Trekking Borneo & Beyond Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
Activity Rating - Moderate/Challenging
Moderate / Challenging

You are moderately fit and have an interest in remote or challenging environments. Some previous experience is required for activity based trips.

17 Days Flight Inclusive
15 Days Land only
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview

South East Asia’s tallest mountain, Mt. Kinabalu, towers over the Sulu Sea and Borneo’s sweeping jungles. In the east of the world’s third largest island Orang-utans populate the trees of Sepilok, whilst on the Malayan Peninsula rivers gush through Taman Negara, cloud forests share the highlands with tea plantations and strawberry farms and the country’s modern capital is a melting pot of cultures. We peek behind the green curtain of Malaysia’s primeval forests as we don our hiking boots and go trekking around Borneo and beyond.

At a Glance

  • 7 days walking, some muddy terrain
  • Altitude maximum 4095m, average altitude 1500m
  • 7 nights hotel and 5 nights guesthouse, 2 nights mountain lodge
  • Separate leaders in Borneo and the Peninsula

Trip Highlights

  • The jungles of Taman Nagara
  • Sepilok's Orang-utans
  • Summit of Mt. Kinabalu
  • Food tour of Kuala Lumpur
  • Walks through the jungle

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is graded as Level 4- Moderate/Challenging

Whilst most of the trails are flat there are some hilly sections and the walks are often muddy and can be slippery. Paths can be strewn with rocks and roots and there may be times when you need to hold on to trees to help your balance. Some areas do have leeches (you can wear leech socks or football socks as protection) and the climate can be hot and humid (though it does get cold on top of Mt. Kinabalu and in the Cameron Highlands) The trip takes in some of Malaysia’s best walking areas both on the Malayan Peninsula and in Borneo and shows the diversity between highlands and lowlands. The walks are complemented with time to explore the vibrant capital city, Kuala Lumpur, go on boat rides and finish with time to relax after the hard push up Mt. Kinabalu. You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

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.


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

Adult min age:
Min group size:
Max group size:



Land Only

Start City:
Kuala Lumpur
End City:
Kota Kinabalu

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start in Kuala Lumpur

    Those making their own way to Kuala Lumpur can arrive at the hotel at any time today. There will be a welcome meeting with your tour leader this evening.
    Capitol Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    Discover Malaysia's culinary delights with a food tour of KL before visiting the Batu Caves

    Malaysia prides itself in its diversity and this is reflected in its capital, Kuala Lumpur (KL) with its mix of Malay, Indian and Chinese traditions and people. One of the best ways of exploring this diversity is through a food tour of city. We discover different neighbourhoods with their distinct sights, sounds, smells and, of course, delicacies.

    We start our journey at Masjid Jamek and learn about how city of Kuala Lumpur started. What better way to enjoy the day by sampling typical food that Malaysians enjoy at a local eatery. Wandering through the small streets of KL, uncover the cultures of the Chinese and Indian communities who came to KL to make their fame & fortune, but stayed on instead to add on another cultural dimension to the Malaysian cultural landscape. We also visit KL’s oldest Chinese and Indian temple to understand more about these communities.

    Our visit to Chinatown is rewarded by tasty noodles amongst the locals. After this, take a short ride on KL’s modern local transport system towards Brickfields. This is Little India for KL, 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 leaf and seek out street vendors for snacks to end our food journey.

    This afternoon we use public transport and visit the Batu Caves. These limestone caves are a holy Hindu site and are guarded by a giant statue of the Hindu god Lord Murugan. This is the 2nd tallest statue of a Hindu deity in the world. Behind the statue are the 272 steps that lead to the caves, and large numbers of monkeys.

    Those wanting to have a drink with some amazing views may wish to go to the Heli Lounge Bar later this evening for 360' views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline light up at night.

    Capitol Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
  • Day 3

    Apek Hill trek; transfer to the Cameron Highlands and visit a local tea plantation

    An early start to the day as we aim to check out of the hotel around 6:30am to drive about 30 minutes to the start of the trail on Apek Hill, which is part of the Sungei Putek forest reserve. A popular place with locals to exercise, we can expect to come across some locals on the trail. We will follow a loop trail which starts off with a moderate climb up to about 400m, where we pause to enjoy a packed breakfast before hiking down another trail back to the start (some sections may be a little slippery along the way if it has rained).

    We will then re-join our minibus and transfer 5-6 hours to the Cameron Highlands with a lunch stop along the way.

