Current as of: July 23, 2024 - 14:33

Orangutans in Borneo

Borneo & the Malaysian Peninsula Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Malaysia
  • Programmes: Culture
  • Activity Level:

    1 out of 7 - Easy

  • 16 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 14 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 16+
  • Trip Code: ALM
  • Carbon Footprint: 78kg CO2e

Trip Overview

Wander through jungles, colonial towns, modern metropolises and tropical beaches

Malaysia is a country of two halves. To the east is the island of Borneo with jungles, orangutans and rivers. To the west is the Malaysian Peninsula with a blend of cultures, religion, colonial history and modern flair. As we make our way through these two distinct regions, we look for charismatic wildlife, delve into European, Malay, Chinese and Indian heritage, and enjoy spectacular beaches. We visit Buddhist temples and mosques, wander through rainforest trails and street-food markets and take in the sights, sounds, smells and flavours of a truly diverse country.

At a Glance

  • Travel by minibus, boat and domestic flights
  • 13 nights in hotels and resorts

Highlights

  • Explore colonial Penang and Malacca
  • Discover the culinary and cultural diversity of Kuala Lumpur
  • Look for orangutans and pygmy elephants

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is rated as Activity Level 1 (Easy). For more information on our trip gradings please visit the Activity Level Guidelines page. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Weather and seasons

Malaysia has a tropical climate, which means it can be quite hot and humid year-round. Due to the wide range of geographical zones visited there is no best time to visit; different parts of the country will be going through dry or wet seasons at different times of the year. Even if a region is in the wet season, it normally gets a mixture of rain and sun.

Walks

We go on several leisurely walks in Borneo, including along canopy walkways in Sepilok and to a viewpoint in Kinabatangan. While these are not challenging, the trails can be muddy.

Travel

We travel by minibus, motorised canoe, train and two internal flights. Most drives are relatively short, with the longest being around five to six hours, but most are under three hours. The train ride from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth is four hours.

Group

This trip covers two very distinct parts of Malaysia: the Malaysian Peninsula and Borneo. Depending on scheduling and the availability of leaders, we use either two separate leaders for each section or a single leader for the entire trip. If using two leaders, the first leader will meet the group in Sandakan and the second leader in Kuala Lumpur.

Adult min age: 16

Min group size: 4

Max group size: 16

Itinerary

ALM Map

Land Only

  • Start City: Sepilok
  • End City: Langkawi

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Start Sepilok; optional night walk

There will be an initial group briefing with your leader later this afternoon. There should be the opportunity for an optional night walk this evening before dinner (please ask your leader upon arrival). If there is no time this evening, we may be able to do the night walk tomorrow.

Accommodation: Borneo Sepilok Rainforest Resort (or similar)

Day 2
Visit the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary; optional visit to the Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Created in 1964, the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary is the largest orangutan sanctuary in the world and aims to rehabilitate and release orphaned and captured orangutans into the wild. This morning, we visit the informative headquarters and see the animals at feeding time.

In the afternoon, we visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre, which has an impressive canopy walkway offering great views over the Sepilok Reserve. This is a great place to see birds, including hornbills and Borneo bristleheads, and during fruiting season we may spot the odd orangutan.

There is an option to return to the orangutan sanctuary for the second feeding session in the afternoon (return transfer costs not included) as well as the nearby Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Speak to your leader for more information on this option.

Accommodation: Borneo Sepilok Rainforest Resort (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3
Travel to Kinabatangan; afternoon river cruise

After breakfast, we depart Sepilok and transfer (approximately two to three hours) to the third-longest river in Borneo, Kinabatangan. The wildlife reserve here is home to an astonishing array of wildlife including pygmy elephants, wild orangutans, gibbons, proboscis monkeys and rare birdlife. As dusk approaches, we take to the river in search of some of the local animals.

Accommodation: Borneo Natural Sukau Bilit Resort (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4
Explore Kinabatangan river

Up early, we head out on a dawn wildlife cruise on the river in search of more wildlife. After breakfast, we head out on a walk on one of the surrounding nature trails.

This afternoon, we learn a bit more about local conservation efforts and contribute ourselves by planting trees. Later, we return to the river to look for crocodiles and other forest residents. There should be the opportunity this evening for an optional night walk where we may see owls or even Western tarsiers.

Accommodation: Borneo Natural Sukau Bilit Resort (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
Drive to Sandakan via the War Memorial; free time

Leaving after breakfast, we head to Sandakan (approximately 2hr 30min drive) stopping at the Sandakan War Memorial en route.

