Sabah, Borneo Wilderness Itinerary


Day 1
Arrive at Sandakan where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The afternoon is free to rest and explore the town and the waterfront. Sandakan was once the capital of British North Borneo and traditionally has had strong trading ties with Hong Kong.
The Cantonese influence here is evident in the lively harbour-side market and many Chinese temples. Arrival times vary today. Tonight you will enjoy a group dinner and orientation with the tour leader.
Meals: Dinner

Day 2
This morning you will visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. The reserve is set up to help re-introduce these wonderful creatures back into the wild after a life of domestication or having been orphaned. As you walk into the reserve to see the feeding of these semi-wild orangutans it is essential to follow instructions from the park warden. You are not permitted to interfere with the orangutans as human contact must be kept to a minimum.
After lunch, you will visit the POW Memorial Park followed by a visit to the beautiful Buddhist Temple which is perched high on the hill overlooking Sandakan and the waterfront. You will also visit the magnificent Agnes Keith House followed by dinner at the English Tea House.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3
Enjoy an early morning walk to the waterfront markets then travelling by speedboat (approximately 1.5 hours) past fishing villages and bamboo fish traps, you head out to Libaran Island where you will enjoy lunch before continuing the boat journey to Turtle Island. Every night of the year giant green turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.
In the evening we hope to witness this heartwarming display and help the researchers as they release protected hatchlings and guide them in their frantic dash to the ocean. It is a moving experience that makes you think twice about trying the illegally traded turtle egg delicacy! This is a very delicate environment and you must follow instructions from your leader and the local rangers to ensure minimal impact on the turtles. Photographing the turtles is permitted by the local government but is not recommended as it disrupts the turtles. There are photographs available for you to purchase. There is time for swimming and lazing about on this tropical island where we stay for a night in ‘chalets’.
Snorkel gear is available to hire.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4
Today you travel by boat to the mainland with a short ride up river to the jetty. Here a bus will transfer you to Labuk Bay. In the centre of the mangrove forests of Sumawang is the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, where you can see Borneo’s indigenous proboscis monkeys. This privately-owned sanctuary located within an oil palm estate gives you the chance to observe these animals up close and personal. The remarkable males sport big dangling noses, reddish flat-top hairstyles, white tails and
markings, and pot bellies. The females on the other hand, are much smaller and have upturned
After lunch you will transfer to the Sabah Tea Plantation, nestled into the lush tropical wilderness of Malaysia’s first ever World Heritage Site, Mount Kinabalu. It sits on a 6,200 acre land at 2,272 feet above sea level and is surrounded by the world’s oldest rainforest of about 130 million years. Sabah Tea Plantation is the largest single commercial tea plantation in Borneo and is also one of the very few tea plantations in the world that certified to produce organic tea. You will enjoy two nights among the sereanity of the tea plantation in a purpose built longhouse.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
This morning you will be driven to Nabutan to walk to Quailey’s Hill. This walk takes about 5 hours. It’s an easy walk and you will arrive back at the plantation for lunch. There’s a beautiful plaque that’s been erected by the Sabah Tea Plantation and it’s now known as Quailey’s Hill (after the death of POW Quailey). After lunch you will inspect the tea factory and enjoy a swin in the Sapon River.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6
Today you trek to the Miki Jungle Survival Camp where you will camp for the night. Miki Survival Camp is located in the foothills of Mt Kinabalu This local rustic camp provides an understanding of how the local people live. Basic facilities mean you have a night under the stars to learn about local Bornean culture including learning to use a blowpipe, making bamboo cups and much, much more!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
You will trek to Kiau Village and stay in the homes of the Dusun people. They are wonderfully warm and friendly people and you learn of their spiritual, social and economic attachment to the mountain.
Kiau village is nestled amid picturesque hills in the shadow of the great Mt Kinabalu, the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. Please note that this village has had very few visitors and we expect our travellers to respect and to act responsibly in this community.
Last century, when British North Borneo (now Sabah) was under British colonial rule, there were no roads into the interior. British officials, naturalists, geologists, adventurers and others wishing to visit Mt Kinabalu and Ranau did so on horsback, using a bridle track which began at Kota Belud, on Sabah’s west coast. Although no one travels by pony nowadays, the track through the mountains to Kota Belud still exists, and is often used by local Dusan people to travel to their farms and from one village to another.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 8-9
(OPTIONAL – we have alternate arrangements for those who do not wish to climb)
You begin the climb up Mt Kinabalu in the early morning. It is not an easy walk, but it is incredibly rewarding, willpower being the main requirement, as it’s uphill all the way! The well-marked trail is predominantly made up of steep steps that vary considerably in size. Altitude can affect anyone, no matter how fit you are, and it can certainly slow you down a fair bit. There’s no rush, so take your time and enjoy this pristine environment. Carrying just an overnight pack, you pass an extraordinary variety of plant life including around 1,000 varieties of orchids and maybe even the carnivorous pitcher plant. The climb is 6km and usually takes somewhere between 3 and 6 hours.
You spend Night 7 at Laban Rata at an altitude of 3,272m. Bedtime is early in order to prepare for the final climb tomorrow morning! For thos not continueing with the final ascent of Mt Kinabalu, you can stay at Laban Rata and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
(A certificate is available to prove that you completed the climb – this can be arranged for RM10.)