    The Cameron Highlands is a British-era hill station and the nights are noticeably cooler here. The area is known for its strawberry farms and tea plantations. For those who are interested, there may be time to visit one of the local tea plantations or simply enjoy tea and scones. 
    Century Pines or similar

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 4 km / 2.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 4

    Trek through the montane forests of the Cameron Highlands

    Meeting our local guide at the hotel at 08:30 we embark on a jungle trek through the highlands up to Gunung Berembun. The well maintained trail gradually takes us up the side of a river valley on an undulating path with a fairly steep final ascent to reach the summit (1,840m). The Berembun range is protected primary forest and the air is generally cooler, though it can get very humid. There’s a lot of birdlife and, thanks to the altitude, lots of mosses and lichen.

    Reaching the peak we can enjoy views of the tea plantations below. We head back along a different route which can be steep in places and you may need to help your balance by grabbing on to tree roots. The trek ends close to the hotel. 
    Century Pines or similar

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 7 km / 4 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 5

    Transfer to Taman Nagara, optional night walk

    Leaving the highlands we journey to one of the oldest remaining rainforests in the world in Taman Negara National Park (about 5 hours plus stops). These primeval forests, dating back 130 million years and covering 4,343 square kms are home to rare animals including Malayan tigers, Indian elephants and crab-eating macaques (though these animals are rarely seen). We should arrive mid-afternoon and settle into our jungle lodge. There should be time to relax or explore the grounds and watch the many monkeys who hang around the lodge. This evening there is the option to go out on an optional night walk in search of interesting insects and nocturnal animals.
    Mutiara Resort or similar

    Meals included:
  • Day 6

    Tabing Trek and Lata Berkoh

    Today we explore Taman Negara’s primary forest as we head deep into the jungle on 3-4 hour trek to Tabing. The trek itself is mostly flat and follows the meandering river. As we head further from the park entrance we get a better feel for this primeval forest, one of the oldest in the world.

    As we reach the end of the trail we are met by our boats which take us to Lata Berkoh (Cascade Waterfall) some 20 minutes away.  Here we have some time to enjoy our packed lunch.

    We eventually get back on the boats and head back to our lodge, 45 minutes away. We will be arriving back at the lodge mid-afternoon and the rest of the afternoon is free to either relax or go on some hikes independently along the boardwalks near the lodge.

    Mutiara Resort or similar

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 3 km / 2 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 7

    Canopy Walk; Hike up Teresek Hill followed by exhilarating boat ride

    We spend today exploring the park from the canopy, ground and water. We start off by walking along boardwalks before taking to the treetops on a 300m long canopy walk rising up to 40m above the forest floor. The canopy walk is along a series of fortified rope bridges, these are perfectly safe but if they make you nervous it is possible to wait for the rest of the group at the bottom of the canopy walk. This gives us the chance to discover the forest from a different angle before returning to the ground.

    We then take a hike up Teresek Hill along boardwalks. Whilst only 350m high, Teresek Hill offers panoramic views of the oldest rainforest in the world!

    Later this afternoon we take to the park’s rivers and ‘shoot’ rapids. Boarding motorised canoes we have a trip along the river including through several sets of rapids. Whilst not quite like white-water rafting, it is still good fun to go down the rapids, Be ready to get wet! 

    Mutiara Resort or similar

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 4 km / 2 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 8

    Return to Kuala Lumpur; fly to Sandakan; transfer to Sepilok

    Leaving the rainforest behind we return to the urban jungle, KL. The drive from Taman Negara to KL should take about 4 hours.

    Depending on what time we arrive back in Kuala Lumpur there may be a bit of free time for some lunch before we head to the airport to catch our flight to Borneo. Please note there is a 15kg restriction on checked baggage for the domestic flight, but it is possible to pay for excess luggage at the airport or your leader can arrange this at the start of the tour.

    Malaysia is a country of two-halves, the Malaysian Peninsula on the one hand and Borneo on the other. This afternoon we leave the Peninsula and our first leader behind and head for the island of Borneo where our next leader will be waiting for us. The flight to Sandakan takes about 3 hours arriving in the evening, then transferring to our lodge in Sepilok.

