evening for dinner and some relaxation.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Sepilok Nature Resort

Day 3: Explore the Kinabatangan River

This morning, we'll wake early and are transferred to the Sandakan Yacht Club Jetty for the boat launch to the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, a beautiful eco-resort offering a wide range of jungle activities for nature lovers.

At 340 miles long, the Kinabatangan River has the highest concentration of fauna in Borneo, giving us the opportunity to see some of the local residents, including orangutans, pygmy elephants, silver-leaf langurs, hornbills, and proboscis monkeys. After an early lunch, we'll take a hike and then head out for a river cruise at dusk. The cruise is the best way to view the amazing wildlife that comes down to the banks towards the end of the day. Later we'll take an evening walk in search of more nocturnal wildlife.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort

Day 4: Dawn cruise on the Kinabatangan River

Watch the sun rise during an early morning river safari cruise. Back on land, stop in a local village where we'll be treated to a home-cooked breakfast and learn about the Orang Sungai's culture. Return to the lodge for lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon away from the hot sun. At dusk, we'll board a river boat for a cruise to view more wildlife while they are feeding.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort

Day 5: Drive to the beautiful Danum Valley

This morning, check out after breakfast and travel by boat for 1 hour to Sukau, and then continue overland for 4 hours to the Danum Valley. Along the way, we'll stop to explore the Gomantong Caves, the largest limestone outcropping in the region and home to birds like serpent eagles, kingfishers and Asian fairy bluebirds. Once there, we'll take a short trek to the mouth of the cave and explore the giant cave opening, home to millions of bats and swiftlets. The wildlife surrounding the cave is spectacular, and we're likely to see orangutans and red leaf langurs.

We'll then continue the journey to the five-star Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley. This protected valley consists of 323 square miles of Class 1 Virgin Primary Rainforest where 320 different species of trees can be found in just two acres of jungle! The group will spend the next three nights at this beautiful lodge, equipped with private, elegant bungalows. Everyone will have time to explore the facility, watch birds, relax or soak in the tub on the lanai. (The lodge has recorded sightings of over 275 different species of birds, so have your binoculars ready!) After dinner at the lodge’s restaurant, the group will set out on a one- to two-hour night hike, exploring the forest and its nocturnal residents. The forest comes alive at nightfall, and it is our trip leader's personal favorite time to experience the jungle.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Borneo Rainforest Lodge

Day 6: Walk under the rainforest canopy

Rise and shine! We’ll wake up early this morning for a canopy walk before breakfast. For the remainder of the morning we’ll explore the forest, looking for birds and primates from the many trails and canopy walks that radiate from the lodge. Around noon, we’ll join our guide for a spectacular hike to a nearby waterfall, where we can take a refreshing dip in the rock pools. This evening, we'll head out for a night safari in search of hunting mammals in the open areas along the roads.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Borneo Rainforest Lodge

Day 7: Swim in the Danum River

We’ll enjoy another relaxed day exploring this amazing forest and searching for orangutans, gibbons, and possibly a herd of elephants. Our trip leader will guide us on walks through the forest and take us for a refreshing swim in the Danum River.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Borneo Rainforest Lodge

Day 8: Take a scenic trip to Mataking Island

After an early breakfast, we’ll embark on a four-hour journey to Semporna, the gateway to Borneo's beautiful east coast islands. A one-hour speedboat ride from Semporna takes us to Mataking Island, known for its sandy beach and coral reef. The lack of a village on the island makes our two-day visit even more special, as we’ll be staying at an eco-resort committed to minimizing human impact. We’ll check into the resort enjoy lunch before spending the rest of the day relaxing, snorkeling or diving the island’s famous reef. The resort is equipped with private cabins (each with their own covered porch and optional air conditioning) and a spa!

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reef Dive Resort

Day 9: Explore Tun Sakaran Marine Park and visit the Bajau Laut

We'll spend the day exploring the Tun Sakaran Marine Park, a natural preserve consisting of eight islands. While there, we’ll be able to visit the traditional Bajau Laut sea gypsy villages and learn about their culture. The fascinating Bajau Laut are one of the last nomadic sea farers in Southeast Asia and their houses are made of simple wooden huts on stilts—built in the middle of the ocean! We'll also be able to snorkel on pristine reefs and soak up some sun. This afternoon, we'll hopefully see young turtles being released from the beach into the sea.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reef Dive Resort

Day 10: Fly to Kota Kinabalu and enjoy a farewell dinner

Today we'll check out of our beautiful resort and depart Mataking around 11am to board the speedboat back to Semporna. From there, we'll drive to Tawau Airport for our flight to the coastal city of Kota Kinabalu on the South China Sea. Upon arrival, we will transfer to the Jesselton Hotel, a modern and elegant hotel reminiscent of the colonial era. The afternoon is free to relax or explore the city. Choose from visiting its vibrant markets, strolling along the boardwalk, or lounging on the beach. We'll gather together tonight for a festive farewell dinner.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Jesselton Hotel

Day 11: Depart from Borneo

After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the airport for our homeward-bound flights.

