Wildlife, culture, and scuba diving
Book now for €57
Group Size: 20
Trip code: TRBA
Duration: 9 or 12 days
With some of the world’s most wildlife rich rainforests, abundant marine life and indigenous cultures that are still alive and kicking, Borneo is up there with the most exciting travel destinations in the world. Explore the best of this tropical paradise on this epic 9-or-12-day group tour. Take two river safaris, hike through the rainforest, immerse yourself in local culture with some Sabah tribes, swing through the rainforest treetops on a canopy walk, and enjoy the best snorkelling or diving of your life! If you want to go home with more than a killer tan, some new besties, and some great memories, why not choose the 12-day option and take a PADI Open Water qualification too – awesome!
- Meet baby orangutans and the world’s smallest bear in Sepilok
- Spend the day with Sabah people in Mari Mari, learning all about their traditional culture
- Take not one, but two wildlife cruises on the mighty Kinabatangan River
- Get a bird’s eye view on Mount Kinabalu’s ancient rainforest on a canopy treetop walk
- Take a snorkel safari or try out diving on gorgeous Gaya Island
- Add on a 3-day PADI Open Water course and learn how to dive
Please note: Option 2 adds on an Open Water PADI course to your trip, extending the tour to 12 days.
Day 1: Arrive in Kota Kinabalu. Welcome to Borneo! One of our friendly local team members will meet you at the airport and transfer you to our awesome eco-lodge. Meet your travel fam this evening over a welcome dinner in lively Kota Kinabalu, followed by sundowners on the waterfront.
Day 2: Mari Mari village trip. Head to Mari Mari; the village so good they named it twice! The village is home to the three main tribes of Sabah, and you’ll hear all about the island’s head-hunters, the villagers’ ancestors, and the high priestess of a local tribe known as the Bobohizan.
Day 3: Orangutans and sun bears. Travel to Sepilok today, where we’ll visit the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to meet some of our favourite primates before checking out the Sun Bear Conservation Centre just next door. This evening, hang with your buddies in our epic jungle resort.
Day 4: Kinabatangan River safari. Visit the amazing Gomantong Caves this morning before boarding our private boat for a wildlife cruise on the river. Keep your eyes peeled for orangutans, pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys and loads of birds. Then enjoy another night at our riverside lodge.
Day 5: River safari and War memorial. Head to the Kinabatangan River for another unforgettable wildlife safari. Next on the menu is charming Kundasang where we’ll visit the war memorial and gardens, sample some local rice wines and tuck into some authentic street food at a local market.
Day 6: Waterfall trek and hot springs. Get a bird’s eye view on Mount Kinabalu’s ancient rainforest today on a spectacular canopy treetop walk! Then check out Langanan Waterfall before a scenic jungle trek. After a full day, enjoy the ultimate relaxation sesh in a mineral-rich hot spring – lush!
Day 7: Chill day. After an epic week of fun and adventure, we’re sure you’ll agree that it’s about time to kick back and relax! Hit the local markets, treat yourself to a massage, or do some laid-back souvenir shopping. Tonight, watch that epic KK sunset again with a round of cocktails.
Day 8: Gaya Island. We’re taking a snorkelling and diving expedition (you choose which) on gorgeous Gaya Island today. Hop on our speedboat and hold onto your hats, then spend your day swimming with reef sharks, nemo and maybe even a turtle or two!
Day 9: Trip end or open water diving course (option 2). If you chose option 1, you’re saying your goodbyes today. If you chose option 2, then you’re starting your Open Water PADI course! Start by learning the basics before heading out into the ocean to put the theory into practice.
*Please note, if you chose to go diving on day 8, you won’t be able to fly today. You are required to allow at least 24 hours before flying to comply with PADI guidelines and for your own safety.
Day 10: Open water diving course (option 2). Spend the day exploring the big blue. It’s like being the Little Mermaid for a few days! The marine life here is next level. We’re talking snappers, angelfish, clownfish, reef tip sharks and maybe some turtles – wow!
Day 11: Open water diving course (option 2). We’re rounding off on our PADI course today, enjoying a few more sensational dives and picking up our certificates – go us! Then it’s time for a few beers with the travel fam to celebrate – cheers!
Day 12: Trip end. Borneo, you’ve been a blast, but it’s time to part ways and continue our travels. Best of all, you’re not just going home with a killer tan and some great memories, you’ve got some new besties and a diving qualification – awesome!
*Please note, as you will be diving on the last day of your tour, you are required to allow at least 24 hours before flying to comply with PADI guidelines and for your own safety.
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Fly into Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) where one of our friendly local team will be waiting to pick you up and transfer you to our starting accommodation. There are no activities planned for today until a welcome dinner this evening, followed by sunset drinks on the waterfront.
If you chose option 1, your trip ends on day 9 in Kota Kinabalu. While there are no activities planned for today, you won’t be able to fly if you tried out scuba diving on day 8, as you need to allow 24-hours between diving and flying to comply with PADI guidelines. If you chose the snorkel safari instead on day 8, you’re free to fly home.
If you chose option 2, your trip ends on day 12 in Kota Kinabalu. You won’t be able to fly home today as you need to leave 24-hours between diving and flying to comply with PADI guidelines. Your travel adviser can help you book an additional night of accommodation if required.
Return airport transfers are not included but are easy to arrange. Your tour guide can help you book something locally.
8 or 11 night’s accommodation are included on this trip, depending on whether you choose options 1 or 2.
1 breakfast is included on this trip.
You’ll need to be a minimum of 18 years old to participate in this trip.
British nationals do not need a visa to visit Malaysia. You will normally be given permission to stay for 3 months on arrival. Your passport should be valid for 6 months from the date you arrive. If it is not, you may be refused entry and detained. You may also be refused entry and detained if your passport has any damage or has pages missing.
Please note: Visa rules are subject to change. Please check for the most up to date information before you travel.
This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:
Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.
Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.
Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.
Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.
Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.
Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.
24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.
It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.