With untouched rainforest, ribbon-like rivers, and incredible plant and wildlife, Borneo is an unforgettable adventure destination for the entire family! So pack up the kids and journey with MT Sobek to the very heart of biodiversity in Malaysian Borneo. Explore mysterious caves, swim under hidden waterfalls, take easy jungle walks in Sepilok Nature Reserve, and enjoy beach time on stunning Gaya Island. Culture abounds, too, as you meet and dine with Murut villagers. And no trip to Borneo is complete without wildlife encounters - which you have in every way possible, from conservation center visits to nighttime forest walks.
Experience the very best of Borneo's nature, wildlife, and culture on this family-friendly adventure
Activities, from walking and wildlife-watching to safari cruises and snorkeling, are suitable for everyone
Sleep comfortably in luxury resorts, traditional longhouses, and stretcher hammocks in a jungle camp
Welcome to Borneo! Upon arrival in Kota Kinabalu International Airport, meet your MT Sobek guide and driver at the arrivals hall and transfer to the hotel. Spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring Kota Kinabalu, a coastal city in Malaysian Borneo known for its bustling markets, modern boardwalks, beaches, and waterfront esplanade. Tonight you are treated to a sumptuous welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Transfer to Orou Sapulot and on to Labang village, where you are immersed in local culture with the Muruts, the last of the ethnic groups in Sabah to renounce headhunting. After lunch at Orou Sapulot, embark on a short walk to discover the virtually unexplored Tinahas Caves, with an underground stream and beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations. Return to camp for a refreshing swim in the river. Enjoy a traditional Murut meal for dinner and admire the starry sky before falling asleep on a stretcher hammock to the sounds of the jungle.
After an early breakfast, spend the morning swimming at the hidden, multi-tiered Kabulongou Waterfall, accessed via some easy jungle trekking. Later, continue to a modern village house at Romol Village. This longhouse sits high above a valley, overlooking the forest and surrounding areas. Spend the afternoon learning about local traditions and customs, and have the opportunity to participate in community work with villagers, such as planting trees on their farm or teaching English to the local children. Tonight, feast on traditional Murut food while enjoying cultural dance performances.
After breakfast, say goodbye to your lovely Murut hosts and return to Kota Kinabalu, then transfer to the airport for a flight to Sandakan. Upon arrival, meet your driver, who transfers you to Sepilok Nature Resort. This quaint collection of wooden chalets surrounding a lake is set in an impressive landscaped area of manicured lawns and hills. After dinner, retire for the night.
Walk to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, a wildlife conservation and research center for the world's smallest bear. After a private tour, visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to meet rescued orangutans being trained to survive again in the wild. Transfer to Sandakan for lunch, then boat to the Kinabatangan River, home to Borneo's highest concentration of fauna; look for orangutans, pygmy elephants, hornbills, and proboscis monkeys. After settling into your riverfront chalet, take a dusk wildlife-watching river cruise. Follow dinner at the lodge with an optional night walk in search of nocturnal forest residents!
Spend today exploring the remarkably biodiverse, 340-mile-long Kinabatangan River, a haven for native wildlife. Start with an early-morning river safari cruise, and then visit a local village where you are treated to a home-cooked breakfast. Next, tour a local forest restoration project site and participate in tree planting while learning about the community's restoration efforts. After lunch and a rest, embark on another river cruise searching for wildlife just before a magical sunset. Seek even more critters on another night walk or river cruise after dinner at the resort.
Rise early for breakfast and your journey to Gaya Island, via Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu. Spend the afternoon seaside, snorkeling, kayaking, or going for a jungle walk. Come evening, resort staff take the kids for fun activities while the parents have a romantic seaside dinner on their own!
Relish an entire day on the remarkably biodiverse Gaya Island, a natural conservation area rife with jungle and marine life. Spend hours at your leisure, relaxing at the beach, lounging at the resort, or exploring the island. Tonight celebrate your memorable Borneo adventure with a group farewell dinner.
After breakfast and a relaxing morning on Gaya Island, say goodbye to the group and depart to the Kota Kinabalu airport for your flight back home.
Borneo is the quintessential family destination and MT Sobek knows how to do Borneo
With expert guides leading the way, you'll enjoy the excitement of wildlife watching, river cruising, cultural encounters and beach time on Gaya Island
Only MT Sobek combines a village visit with the Muruts, swimming in waterfalls, sleeping in hammocks and the opportunity for community work
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Family-friendly rainforest wildlife walks, waterfall hikes, swimming, snorkeling, river cruising, and cultural touring - plus incredible orangutan-watching opportunities.
Remote and luxurious eco-lodges and rustic camps, allowing you to access some of the most rare and endangered wildlife on the planet.
Temperatures stay around 80°F year round, with an average of 80% humidity. Expect quick changes in weather and be prepared for rain.
Our MTS representative will meet you at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
No, American citizens do not need a visa for Malaysian Borneo.
You will need to connect through Hong Kong, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, and the main airlines that fly to Borneo from the U.S. are Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia.
No, as our guide will provide them for you.
Although nothing is every guaranteed, Borneo's rainforest are teeming with animals. You have very high chances to see orangutans, proboscis monkeys, langurs, macaques, hornbills, and much more.
Our family trips designed for ages 9 and up include plenty of adventure, but with slightly shorter days than our normal MT Sobek trips. Family trip leaders have plenty of experience guiding families, and enjoy adventures with children. We include one evening for adults to be on their own while children are entertained, and we include menu options appropriate for children.
Yes! This trip helps support a local foundation that funds community projects in the village of Sayap. Palm oil is a main source of income in this area, which contributes to deforestation. The foundation's community projects provide skill training and jobs for locals to replace traditional palm oil plantations.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"Great experience every time with some of the most knowledgeable guides in their fields. We always come home with wonderful memories of the people we meet and things we see."
MT Sobek Guest
"MT Sobek took care of everything for our extended family vacation. Not a hiccup in the planning, the itinerary, the lodging or the guide. Everything in life should be so easy."
MT Sobek Guest