  • Breakfast

May 14 - 24, 2017

Aug 13 - 23, 2017

pricing

2016 Prices

$5,795 (9-12 members)
$6,195 (4 - 8 members)

$1000 single supplement

$125 internal air

2017 Prices

$6,195 (4 - 12 members)

$1200 single supplement

$125 internal air

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Borneo Rainforest Lodge — Danum Valley

If you've dreamed of experiencing the rainforest up close and personal while also having an exotic lodge to retreat to at the end of a long day exploring, this is it. The luxurious Borneo Rainforest Lodge manages to seamlessly combine the indoor with the outdoor, the stylish with the rustic, and the wild with the refined. Airy, open-beam structure in the spacious common areas makes for a comfortable place to meet fellow travelers, while the rooms are beautifully appointed with modern amenities, outdoor soaking tubs and balconies. Canopy walkways connect the lodge to the rainforest, where you can view an incredible variety of wildlife, such as orangutans, bearded pigs, gibbons, sambar deer, pygmy elephants, and countless birds.

Jesselton Hotel — Kota Kinabalu

The oldest hotel in Kota Kinabalu, the Jesselton Hotel, is a colonial gem. Well-appointed guestrooms each include wireless broadband internet services and modern en-suite bathrooms, while elegant décor, excellent service, and a fine restaurant round out the experience. The Jesselton Hotel is conveniently located near most major attractions, with restaurants, shops and the Sunday market all within walking distance.

Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort — Kinabatangan

The Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort is an organically constructed resort combining modern luxury with a beautiful location, built in the middle of a natural sanctuary. The surrounding wetlands have a tremendously rich ecosystem with a wide range of rare species. Boasting comfortable rooms, LED TVs, laundry service, fully quipped bathrooms with hot showers and great service, this jungle retreat is a modern pearl in the middle of an ageless forest. The Kinabatangan Resort is sure to be a memorable stop on our adventure in Borneo.

Sepilok Nature Resort — Sepilok

Enjoy a relaxing stay in the Sepilok Nature Resort, a luxurious outpost next to the world-renowned Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. The last remaining wild orangutans of the region reside in the backyard of this tranquil setting, and the sounds of wildlife have been known to serenade guests all day and night. A rich wildlife experience awaits steps from the resort, while guests enjoy tremendous service and comfort on the property. The resort boasts jungle bungalows that combine beautiful organic architecture with high-end comforts—and mouth-watering cuisine, prepared fresh every day.  

The Reef Dive Resort — Mataking Island

Paradise, found. The Reef Dive Resort at Mataking Island is an exquisite diving destination in the Celebes Sea, located just 40 minutes by boat from the east coast of Sabah in Malaysia. A variety of accommodations, including King Chalets, Garden View Deluxe rooms and new luxurious Beach Villas, were designed using traditional architecture and offer elegant accommodations in a serene atmosphere. At the waterfront restaurant, guests can enjoy Malaysian and international cuisine with a menu that consists of fresh local sea food, or barbecue on the weekends.

"I recommend travelling with MTS and I absolutely will again. From every detail, my desires were considered and accommodated when possible. The guides were amazing, the accommodations were great and all the details were handled. Thank you!" Taunya Hilfrink 

"An outstanding trip for viewing animal and bird life." Martin Cline

  • Discover an incredible range of rare and endangered wildlife, including the Bornean orangutan, in untouched first-growth rainforests
  • Watch the sunrise over Danum Valley as the clouds part and the forest comes to life
  • Visit the famed stilt villages of the sea gypsies, the Bajau Laut, and learn about their nomadic way of life
  • Enjoy unique safari experiences at dawn and observe animals cooling off by the Kinabatangan River at dusk

The island of Borneo offers an amazing range of ecosystems, from its lush rainforests to its pristine beaches, and is home to a magnificent display of rare and endangered wildlife. It’s hard to top more than 1,200 species of orchids, the oldest rainforest in the world, and at least 44 species of endemic mammals. As you journey through Borneo, you'll encounter orangutans, clouded leopards, Asian pygmy elephants, and the Sumatran rhino—and our expert guides will explain the conservation efforts being made for their protection. We’ll spend nights in remote eco-lodges, soak up some sun at Borneo’s beautiful beaches, visit the remote Bajau Laut sea gypsy community, and take canopy walks through untouched Danum Valley. Always on the lookout, of course, for the region’s most well-known resident—the endangered Bornean orangutan. If you crave something new, head to Borneo!

