Borneo Orangutan

Borneo Wildlife Discoverer Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Malaysia
Programmes:
Wildlife
Trip Code:
WOH
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

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

Trip Overview

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.

At a Glance

  • 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

Trip Highlights

  • 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

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.

Group

The trip is led by a local qualified Malaysian English-speaking leader. There will also be local guides at national parks.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Kuching
End City:
Sandakan

Land Only Itinerary

  • 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

Accommodation

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.

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.

Food & Transport

Eating & 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.

Transportation

We use a number of different modes of transport. The majority of transfers will be in private minibuses. We use a number of different boats varying from simple 'longboats' to river ferries. 

We also have two domestic flights into and out of Mulu National Park. 

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

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!

Weather Charts

Miri

Miri

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. Internal flights during the trip are with a local airline.

Travelling land only: 15 days starting in Kuching and ending in Sandakan

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Kuching in the afternoon 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:
Kuching
Location end:
Sandakan

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • A small day rucksack is appropriate for carrying cameras, waterproofs etc. during the day. Plastic bags or waterproof/dry bags are recommended for your day bag.
  • It is generally hot and humid and casual clothes are recommended particularly in the towns and cities. In Muslim sensitive areas, women should dress conservatively so as not to offend (no vests and knee-length shorts are expected).
  • Insect repellent 
  • Whilst in the forest and national parks, T-shirts and long lightweight trousers are best, especially for the walks.
  • A swimming costume may come in useful
  • Leeches are more of an annoyance than a real threat but they are present. Leech socks can be bought to avoid this (though trousers tucked into a pair of football socks works just as well). 
  • Walking boots will be well used and good at providing necessary protection for your feet.
  • A good head torch will also come in handy.
  • 1-2 litre refillable water bottle. If you bring your own water bottle you can refill it most evenings, this will help reduce the use of plastic bottles which is a big problem in Borneo.

Please note, luggage frequently ends up missing the connecting flight in Kuala Lumpur and arrives later that day so you may want to bring a change of clothes in your carry-on to be able to change into fresh clothes upon arrival.

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
  • Flip-flops or trekking sandals for getting in and out of boats as your feet may get wet
  • The walls at the longhouse are quite thin so you may want to bring ear-plugs for that night

Practical Information

Passport

Malaysia

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.

Visa

Malaysia

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.

Vaccination

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 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: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

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)

Electricity

Malaysia's Electricity:

240V, 50Hz. 

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

Money

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 becoming more widely available and are the easiest way of obtaining money; please inform your bank before leaving home if you wish to use it in Malaysia, as some cards have been blocked in the past after only being used once.

Most credit cards are accepted in the main towns in Malaysia.

Either US dollars or GB sterling can be changed in the main towns but this can be time-consuming. Please don't bring traveller's cheques. A small amount in cash is useful in case of emergencies.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

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 is very little to spend your money on whilst on the trip, apart from the odd tribal handicraft though there are some good T-shirts and souvenirs in the national parks. 

There is a camera fee of MYR 10 in Sepilok, 10 MYR in Labuk Bay and MYR 30 at the Gomantong Caves.

Optional Excursions

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

Mulu

Canopy walkway - 45 MYR per person (limited availability in busy season)

Night walk - 22 MYR per person

Kota Kinabalu

Snorkelling and island trip costs vary depending on group size.

Tipping

This is entirely at your own discretion, however; we suggest that you allow for some extra local currency for tips for the local guides and staff. Tipping in Borneo has become customary. The local staff will probably expect some gratuity and we suggest you allow for this. The leader will suggest to the group that they donate a sum of MYR 200 (50 USD) per person towards a kitty on arrival. This money is then used for tipping of local guides, hotel porters, drivers etc. It is basically to ensure that the hassle is taken out of various activities for you. If you do not wish to contribute to a central pool for tips you are of course free to not do so.

If you feel that your leader has performed well over the course of your trip, you may want to show your appreciation of their services. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a guide, MYR 15 per person per day would be a reasonable starting point. The 'tipping kitty' explained above is entirely separate from any contribution to the tour leader.

Orangutan in the jungle of Borneo, Malaysia

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:

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 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.

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 & 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).

 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 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.

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.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

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 https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

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

Important Notes

In line with our ‘book and travel with confidence’ promise which allows you to cancel free of charge up to 42 days prior to departure, or transfer to another trip free of charge up to 21 days prior to your trip starting in country, please be aware that this excludes ‘irrecoverable costs’. Details can be found here: https://www.exodus.co.uk/about-exodus/exodus-booking-conditions

For this trip, the irrecoverable costs related to in-country operations are outlined below, if booking flight inclusive your sales agent will confirm the terms related to your international flights at the time of booking.

 If cancellation occurs 21 days or up to 24 hours prior to departure:

Accommodation and domestic flights for Mulu N.P.   £207.55 / US$259.44 / CA$349.68 / AU$372.24 / €225.60

 Costs are accurate at the time of writing in December 2020

If you need to cancel your trip because you or a member of your party is diagnosed with COVID-19 or has received a request from the Government to self-isolate, you will receive a full refund less these irrecoverable costs.

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.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

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.