Borneo Orangutan

Borneo Wildlife Discoverer

15 days
£3,549 £3,299
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Wildlife Holidays
Group size:

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

Key information

  • 13 nights comfortable/standard hotels and lodges- all en suite, 1 night basic longhouse with shared facilities
  • Travel by minibus, 4WD and boat
  • Two internal flights
  • Visit remote wild areas
  • Countries visited: Malaysia

What's included

  • 14 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips which improve life for the people and places we visit, and look after the planet we explore. Find out more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here, and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:


How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • The use of a local guide means our customers will be well informed about local traditions, and cultural and social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally-owned hotels and restaurants, the emphasis on eating locally produced food and support of other local enterprise.
  • Staying at Kinabatangan provides employment opportunities to the local orang Sungai people who are working as boat men & drivers at the local wildlife lodge.
  • In Mulu National Park the Penan people, and others are employed by the park thereby our trip helps to maintain their livelihood and unique forest dwelling culture.


How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • By travelling in a small group, led by a local guide, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • This particular trip visits & directly supports the Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary which rehabilitates injured, orphaned and captured Orang-utans into the wild. At 43 square kilometers, Sepilok is the largest sanctuary of its kind in the world.
  • The trip visits the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, which provides sanctuary to Proboscis Monkeys and strives to educate people on sustainable ways of co-existing with nature and its inhabitants.
  • Whist visiting Sepilok, there is the option to also visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation centre, a wildlife conservation and research centre for improving animal welfare and rehabilitation of the Malayan sun bear.
  • Our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices with regard to working animals and wildlife viewing. Our animal welfare policy can be found here.
  • We spend 2 nights at the eco award winning Borneo Rainforest Lodge, nestled by the Danum Valley Conservation Reserve which covers an area of 43,800 hectares of tropical virgin rainforest, inhabited by an astounding biodiversity of various flora and fauna species. Our visit to the reserve and lodge directly contribute to the conservation efforts of this special area.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste, for example eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and instead providing refills for re-usable bottles.
  • The Exodus Travels Foundation has launched the Community Kickstart Project to help our destination communities recover and rebuild following the impact of COVID-19. In Malaysia, we’ve contributed to both the Rainwater Harvesting initiative (more details can be found here) and the Jungle Trek Path initiative (more details can be found here).


How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Read about Exodus Travels’ Planet Promise here, including our rewilding and carbon compensation commitments for every customer who travels.
  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally-sourced food which has not been transported long distances.
  • Vegetarian and vegan options are available at some accommodation and restaurants.
  • This trip favours locally-owned and run accommodation, such as the eco-award winning Borneo Rainforest Lodge. The lodge strives to minimise their carbon footprint through the implementation of various sustainable practices in their waste, water, chemical, noise, product use and energy management policies.

 Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.
  • Cultural respect:
    • Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country so modest dress is required on this trip when visiting holy sites such as the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur (i.e. legs, shoulders, and upper arms to be covered as well as a headscarf for women).
    • One should not show the soles of their feet or touch someone’s head, both are considered disrespectful.


Expand all
  • Day 1

    Start 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 at 6pm with your tour leader after which we can have dinner at the hawkers stalls on the waterfront.
    Hotel Lime Tree or similar

  • Day 2

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

    Our first foray into Borneo’s 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

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    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 isn’t 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

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    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 periods.

    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

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    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 visitor’s 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

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    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

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    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. It’s 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

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    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 island’s 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

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    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

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    To Gomantong Caves; onto Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary

    This morning we journey (2-3 hours) to the Kinabatangan River, stopping at the bizarre 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. The Asian 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

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    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

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    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

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    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

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Transfer to Sandakan

    Today we will journey to Sandakan (approx. 5-6 hours). En-route we stop at Sandakan War Memorial. Sandakan was 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.

    Sabah Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End Sandakan

    There may be some free time to enjoy the hotel’s 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 ends this morning after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info



A visa is not required for most nationalities including British, EU, US, Canada, Australia and NZ nationals. If you are unsure of the requirements please check with your nearest Malaysian embassy.



There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners are included.

You should allow about GBP 100-150/ USD 130-200 for food not included. If you fancy a few drinks then you may want to bring a little more as beer and other alcoholic drinks are expensive and you should expect to pay western prices.

Malaysia is renowned for its culinary excellence however food can often be relatively unexciting and limited in the lodges and for hotel breakfasts.

