Borneo Wildlife Discoverer

Resort:Borneo Wildlife Discoverer
Operator: Exodus
Destination: Borneo
Price From: £3849.00


Showcasing the best of Borneo – wildlife, rainforests and tropical beaches

Borneo is home to some of the most diverse and beautiful wildlife in the
whole of South East Asia. Starting with a visit to majestic Mt Kinabalu, we
then continue to one of the trip highlights – the pristine Danum Valley. A
nature lover’s paradise, whose beauty and animals are equalled only by
Sarawak and the World Heritage Mulu National Park with its immense cave
system and the oldest rainforest in the world. We come face to face with
Orang-utans at the Sepilok sanctuary, stay at a bamboo longhouse in Sabah on
a tea plantation, and finish the trip in the historic port town of Sandakan.


* Orang-utan spotting
* Mulu N.P. with the impressive Deer Cave bat exodus
* River cruising in Kinabatangan
* Luxury jungle lodge in Danum Valley
* Proboscis monkey spotting


Day 1
Depart London

Depart London

Day 2
Arrive Kuching

The capital of Sarawak, Kuching, is a vibrant riverside city full of
different ethnic groups who have migrated from the surrounding forests. With
a great museum and a well preserved colonial centre there is much to do in
this fascinating cultural hot spot.
Those arriving using their own arrangements can arrive at any time. There
will be a group briefing this evening with your tour leader at 6pm after
which we can have dinner at the hawkers stalls on the waterfront.
*Hotel Lime Tree or similar*

Day 3
Day trip to Bako N.P. famous for Proboscis monkeys

Our first foray into Borneos amazing nature as we head to nearby Bako
National Park famous for its Proboscis monkeys. This is where the rainforest
meets the sea and the only way to get to the park is by boat (after a 1hr
drive out of the city). It has abundant wildlife, jungle streams, waterfalls,
interesting plant life, secluded beaches and trekking trails. Despite being
the smallest National Park in Sarawak, Bako contains almost every type of
vegetation found in Borneo.
Please note that as Bako NP is only accessible by boat, our time there is
often dictated by tides and weather conditions. Our leader will inform us of
the details the previous day.
We return to Kuching for the night.
*Hotel Lime Tree or similar*

Day 4
Fly to Mulu N.P.; sunset walk to Deer Cave for bat exodus

We leave the city behind and fly to Mulu National park (schedules for this
flight often vary). After checking-in at the Park HQ, we will be introduced
to the park guides and head through the forest to Deer Cave. Some of the
caves have been mapped by occasional expeditions; they have their own
ecosystems with plants and animals living in the cave chambers.

Deer Cave, the largest cave passage in the world, is home to millions of bats
and swifts that live side by side on the roof of the cave. The cave floor has
a raised platform, though that is no escape from the smell of the ‘guano’
the excrement from millions of birds and bats. Close-by is Lang’s Cave, which
though much smaller, has some excellent stalactites and stalagmites and other
cave formations. The forest around the caves is spectacular and there is
plenty of time to examine it closely.
The walk to Deer Cave is 3kms (each way) along boardwalks and there are
wooden steps leading to different viewing platforms inside the show caves.
We will arrive at Deer Cave in time for dusk which is when the bats leave the
comfort of the cave to feed on insects (as long as it is not raining). This
is a sight to behold with the bats leaving the cave in a long line snaking
across the sky for quite some time. Dependent on the timings of the day we
may visit the caves tomorrow instead.
Please note that due to flight schedules there isnt much time for lunch
between the time we arrive at Mulu NP and the time we depart for the caves.
You should buy something at the airport to have later.
*Mulu National Park Garden Cottages or similar*

Day 5
Full day exploring Mulu N.P.

Today is a day for exploring this stunning park with a local guide. In the
morning we visit two of the ‘show caves’ including Clearwater where a picnic
(not included) lunch can be had in the gorgeous riverside location. The park
has some incredible statistics; It has over 3,500 plant species, 8,000
different types of fungi and 170 species of orchid. Over 100 new plant
species were discovered between 1960 and 1973, and many are still being
added. There are 262 species of bird, almost 300 species of butterflies and
many reptiles and mammals.