After checking in at our hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to relax, swim in the hotel pool, enjoy local cuisine or explore the vibrant, compact streets of Sandakan.

Accommodation: Sabah Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
Fly to Kuala Lumpur and on to Malacca

After breakfast, we transfer to Sandakan Airport and bid farewell to Borneo to check in for our flight to Kuala Lumpur on the Malaysian Peninsula (there is a 33lb/15kg restriction but it is possible to pay for excess luggage at the airport or your leader can arrange this at the start of the tour).

Upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur, we meet our leader for this section of the trip. We then take a two-hour transfer to Malacca. Upon arrival at our hotel in the afternoon, there is time to relax and explore this historic and culturally rich city.

Accommodation: Ibis Melaka (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7
Walking and trishaw tour of Malacca

Malacca is a well-preserved colonial town with a mix of Portuguese, British and Dutch architecture. The quaint Chinatown neighbourhood is home to numerous antique shops plus a Hindu temple, Taoist temple and a mosque, while the oldest functioning church in Malaysia is nearby across the canal. We explore the city by foot and by using its colourful and distinctive trishaws.

This evening, we go out to try Malacca cuisine. Known as Baba Nyonya, it is a blend of Chinese, Malay and other influences and is a speciality of the town.

Accommodation: Ibis Melaka (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8
Transfer to Kuala Lumpur via the Batu Caves

Leaving the sleepy charm of Malacca, we first transfer (approximately three hours) to the Batu Caves. These limestone caves are a holy Hindu site and are guarded by a giant statue of the Hindu god Lord Murugan. Behind the statue are the 272 steps that lead to the caves and large numbers of monkeys.

We then take a short transfer to Kuala Lumpur, the bustling capital of Malaysia. Known as KL, this vibrant city shows a completely different side of the country.

The remainder of the afternoon is free to explore the city further, visit the Petronas Towers or enjoy a spot of shopping. Please note, the Petronas Towers are closed on Mondays (Day 9 of the itinerary) and advanced booking online is recommended at least a week before arrival to avoid disappointment. Please see the optional excursions section of the Trip Notes for further details.

If you want a drink with amazing views later this evening, head to one of the many rooftop bars in KL and enjoy the cityscape at night.

Accommodation: Santa Grand Signature Kuala Lumpur (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 9
Orientation walk and explore Malaysian cuisine on a city food tour; free afternoon

After breakfast, we first head out on an orientation walk of Kuala Lumpur followed by a city food tour.  KL mixes Malay, Indian and Chinese traditions and people and the best way to discover this diversity is on a city food tour. We discover different neighbourhoods with their distinct sights, sounds, smells and, of course, delicacies.

We start at Masjid Jamek and learn how KL started. We also visit the oldest Chinese and Indian temple in the city to learn more about those communities.

Our visit to Chinatown is rewarded by tasty noodles. After this, take a short ride on the modern transport system towards Brickfields. This is Little India, and our senses will be assaulted by loud and colourful architecture, music and food as we walk through the Indian neighbourhood. We sample delicious Indian dishes served on banana leaves and seek street vendors for snacks to end our food journey.

The rest of the day is free to explore more of the city at your own pace. You can shop in the malls, visit one of the museums or take in the views from the KL Tower (some sites and museums are closed on Mondays, such as the Petronas Towers and Bridge, please see details under optional excursions in the Trip Notes).

Accommodation: Santa Grand Signature Kuala Lumpur (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 10
Catch the train to Penang; afternoon walk around the colonial town of Georgetown

Today, we head north by train as we make our way to Butterworth (about four hours). From here, it’s a short transfer across the bridge to the island of Penang and the town of Georgetown, a Unesco World Heritage site due to its architectural and cultural landscape. Upon arrival, we have a late afternoon orientation tour.

Accommodation: Royal Chulan Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 11
Georgetown walking tour to explore the street art, culture and heritage of Penang

This morning, we explore more Malaysian diversity on a walking city tour. Georgetown is known for its cultural sights and natural scenery. Explore on foot to see well-preserved colonial structures, ornate temples and colourful street art. We end our walk with a visit to Khoo Clan House and Museum.

This afternoon, there is free time to explore further on your own. Perhaps scale Penang Hill or visit the Botanical Gardens. Alternatively, stroll to the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, which has been restored to its past grandeur: the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea or gin and tonic.

Accommodation: Royal Chulan Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 12
Fly to Langkawi island

This morning is free for a final exploration before we take an afternoon transfer to the airport for a short flight from Penang to Langkawi island (there is a 33lb/15kg restriction on checked luggage but it is possible to pay for excess luggage at the airport or your leader can help arrange this at the start of your trip).

