Family Holiday Adventure in Borneo
Kinabatangan River in Sabah, Borneo, is the second longest river in Malaysia. It is known for its rich ecosystem and concentration of wildlife in its surrounding jungles. These include 10 species of primates and more than 200 species of birds with 8 types of hornbills. In addition, there are endangered Borneo pygmy elephants, the world’s smallest Malay sun bear and clouded leopard. The Kinabatangan region, is inhabited with Orang Sungai, conservative Muslim communities. Along the Kinabatangan River are jungle lodges, that provide wildlife-spotting boat rides and guided treks.
This Borneo Family tour starts in Brunei. Visit Ulu Temburong National Park and experience canopy walk and canopy tower with 360 degree views. Travel to Kudat, at the ‘tip of Borneo' to witness the picturesque South China Sea. In Kundasang, experience local culture. Travel to Sandakan via Kota Kinabalu, and visit feeding of orang utans at the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre. Then take a river cruise up the Kinabatangan River to one of the oxbow lakes to view birds and wildlife.
Family Holiday Adventure in Borneo A perfect tour for families with children.
Brunei, Kota Kinabalu, Kudat
(11 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 01 – Arrive Brunei
Brunei Meet and greet on your arrival at the Bandar Seri Begawan Airport. After a warm welcome, our representative will escort you to your hotel.
Empire Hotel (D)
Day 02 – Explore
Ulu Temburong NP Today we embark on a speedboat journey from Bandar Seri Begawan to Bangar, with scenic views of the Water Village and mangrove forests. Then take the ‘temuai’ (Iban longboat) to the National Park to see a wide variety of flora and fauna.
The beautiful Ulu Ulu Resort is located on the banks of two rivers in the middle of the vast Ulu Temburong National Park Rainforest. The resort has 17 rooms of tropical wooden construction quite similar to 1920s Malay architecture. Villas and suites have been carefully renovated and decorated with charming contemporary furniture with a tropical touch, and equipped with individually controlled air-conditioning units, ceiling fan and water heater.
Ulu Ulu Resort (B, L, D)
Day 03 – Explore
Ulu Temburong NP An early morning wakeup call, and after coffee/tea we move to the canopy walk to view and climb the canopy tower for a 360° view of the lush green rainforest, watch the sunrise and birds flying out to find food. After lunch, proceed by long boat upriver for a short trek to the waterfall and a swim.
Ulu Ulu Resort (B, L, D)
Day 04 – Transfer
Kota Kinabalu Early risers can climb the tower to watch the sunrise which can be amazing. The more active can experience kayaking in the river before lunch. Later transfer by speed boat to Bandar Seri Begawan where your private guide will accompany you to the Airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu.
Meet and greet and after a warm welcome our representative will escort you to your hotel.
Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa (B, L)
Day 05 – Explore
Kudat Today we take a two and half hour journey to Kudat, the land of the last longhouses in Sabah. There, at the ‘Tip of Borneo”, you will witness the picturesque view of South China Sea meeting Sulu Sea, an exceptionally breathtaking scene. If weather permits, you may like to cycle (optional) through scenic villages, enjoy fresh coconut drink and meet friendly local folks and children. In the evening enjoy a traditional-style dinner followed by colourful cultural performance by the local Rungus community. At the longhouse, mattress and mosquito net is provided
Longhouse (B, L, D)
Day 06 – Explore
Kundasang Wake up to the calls of roosters and feel the tranquillity of living in a village. Start your day with local breakfast, then walk to the nearby rubber estate to test your skill at rubber tapping. If weather permits, cycle through scenic villages and farms.
Later take an overland journey to the Kinabalu Park, a World Heritage Site and home to various species of the flowering Rhododendrons, carnivorous pitcher plants, orchids, ferns, oak trees and birds.
The Hill Lodge – In the National Park (B, L, D)
Day 07 – Transfer
Kota Kinabalu Today we drive to Poring, where we take a short trek through the jungle leading up to the treetop canopy walkways, suspended 41 meters above the forest floor across giant Mengaris trees (excludes camera/video fee). Then relax in the hot sulphur pools before travelling ahead to Kota Kinabalu.
Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa (B, L, D)
Day 08 – Explore
Kinabatangan River Early morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Sandakan. On arrival at Sandakan Airport, transfer to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre to witness the feeding of the orang utans at 1000hrs. After lunch, transfer to Sandakan jetty for 2 and half hour boat ride along Sabah's longest river, Kinabatangan to the Sukau Rainforest Lodge.
After lunch and rest, take a river cruise through virgin mangrove, wetland and rainforest habitats in search of the 10 primate species. Sukau is home to Borneo pygmy elephants, orang utans, proboscis monkeys and all eight species of hornbill in Borneo.
The resort named by National Geographic Adventure magazine as one of the top 50 jungle lodges in the world, has solar heated hot showers; dinner by candle light overlooking the riverbank and a slide show by naturalist guide.
Sukau Rainforest Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 9 – Explore
Kinabatangan River An early morning river cruise up the Kinabatangan River to one of the oxbow lakes to view birds and wildlife. After breakfast an educational tour and then relax until afternoon, when we proceed for another river cruise.
Sukau Rainforest Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 10 – Transfer
Kota Kinabalu We return to Sandakan by boat and transfer to the airport for your flight to Kota Kinabalu. If you have a late afternoon flight then take a bird view of the centre from the canopy walk and hanging bridge before exploring the botanical garden. Arrive Kota Kinabalu, meet and transfer to your hotel.
Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort & Spa (B, L)
Day 11 – Depart
Kota Kinabalu Transfer out to Kota Kinabalu Airport.
Make this your holiday
Getting There A number of direct international airlines fly to Borneo’s two main airports; Kuching in Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah. The two major airlines; Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia also operate domestic flights linking tourist destinations of interest. This has made getting around Sabah a lot easier and cheaper. With a little preplanning you can find a flight that will rival the local bus prices.
When to go A good time to travel to Borneo is between March and September/October, even though Southwest monsoon brings in short burst of showers between May to July. Showers usually occur on the upper slopes in the afternoon while Mount Kinabalu has its own climate. The driest season runs from April to October but even during this season, a good raincoat is a must. The heaviest rainfall generally occurs between October and January and the lowest in between February and April.