review

"I recommend travelling with MTS and I absolutely will again. From every detail, my desires were considered and accommodated when possible. The guides were amazing, the accommodations were great and all the details were handled. Thank you!" Taunya Hilfrink 

"An outstanding trip for viewing animal and bird life." Martin Cline

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Borneo

Welcome to Sandakan, a bustling city in the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo! The island is divided into three countries: Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, but our visit will focus on Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. An MTS representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you the Sepilok Nature Resort in Sepilok, where we’ll gather for a brief orientation and a welcome dinner in the evening.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Sepilok Nature Resort

Day 2: Visit the Sepilok Forest Reserve

Today we'll begin by exploring the amazing facilities at Sepilok Forest Reserve and watch the morning feeding at the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. Next we'll head to the Sun Bear Center for a private tour with the coordinator of the project. After enjoying lunch back at the lodge, we'll visit the Rainforest Discovery Center and learn about the rainforest ecosystem as we search for wildlife. We'll return to the lodge this evening for dinner and some relaxation.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Sepilok Nature Resort

Day 3: Explore the Kinabatangan River

This morning, we'll wake early and are transferred to the Sandakan Yacht Club Jetty for the boat launch to the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, a beautiful eco-resort offering a wide range of jungle activities for nature lovers.

At 340 miles long, the Kinabatangan River has the highest concentration of fauna in Borneo, giving us the opportunity to see some of the local residents, including orangutans, pygmy elephants, silver-leaf langurs, hornbills, and proboscis monkeys. After an early lunch, we'll take a hike and then head out for a river cruise at dusk. The cruise is the best way to view the amazing wildlife that comes down to the banks towards the end of the day. Later we'll take an evening walk in search of more nocturnal wildlife.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort

Day 4: Dawn cruise on the Kinabatangan River

Watch the sun rise during an early morning river safari cruise. Back on land, stop in a local village where we'll be treated to a home-cooked breakfast and learn about the Orang Sungai's culture. Return to the lodge for lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon away from the hot sun. At dusk, we'll board a river boat for a cruise to view more wildlife while they are feeding.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort

Day 5: Drive to the beautiful Danum Valley

This morning, check out after breakfast and travel by boat for 1 hour to Sukau, and then continue overland for 4 hours to the Danum Valley. Along the way, we'll stop to explore the Gomantong Caves, the largest limestone outcropping in the region and home to birds like serpent eagles, kingfishers and Asian fairy bluebirds. Once there, we'll take a short trek to the mouth of the cave and explore the giant cave opening, home to millions of bats and swiftlets. The wildlife surrounding the cave is spectacular, and we're likely to see orangutans and red leaf langurs.

We'll then continue the journey to the five-star Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley. This protected valley consists of 323 square miles of Class 1 Virgin Primary Rainforest where 320 different species of trees can be found in just two acres of jungle! The group will spend the next three nights at this beautiful lodge, equipped with private, elegant bungalows. Everyone will have time to explore the facility, watch birds, relax or soak in the tub on the lanai. (The lodge has recorded sightings of over 275 different species of birds, so have your binoculars ready!) After dinner at the lodge’s restaurant, the group will set out on a one- to two-hour night hike, exploring the forest and its nocturnal residents. The forest comes alive at nightfall, and it is our trip leader's personal favorite time to experience the jungle.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Borneo Rainforest Lodge

Day 6: Walk under the rainforest canopy

Rise and shine! We’ll wake up early this morning for a canopy walk before breakfast. For the remainder of the morning we’ll explore the forest, looking for birds and primates from the many trails and canopy walks that radiate from the lodge. Around noon, we’ll join our guide for a spectacular hike to a nearby waterfall, where we can take a refreshing dip in the rock pools. This evening, we'll head out for a night safari in search of hunting mammals in the open areas along the roads.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Borneo Rainforest Lodge

Day 7: Swim in the Danum River

We’ll enjoy another relaxed day exploring this amazing forest and searching for orangutans, gibbons, and possibly a herd of elephants. Our trip leader will guide us on walks through the forest and take us for a refreshing swim in the Danum River.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Borneo Rainforest Lodge

Day 8: Take a scenic trip to Mataking Island

After an early breakfast, we’ll embark on a four-hour journey to Semporna, the gateway to Borneo's beautiful east coast islands. A one-hour speedboat ride from Semporna takes us to Mataking Island, known for its sandy beach and coral reef. The lack of a village on the island makes our two-day visit even more special, as we’ll be staying at an eco-resort committed to minimizing human impact. We’ll check into the resort enjoy lunch before spending the rest of the day relaxing, snorkeling or diving the island’s famous reef. The resort is equipped with private cabins (each with their own covered porch and optional air conditioning) and a spa!