1. Identify your mountain guide(s) who will display an identification card.
2. Travel together in your own group and stay with the mountain guide(s).
3. Alert your mountain guide(s) if you have any difficulty.
4. Display your climbing permit and show it to park officials at check points in Timpohon Gate, Laban Rata and Sayat Sayat on your way up and down.
5. If for any reason, you are separated from your group on the mountain, please follow the white rope. If visibility is very low please hold onto the rope and follow it. (There is a thick white rope leading all the way from the vegetation belt above Panar Laban to the summit. This rope is marked with yellow reflective paint every 5 feet and is helpful for climbing up while providing safety on walking down. PLEASE FOLLOW AND USE THE ROPE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY.)
6. The weather on the summit can deteriorate in a matter of minutes, with thick mist reducing visibility to 3m, rain storms and wind up to 120km/h can occur at times. Please hold the rope, which will lead you to safety.
7. If you are separated from your mountain guide or lose sight of the rope, STOP IMMEDIATELY, stay where you are and blow your whistle to attract attention. PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO FIND YOUR WAY OUT.
8. When climbing the summit please make sure that you are doing the following things –
– wearing warm enough clothes
– carrying a torch light (and spare batteries)
– carrying a rain coat
– carrying some energy food and water
– carrying a whistle

Days 10-11
Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, is an intriguing city that was born between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea, with a charm that can only be found in a frontier town.
The next 2 days are for you to enjoy the city of Kota Kinabalu, with free time to go shopping, enjoy a massage or spa treatment, visit one of the nearby islands or spend a day white water rafting (optional activities).
Meals: Breakfast

Day 12
Today you depart for your return flight to Australia, having experienced a unique adventure that will stay with you forever.
Meals: Breakfast



  • 11 nights accommodation includes; Guesthouse/Hotel, Longhouse, basic tribal village, camping, Lodge dormitary style on Mt Kinabalu, 4 star hotel in Kota Kinabalu (twin share)
  • All meals as detailed on the itinerary
  • All transfers listed in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing, activities and entry fees as outlined in the itinerary
  • Guided walks  listed in the itinerary
  • Services of a fully experienced local bi-lingual guide


  • International Airfare
  • Domestic airfares not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Visa fees – each member of the group must carry a valid passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of your trip) and have obtained the appropriate visas
  • Tips, personal telephone charges.
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory) – You will need to give the policy number prior to departure
  • Items of a personal nature; postage, drinks and souvenirs
  • Additional optional activities and entrance fees during free time
  • Medical Advice – Please refer to your GP or local travel clinic for up to date travel health advice for the area(s) you are visiting.

Food & drinks – All food quality is carefully selected following the true local tradition.
Local Guide – The group will be accompanied by a local English speaking guide. Our guides are highly professional, very friendly with an extensive knowledge of the area. They know every hidden corner and will give you the opportunity to experience all the unspoiled places and the real culture of the region.
Transport – A private bus and driver will be available for the group for its everyday transfers and transportation of luggage.