Officially known as Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah, it is an archipelago of almost 100 tropical islands surrounded by the turquoise Andaman Sea with pristine beaches and jungles. After checking into our hotel, there will be time to relax and enjoy the area at leisure.

Accommodation: The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 13
Free day to explore the island or just relax on the beach; final group dinner

Today is a free day to relax on the beach or partake in one of the various optional activities on offer. These options include going on a mangrove tour, kayaking or taking the cable car. This evening, we enjoy a group farewell dinner (included) on our final evening in this tropical paradise.

Accommodation: The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14
Trip ends this morning

The trip ends after breakfast today. If you’d like to explore a little more, speak to your sales representative about extending your stay.

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels, lodges and resorts

Borneo & the Malaysian Peninsula

The accommodation on this trip provides an adventurous variety of places to stay. We spend nine nights in comfortable hotels and, in Borneo, we spend four nights surrounded by nature in resorts. The normal accommodations used on this trip can be found on the day-to-day itinerary; however, below are a couple of the notable places we stay.

Sepilok: Borneo Sepilok Rainforest Resort (nights 1-2)

Borneo & the Malaysian Peninsula

We stay two nights at a resort in the tranquil Sepilok Rainforest; perfect for nature lovers and conveniently located a short drive from the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary. The rooms are relatively simple, but include air-conditioning, mosquito nets and private bathrooms. The resort also has a restaurant serving a variety of local, Asian and Western dishes in addition to an outdoor swimming pool; the ideal spot to unwind and cool off from the tropical heat.

Kuala Lumpur: Santa Grand Signature Kuala Lumpur (nights 8-9)

Borneo & the Malaysian Peninsula

Spend two nights in the heart of Kuala Lumpur at the Santa Grand Signature. Within walking distance of the Petronas Towers, this modern property has a rooftop swimming pool and fitness centre. There’s also an all-day restaurant serving Peranakan and international cuisine plus a sky lounge for cocktails with stretching city views.

Worth knowing

  • The accommodations listed in the itinerary are the standard hotels used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.
  • While the resorts we stay at in Borneo (Sepilok and Kinabatangan) are simple, they have been selected due to their proximity to wildlife activities included on the trip in conjunction with reduced accommodation options in the area.

Single supplement from £ 550

Food & Drink

There are 13 breakfasts, two lunches and four dinners included.

You should allow about 880-1,320 Malaysian ringgits (US$200-US$300) for food not included. You need a little more for beer and other alcoholic drinks as you can expect to pay near Western prices.

Most meals will be basic, based around rice and noodles, although most accommodations have a Western breakfast of beans, toast and eggs. In the bigger hotels and cities, the full range of Western and local foods are available. You can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish.

In Kuala Lumpur, there is a food tour providing an opportunity to experience the diverse culinary heritage of the country.

Vegetarians can be catered for but please be aware that choice may be limited outside the main cities. Please inform your sales representative before departure of any special dietary requests.

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.

Transport

We use a variety of transport on this trip including minibuses, riverboats, an electric train, and two internal flights (from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan and from Penang to Langkawi) and even rickshaws.

Weather & Seasonality

Malaysia generally has a tropical climate, which is fairly standard year-round. Different parts of the country experience wet and dry seasons at different times of the year and you can expect to have sunshine and rain at any time. In the lowlands, temperatures tend to vary from lows of 20C (68F) to highs of 30C (86F), while the highlands generally have lows of 15C (59F) with highs of 25C (77F). Temperatures can get very cold on top of Mount Kinabalu where it can even freeze at night.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Start hotel: Borneo Sepilok Rainforest Resort, 1.5KM, Jalan Sepilok, Sepilok, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah
Phone: +60 16-841 1414
Recommended arrival time: You can arrive at any time today. There will be a welcome briefing in the evening, but if you miss it the leader will update you separately
Airport: Sandakan Airport (SDK)

Getting to the start hotel

The start hotel is approximately 20 minutes’ drive from the airport. Exodus provides one group arrival transfer from the airport, which is timed to coincide with the arrival of a chosen flight from London, UK. You may join this transfer at no extra cost, provided you can be at the airport before the transfer leaves. Speak to your sales representative for the group arrival transfer times or to arrange a private transfer.

