9nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

The island of Borneo evokes wonderful images of rainforests, exotic wildlife and of course its most famous inhabitant – the orangutan. This small group tour is a fantastic choice for wildlife enthusiasts, where experiences include a visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, a trip into Kinabalu National Park and a two-night stay within the nature-rich Sukau Rainforest.

• Kota Kinabalu: 4 nights
• Sukau: 2 nights
• Kota Kinabalu: 1 night

9nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

Stay longer

Kuala Lumpur (pre-tour) 2 nights
Enjoy a pre-tour stopover in Malaysia’s exhilarating capital; marvel at its iconic skyscrapers and taste exquisite street food.

Kota Kinabalu (post-tour) 3 nights
Explore the old-world charm and enchanting culture of this coastal city at your own pace with an extended stay after your tour. The Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa is an idyllic post-tour beach escape. Home to a magnificent 64-acre nature reserve, discover the area’s natural beauty with a jungle walk, see the treetops from the canopy walkway or head out for a spot of bird watching on the resort’s championship golf course.

Combine tours
If you want to get the full Malaysia experience, this tour can be combined with Highlights of Singapore & Malaysia.

Day 1: UK to Kota Kinabalu Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Kota Kinabalu.

Day 2: Kota Kinabalu On arrival, meet your local guide and transfer to your hotel where you’ll be staying for the next four nights. A gorgeous retreat set in tropical grounds, the Shangri-La Rasa Ria is a haven of relaxation with a vast white-sand beach and delightful pool. Following your long flight, the remainder of the day is free for you to spend at leisure. In the evening, the welcome dinner will be at the D’Place Restaurant for a taste of traditional Kadazan cuisine.
Stay: Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa (or similar)
Meals: Dinner

Day 3: Kota Kinabalu After breakfast, transfer to the jetty where you’ll take a short ferry ride over to one of Kota Kinabalu’s nearby islands. Discover mangrove swamps and some of the best lowland rainforest in the area as you embark on a guided trek. As you take in your exotic surroundings, your guide will explain all about the unique flora and fauna you’re passing. After the walk, enjoy a barbecue lunch and spend the next few hours exploring the island at leisure. If you’re feeling adventurous, grab a snorkel and head out for an underwater exploration, or simply stay put on the sand for some relaxing downtime. Later this afternoon, head back by boat to the mainland where you’ll transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day will be at leisure.
Stay: Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Kota Kinabalu Today you’ll discover the spectacular biodiversity of Kinabalu National Park. The first UNESCO World Heritage site in Malaysia, the park is home to almost 100 different wildlife species, more than 5000 plant varieties and the dominating summit of Mount Kinabalu. Depart the hotel and take a scenic two-hour drive towards the national park, on the way stopping at a market where you’ll have some time to explore the local wares. Notice the air temperature cool slightly as you arrive at Kinabalu Park, and stretch your legs with a guided nature walk through the flora-rich Botanical Garden – if the weather is good, you may get a clear view of Mount Kinabalu. Have lunch at a local restaurant before leaving the park for the Poring Hot Springs – a popular area named for the giant bamboo species that surround them. Enjoy a short canopy walk through the jungle before returning to your hotel later this evening.
Stay: Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Kota Kinabalu After breakfast, depart the city for a morning in the Mari Mari Cultural Village. Secluded in the countryside, this remote village operates as a living museum that aims to preserve Borneo’s ethnic cultures and age-old traditions. Learn all about the indigenous tribes of Sabah and visit demonstration huts to see ancient practices brought to life. Learn how to make blowpipes and start fires with bamboo, and try a selection of Sabah’s traditional delicacies. Join the villagers for a buffet lunch before returning to your hotel this afternoon. The rest of the day will be at your leisure; from t’ai chi (extra cost), yoga and aquatic exercises, the resort features lots of activities you can get stuck into or you can simply relax beside the infinity pool.
Stay: Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Kota Kinabalu to Sukau Early this morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to the colonial city of Sandakan. A tour highlight, this morning you’ll spend some time at the world-famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Walk through the rainforest towards the free roaming area feeding platform, where you’ll have the chance to watch the orangutans during their morning feed. See the baby orangutans play in the centre’s outdoor nursery ahead of a visit to the nearby Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Sometimes known as the ‘honey bear’ for their love of honeycomb, Malayan sun bears are the smallest bears in the world and can only be found in Southeast Asia. After lunch, take a scenic two-hour boat ride along the Kinabatangan River; home to one of the most exceptional wildlife concentrations in Borneo. Arrive at your next hotel, the award-winning Sukau Rainforest Lodge which sits right on the river’s edge, before heading back out for a late afternoon river cruise. As night falls, sit down for a special candlelit dinner overlooking the beautiful riverbank.
Stay: Sukau Rainforest Lodge (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Sukau Before breakfast at the lodge, you’ll join an early morning river cruise towards the spectacular Oxbow Lake. Here you can become engrossed in nature as you pass local birds and lush emerald forestry. Return to the lodge and accompany the in-house naturalist on a tour along the Hornbill Boardwalk. Have lunch and learn all about the conservation efforts for the orangutans before heading back out to the river for your second afternoon cruise. The river’s surroundings are hugely important to Borneo’s fantastic eco-system; with more than 200 bird species it’s a birdwatcher’s paradise, and the wildlife nearby is superb. As you glide along the river, look out for proboscis monkeys and Bornean gibbons, as well as smaller pygmy elephants and Bornean bearded pigs.
Stay: Sukau Rainforest Lodge (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Sukau to Kota Kinabalu After breakfast, check out and return to Sandakan by boat. You’ll have some time for lunch before you continue towards the Rainforest Discovery Centre, which aims to educate visitors all about Borneo’s wildlife. Head to the canopy walkway to see the rainforest from above and explore the beautiful botanical garden to discover the incredible variants of Borneo’s tropical plants. Leave the centre and continue towards Sandakan Memorial Park; a sobering dedication to all of the prisoners of war who died here in World War Two. Return to the airport for your flight back to Kota Kinabalu, where on arrival you’ll transfer to your hotel.
Stay: Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Kota Kinabalu Spend today at leisure before you transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight to the UK.
Meals: Breakfast


