Head deep into Borneo’s pristine rainforest for outdoor adventures alongside orangutans, monkeys and Borneo pygmy elephants. In this protected paradise, you can take a dip in natural pools, go river tubing and set off on night walks in search of nocturnal wildlife. This is an authentic jungle experience, so we’ve included a stay at Borneo Rainforest Lodge, which combines sustainability with a splash of rustic luxury.
About this independent tour
Day 1: Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu to Danum Valley Catch an early flight from Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu, where your adventure starts with a two-hour drive to the Danum Valley Conservation Area – Sabah’s largest lowland rainforest – and the Borneo Rainforest Lodge. A presentation will bring you up to speed with your environment (home to orangutans, silver and red leaf monkeys, Borneo elephants, tarsiers, slow loris, 320 bird species and a staggering 200 species of plant per hectare) before you head out into the jungle on a trek along a 360-metre-long treetop canopy walkway. The outdoor activities carry on after dark, when you’ll hop in an open-air Jeep and set off on a night-time nature drive in search of nocturnal animals. Stay: Borneo Rainforest Lodge.
Day 2: Danum Valley Today is packed with incredible activities in the jungle. It starts with a trek to Coffin Cliff: an ancient burial site where wooden coffins are wedged into the cliffside and a viewpoint has stunning views. A natural pool gives you the chance to cool off with a refreshing dip and, for afternoon activities, you’ve got the choice of a jungle trek or tubing down the Danum River. A thrilling night walk rounds off the day. Stay: Borneo Rainforest Lodge
Day 3: Danum Valley to Lahad Datu to Kota Kinabalu or Gaya Island There’s time for a final adventure this morning: either birdwatching on the canopy walkway or a guided walk along the trails, before you hit the beach in Kota Kinabalu or on Gaya Island.
4.5* Borneo Rainforest Lodge
A stay at this remote lodge is all about wildlife and adventure. Borneo Rainforest Lodge is gloriously tucked away in the Danum Valley. It’s a bit of a journey to get here, but this is a special place that’s worth the effort. The lodge’s main focus is on sustainability and protecting the rainforest, but it also comes with modern comforts and fantastic service. And it was good enough for Judy Dench, who stayed here while filming Wild Borneo Adventure.
Facilities include a dining room with an outdoor deck, plus a small spa where you can treat yourself to a post-trek massage. There are 30 wooden chalets, starting with the simple Jungle Chalets (which still come with a minibar and Nespresso machine). For the more exclusive rooms, you’ll need to book a 4-day package, but this just gives you more time to enjoy the rainforest activities. We love the modern Premium Deluxe Chalets, which have a huge glass-fronted balcony overlooking the rainforest and a deep bathtub (almost like a plunge pool) where you can soak away any aches while listening to the sounds of the jungle.
• 4.5-Star accommodation
• Lunch and dinner on Day 1; breakfast, lunch and dinner on Day 2; breakfast and lunch on Day 3
• Air-conditioned vehicle
• Return flight from Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu
• Return transfers from Lahad Datu to Borneo Rainforest Lodge.
The jungle feels different after dark, which you’ll discover on night drives and nature walks
The lodge runs an orangutan research programme and there are thought to be 498 orangutans in the Danum Valley area
It’s easy to combine a stay at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge with the white-sand beaches of Kota Kinabalu or Gaya Island
Good to know
• The weather can be unpredictable in the rainforest
• Wildlife sightings aren’t guaranteed
• Bring sensible clothing including sturdy shoes, long trousers, leech socks and wet weather gear