If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

There’s a group departure transfer to the airport for customers who Exodus booked onto a chosen flight to London, UK. Please speak to your sales representative if you wish to join. If the group departure transfer does not suit your flight time, speak to your sales representative to arrange an alternative transfer.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Sepilok
Location end: Langkawi

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Casual clothes. As it is generally hot and humid, light cotton clothing is recommended for most of the trip, though it is a good idea to bring a fleece for some evenings
  • 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 (ie legs, shoulders and upper arms to be covered as well as a headscarf for women)
  • Reasonable walking shoes are advisable for the jungle areas as we may be on trails that can get a bit muddy (even if only short trails)
  • A torch (flashlight) may come in handy
  • Due to the different seasons in different parts of the country, you can expect sunshine and rain so please be prepared with rain protection as well as sun protection
  • Please bring layers/fleece or sweater for the train journey (air conditioned) to Penang
  • Insect repellent will be particularly useful during the Borneo section of the trip, though you’ll probably also need it for the peninsula section

Gum boots are normally available to hire for use on days three and four during our visit to Kinabatangan.

Please note, the domestic flights from Sandakan to Kuala Lumpur and Penang to Langkawi have a weight restriction of 33lb (15kg) but it is possible to pay a supplement for additional luggage once your trip commences. If you would like to pay for additional luggage for the internal flights please speak to your group leader on Day 1 who can arrange this in advance – you will then need to pay in cash to your group leader. Alternatively, you can purchase additional luggage when checking in at the airports before each domestic flight. Please ensure you take note of your baggage weight when you board your flight from home so you will know if purchasing additional luggage for the internal flights will be required during the trip.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline website for the latest information prior to your departure.

Water included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill or get burned. Both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip, we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles to reduce the plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout; all you need to do is bring a bottle to refill along the way. Please add this to your packing list.

Practical Information

Visa

Malaysia

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Malaysia. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

Important information

All foreign visitors must now complete and submit the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) within three days (including date of submission) prior to their arrival in Malaysia.

To complete the MDAC form, you need to add your date of arrival/departure in Malaysia, passport details, and accommodation (the start hotel of your tour). To obtain these details, please refer to the Final Joining Instructions, which are sent one to two weeks before your departure.

Once the MDAC form is submitted, you will receive an email with a PIN to check your registration on the MDAC website where you can download a PDF copy of your authorised MDAC. It is advised to also print a copy of your MDAC for immigration. All visitors must then present their printed, completed form and their passport at immigration upon arrival in Malaysia.

Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date you arrive in Malaysia.

Vaccinations and Health

Malaysia

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 and zika fevers, both spread by mosquitoes, are known risks in places visited. There are currently no vaccines or prophylaxes available; therefore, we recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Local Time

Malaysia's time zone: Asia/Kuala_Lumpur (UTC +08:00)

Electricity

Malaysia's electricity: Plug type G (three rectangular pins) – 240V, 50Hz

Borneo & the Malaysian Peninsula

Money

Malaysia's currency: Malaysian ringgit (MYR)

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available in Malaysia, especially in towns, and you will have the opportunity to top up on money along the way. Remember to inform your bank that you are travelling to Malaysia before using your card.

There are no money-changing facilities at the airport in Sandakan and there is no opportunity to do so for the first few days of the trip. You should, therefore, either change money into Malaysian ringgit before travelling or while in transit at Kuala Lumpur Airport. ATMs are available at Sandakan airport if you wish to withdraw cash.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Malaysia is not as cheap as many other Southeast Asian countries and you can expect to spend 880-1,320 Malaysian ringgits (US$200-US$300) on meals not included. In addition to this, alcoholic drinks prices are similar to Western Europe. There are some souvenirs and T‐shirts available throughout the trip and there is good shopping in Kuala Lumpur.

Optional excursions

Please note, all prices listed below are ‘prices from’ and are subject to change.

Sandakan (only available if arriving in Sandakan pre‐tour as no time is spent here once the tour has started)

  • Agnes Keith House: 15 ringgits (US$3.40), entrance fee only
  • St Michaels and All Angels Church: Free entrance
  • Puu Jih Shih Chinese Temple: Free entrance
  • Fireflies/mangrove cruise/fishing village tour (dinner): 396 ringgits (US$82)

Sepilok

  • Rainforest Discovery Centre: 20 ringgits (US$4.30)
  • Night walk Rainforest Discovery Centre: 30 ringgits (US$6.80), minimum two people
  • Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre: 50 ringgits (US$11.40)
  • Return transfers for additional optional visit from Sepilok accommodation to the Rainforest Discovery Centre or Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary: 30-42 ringgits (US$6.80-US$9.55)