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reef Dive Resort

Day 9: Explore Tun Sakaran Marine Park and visit the Bajau Laut

We'll spend the day exploring the Tun Sakaran Marine Park, a natural preserve consisting of eight islands. While there, we’ll be able to visit the traditional Bajau Laut sea gypsy villages and learn about their culture. The fascinating Bajau Laut are one of the last nomadic sea farers in Southeast Asia and their houses are made of simple wooden huts on stilts—built in the middle of the ocean! We'll also be able to snorkel on pristine reefs and soak up some sun. This afternoon, we'll hopefully see young turtles being released from the beach into the sea.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:The Reef Dive Resort

Day 10: Fly to Kota Kinabalu and enjoy a farewell dinner

Today we'll check out of our beautiful resort and depart Mataking around 11am to board the speedboat back to Semporna. From there, we'll drive to Tawau Airport for our flight to the coastal city of Kota Kinabalu on the South China Sea. Upon arrival, we will transfer to the Jesselton Hotel, a modern and elegant hotel reminiscent of the colonial era. The afternoon is free to relax or explore the city. Choose from visiting its vibrant markets, strolling along the boardwalk, or lounging on the beach. We'll gather together tonight for a festive farewell dinner.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Jesselton Hotel

Day 11: Depart from Borneo

After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the airport for our homeward-bound flights.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Borneo Rainforest Lodge — Danum Valley

If you've dreamed of experiencing the rainforest up close and personal while also having an exotic lodge to retreat to at the end of a long day exploring, this is it. The luxurious Borneo Rainforest Lodge manages to seamlessly combine the indoor with the outdoor, the stylish with the rustic, and the wild with the refined. Airy, open-beam structure in the spacious common areas makes for a comfortable place to meet fellow travelers, while the rooms are beautifully appointed with modern amenities, outdoor soaking tubs and balconies. Canopy walkways connect the lodge to the rainforest, where you can view an incredible variety of wildlife, such as orangutans, bearded pigs, gibbons, sambar deer, pygmy elephants, and countless birds.

Jesselton Hotel — Kota Kinabalu

The oldest hotel in Kota Kinabalu, the Jesselton Hotel, is a colonial gem. Well-appointed guestrooms each include wireless broadband internet services and modern en-suite bathrooms, while elegant décor, excellent service, and a fine restaurant round out the experience. The Jesselton Hotel is conveniently located near most major attractions, with restaurants, shops and the Sunday market all within walking distance.

Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort — Kinabatangan

The Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort is an organically constructed resort combining modern luxury with a beautiful location, built in the middle of a natural sanctuary. The surrounding wetlands have a tremendously rich ecosystem with a wide range of rare species. Boasting comfortable rooms, LED TVs, laundry service, fully quipped bathrooms with hot showers and great service, this jungle retreat is a modern pearl in the middle of an ageless forest. The Kinabatangan Resort is sure to be a memorable stop on our adventure in Borneo.

Sepilok Nature Resort — Sepilok

Enjoy a relaxing stay in the Sepilok Nature Resort, a luxurious outpost next to the world-renowned Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. The last remaining wild orangutans of the region reside in the backyard of this tranquil setting, and the sounds of wildlife have been known to serenade guests all day and night. A rich wildlife experience awaits steps from the resort, while guests enjoy tremendous service and comfort on the property. The resort boasts jungle bungalows that combine beautiful organic architecture with high-end comforts—and mouth-watering cuisine, prepared fresh every day.  

The Reef Dive Resort — Mataking Island

Paradise, found. The Reef Dive Resort at Mataking Island is an exquisite diving destination in the Celebes Sea, located just 40 minutes by boat from the east coast of Sabah in Malaysia. A variety of accommodations, including King Chalets, Garden View Deluxe rooms and new luxurious Beach Villas, were designed using traditional architecture and offer elegant accommodations in a serene atmosphere. At the waterfront restaurant, guests can enjoy Malaysian and international cuisine with a menu that consists of fresh local sea food, or barbecue on the weekends.

Dates and Pricing

May 14 - 24, 2017

Aug 13 - 23, 2017

pricing

2016 Prices

$5,795 (9-12 members)
$6,195 (4 - 8 members)

$1000 single supplement

$125 internal air

2017 Prices

$6,195 (4 - 12 members)

$1200 single supplement

$125 internal air

Activity Level Easy to Moderate
Trip Length 11 days

From $5,795

Interested in this adventure? Take the next step and book it!

Got questions?

Call us at 1-888-831-7526
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Award-winning journeys recognized by Travel +Leisure