    Sepilok Jungle Resort or similar

    Meals included:
  • Day 9

    Visit Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary

    This morning we visit Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary. Set up in 1964, the 43 sqkm reserve of primary forest is the largest Orang-utan sanctuary in the world and helps rehabilitate orphaned or captured Orang-utans back into the wild. We visit the informative park headquarters and go looking for Orang-utans during feeding time. As the ticket is valid all day you'll be able to return for the afternoon feeding if you wish. We may also watch young Orang-utans in the nursery section. There is also the opportunity to visit the nearby Sunbear Conservation Centre. Other options include visiting the rainforest discover centre and the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary.
    Sepilok Jungle Resort or similar

    Meals included:
  • Day 10

    Follow the Sepilok Laut trail through the rainforest

    Today we have an early start and head out on the Sepilok Laut Trail. This walk, of around 9.2kms, starts from the rainforest discovery centre where we have a chance to do a canopy walk. From here the trail makes its way through primary forest giving us the opportunity to experience flora and fauna of eastern Borneo's lowlands. The reserve we walk through is home to 350 species of trees, 90 species of mammal and 200 species of birds. The trek itself includes two fairly steep hills along with several smaller hills and can get particularly muddy during the rainy season. We also recommend wearing leech socks (which can be purchased locally) or tuck your trousers into football socks.

    The trek ends at the Sepilok Laut reception center where boardwalks allow us to explore a mangrove area filled with fiddler crabs, macaques and monitor lizards. We later take a boat for around 20 minutes to Sandakan Jetty before catching a 30 minutes transfer back to Sepilok.
    Sepilok Jungle Resort or similar

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 11 km / 7 miles
  • Day 11

    Transfer to Kinabalu Park with optional visits to Kundasang War Memorial and exploring the Kinabalu Park lower trail

    Today we head towards the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, Mt. Kinabalu. The journey will take 5-6 hours. Depending on time we should have the opportunity to visit the Kundasang War Memorial (optional) which commemorates Prisoners of War who died during the infamous death marches during World War II. The memorial is made up of four gardens, the Australian, English, Malaysian and the Contemplation Garden that represent the different nationalities. There are also a number of self-guided trails through the gardens at the base of the mountain.

    This evening we will have a briefing about the 2-day Mt. Kinabalu trek and we will need to pack our bags for the trek. Our main packs will be left behind. Porters are available to carry bags up to the hut we will be staying at tomorrow night, please ask your leaders about this. It is recommended that each trekker brings a rain jacket, warm hat, waterproof gloves, fleece, personal first aid kit, head-torch, sun cream, sunglasses, a change of clothes, toiletries, snacks, water and earplugs. Ideally you should have a 30-35L pack.

    Tonight we stay in dorms with shared bathrooms and depending on the gender make-up of the group couples may have to be split into separate dorms.
    Kinabalu Park HQ

    Meals included:
  • Day 12

    Start climbing Mt. Kinabalu towards Laban Rata

    Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in South East Asia at 4095m. It is an impressive mountain with its lower slopes covered in thick vegetation rising up the huge granite walls.

    Due to its great height, Mount Kinabalu has a number of different climatic zones. It has an enormous variety of plants and animals and is a naturalist's paradise. There are half of the world's flowering plants on this mountain alone. There are rhododendrons, innumerable mosses, fungi and ferns, over 1,200 species of orchid and the largest flowering plant in the world, the Rafflesia. Particularly interesting are the carnivorous and insectivorous pitcher plants. There are many animals including badgers, monkeys, squirrels, flying lemurs, and deer. However the chances of seeing many of these on the mountain climb are rare as the trail is well trodden and frequently visited. We are more likely to encounter the many birds, snakes, and insects of the region.

    The ascent of Mount Kinabalu is not technically difficult but most people find it challenging so you need to be fit and prepared for a tough two days. The path is wide and clear so you can climb at your own walking pace. Obviously the altitude makes it tougher the higher you climb but it really only becomes harder on the summit day. The trek climbs up through a multitude of vegetation zones and cloud forest to reach Laban Rata Resthouse at 3,300m. The temperature is noticeably colder due to the altitude and really feels chilly, especially when it clouds over. There is a very eerie feel to the place with the huge summit cliffs looming up behind the mountain huts.

