Borneo Rainforest & Beach

Choose another holiday

Day 1

arrive Sandakan

Upon arrival in Sandakan you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of your day is at leisure.
Whilst a relatively unremarkable town in many ways, Sandakan is ideal as a base to make a number of superb visits in this area of Sabah, namely Selingan Turtle Island, Lankayan Island, Sepilok and the Kinabatangan River.

Overnight in Sandakan.
Meals: (_/_/_)

Day 2

Sandakan, Lankayan Island

Morning transfer to Sandakan jetty for your shared boat ride to Lankayan Island. The boat journey takes around two hours depending on the weather conditions. Upon arrival the remainder of your day is at leisure.

Lankayan Island has recently been declared part of an immense Marine Protected Area. The island's interior is covered by thick tropical vegetation and the edges are an endless circle of white sandy beach, making it a pristine paradise. The dive centre here offers diving for experienced divers as well as beginners in one of the best dive locations in Southeast Asia. You can also enjoy superb snorkelling just offshore, or simply relax on the beach.

Overnight on Lankayan Island.

**Lankayan Island Update**
Due to an update in the UK’s Foreign Office advice on travel to Sabah’s eastern islands, Selective Asia are now advising against travel to Lankayan Island. For more information on this, and to explore alternative island options, please see our latest Sabah Travel Advice
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

Day 3

Lankayan Island

Your day is at leisure.

Overnight on Lankayan Island.
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

Day 4

Lankayan Island

Your day is at leisure.

Overnight on Lankayan Island.
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

Day 5

Lankayan Island, Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary, Danum Valley, Canopy Walk & Night Drive

Early morning (0700) departure by boat to the mainland. Upon arrival you will be met by your private driver (no guide) from the Borneo Rainforest Lodge for your transfer to Danum Valley. En route stop to visit the Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary in time for the morning feeding session.

Sepilok is known across the world for its exceptional work with our orange-furred friends. The reserve covers over 40sq km of lush, dense, protected rainforest, and exists for the rehabilitation of orphaned and injured orang-utans. Apart from feeding times when you are almost guaranteed a sighting of at least a few orang-utans, there is a multitude of flora and fauna in the grounds and surrounding forests.

Continue by road to Lahad Datu and on to the Borneo Rainforest Lodge (the total journey time is approx 5 hours, with shared transportation from Lahad Datu to the lodge).

Set deep within the large rainforest conservation area of Danum Valley, the lodge provides surprisingly luxurious accommodation for such an isolated location. Danum’s 440 square miles protects one of Borneo's pristine rainforests, 130 million years old with a staggering 200 plant species per hectare. It is home to diverse wildlife including some very rare and endangered creatures, notably the orang-utan, Sumatran rhino, Bornean pygmy elephant, Spectacled Fowerpecker, and Sun bear. Expect to spot gibbons and Proboscis monkey, and the orang-utans in their natural habitat. The park has a busy tree nursery and works hard to repopulate the forest as well as protect the existing trees.

The lodge itself is wonderfully equipped for wildlife spotting, with a long canopy walkway leading through the surrounding forest, and seated viewing platforms on which to get comfortable and quietly observe the wildlife. The lodge also offers excellent jungle trekking, specialised bird watching and outstanding photographic opportunities as well as a variety of other activities including water tubing on the Danum River.

Following a brief orientation and a break for lunch, depart on a guided walk along the lodge’s nature trail (400m boardwalk circuit) and then head to the superb canopy walk! After dinner at the lodge, join a night drive or walk, spotting nocturnal animals such as civet cats, flying squirrels, tree frogs and samba deer, while the rainforest orchestra plays in the background.

Overnight at Danum Valley.
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

Day 6

Danum Valley, Trekking & Night Drive

Today’s activities can be tailored to personal interests and abilities, but an example of a typical day at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge is as follows: for early risers, a pre-breakfast canopy walk is a fascinating opportunity to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the rainforest, its nocturnal residents making way for a myriad diurnal creatures, noisily asserting themselves as the sun rises.

After breakfast, served on the open air veranda, set out for a morning trek along the ‘Coffin Trail’ that leads to a 200 year old burial site created by the indigenous tribespeople. It's a 3km return trip, involving a 40 minute climb to a viewpoint that takes the breath away, with its spectacular outlook over horizon-spanning miles of pristine rainforest - a rare and precious sight these days, even in the tropics.

Return to the lodge for lunch and time to relax, soaking in the sounds of the rainforest.

After lunch, hike one of the lodge's numerous and excellent forest trails and enjoy many more wildlife spotting opportunities. There will also be the opportunity to take a dip in one of the forest’s natural pools or waterfalls. For a more boisterous alternative, enjoy an afternoon of 'tubing' down the Danum River.

Return to the lodge for dinner, after which it is possible to join a night drive or walk through the forest.

Overnight at Danum Valley.
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

Day 7

Danum Valley, Lahad Datu, Kota Kinabalu Beach Resort


Spend the morning exploring further trails before returning to the lodge for lunch. Early afternoon shared transfer to Lahad Datu Airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu. Upon arrival you will be met by your guide who will transfer you to your beach resort approximately 30 minutes drive from the city centre.

Kota Kinabalu was formerly known as Jesselton and is now better known as KK. The city has excellent infrastructure and amenities as well as some superb beaches, islands and National Parks within easy reach.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu.
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)

Day 8

Kota Kinabalu Beach Resort

Your day is at leisure.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu.
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)
Additional tour ideas for Kota Kinabalu
Beach riding
Enjoy a relaxed horse ride along Kinarut Beach, mangrove jungle and through nearby villages. Kindawan Riding Centre is well established and provides short introductory rides as well as trail rides and lessons, open to riders of all ages and abilities. All equipment is provided and an experienced instructor leads all rides.

Hike or even climb
The world famous Kinabalu National Park is easily accessible by car from Kota Kinabalu in little over two hours, making it great for a daytrip. There are numerous trails to explore with your guide and the range of biodiversity makes the park one of the most important in the world. For those with more time on their hands, or more adventure in mind, a stay in one of the park lodges and a guided ascent of South-East Asia’s highest peak can be arranged. Climbing Mount Kinabalu requires two nights and no previous climbing experience.

Snorkelling paradise
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park comprises five islands and nearly 5000 square hectares of protected ocean lying between 3 and 8 km off the coast of Kota Kinabalu. The Park is home to unique coral reefs supporting a multitude of reef species, as well as birds, mammals and reptiles making their home on the islands. Snorkelling and island-hopping excursions are ideal for exploring this warm section of the South China Sea.

Meet the real locals
Borneo is well known for its ancient tribes, and a great way to experience traditional life is to arrange a homestay with the Rungus tribe of the Kadazandusun group, found mainly on the Kudat and Bengkoka Peninsulas to the north-east of Kota Kinabalu. Traditional meals are prepared by your hosts and in the evenings visitors are welcome to join the villagers to chat, drink the traditional local brew and enjoy performances of traditional music and dance.

Day 9

Kota Kinabalu Beach Resort

Your day is at leisure.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu.
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)

Day 10

depart Kota Kinabalu Beach Resort

Your day is at leisure until your transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)
back to top >



Please give one of our Asia experts a call on
+44 (0)1273 670 001 or click below to make an enquiry

simon - Selective Asia consultant

'Whether your planning a holiday or a honeymoon, this is a true Borneo classic - the very best of Sabah in a well paced 10 day holiday.

Simon - Malaysia & Borneo tailor-made specialist