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Jungles and Orangutans
Virgin Holidays' view
Occupying the northern portion of Borneo, the jungles and rivers of Sabah are home to a rich mix of tribal diversity and rare wildlife. These ancient jungles provide a haven for wild orangutans, pygmy elephants and tribal cultures whose traditions have endured for centuries. This fascinating Jungles and Orangutans trip takes you on a journey into the heart of this captivating land, following the meandering course of the Kinabatangan River and taking you deep into the beautiful landscapes of the “Land Below the Wind”.
Day 1: Monday
Welcome to Borneo! Upon your arrival in Kota Kinabalu, transfer to the Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort for the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 2: Tuesday
Take the morning flight to Sandakan, upon arrival our representative will meet you before proceeding to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. Continue to the free roaming, feeding platform for the Orangutans. At this centre, observe man's closest relative "the Orangutan" being rehabilitated to become wild in their natural habitat and experience a walk in the Tropical Lowland Dipterocarp Forest of Borneo. Afterwards visit to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, the centre that managed to improve the living condition of the rescued sun bear and released their natural behaviors in the 2.5ha enclosed forest. After lunch check in to MY Nature Resort, located at one of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world. Afternoon at leisure or an option to follow our schedule visit to the Rainforest Discovery Centre, walk to the steel canopy walk way, plants, orchid garden and many others. (B/L/D)
Day 3: Wednesday
After breakfast, you have time to relax. At 11:00am be ready for your trip to Abai. Proceed to Sandakan Jetty for your boat departing at 12:00pm. Arrive for lunch at Abai Jungle Restaurant. This is a wonderful journey of discovery, which starts from the waters of Sulu Sea of Sandakan Town through a magnificent scenery of the Mangrove Forest. After Lunch, check in at the Abai Jungle Lodge for 2 nights, free time to relax at the nature boardwalk. Late in the afternoon, you'll be experiencing a cruise to search for wildlife until the sunsets. Continue the night cruise to witness the fire flies light up surrounding trees. Return to the lodge for dinner. After dinner, again experience the “Jungle at night” at our nature boardwalk to search for birds, snakes, insects and other wildlife with our nature guide. (B/L/D)
Day 4: Thursday
Take an early morning river trip to observe wildlife and experience the unique Pitas Oxbow Lake. After breakfast, you will visit the tree planting project with the locals. You are then invited to take part in ‘The most beautiful house’ competition, where the winning household will be rewarded with a prize. After lunch, you are free to explore the nature board walk behind the lodge, make sure you bring along your binoculars as there may be.......wild orangutans! Silver leaf monkeys, birds and many others! In the late afternoon, another river cruise to search for different wildlife. (B/L/D)
Day 5: Friday
Wake up by the calls of nature with the morning free at leisure. After lunch, cruise up river to Sukau village in search of wild Orangutans, Pygmy Elephants, birds and other wildlife. Arrive Sukau and check in at the Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge. In the late afternoon, take another river cruise to Menanggul River, a small tributary of the Kinabatangan then return to the lodge for dinner. (B/L/D)
Day 6: Saturday
After breakfast a two hour boat transfer back to Sandakan. Upon arrival at the jetty, a quick stop for lunch before your transfer to Sandakan Airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu and upon arrival check in at the Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort for 2 nights. Rest of the day is at leisure. (B/L)
Day 7: Sunday
This morning, head to Mari-Mari Culture Village, located 30 minutes outside of the city. You will be briefed on Village Rules before being greeted by the Chief and go through a custom Welcome Ceremony, before entering the village via the suspension bridge. First, you will visit the Dusun house where you will see a demonstration on the traditional way of tobacco cutting. As you exit through the back door, you will enter a hut specialized for bamboo cooking and Montoku (rice wine) processing. Second, we will bring you to the Rungus Longhouse. Here, you will learn how to start a fire without lighters or matches (and watch the villagers make ethnic bangles out of rattan). Third, you will find the Lundayeh house. Inside, be awed by a demonstration on the olden ways of producing ropes, vests, floors, walls and etc. from tree barks. Fourth, visit the Bajau House to watch the locals prepare Jala (local cake) and Pandan juice. Inside, you will see a myriad of colourful materials of antique ancestral objects. Fifth, belonging to the headhunters' tribe, the Murut Longhouse. You will be greeted by the Chief and go through a custom Welcome Ceremony. Later, witness a demonstration on blowpipe making before going into their house. Inside, there is a built-in Lansaran (traditional trampoline-like floor) which you may dance on after they show you how to jump for your "prize". At a corner, witness the locals as they tattoo their bodies and the old method. Return back to your hotel in the evening where the rest of the evening at leisure. (B/L)
Day 8: Monday
Day at leisure until your departure transfer to Kota Kinabalu Airport for your onward flight arrangements. Alternatively we highly recommend spending some time at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort, a stunning beachfront hotel. (B)
Meals: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Dates & prices
The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.
Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability and date of departure.
Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated. Single room and flight prices are available at a supplement.
Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.
Pre/Post Tour information
The first day of the tour is at leisure so allows you enough time to arrive and relax. If you wish to arrive earlier extra nights can be added at the Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort. We recommend extending your tour with a stay at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort.
GMT +8 hours (summer) +9 hours (winter)
- Domestic flights (internal flight baggage allowance is 20kgs)
- Air conditioned transport throughout
- Accommodation, meals and sightseeing as listed above
- Service of English speaking guide.
- International flight in economy class, including all UK and overseas airport taxes and applicable fuel surcharges
- Flight upgrades and airport transfers in the UK
- Optional tour to the Rainforest Discovery Centre
- Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips and gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
- Anything not detailed on the itinerary.
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 4 dinners.
Tours listed in the itinerary.
Occasionally we may need to substitute one or more of the hotels with that of a similar standard.
Journey times in Borneo between destinations can sometimes be long and those listed in the itinerary and are approximate.
There is a minimum group size of 2 passengers.
British Passport holders do not need a visa for Malaysia, your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your departure date.
We recommend extending this tour with a few nights on the beach, resting on a secluded beach amongst the jungles and just an hour from Kota Kinabalu is the beautiful Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort, perfect for some relaxation.