    We spend the night in dorms in the hut and make the summit climb very early the next morning. Note that, once again, couples may be split depending on the gender makeup of the group. 
    Laban Rata Hut

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 6 km / 3 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 13

    Summit Mt. Kinabablu and return to the start; transfer to our beach resort

    We awaken around 2am to slowly make our way to the summit. The challenging climb from Laban Rata takes up to 5 hours, depending on fitness and the impact of altitude. Upon leaving Laban Rata it is approx. 350 meters through the treeline to some viewing decks before a section of wooden steps with handrails all the way to the summit. The path levels out as we pass through a boulder field and join Sayat Sayat, the last check point before the summit, where there are toilets. From Sayat Sayat a final rope marks the route to the summit  a distance of about 1.8km. Waterproof gloves are recommended to protect your hands from rope burn (as well as to keep them warm). A torch, waterproofs and warm layers are also essential. As the dawn breaks we will be close to the summit, Low's Peak. The momentous summit feeling is easily matched by the tremendous view stretching across this part of Borneo as the early morning unfolds. On clear days you can see as far as the southern islands of the Philippines. With a long way to descend and aching legs, we return to the base at Laban Rata to collect any belongings and have breakfast. We continue down the mountain back to the start where there is normally a simple afternoon tea (with fried rice and bread) for trekkers.

    Once we have returned to the bottom we will transfer to our beach hotel by bus, approximately 3 - 4 hours' drive. Arrival time will obviously be determined by what time we leave Kinabalu Park so this will be sometime in the afternoon or evening. 

    Beringgis Resort or similar

    Meals included:
    Distance covered: 11 km / 6 miles
    Activity (hours):
  • Day 14

    Free day to relax by the beach

    This day is free to explore Kota Kinabalu, relax by the pool or have a massage to soothe aching muscles at a nearby spa. Alternatively you can take a short boat journey to one of the nearby islands to take advantage of the snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities or there is also the option to hire a kayak.
    Beringgis Resort or similar

    Meals included:
  • Day 15

    End Kota Kinabalu

    The trip ends today after breakfast, those on the group flights transfer will be taken to the airport for their flight home via KL.

    Meals included:

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.


Hotels, guesthouses & mountain lodges

7 nights hotel and 5 nights guesthouse, 2 nights mountain lodge. We stay in a range of accommodation on this trip from city hotels (in Kuala Lumpur) to dormitories in mountain huts (on Mt. Kinabalu). Most accommodation is en suite and mosquito nets are provided when necessary. The two nights spent on Mt. Kinabalu (at the base of the mountain and at Laban Rata) are in dormitory style accommodation with shared bathrooms. Depending on the gender make-up of the group couples may need to be split, though we will do our utmost to avoid having to do this.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £535.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 2 dinners are included.

You should allow about USD 200-300 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 similar to western prices.

Most meals will be basic, based around rice and noodles, although most accommodation does offer 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 we will go on a food tour and have the opportunity to experience the country’s diverse culinary heritage.

Vegetarians can be catered for but please be aware that choice may be limited outside the main cities and 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.


We use various modes of transport on this trip including private minibuses/coaches, riverboats and one internal flight (from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan). There are some long drives.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

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 20’C to highs of 30’C whilst the highlands generally have lows of 15’C with highs of 25’C. Temperatures can get very cold on top of Mt. Kinabalu where it can even freeze at night.

Weather Charts

Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London 17 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London
We normally use the scheduled services of Malaysian Airlines (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only 15 days starting in Kuala Lumpur

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Kuala Lumpur in the evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

In the unlikely event of any of your luggage being misplaced or damaged, a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) must be filed with the appropriate airline if you subsequently wish to make a claim against the airline or on your travel insurance. This must be done at the airport where your baggage arrived, or should have arrived.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

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.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Location start:
Kuala Lumpur
Location end:
Kota Kinabalu

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • It is best to take as little as possible as there is sometimes a lot of moving from one mode of transport to another in remote places. A rucksack or soft bag is most appropriate as opposed to a hard suitcase. Plastic bags or waterproof/dry bags are recommended for your day bag, in particular useful to protect your camera.
  • It is generally hot and humid and casual clothes are recommended, particularly in the towns and cities. 
  • You (especially women) should dress conservatively in Malaysia so as not to offend Muslim sensibilities. Vests and tight fitting clothes are frowned upon. Whilst in the forest and national parks, T-shirts and long lightweight trousers are best, especially for the walks.
  • There are limited laundry facilities, so you will need to bring clothes that wash and dry easily. 
  • For the climb of Mt Kinabalu you will need warm clothes for the day of the summit and the night spent in the mountain hut; although temperatures during the day will be warm.  At night the temperature can get close to freezing. A very warm jacket, trousers, a woolly hat and a pair of gloves are essential as is a 'head torch'.
  • Please bring strong walking shoes or boots for Mt Kinabalu and the jungle treks.
  • Walking poles can be hired at the foot of Mt Kinabalu. 
  • Usual sun and rain protection items should be brought as should mosquito repellent.
  • There will be opportunities to swim so you should bring a bathing suit.

