(Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan)
Enjoy a front row seat to one of Mother Nature’s greatest shows as you cheer on schools of newly-hatched baby turtles as they make their treacherous journey down the beach and into the safety of Borneo’s warm tropical tides.
This is just part of the hands-on experience you’ll enjoy at Turtle Island National Park on Seligan Island where you’ll help collect turtle eggs from nesting sites, watch the process of planting them in the hatchery, and then witness the baby turtle’s remarkable beach march to freedom. You’ll also enjoy an up-close encounter with orphaned orangutans at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, and watch wild monkeys at play in the treetops on a river cruise through remote rainforest. You’ll explore the depths of the Semut Hitam cave system, visit a rural water village and marketplace, pay your respects at a local Buddhist temple, and take an invigorating dip in the hot sulphur springs at World Heritage-listed Kinabalu Park.
Borneo is an exotic land of untouched rainforest, soaring mountain ranges and abundant wildlife that is unlike anywhere else on earth. Your team of local guides and nature experts are essential to revealing the remote locales and natural secrets of the country’s dense jungle environment. And your range of luxury hotels, boutique eco-retreats, conservation lodges and stunning island resorts provide a comfortable ring-side seat to some of the best natural experiences in the world.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
A transfer between the airport and your beach resort with a private vehicle and English speaking driver is provided.
This tour brings you across mountainous Crocker Range with panoramic view of the countryside and soaring hills. En route to Kinabalu Park, you can catch the magnificent sight of Mount Kinabalu, Southeast Asia’s highest peak. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with incredible biodiversity of flora and fauna, a heaven for nature enthusiasts. On arrival, enjoy a guided nature trek along one of the many trails in the park before proceeding to Poring Hot Springs, offering visitors the opportunity for an invigorating dip in its hot sulphur springs. For a closer look at nature, take the 41m high canopy walk to see spectacular views of the Borneo Rainforest flora and fauna.
Fly from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan. Flight time is approximately 1 hour.
Your first day begins as you are met at Sandakan Airport or Hotel in Sandakan, for a transfer to the jetty. At around 9:30AM, you will board a boat and depart to Turtle Island National Park. It takes roughly around an hour to reach Selingan Island which lies 40km north of Sandakan in the Sulu Sea off Sabah's east coast. Selingan Island is the main nesting area for Green and Hawksbill Turtles. Once you've arrived you have the whole day to relax, swim or snorkel. After dinner, prepare to wait for the Park Ranger to inform us of any sightings of a turtle laying eggs. You will learn about the conservation of these turtles; witness the collecting of eggs from the nesting site, the process of planting them in the hatchery and the thrilling sight of baby turtles scrambling to the open sea upon release on the shore. You will overnight at the Selingan Island Chalet. Please note that in Malaysia your driver is also your guide.
After an early breakfast you will leave behind Turtle Island and return to Sandakan, at approximately 7AM. From here you will proceed to Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre situated in the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. Here, you will learn about the rehabilitation of young or strayed orang-utans before taking a stroll on the boardwalk through the lowland rainforest for some panoramic viewing. Witness the feeding of orphaned orang-utans before departing on a 2.5hrs drive through rustic countryside. Next, you'll take a short boat ride to Borneo Nature Lodge for an orientation and check in. Relax by the river before embarking by boat upriver for a ride along Sabah's longest river, Kinabatangan, boasting wildlife and birds in the virgin mangrove and rainforest habitat. Search for some of the primates species including Proboscis Monkeys as they settle down on treetops. You will return to the Borneo Nature Lodge for dinner and overnight. Please note that in Malaysia your driver is also your guide.
Depart early morning for a visit to the Gomantong Cave, famed for its edible birds' nests (Guano). Take a 15 minutes’ walk along the boardwalk to the opening of Semut Hitam cavern and explore the cave system. After you will return to Sandakan for lunch before proceeding on a city tour, where you will visit the water village, the central marketplace and a Buddhist temple. Your tour concludes with a transfer to the airport for your departure flight. Please note that in Malaysia your driver is also your guide.
Fly from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu. The transfer is approximately 1 hour.