 Meals will be more varied for everyone in cities and seafood is widely available on the coast. In the bigger hotels and cities the full range of Western and local foods are available. We also suggest you take snack food with you, as it is not freely available. Most meals will be basic based around rice and noodles although most accommodation does offer a western breakfast of beans, toast and eggs. You can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish.

Vegetarians will find the food choice limited but are well catered for. Please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in Borneo the availability of certain products is minimal or non-existent, for example wheat or dairy-free, please be prepared for this and you may need to bring these from home.


Borneo has an equatorial monsoon climate with the weather remaining similar throughout the year. It is hot and humid; temperatures range from 23-33degC during the day and rarely drop below 20degC at night. The rainy season is from November to January and the dry season is from May to September, though really it can rain at any time. A Borneo rain shower is quite an event!



Is this trip for you?

This trip is rated Activity Level 2- Leisurely/Moderate

This trip focuses on Borneo’s wildlife and natural wonders. There is a wide selection of accommodation used on this trip, from hotels, national park lodges, basic river lodges to a five star jungle resort. The longhouse is simple without en-suite facilities. The climate tends to be tropical which means it can get very hot and humid. There are a number of hikes in the forest though these are not strenuous.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Hotels, Lodges & Longhouse

You will spend 13 nights in comfortable/standard hotels and lodges. All of which are en suite. There’s also 1 night in a basic longhouse, with twin share rooms and a shared bathroom.

The longhouse is a reconstruction of a local Rungus longhouse and is made entirely of wood with rattan walls dividing the rooms. Rooms are simple with mattresses on the ground, Mosquito nets and ceiling fans. Bathroom facilities are shared with hot showers available.

The Borneo Rainforest Lodge is a comfortable luxury jungle lodge resort in the midst of teeming primary jungle. In 2021 & 2022, the lodge will be carrying out expansion works (additional wing of villas) at the far end of the property. Works on the new wing will be conducted during the day at specific times only when groups are out on their morning/afternoon activities. We choose to stay at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge primarily because of its prime location, their responsible tourism practices, continued positive feedback and the renowned wildlife viewing opportunities available in the area whilst staying at this award-winning lodge.

Single rooms are available (subject to availability) for a supplement for 10 hotel/lodge nights only (singles are not available in Mulu NP or the Danum Valley). Please advise the sales team at the time of booking if you would like to request a single supplement.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed March 2020

    Borneo Wildlife Discoverer

    This is a great overview of Malaysian Borneo with stays at many varied national parks. Its great to see the wildlife, birds, plants, insects and forests and also stays in the towns. The food was generally very good. It was interesting to hear some of the history and to learn about the tribes of Borneo. I am really pleased that I chose this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed all of the holiday and stays at all of the national parks, seeing all the wild life eg the orangutans, monkeys, birds and plants. I enjoyed the contrast between the different national parks where we stayed and also making the most of short stays in the towns.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Manuiel was a great group leader he worked extremely hard to identify and to show us wildlife, insects, birds and plants. He worked very hard to ensure that the trip went smoothly and was very organised and we always knew in advance plans for the trip. He is sociable and has a good sense of humour which benefited us all . He was approachable so you could ask questions. He helped us on our free day in Koto Kinabalu to organise the boat to the island.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do take a head torch and wet weather poncho for rain and leech socks for Danum
  • Reviewed October 2019
    kristina kelly

    A must for wildlife lovers

    Fabulous trip , so much wildlife : insects , frogs , snakes, wonderful birds , mammals and beautiful plants and wonderful rain forests Monkeys everywhere so lucky to see Orang Utangs in the wild and a Gibbon doing Acrobats. We saw the bats coming out of Mulu cave while we were still in it - amazing Our guide found the tiny dear-mouse crouching in the forest on our night safari. Fabulous river trips at Kinabatangan Manuel our guide was brilliant too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    so lucky to see Orang Utangs in the wild and a Gibbon doing Acrobats. We saw the bats coming out of Mulu cave while we were still in it - amazing Our guide found the tiny dear-mouse crouching in the forest on our night safari.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Manuel was brilliant wildlife guide and spotter

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring plenty of insect repellents! Long trousers an umbrella and rain coat
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Karen Morrow

    Borneo: Lovely but not quite what I'd hoped.