Stay longer

Kuala Lumpur (pre-tour) 2 nights
Enjoy a pre-tour stopover in Malaysia’s exhilarating capital; marvel at its iconic skyscrapers and taste exquisite street food.

Kota Kinabalu (post-tour) 3 nights
Explore the old-world charm and enchanting culture of this coastal city at your own pace with an extended stay after your tour. The Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa is an idyllic post-tour beach escape. Home to a magnificent 64-acre nature reserve, discover the area’s natural beauty with a jungle walk, see the treetops from the canopy walkway or head out for a spot of bird watching on the resort’s championship golf course.

Combine tours
If you want to get the full Malaysia experience, this tour can be combined with Highlights of Singapore & Malaysia.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

This small group tour is great for those who have an interest in wildlife, nature and adventure.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey, where the minimum age is 8)
• Average group size of 8 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests
• Journey times do not take into account stops or traffic conditions
• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag

What to expect

• A pair of comfortable walking shoes are recommended
• Layers are essential for the cooler temperatures in Kinabalu Park
• The Poring Hot Springs are a public area so may be busy
• Please pack an overnight bag for the Sukau Rainforest; the rest of your luggage can be left at the Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
• Insect repellent is essential for the Kinabatangan River
• While wildlife-spotting in Sukau is common, it is not guaranteed
• A good level of fitness is required

Accommodation on tour

The majority of this tour is based at the Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa. Surrounded by 400 acres of tropical rainforest, the resort borders a vast white-sand bay and is home to a championship golf course and a 64-acre nature reserve. Two nights will be spent at the Sukau Rainforest Lodge; a National Geographic’s Unique Lodge of the World that’s immersed right in the middle of the rainforest on the banks of the Kinabatangan River.

Solo travellers

Sole-use room from £3781

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2021 Feb 15; Apr 19; Jun 14; Sep 20

2022 Feb 14; Apr 18; Jun 13; Sep 19

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• All specified flights

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £3550 per person.

Kuoni highlights

Kuoni highlights

Spot wildlife from the water Take to the water morning and evening to enjoy the scenery and spot local wildlife with your expert guide on a nature cruise.

Visit an Orangutan Nursery See young rescue orangutans in the new nursery at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.

Stay in the heart of the rainforest Spend two nights at the award-winning Sukau Rainforest Lodge where you can immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the rainforest.