Malacca

  • Riverboat trip: 30 ringgits (US$6.80)
  • Baba Nonya Heritage Museum: 18 ringgits (US$4.00), tours only available at 10am‐1pm (last morning tour midday) and 2pm-5pm (last evening tour 4pm)
  • Menara Taming Sari, a 360-degree viewing tower: 25 ringgits (US$5.70)

Kuala Lumpur

  • Petronas Towers skybridge: 98 ringgits (US$22.20)

You will only have Sunday afternoon (Day 8) on this tour to visit the Petronas Towers skybridge as it is closed on Mondays (Day 9). Please book online and pay in advance at least a few months before departure; this is a popular site and there are limited slots. Tickets sell out well in advance. The recommended visiting time is 5pm-7pm on Day 8 of the tour. https://www.petronastwintowers.com.my

  • KL Tower: 105 ringgits (US$23.90)
  • KLCC Aquaria: 69‐79 ringgits (US$15.60-US$17.90)
  • Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia: 20 ringgits (US$4.30)

Penang

  • Blue mansion: 25 ringgits (US$5.40), tours are only available daily at 11am and 2pm
  • Funicular Railway: 30 ringgits (US$6.80)/plus 80 ringgits (US$18.20) for fast lane
  • Eastern & Oriental Hotel: Entrance free
  • Chulia street food walk at night (starting at 7pm and finishing at 9pm): 240 ringgits (US$50.90), minimum 2 people / 120 ringgits (US$25.40), minimum 4 people, includes bottled, snacks, and dinner
  • The Habitat Penang guided walk (1.5-2hrs long, available between 9am-5pm): 173 ringgits (US$36.70), minimum 2 people / 115 ringgits (US$24.40), minimum 4 people, includes standard The Habitat entrance fee & The Habitat naturalist (requires booking 3 days prior), excludes return transfers from hotel, return Funicular train tickets, local guide

Langkawi

  • Mangrove boat trip (including hotel transfers, normal starting time 9:30am or afternoon departure at 1.30pm): 185 ringgits (US$40.00), minimum 4 people, including lunch
  • Langkawi sky bridge: 6 ringgits (US$1.35)
  • Langkawi cable car (entrance fee): 85 ringgits (US$19.30)
  • Guided half day legendary tour (including hotel transfers): 167 ringgits (US$35.40), minimum 4 people
  • Mangrove sundowner cruise (1hr long, including transfer time, starting at 4pm and finishing at 8pm): 195 ringgits (US$41.30), minimum 4 people, includes an early al fresco supper
  • Nature cycling trip (4hrs long, including transfer time, starting at 8.30am or 3.30pm and finishing at 12.30pm or 7.30pm): 180 ringgits (US$38.15), minimum 2 people, includes bottled water and snacks along the way

Tipping

Tipping is customary in Malaysia but is entirely at your own discretion.

The trip is divided into two parts, the Malaysian Peninsula section and the Borneo section and we may have separate tour leaders for both sections. A recommended amount for tipping the leaders is 13 ringgits (US$3) per person per day. This comes to about 110 ringgits (US$25) per person for each of the two leaders.

The tour leader will collect local currency to contribute to a tipping kitty, which will be used to tip local guides and staff so you don’t need to worry about it. This is not compulsory but should make it easier for you. Each leader will collect approximately 30 ringgits (US$8) per person in Sandakan for the Borneo portion of the tour, and 65 ringgits (US$15) in Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysian Peninsula portion for this purpose.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips that 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:

People

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-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.
  • During the trip, we visit local food stalls in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, which helps to sustain the local population.
  • Staying at Kinabatangan provides employment opportunities to the local Orang Sungai people who work as boatmen and drivers at the local wildlife lodge.

Places

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 and directly supports the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, which rehabilitates injured, orphaned and captured orangutans. At 16.5sqmi (43sqkm), it is the largest sanctuary of its kind in the world.
  • While 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 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 reusable bottles. Some of the accommodation we stay at during the trip reduces waste by sharing leftover food with their staff and local communities.
  • 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 and the Jungle Trek Path

Planet

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 the majority of accommodation and restaurants.
  • This trip favours locally owned and run accommodation.

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 reusable 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 when visiting holy sites such as the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur (ie 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.

Important Information

Water safety

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. You should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim. Open-water or wild swim spots should be treated with extreme caution. Information on how to keep yourself safe while swimming is shown here.

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

This trip goes near an area deemed unsafe to visit by the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whose advice we follow when operating our trips. While our itinerary doesn’t go to these areas, you should familiarise yourself with your local government’s advice if you are planning any pre- or post-trip travel. Any independent travel to areas currently against your local government advice is entirely at your own risk and unlikely to be covered by your travel insurance.

How To Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.