    I have mixed feelings about this trip. On the positive side, my husband and I joined a very lovely and friendly group and a delightful guide (Sheila). The accommodation, although more basic than on some trips we've done, was mainly fine and some of the restaurants Sheila took us to were in lovely positions and had good food - although rice did tend to dominate the menu! We also saw some lovely things, such as Lang's cave, with its stalactites and stalagmites, and Bako national park, where we saw silver leaf monkeys, proboscis monkeys, macaques and bearded pigs. I also particularly enjoyed the river trips and going to the 'sun bear sanctuary' as well as watching flying squirrels 'fly'! However, overall, there was a lot less wildlife around than I have seen on previous holidays (especially our visits to Africa and the Galapagos). On some walks we saw virtually nothing, certainly in the way of larger mammals or birds. I think the trip notes - and even the very name of the trip! - implies that you'll see a lot more. Like most groups apparently, we did not see elephants at all ('A rare thing to see around here' according to the guide). We also did not see rhinos (I've never seen one in 22 years...'), or, of course, more elusive animals such as leopards or wild sun bears.. We fortunately did see wild orangutans but only briefly on two occasions and at a distance. A necessary evil in such trips is the travelling. However, in Africa, we would often see interesting animals 'en route'. In Borneo, for a large majority of the time, we were travelling through endless miles of palm oil plantations, which have been planted where rain forest used to be, and virtually no animal life - or wildlife of ANY type except for the trees themselves - exists in these massively impoverished environments. It was very sad to see, as well as being, frankly, tedious. If you, like us, would like a trip based on special scenery and fairly frequent sightings of larger/interesting mammals or birds, then I personally feel this trip is probably not one to choose.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were a few. I particularly enjoyed watching the flying squirrels 'fly' and the proboscis monkeys were lovely to watch. The sun bear sanctuary was interesting and watching thousands of bats emerge from a cave in the late afternoon and fly off 'in formation' was also fascinating.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader, Sheila, was very sweet and kind. She worked hard, was anxious to please and was very concerned about our safety and wellbeing. Her only slight fault was to under-estimate how long each activity would take, so we invariably were running late and time to shower, or relax, was often considerably reduced.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The animals and birds we did see could often be a long way away, so take a good pair of binoculars and a camera with a lot of zoom. We did not have a lot of rainy days, but when it rains, it POURS, so also take a good waterproof and NEVER go out without it! (We did on a visit to a restaurant and would have been soaked through, if Sheila hadn't been able to beg a lift back for us.) You will also need a lot of insect repellent, as there are many mosquitos and sand flies. In some jungle areas, there are also a lot of leeches, so leech socks (or a good pair of long socks such as football socks) are also a 'must'.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a good holiday for people who are generally interested in being in a rain forest environment, or have a particular interest in insect life or plant life species. It also gives you a realistic chance to see such lovely (and funny!) animals as proboscis monkeys or the stunning silver leaf monkeys. However, if you want to see many different animals, be aware that most species are very elusive and you may see a lot less than you'd like over the two weeks.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Tracey French


    Borneo, beautiful scenery, abundance of wildlife, interesting food & a wonderful people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    First sighting of orangutans in their natural habitat. Surviving the bamboo longhouse. Conquering, albeit temporarily, my fear of heights on the non too safe looking canopy walkway in Mulu. Surviving the bamboo longhouse. Climbing up to, & then looking down from, the viewpoint over Danum Valley. Surviving the bamboo longhouse.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Manuel had to leave after a couple of days due to family illness & was replaced by Talia. Both were knowledgeable, patient & extremely professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If it isn't there already put Borneo on your bucket list.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Sandakan War Memorial is very moving. I hadn't previously heard about the death walk.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Ronnie van der Ploeg

    It’s a jungle out there!

