Enjoy Malaysian Borneo’s indulgent side while you explore some of the planet’s most remarkable habitat on our Luxe Borneo holiday. You’ll be given every opportunity to spot superstar species such as orang-utans and pygmy elephants, and your holiday will be studded with luxurious treats, including four nights on a tropical jungle island, and a private flight over one of Asia’s most electrifying cities.
At a glance
- Admire KL from above on a private pleasure flight
- Enjoy sunset from the top of Petronas Twin Towers
- Cruise biodiverse Kinabatangan River at dusk
- Spot for orang-utans in Danum Valley’s ancient rainforest
- Conquer Borneo Rainforest Lodge’s canopy walkway
- Sink into true tropical luxury on Pulau Tiga island
- Indulge in some of Asia’s most desirable properties
Kuala Lumpur - 2 nights
Kuala Lumpur's skyline has changed a great deal over the last 113 years, as the city has grown into one of Asia's most important hubs. Nevertheless, a strong cultural heritage is still evident at street level. Ancient markets and grand colonial structures jostle amongst the ankles of soaring high rise towers. The city offers an extraordinary variety of sights, sounds and flavours; the delightful result of diverse cultures co-existing in one of South-East Asia most satisfying cities. On your first day, once you’ve arrived at your hotel the remainder of your day will be at leisure.
Day 1 - Arrive Kuala Lumpur
On arrival in Malaysia, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your hotel.
Welcome to Selective Asia! This level of personal service (such as private transfers, private tours etc) is what you can expect throughout your trip. A few services (eg some boat cruises & wildlife experiences) will be shared, but we'll always make sure you're aware of these.
Day 2 - Helicopter flight & Petronas Twin Towers
Take to the skies for a particularly impressive view of KL's skyline on a short private pleasure flight, over and around its iconic skyscrapers. Your pilot will draw your attention to famous landmarks including the KL Tower, Merdeka Square, National Stadium and of course the distinctive Petronas Twin Towers. It’s just a six minute flight, so keep your camera close at hand! The rest of your day will be at leisure until early evening, when you'll make your own way to the Petronas Twin Towers in time for sunset. Your ticket will provide access to the Observation Deck on level 86, and to the glass-walled Skybridge which connects the two towers, 170 metres above the ground! Soak in the panoramic views and watch the sun set over the city, before an evening at leisure, looking forward to tomorrow's adventure into Borneo.
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Kinabatangan River - 2 nights
The Kinabatangan River flows through diverse habitats including freshwater swamp forest, lowland rainforest, mangroves and oxbow lakes, with a wealth of thriving fauna and flora to be seen along its banks. The river’s far-reaching network of tributaries allows easy exploration and quiet viewing of superstar species like orang-utan, pygmy elephant, Sumatran rhino, proboscis monkey, various langar subspecies, and the Borneo river shark, along with hundreds of less famous but no less fascinating species.
Day 3 - Fly to Sandakan in Borneo, boat to Kinabatangan River
Transfer to Borneo’s Sabah state, arriving at the Sandakan Yacht Club Jetty for the cruise to Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, passing Berhala Island with its prominent sandstone cliffs. Your afternoon is at leisure until 4pm, when tea, coffee and local snacks will be served to set you up for a late afternoon river expedition in an open-topped boat. Look for wildlife with the help of your guide, and with any luck witness the impressive gathering of fireflies that frequently lights up the dusk. Return to the resort for dinner before venturing out on a guided night walk on the boardwalk around the lodge, spotting for nocturnal wildlife.
Day 4 - Wildlife spotting
Prepare to be woken early by the hooting calls of gibbons and hornbills! At least you'll be up in time for an early boat trip to spot the river’s colourful (and noisy) birds, and wildlife foraging on the riverbanks. Enjoy your own pre-breakfast snack in the pristine natural setting of an ox-bow lake, before stopping off at a small fishing village to meet the Orang Sungai (‘people of the river’), an indigenous group which lives along several of Sabah’s riverways. Head back to Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort for breakfast, after which the remainder of your day is at leisure. If you wish, take further wildlife-spotting trips in the late afternoon and after dark.
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Danum Valley - 2 nights
Danum’s 170 square mile reserve protects a patch of Borneo's original rainforest - 130 million years old, with a staggering 8.8 million plant species. This remarkable place is home to diverse wildlife, including very rare creatures such as the orang-utan, Bornean pygmy elephant, Spectacled Flowerpecker, and the sun bear. The park has a busy tree nursery and works hard to repopulate the forest, as well as protect the existing trees. As you might imagine, the place isn't exactly overflowing with accommodation options - you will stay deep in the jungle at a much-coveted rainforest lodge, with the wildlife right on your doorstep (even, in the case of insects, inside your room - so be prepared!).
Day 5 - Boat & car to Danum Valley, canopy walk & night drive
Head deep into Danum Valley to find the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, which provides surprisingly luxurious accommodation for such an isolated location. The lodge is dedicated to wildlife spotting, with a long canopy walkway through the surrounding jungle, and seated viewing platforms where you can get comfortable and observe the wildlife in peace. There are also opportunities for excellent jungle trekking, specialised bird watching, outstanding photography, and messing about on the Danum River. Your visit will plunge you straight into the rainforest, with a guided walk along the lodge’s boardwalk nature trail and the superb canopy walkway. After dinner, join a night drive through a rainforest alive with sound, as you learn how to spot nocturnal animals such as civet cats, flying squirrels, tree frogs and Samba deer.
