The island of Borneo offers an amazing range of ecosystems, from lush rainforests to pristine beaches, and is home to a magnificent display of rare and endangered wildlife. As you journey through Borneo on this unprecedented adventure, encounter orangutans, pygmy elephants, langurs, countless bird species, and more - and learn about their conservation efforts from our expert guides. Overnight in remote and luxurious eco-lodges, visit the remote Bajau Laut community, and take canopy walks through untouched Danum Valley. If you crave something new, head 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 your visit will focus on Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. Meet an MT Sobek representative at the airport and then transfer to the Sepilok Nature Resort, where you receive a brief orientation and a welcome dinner in the evening.
Today begin by exploring the amazing facilities at Sepilok Forest Reserve and watch the morning feeding at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. Next head to the Sun Bear Center for a private tour with the project coordinator. After enjoying lunch back at the lodge, visit the Rainforest Discovery Center and learn about the rainforest ecosystem as you search for wildlife. Return to the lodge this evening for dinner and some relaxation.
Take a boat journey to the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, a beautiful eco-resort offering a wide range of jungle activities. At 340 miles long, the Kinabatangan River has Borneo's highest concentration of fauna, enabling you to see some local residents, including orangutans, pygmy elephants, silver leaf langurs, hornbills, and proboscis monkeys. After lunch, take a hike and then head out for a river cruise at dusk - the best way to view the amazing wildlife that comes down to the banks come evening. Later, take a walk in search of more nocturnal wildlife.
Watch the sunrise during an early-morning river safari cruise. Back on land, stop in a local village where you are 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, board a riverboat for a cruise to view more nocturnal wildlife while they are feeding.
En route to the Danum Valley today, stop to explore Gomantong Caves, the region's largest limestone outcropping and home to serpent eagles, kingfishers, and Asian fairy bluebirds. Take a short trek to the giant cave opening, where millions of bats and swiftlets roost, and spot orangutans and red leaf langurs in the surrounding area. Continue to the five-star lodge in Danum Valley, a protected swath of rainforest where 320 different species of trees are found in just two acres! After dinner, take a night hike, exploring the forest and its nocturnal residents.
Rise and shine! Wake up early this morning for a canopy walk before breakfast. For the remainder of the morning, explore the forest, looking for birds and primates from the many trails and canopy walks that radiate from the lodge. Around noon, join your guide for a spectacular hike to a nearby waterfall, where you can take a refreshing dip in the rock pools. This evening, head out for a night safari in search of hunting mammals in the open areas along the roads.
Enjoy another relaxing day exploring this amazing forest and searching for orangutans, gibbons, and possibly a herd of elephants. Your trip leader guides you on walks through the forest and takes you for a refreshing swim in the Danum River.
Embark on a journey to Semporna, the gateway to Borneo's beautiful east coast islands, then on to Mataking Island, known for its sandy beach and coral reef. The island's lack of a village makes your two-day visit even more special, as you stay at an eco-resort committed to minimizing human impact. Check into the resort and enjoy lunch before spending the rest of the day relaxing, snorkeling, or diving the island's famous reef. Enjoy your private cabin (with its own covered porch and optional air conditioning) and the spa.
Spend the day exploring the Tun Sakaran Marine Park, a natural preserve consisting of eight islands. While there, visit the traditional Bajau Laut villages and learn about their fascinating culture. The Bajau Laut are one of the last nomadic seafarers in Southeast Asia, and their houses are made of simple wooden huts on stilts - built in the middle of the ocean! Snorkel on pristine reefs and soak up some sun, too.
Check out of the beautiful resort and depart Mataking to board the speedboat back to Semporna. From there, drive to Tawau Airport for your flight to the coastal city of Kota Kinabalu on the South China Sea. Upon arrival, transfer to the Jesselton Hotel, a modern and elegant accommodation 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. Gather with the group tonight for a festive farewell dinner.
After breakfast, bid farewell to Borneo and transfer to the airport for your homeward-bound flights.
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MT Sobek's popular Wild Borneo trip is a classic wildlife adventure and the best way to explore Borneo.
With expert guides leading the way, you'll enjoy the fun of a Kinabatangan River cruise and spot orangutans in the Danum Valley.
The day's pace is perfect, enjoying nature at dawn and dusk - its most active hours - with plenty of time to swim or rest in between.
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.
Rainforest wildlife walks, waterfall hikes, swimming, snorkeling, river cruising, and cultural touring - plus incredible orangutan-watching opportunities.
Remote and luxurious eco-lodges and eco-resorts, allowing you to access some of the most rare and endangered wildlife on the planet.
Temperatures stay around 80F year round, with an average of 80% humidity. Expect quick changes in weather and be prepared for rain.
Our MT Sobek representative will meet you at the Sandakan International Airport.
No, American citizens do not need a visa for Malaysian Borneo.
Connect through Hong Kong, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. The main airlines that fly to Borneo from the U.S. are Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia.
We recommend flying into Kota Kinabalu, as there is more to do. You could then take a one-way flight to Sandakan to start the trip.
Our guide will provide them for you. They are first line defense to fend off forest leech, a.k.a. little blood suckers.
Although we cannot guarantee sightings, Borneo's rainforest is teeming with animals. You have very high chances to see orangutans, proboscis monkeys, langurs, macaques, hornbills, and much more.
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!
"An outstanding trip for viewing animal and bird life."
MT Sobek Guest, Wild Borneo
"I recommend travelling with MT Sobek and I absolutely will again. The guides were amazing, the accommodations were great and all the details were handled. Thank you!"
MT Sobek Guest, Wild Borneo