Please note that the domestic flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan has a weight restriction of 15kgs 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 flight 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 airport before the 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 flight will be required during the trip.

Water Included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, 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 in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout so all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

Optional Equipment

  • Binoculars will be well used
  • Old trainers or trekking sandals for wading along rivers
  • You may also wish to take a small lightweight umbrella for wandering around the towns and for a sunshade on the boat journeys.

Practical Information



All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.



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.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.



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. 

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit:

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Malaysia's Timezone:
Asia/Kuala_Lumpur +08 (GMT +08:00)


Malaysia's Electricity:

240V, 50Hz. 

Malaysia generally uses sockets which are the same as in the UK (known as type G plugs).


Malaysia's Currency

The national currency of Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (August 2021) of approximately 5.7 to the GBP, 4 to the USD, 3.2 to the CAD, 5 to the EUR, 3 to the AUD and 2.9 to the NZD.

As you will probably be carrying much of your money in cash, we strongly recommend using a money belt. All your documents should be kept in waterproof plastic bags: the rain tends to come in very heavy showers.

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 will be travelling to Malaysia before using your card. We do not recommend you bring Travellers cheques.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

It is possible to obtain Malaysian Ringgit before arriving in Malaysia. There are also money changers at the airport and in most banks. It is possible to change most major currencies including USD, GBP and EUR. As you will probably be carrying much of your money in cash, we strongly recommend using a money belt. All your documents should be kept in waterproof plastic bags: the rain tends to come in very heavy showers. There are fewer opportunities to change money during the Borneo section of the trip but you'll be able to change money in Kuala Lumpur before flying to Borneo.

There are some souvenirs and t-shirts available throughout the trip and there is good shopping in Kuala Lumpur. You will be carrying your own gear up Mt. Kinabalu but it may be able to hire the services of a porter at an extra cost of roughly US$20 a day.


Optional Excursions

Please note, prices listed below are 'prices from' and can be subject to change:

Kuala Lumpur (time permitting)
Sky bridge Petronas towers  85 MYR
KL tower 105 MYR
KLCC Aquaria 65-75 MYR
KL Bird Park  63 MYR
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia 14 MYR

Cameron Highlands
Tea plantation visit (transport costs depending on the number of passengers)

Taman Negara
Night Jungle Walk  55 MYR

Camera Fee for Taman Negara Park 5 MYR


Camera fee for Sepilok Orangutan centre - 10 MYR

Bornean Sunbear conservation Center – 32 MYR

Rainforest discovery centre – 15 MYR

Labuk Bay Proboscis monkey sanctuary – 120 MYR (entrance & return land transfer from Sepilok area)

Kinabalu park
Kundasang War Memorial 10 MYR

Kota Kinabalu
ARA Dinawan Island Excursion 230 MYR
Mari Mari cultural village – 215 MYR
Kilas river cruise - 200 MYR



Tipping has become customary in Malaysia but is, of course, entirely at your own discretion. The trip is divided into two parts, the Malayan Peninsula section and the Borneo section and we have separate tour leaders for both sections. A recommended amount for tipping the leaders is USD 3 per person per day. This comes to about USD 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 just aimed at making it easier for you. Each leader will collect per person approx. 95 MYR (20 USD) in Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysian Peninsula portion of the tour, and 70 MYR (17 USD) in Sandakan for the Borneo portion for this purpose.

Responsible Tourism

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.
  • During the trip, we visit local food stalls in locations such as Kuala Lumpur, which helps to sustain the local population.
  • In  Taman Negara & Kinabalu National Parks, locals are employed by the parks, thereby our trip helps to maintain their livelihood and communities.


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.
  • There is also the option during the trip to visit 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 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.

 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.

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake 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.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances 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.

On all trips

In 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 you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.


Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 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.

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; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, 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.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. Swimming results in more tourists deaths than any other activity. All customers should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim, and are requested to treat the sea with extreme caution if they choose to enter the water. Details on how to keep yourself safe while swimming are shown here.



The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

Please note, although this trip doesn’t visit any FCDO no-go areas, it does visit a region close to an area where the advice is not to travel. If joining this trip, or if planning any additional travel pre or post tour in the area, you should ensure you visit their website to familiarise yourself with the advice. Any independent travel to these areas is entirely at your own risk and is likely not to be covered by your 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. Book with confidence: 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 monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.


These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.