Meet your English speaking driver for a pier transfer with a private vehicle.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort is set on Pantai Dalit beach surrounded by 400 acres of lush tropical vegetation, including a unique nature reserve. Here you'll meet Sabah's icon, the fascinating Orang Utan, as well as a remarkable array of indigenous flora and fauna. Unexpected encounters with hornbills that glide right overhead, peacocks walking by during breakfast, a friendly bear cat greeting you from a tree or the occasional wild rabbit, iguana or squirrel crossing your path are all part of the magic of this remarkable resort.
Selingan, the largest of the islands in the Selingan Marine National Park, houses the park's headquarters, a turtle hatchery, tourist accommodation and basic facilities. The other two islands are more for conservation activities. Accommodation is basic but comfortable and allows visitors to stay and witness the night-time arrivals of the magnificent turtles as they come ashore to lay their eggs.
Nestled along the riverbank of Kinabatangan River lies Borneo Nature Lodge - an eco-friendly resort, offering the comfort without compromising the green. A natural haven for the outdoor enthusiast, Borneo Nature Lodge is an ideal lodging to explore the melting pot of wildlife found in Sukau. The lodge currently has 12 rooms which are able to accommodate 24 guests at a time. As you soak in the refreshing scenery, you will notice that the lodge is constructed not only around and beside the trees, but also under, creating a canopy-like atmosphere.
Raya Island Resort & Spa is a luxurious jewel set on a coral reef island just off the coast of Borneo. A secluded island hideaway of timbered villas, the resort is tucked away on a tranquil and hidden bay framed by crescent shaped white sand beach on one side and the century’s old virgin jungle on the other. Each private villa is rough-hewn and hand-crafted by local tradesmen, terraced into the hillside reflecting the traditional simplicity of the Borneo architectural style, blending seamlessly with the comforts and needs of the most sophisticated and discerning luxury traveler. Private balconies offer jaw dropping vistas of the beach below and the South China Sea beyond. A dedicated hilltop spa, with exotic private spa pavilions, blends the very finest of Traditional Asian and Western treatments which capture restorative powers of indigenous plants and oils.
Olive Ramchand ,
June 03, 2014
"I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.
Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
January 15, 2014
"We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on, from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
Gloria DeWeese ,
October 10, 2013
"A wonderful trip and everything went like clockwork. Thank you so very much for all your assistance. I hope I will have a chance to work with you again."
Wayne Gavioli ,
September 04, 2013
"We just returned from our thailand/cambodia trip. It was fantastic. You did a great job. The guides were excellent as was the drivers. We loved the Victoria Hotel you selected in Siem. Wish we had more time. Thailand met our expectations but our expectations for Cambodia were low and they exceeded them. Loved the places selected for the included lunches. Certainly would use Kensington again"
Santo Filice ,
August 30, 2013
"Thank you for arranging our guided trip to Thailand - Vietnam. It was a memorable, and pleasant trip - a 1st for us with Kensington tours and a most enjoyable one. We found that we were able to maximize our visit of the the area without the concern of booking hotels, airline, finding parking and understanding the local language. "
Tim Mesarch ,
August 02, 2013
"Alexis helped us fit in all of the sites we wanted to see on our trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and suggested some more. It was valuable talking with someone who had been there and done that. The planning went pretty smoothly, and so did the trip. The local guides were all top-notch! "
July 25, 2013
"I highly recommend Kesington Tours. The planning of our trip to Cambodia was outstanding. Our advisor Alexis Mayer was unbelievably patient, knowledgeable and responsive. We planned the trip in every possible detail and Alexis was extraordinary during the whole process. Once we were in Cambodia, we had a tiny issue with the car. I was able to get in contact with Alexis right away and the problem was instantly solved. The trip itself was fantastic. Everything was very well planned and perfectly organized. The local guides and drivers were great. The hotels were very well chosen.
Great trip. I would definitely travel again with Kensington Tours."
Pennie Quintana ,
August 07, 2013
"Thank you so much for the amazing trip we enjoyed!! All our guides were fantasy. Joseph in Jakarta, July in Jojakarta and Deon in Borneo!! Wow!! Bless you for all your attention to detail and the outstanding communication to all my questions. You made me feel so taken care of and tended too!! "
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