London – Kuala Lumpur - Sandakan
Your morning flight wings you from London to Kuala Lumpur where you’ll meet a connecting flight to Sandakan, landing just after midday. You’ll be welcomed and driven to an exclusive hotel overlooking magnificent Sandakan Bay.
Stay: One night in a deluxe sea view room at the Sheraton Sandakan.
Time to visit some relatives. A comparatively short drive will bring you to the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Sanctuary where you’ll have every chance of watching rescued orang-utans roaming free in their natural habitat. And the wonders don’t stop there; the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is also nearby, as is the Tropical Lowland Dipterocarp Forest of Borneo.
You’ll be staying in an award winning rainforest lodge on the banks of the impressive Kinabatangan River, so you’ll have ample opportunity to see and photograph all manner of wildlife in an untouched rainforest environment, including proboscis monkeys, Borneo pygmy elephants and a wide diversity of indigenous birdlife. More wildlife is to be found at an oxbow lake, and if you’re feeling adventurous you can take a night safari in search of river crocodiles.
Stay: Two nights in a superior room at Sukau Rainforest Lodge.
Today you journey to Danum Valley – a hotspot for Borneo’s wildlife – but en route you’ll call in at the Gomantong Caves – famous for the production of the main ingredient for Chinese bird’s nest soup. You’ll check into the Borneo Rainforest Lodge once you arrive in Danum Valley and immediately venture into one of the world’s last remaining stretches of virgin rainforest. With its changing habitats, its numerous rivers, waterfalls and picturesque pools, the Danum Valley is an untouched haven for Borneo’s larger mammals (including visitors!).
You’ll be guided through the forest, across soaring canopy suspension bridges and along hidden jungle paths. You’ll learn about the delicate flora and fauna of the region, set off on night safaris to search for rare nocturnal creatures and visit Coffin Cliff – an ancient Kadazandusun burial site that features coffins embedded high in the cliff face. Your guide will even show you a crystal clear rock pool secreted away in the jungle – perfect for bathing and relaxing.
Stay: Three nights in a deluxe river view room at Borneo Rain Forest Lodge.
Now wildlife of a different sort beckons. From Lahad Datu Airport you’ll fly to Kota Kinabalu before taking a boat ride to Gaya Island. Just off the coast from the Jesselton Marina Jetty, Gaya Island lies in the heart of the Tunky Abdul Rahman Marine Park. So you’ll have the chance to take diving or snorkelling safaris to see the colourful creatures of the marine park. Or you may simply prefer to lounge on the fine sand beach, indulge in wonderful regional cuisine and take occasional forays into the established rainforest nearby.
Stay: Four nights in a Kinabula sea view villa at Gaya Island Resort.
Kota Kimbalu – Kuala Lumpur - London
Enjoy a final swim and a last stroll along the beach in the morning, before catching a boat ride over to Kota Kinabalu for your flight to Kuala Lumpur. At KL you’ll board your connecting flight to London Heathrow, arriving in the UK early the next morning.
We have just returned from what was a holiday of a lifetime. I can't thank you enough. All the places you recommended were excellent. The organisation was meticulous and made our lives so much easier.- HPB, India, 2016