    A very enjoyable two weeks spent in the company of 15 other Exodus travellers who embraced the spirit of adventure and discovery in Malaysian Borneo. Together we journeyed the length of Sarawak and Sabah by minibus, coach, plane, boat and jeep visiting spectacular locations including breathtaking caves, stunning rainforests and acquainting ourselves with the local wildlife and bird life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wildlife highlight was undoubtedly spotting our first orangutan in the wild, followed by the sight of the clouds of bats leaving their cave in Mulu National Park at dusk. Although not as imperious as the Mulu Caves, a visit to Gomanting Cave is also breathtaking, and not just because of the overwhelming smell of guano! Meet bats, swiftlets, mosquitoes, cockroaches, mouse deer, spiders... and you may also see some of the locals who have set up bases in the caves to sleep and guard the swiftlets nests. You will enjoy the thrill of the river cruises along the Kinabatangan River looking out for the wildlife before returning to the Borneo Nature Lodge to enjoy the friendly hospitality of the staff. The long journey to the Danube Valley will be worth it once you arrive at Borneo Rainforest Lodge - fantastic location, impressive accommodation.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Friendly and ensured that all the trips ran smoothly, and that everyone felt comfortable with the activities we undertook.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t touch the handrails in the Gomantong Cave! The longhouse facilities are basic and the food is ‘local’, so don’t be surprised when the fish stew arrives with a fish skull lurking below the surface - but the visit to the longhouse is actually an enjoyable experience and part of the adventure you all undertake together.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I personally would have liked some more commentary on the country, customs, language and history of Borneo as we travelled for ,one periods on the buses. Instead I read about it myself in a guide book.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Leo Murphy

    Borneo wildlife adventure

    This is a truly amazing holiday. If you have an interest in wildlife, then this is the trip for you, because the diversity of wildlife is bewildering. I went in early October, and on every walk we did we saw something. We saw Orang Utans almost every time we went out. Be prepared for rain. When it starts, it can come down in biblical proportions, though it doesn’t usually last for very long.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Almost too many to mention. As a keen photographer, I had to make myself put the camera down so I could take in what I was experiencing. Seeing Orang Utans, Broboscis Monkeys, Pygmy Elephants, Mouse Deer, Pit Vipers, Bearded Pigs, Hornbills, and various lizards and insects in the wild, is not something you should just view through a camera lens. The Bat Exodus from Deer cave in Mulu NP is a wonder of nature. The sanctuaries we visited offer a closer contact with some animals, which some people will probably prefer to the hit-and-miss nature of the jungle, but the necessary glass divide between you and the Orang Utans in Sepilok is undoubtedly a distraction. By contrast, in Labuk Bay where there is no divide, the Proboscis Monkeys charge around the decking area showing the visitors who’s boss. But for me, the sightings in the wild were the really special moments. Holding a huge male Rhinocerous beetle in your hand, with its fish-hook legs gripping on, is not something you experience every day. During a visit to Gomantong Caves which teemed with cockroaches, a Skink dropped onto my shoulder and hitched a ride with me out of the caves.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nostalia (Talia), is without question, one of the best guides I have ever had. Extremely knowledgeable and articulate, she did not shy away from thornier topics such as Palm Oil cultivation and deforestation. Always smiling and cheerful, she bound the group together with assured ease. Our “Exodus Group” quickly became our “Exodus Tribe” much to Talias amusement and delight. She consistently went the extra mile, in my case sitting with me on two occasions to go through my photographs so I could make accurate notes for a book I have planned. She brought us to out of the way places to eat that we most likely would not have considered on our own. One such meal at a non-descript looking outdoor Chinese in Kuching, for me, was probably the best meal of the entire trip, and cost next to nothing. A special mention must also go to our three guides in Danum Valley. Along with Talia, Aldrin, Syafiq and Helen were exceptional. We did several walks over two days and nights, and were amazed at what they spotted for us. They were all equally enthusiastic, and genuinely loved spotting wildlife and sharing stories with us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a poncho, or buy a cheap one when you get there. It gives you much more freedom than a rain jacket. Always carry a spare, medium sized dry bag. You’ll be surprised how much you use it. Bring a day-bag with a waterproof covering. You will need it. Drink as much water as you can, and top up at every opportunity. Free top-ups are available almost everywhere you stay. A reservoir for your day-bag is very useful. Bring a hat with a brim. The sun can be unrelenting. For photographers, only bring a tripod if you really need it. This is quite an active holiday, and you will be constantly on the move. Stopping to set up a tripod is not just impractical, it is unfair on your fellow group members and guides. (I brought a Gorilla tripod, and it never came out of my bag.) Again for photographers, bring spare batteries for the camera and a charger. This may seem obvious, but remember you will be shooting a lot of wildlife and will probably be using multi shot mode, and that chews up your battery. The humidity also seems to drain the batteries more quickly. Mosquitos were not as big an issue as I thought they would be. Normally I get eaten alive, but not in Borneo. But bring plenty of repellent. Likewise, leeches were rare. Two people from the group did get bitten, but otherwise the leeches were hard to find. I had leech socks with me which certainly helped, but long tight socks will work just as well. If travelling solo (With a single supplement), be prepared to have to share a room for maybe a couple of nights. Travel light and do laundry when you can. Try the Durian. Don’t let the smell put you off.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Something that is not mentioned are the suspension bridges. While the canopy walks are optional, some bridge crossings are not. If you have a problem with heights, you may want to take this into account. On the other hand, unless it is a serious problem for you, I wouldn’t let it put you off going. Do everything on offer. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Daphne Dawson