Day 6 - Trekking & Night Walk
Early risers can take a pre-breakfast canopy walk for a fascinating bird’s eye view of the rainforest as its daytime residents noisily assert themselves while the sun rises. After breakfast on the veranda, hike the ‘Coffin Trail’, which leads to a 200 year old burial site created by an indigenous tribe. The route takes in a spectacular viewpoint which overlooks miles of horizon-spanning rainforest - a rare and precious sight, these days, even in the tropics. After lunch back at the lodge, explore one of the excellent forest nature trails for many wildlife-spotting opportunities, and the opportunity to take a dip in one of the forest’s natural pools or waterfalls. For a more boisterous alternative, spend the afternoon 'tubing' down the Danum River. In the evening, you can choose to join a night drive or walk through the forest.
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Kota Kinabalu - 1 night
After a final walk in the rainforest (if you fancy it, of course!), head to the coast and Kota Kinabalu, the regional capital, which has excellent amenities, superb beaches, and National Parks within easy reach. On this occasion, your stop in KK, as it’s often known, will be a brief one - an opportunity to break your journey and relax before your boat trip to Pulau Tiga tomorrow morning. Once you’ve transferred from Danum Valley to your beachside resort in KK, the remainder of your day is at leisure.
Day 7 - Fly to Kota Kinabalu
Take an early afternoon flight from Lahad Datu to Kota Kinabalu where, on arrival, you will be driven to your hotel.
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Pulau Tiga - 4 nights
A volcanic island covered with abundant jungle vegetation, Pulau Tiga is surrounded by crystal clear waters which harbour diverse marine life. In 2001, Tiga was the location for the TV series Survivor, and since then it's sometimes referred to as ‘Survivor Island’, but your stay here should be considerably more relaxing, not to mention secluded. Days can be spent snorkelling in the shallows, trekking the forest trails, relaxing on the beach, or bathing in the bubbling mineral-rich mud pools found in the centre of the island. The remainder of your stay is at leisure.
Day 8 - Car & boat to Pulau Tiga
Journey by car and shared speedboat to Pulau Tiga. Time to kick off your shoes and sink your toes into the sand!
Days 9 to 11 - Enjoy a few days R&R.
Your days will be at leisure to relax on the beach and make the most of the hotel's facilities.
Day 12 - Boat to the mainland, depart Kota Kinabalu
Depart by shared speedboat to the mainland where you will be met and driven to the airport.
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We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.
Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.
|Hotel class||Price per person (based on total # travelling)|
|2 persons||3 - 4||5 - 6|
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Located in Kuala Lumpur's 'Golden Triangle' district, only a short walk from the city's main shopping and entertainment area; the Ritz-Carlton boasts exceptional standards of service...See more
Kinabatangan Wetlands ResortImmerse yourself in the unique wildlife of the Kinabatangan River and Sabah’s famous wetlands. Journeying to the lodge is an adventure in itself, with a scenic hour-long river cruise transporting ... See more
Borneo Rainforest LodgeThere aren’t many properties on our books (or anywhere in the world for that matter) that lay claim to having their own rainforest canopy walk, so you could say that the Borneo Rainforest Lodge was somewhat special... See more
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & SpaShangri La Tanjung Aru Resort is absolutely stunning, easily holding its own against its sister property, the Rasa Ria… See more
Borneo Eagle ResortA boutique getaway on the pristine island of Pulau Tiga, the Borneo Eagle Resort is a spectacular retreat... See more
Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.
These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).
If you like the look of this itinerary but the cost is a little out of your price range don't let this deter you. We can offer a similar itinerary, staying in first class or superior accommodation to bring the cost down. Our Destination Specialists will be happy to assist.
Whilst many clients are happy with of our recommended itineraries in the current form (and at the price quoted), there are those that wish to personalise their holiday in some way, whether it be a change of hotel, an additional destination or even start from scratch. This is when our tailor-made specialists come into their own; with many years of experience both living and working in the region they are ideally equipped to advise on alternatives and to facilitate any necessary changes.
The important stuff*Please note: During certain activities in Borneo you may share your local guide with other guests of the lodge(s).
Please note: During high season periods such as Easter, Christmas, July and August, hotels in Borneo levy a surcharge, and these are not included in the above prices. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.
- English speaking, local guide
- All accommodation listed
- Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
- Any domestic flights listed
- All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals listed
- International flight reconfirmation.
- Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights for all our clients, regardless of whether you are departing from the UK or from almost any other worldwide destination.
- Entry visas
- International airport departure taxes
- Any meals not listed in the itinerary
- Drinks, other than water on activity days
- Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
- Travel insurance
- All other services not listed in 'inclusive'
Please noteAll prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.
FlightsWe will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.
VisaYou may require a visa to enter Borneo. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on visa requirements.
PassportPlease ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.
InsuranceYou will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.
Vaccinations and Malaria PreventionYou will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.
Booking ProcedureOnly once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.
Travelling ResponsiblyWe care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.
Our tailor-made service costs you no extra
This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...
Your own private guides & drivers
You'll typically have your own private guides & drivers throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.