Members of the Penan tribe live within the park. They are a small population
of nomadic forest dwellers who live as hunter-gatherers. There has been
fierce international opposition to the Malaysian government who tried to
settle them in permanent longhouses and indeed the Penan themselves have also
resisted. In 1994 they were granted an area of the forest where they could
continue their traditional lifestyle. Although you are unlikely to meet these
elusive people, you occasionally see their fishing shelters or areas in the
forest where they have recently visited.

This afternoon simply relax in the park and listen to the weird and wonderful
creatures that call it home or explore self-guided trails within the park.

Those with a head for heights can try the optional canopy walkway. This
480-metre skywalk takes approximately 2 hours to complete. Along the way,
visitors may be able to see macaque monkeys, hornbills, flying lizards,
squirrels and a variety of rainforest birds. However, time slots to do the
canopy walk can be limited and may subject to availability during busy

In the evening there is an optional night walk or we can try the local Mulu
‘firewater’, Tuak.
*Mulu National Park Garden Cottages or similar*

Day 6
Early rise for dawn chorus in Mulu; fly to Kota Kinabalu

We aim to catch the morning flight out of Mulu and on to Kota Kinabalu via
Miri though delays are not uncommon. Depending on what time we fly out of
Mulu there may be some time to walk along self-guided trails or at the
visitors centre.
Known as KK to the locals, the capital of Sabah is a now a modern
multi-cultural city. The evening is free to relax, explore the bustling
Filipino markets or enjoy a sundowner on the waterfront.
*Hotel Dreamtel or similar*

Day 7
Free day; optional snorkelling and island trip, wetland birdwatching or
cultural village

Today you are free to enjoy some of the many activities Kota Kinabalu has to
offer. A popular option is to visit one of the tropical islands in the marine
park, a 15 minute boat journey from the city and offering excellent
snorkelling and diving opportunities. Here you can never be bored whether you
are relaxing on the white sand, snorkelling or just swimming in the warm
South China Sea.
There is some good birdwatching opportunities in the wetlands not far from KK
as well as a cultural village in Mari Mari for an insight into the different
cultures of Sabah. Your tour leader can help organise any of these options.
*Hotel Dreamtel or similar*

Day 8
To Kinabalu N.P.; visit Sabah Tea Plantation

Transfer about 2 hours and explore World Heritage Site; Mount Kinabalu
National Park, home to the highest mountain in South East Asia, Mount
Kinabalu at 4,095m. This impressive peak of huge granite walls can be viewed
from the Crocker mountain range which we pass over, with panoramic views of
the countryside and soaring hills. The lower mountain slopes are covered in
thick vegetation and it is well known for its diverse botanical and
biological species. En route, we stop at Nabalu market where villagers come
to sell their produce and handicraft. Its possible to walk through the
plantation on your own if you want this afternoon. Tea, medicinal herbs,
fruit and vegetables are just some of the things produced locally. From the
plantation, the sunrise with a view of Mount Kinabalu is often spectacular.
If we are lucky it may be possible to view the spectacular rafflesia in
flower nearby or en route to the plantation.
*Sabah Tea Gardens Longhouse*

Day 9
Visit Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary en route to Sepilok

We visit the tea factory before we leave the plantation behind and continue
our journey to Eastern Sabah. Our destination is Sepilok, a well-known
destination for its Orang-utan Sanctuary. The journey time is about 5 hours
and we will make a stop at the Labuk Bay Proboscis monkey sanctuary. Here you
can get an up close look at this extraordinary animal which is only found in
Borneo. We continue on to our lodge in Sepilok. This evening, as dusk
approaches we will head to the nearby Rainforest Discovery Centre. The centre
can have fantastic bird watching opportunities (though luck does play a role)
as hornbills and the Borneo bristlehead are often seen and there is an array
of displays which highlights the islands diverse flora. Orang-utans can
also be spotted during the fruiting season and there is an impressive canopy
walkway as well as some easy walking trails.
*Sepilok Jungle Resort*

Day 10
Visit Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary; optional visit to Bornean Sun Bear
Conservation Centre

