Home to some of the world’s most wildlife-rich equatorial rainforests, Borneo is a pristine haven, where a bounty of natural wonders can be found. From misty mountains and jungle-shrouded rivers to colourful coral reefs and rainforests teeming with rare species, this 10-day private expedition will take you in the heart of Borneo. Uncover the rich biodiversity of Malaysian Borneo on a journey from the wild interior of Sabah to idyllic Gaya Island. Stay in jungle lodges nestled within wildlife reserves, surrounded by canopy walkways suspended through the treetops. Enjoy immersive hikes, river safaris and snorkel excursions where you will search for orangutans, proboscis monkeys and leopard cats as well as sea turtles, exotic fish and other marine wildlife.

Trip highlights

Get up close to orangutans and Malayan sun bears at conservation centres in Sepilok.

Stay at Sukau Rainforest Lodge—a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World on the Kinabatangan River—and explore jungle waterways by boat.

Meet a marine biologist on Gaya Island and dive into the Bornean undersea to lend a hand with coral restoration efforts.

Search for pygmy elephants, gibbons, langurs, and rare birds in the primary rainforests of Danum Valley Conservation Area.

Itinerary - 10 Days

1 Sandakan, Malaysia/Sepilok

Arrive in the city of Sandakan on Borneo’s eastern coast and transfer to your jungle lodge, located on a lakeshore just outside Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. Join your private guide for an introductory dinner, then set out on an optional night walk to seek out the sources of the jungle’s wild cheers and shrieks.
Sepilok Nature Resort (D)

2 Sepilok

Climb into the canopy early this morning and weave your way across aerial walkways to spot kaleidoscopic birds flitting amid the treetops. After breakfast back at the lodge, visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, where orangutans rescued from captivity are reintroduced to the wild. Spend the afternoon trekking through Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, and take another canopy walk at dusk, when you could find nocturnal creatures like tree frogs and tarsiers in the foliage.
Sepilok Nature Resort (B/L/D)

3 Sepilok/Kinabatangan River

Take a behind-the-scenes tour and watch the morning feeding at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Then board a local boat for a two-hour ride along the Kinabatangan River. Your destination is Sukau Rainforest Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge built by native Bornean’s to celebrate—and help protect—the riverine rainforest and the communities that depend upon it. Settle into your room, then depart at dusk in an electric-motored boat to look for orangutans, pygmy elephants, and proboscis monkeys.
Sukau Rainforest Lodge (B/L/D)

4 Kinabatangan River

Awaken to the calls of gibbons and hornbills, and watch the sunrise during a guided wildlife cruise. Have lunch back at the lodge and take advantage of free time to wander the elevated boardwalk with the resident naturalist, tour the property’s eco-friendly facilities, or unwind by the pool. As a National Geographic guest, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the lodge’s in-house orangutan expert. Later, visit the Gomantong Caves, home to thousands of bats and swiftlets; then embark on another twilight river safari to search for monkeys, owls, and crocodiles.
Sukau Rainforest Lodge (B/L/D)

5-7 Danum Valley Conservation Area

Travel overland to the valley of the Danum River, known for its 169 square miles of virtually undisturbed primary rainforest—which offers exceptional wildlife viewing. Spend two days exploring the many nature trails on your own or with a guide. Keep an eye out for rare species, including the leopard cat, Bornean gibbon, clouded leopard, and maroon langur. Rise early to explore the canopy bridges and boardwalks around the lodge; hike to a nearby waterfall to swim in rock-sculpted pools, and take guided night hikes when the forest comes alive with nocturnal species.
Borneo Rainforest Lodge (B/L/D)

8 Danum Valley Conservation Area/Gaya Island

Venture into the jungle on an early morning nature walk. For the remainder of the morning, explore the rainforest on your own or take advantage of the lodge’s amenities before departing on an afternoon flight to Kota Kinabalu. Upon arrival, transfer to the docks and catch a shared ferry to Gaya Island. Settle into your secluded resort, accessible only by boat, and spend the rest of the day at leisure in this tropical paradise.
Gaya Island Resort (B/L/D)

9 Gaya Island

Meet the lodge’s resident marine biologist for a private excursion that includes an opportunity to lend a hand with local conservation efforts. Hear about programs aimed at restoring the bordering coral reefs and protecting endangered green sea turtles, then dive into the Bornean undersea to help out with coral restoration as clownfish, seahorses, and turtles swim past. This afternoon, enjoy free time to take advantage of the lodge amenities. Unwind at the spa or in the infinity pool, or take a short boat ride to a private beach.
Gaya Island Resort (B/L/D)

10 Kota Kinabalu

Ferry back to Kota Kinabalu and transfer to the airport to catch your international flight home. (B)

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