    A lot more than utang-utans

    I'd been to this part of the world before, but not to see the rain forests. This trip let me see all the incredible wildlife of the region - from insects to elephants. We had amazing guides who saw and named everything long before most of us had noticed a thing. It was a continuous revelation! It was also interesting to meet local people and see their way of life - even experiencing longhouse accommodation briefly. An exciting and thoroughly enjoyable trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Sepilok Urang-utan Rehabilitation Centre (I'd expected to enjoy this), but also seeing elephants in the wild.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader, Rony, was so consistently helpful. He really knew his wildlife and I learnt a great deal during the trip in consequence. But he was also fun to be with, and saw that we experienced local food and saw a number of things tourists might not notice normally. Great company and an excellent leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I'd got pretty worried about leeches and high humidity before going. Don't let these things put you off. Although we saw the leeches, they weren't such an issue. I invested in leech socks which were a good buy for the occasion: I left them for other travelers in the end, as I don't expect to use them again. Showers were good, so it was relatively easy to deal with the humidity too. Just pace yourself.
  • Reviewed September 2018


    Very enjoyable well organised trip to a fabulous country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Orang-utans and proboscis monkeys.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ronnie was super.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to experience high humidity - book extra days before and after if you can.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only small problem was that certain travelers we very selfish in take the best coach/boat seats repeatedly without considering treating others fairly. Stay at Myan 'Resort' was disappointing (poor food and no room servicing).
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Patricia Ratcliffe

    Borneo wildlife discovery

    The trip started a little slowly but after a few days was just wonderful.nthe exodus guide, Maniel, was superb. We saw all of the wildlife anticipated - and more!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wonderful local guides who were incredible at spotting wildlife including the nocturnal tarsier.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Maniel cannot be praised highly enough for his organisation, knowledge and patience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just follow the advice of the group leader and go at your own pace. Take plenty of insect repellent and travel everyday with a small towel because of the extreme humidity. Carry a cheap, light plastic poncho to cover up quickly when the rain begins. Take a good camera and binoculars.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Susan Mann

    Excellent wildlife

    A fantastic trip to a beautiful country. My main purpose was to see orang utans in the wild, although I was prepared to be disappointed. However expectations were exceeded and we saw several in the Danum Valley and at Kinatabangan. Also many monkeys, birds, amazing insects and reptiles. Seeing the pygmy elephants was the icing on the cake, although it was a it disturbing to see how close all the boats got to the elephant that was in the river - I think they stopped her going where she wanted to go.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to pick one as always, but watching a couple of orang utans making their nests for the night and the next day watching a mother orang help her baby by holding onto tree branches so you could get from one tree to the next are both special memories

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Beverley was very good, extensive knowledge of Borneo culture and history that she shared with us. She went out of her way to organise extra activities for us to increase our wildlife spotting. She took us to some excellent and very cheap restaurants that the locals frequent, which is actually what we want as tourists.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    July is the dry season so our trip was not affected by the few torrential downpours that we had, most of which happened during the evening/night. Maybe that's a good time to go. Even so, a poncho is a must. When it rains, it rains! I was glad I took my walking boots, though I had thought long and hard about it. Prepare to be hot and very sweaty a lot of the time! I'm not a mad-keen photographer myself, I think you can spend so much time and effort trying to get a photo that you don't actually watch. However, if you are a photographer, remember the light is low in the forest and also a lot of the wildlife is high up so a good zoom is needed for good photos!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Make the most of it and join in with everything on offer! This is a very enjoyable trip

Dates & Prices

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

Fields with * are mandatory.

Please call one of our experts to discuss your private group requirements on 0203 993 4668, or fill out the form below and we will give you a call back.

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

Fields with * are mandatory.

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Trips you might also like

Discover Costa Rica

260 reviews

Experience the Costa Rican rainforest, mountains and coast

Activity level:
Ages: 16+
15 Days
from £2,499 £2,499
Guided (Excl. Flights)
View More Details