Up early we return to the Rainforest Discovery Centre for some more bird and
wildlife viewing before returning to our lodge for breakfast. We then visit
Sepilok Orang-utan Centre, the largest orang-utan sanctuary in the world.
Here rehabilitated orphans and captured orang-utans are cared for until they
are ready to be released into the wild. We get the opportunity to see these
incredible relations of ours close-up and learn about the very real threats
to their continued existence. You will have the chance to visit both morning
and afternoon feedings. There is also an orang-utan nursery where youngsters
are trained in climbing skills with the aim of reintroduction to the wild. We
will have the chance to view the youngsters from a special viewing platform
that sits behind one-way glass so as not to disturb or influence them.
There is the option of visiting the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
which works with rescuing and rehabilitating captured bears as well as
research and providing education to the community.
*Sepilok Jungle Resort*

Day 11
To Gomantong Caves; onto Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary

This morning we journey (2-3 hours) to the Kinabatangan River, stopping at
the bizzare Gomantong caves along the way.

The caves are a major source of the swiftlet bird nests that are a Chinese
delicacy. Every day, when in season, workers climb large ladders up to 400
feet up to the roof of the caves to collect the valuable nests. It is also a
good place for bird watching and spotting wild Orang-utans.

Our river lodge is located on the mighty Kinabatangan River, the 3rd longest
river in Borneo. The area is home to an astonishing array of wildlife
including ten species of primates, four of which are endemic to Borneo. It
has one of the highest concentrations of proboscis monkeys and orang-utans in
Malaysian Borneo. Other wildlife includes Bornean gibbon, long tailed
macaques, sun bears, and barking deer. TheAsian pygmy elephant and clouded
leopard also inhabit this area, but sightings can be rare.**There are also
over 200 species of birds including hornbills, eagles, herons, kingfishers,
oriental darters, night jars, flowerpeckers and spider hunters. Later this
afternoon we take our first river cruise.
*Nature Lodge Kinabatangan or similar*

Day 12
Wildlife cruises on Kinabatangan River and forest walks

We are up with the animals for a dawn wildlife cruise followed by a trek. In
the afternoon, we will once again take a river cruise to spot wildlife and if
we are lucky a crocodile or two.
*Nature Lodge Kinabatangan or similar*

Day 13
To Danum Valley Conservation Centre; jungle walk and nocturnal safari

We drive to Lahad Datu approximately 2-3 hours where we change vehicles and
drive off road into Danum Valley conservation area (approx. 3 hours), the
largest protected lowland dipterocarp forest in Borneo. It is one of the last
remaining pockets of primary lowland rainforest in Asia. Danum Valley is at
the forefront of tropical rainforest research, and home to many rare and
endangered species of mammals and birds it is a real privilege to spend 2
nights here in the comforts of the Borneo Rainforest Lodge.

Danum Valley is probably the very best place in Malaysia to see wild
orang-utans in their pristine habitat. Apart from orang-utans, it has just
about the complete range of Bornean wildlife and great trails. After settling
in, there is an afternoon jungle nature trek to try and spot the elusive
orang-utan, and after dinner a night drive is possible to spot many of the
shy and retiring creatures of the forest. We will spend our time here with
very experienced guides who accompany us on all our walks. One night drive
and one night walk is included during our stay.
*Borneo Rainforest Lodge*

Day 14
Full day guided walk in Danum Valley

We will spend a full day with our very experienced guides. We will have an
opportunity to explore the trails, the canopy walkway and waterfalls whilst
searching for wildlife in this remarkable place. The trek to a look out point
over the Danum Valley takes approximately 1.5 hours each way. Danum is home
to over 275 bird species, 110 species of mammals including orang-utans, five
species of deer, giant flying squirrels, gibbons, bearded wild boars, flying
frogs and the Asian elephant.
*Borneo Rainforest Lodge*

Day 15
Transfer to Sandakan

Today we will journey to Sandakan (approx. 5-6 hours). En-route we stop at
Sandakan War Memorial. Sandakanwas once a huge logging centre (it first
exported wood in the late 1880s to supply the building of the Temple of
Heaven in Beijing) and is home to many Chinese and Filipinos. The waterfront
is a good place to take an evening walk and the roof top restaurant at the
Nak hotel is a great place to sip a cocktail or two.

*4 Points Hotel or similar*

Day 16
Depart Sandakan

There may be some free time to enjoy the hotels pool or explore Sandakan
some more before those on the group flights are transferred to the airport
for their flight home. For land only clients, the trip finishes this morning
after breakfast.

Day 17 Arrive London