Orang-utans & Rainforests Trip Notes
Trip code: PASW
Trip valid from: 01/10/2010
Trip valid until: 31/07/2013
Trip length: 9 days
Trip starts in: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Trip ends in: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Maximum group size: 15
- Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre
- Sandakan's War History
- Sabah's Capital Kota Kinabalu
- Kinabatangan River Wildlife Cruise
- Danum Valley's Wildlife-rich Rainforest
Tropical wilderness, abundant wildlife and a first-class rainforest lodge – a fabulous journey of discovery
Borneo is one of the last of the world’s wild places, with its dense rainforests, tropical coastal islands and mysterious jungle valleys. As such, it has become a rare place on this planet today – somewhere where you can still encounter a rich variety of colourful and endangered wildlife, amidst amazing natural scenery. This trip to the Malaysian state of Sabah takes you face to face with many unique species, including orang-utans, proboscis monkeys and hornbills. An added special highlight is a couple of nights spent at the first-class Borneo Rainforest Lodge in pristine Danum Valley, where you can go in search of the many nocturnal creatures of the jungle.
You can also start or end your Borneo experience with a relaxing four days in a tropical beach resort at Pulau Tiga. See 'Itinerary Variation' in the Detailed Itinerary for further information.
Kota KinabaluUpon arrival in Kota Kinabalu you are met and transferred to your hotel. This is where you meet your tour leader who will conduct a pre-trip briefing. You can then join the group for a local dinner (optional) at nearby hawker food stalls. It may also be a handy time to buy a 'poncho' - a cheap, local, lightweight rain-jacket.
Gaya Island - Kota KinabaluWe go down to the waterfront jetty where we catch a boat for about 20 minutes to Gaya Island (Pulau Gaya), one of the five islands that make up Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park -a marine reserve named after Malaysia's first prime minister. We trek on 2 kilometres of jungle trails and learn about some of the unique medicinal plants, tropical hardwood trees, coastal vegetation, tropical dipterocarp rainforest and the ecology of the mangrove forest. We then transfer across to Mamutik Island (Pulau Mamutik), where we have a chance to relax and swim in the warm tropical waters or enjoy some snorkelling before returning to Kota Kinabalu in the mid-afternoon. Please note that snorkelling gear is available for hire. However it is necessary to bring a towel, a hat, walking shoes, insect repellent, a water bottle, swim wear and sun block lotion along with you. (B)
Sandakan - SepilokWe transfer to the airport for a short morning flight to Sandakan. On arrival, we proceed to Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre. At this centre we walk on wooden boardwalks for 10 minutes through the rainforest, where we witness the morning feeding of orang-utans. This is then followed by a video presentation that tells us about these amazing apes. In the afternoon we enjoy a short tour of Sandakan town, which includes a visit to the water village, the local market, a Chinese temple and the Australian War Memorial. We stay a night at a jungle lodge in Sepilok. (B)
SukauWe travel to Sandakan jetty for a boat journey along Sabah's longest river, the Kinabatangan, to Sukau Rainforest Lodge. En route we have opportunities to spot birds and other wildlife in virgin mangrove, wetland and rainforest habitats. After settling in at our accommodation, we set off in the late afternoon and take a river cruise on a motorised boat to look out for some of the 10 primate species that live in this area. A highlight is spotting proboscis monkeys, often seen on the treetops along the river. Wild orang-utans, long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques, monitor lizards and various species of hornbills and kingfishers are also often sighted. If you are lucky, you may even see some wild Borneo elephants, recently identified as a unique sub-species of the Asian elephant. We return to our lodge for a solar heated hot shower, a candle lit dinner and a slide show conducted by our resident naturalist. (B, L, D)
SukauWe wake up to the calls of gibbons and hornbills. A 6am morning river cruise up the Kinabatangan River gives us a chance to view more birds and wildlife. We then proceed to the Kelenanap ox-bow lake for a short jungle walk (weather permitting). Here we really get to experience the wilderness of Borneo. You have the option to participate in our conservation project by planting trees on part of our 64 acres of adopted land. In the afternoon we enjoy another river boat ride in the search for more wildlife. After dinner there is an optional night safari cruise (at additional cost), which gives us a chance of spotting some of the many nocturnal species of animals that inhabit the area. (B, L, D)
Danum ValleyThis morning, we travel overland for 27 kilometres to Gomantong Caves. We need to walk 20 minutes through the rainforest to get to the cave entrance. Your guide will then brief you on the cave's fauna that includes bats, swifts and crabs among others, and explain their contribution to maintaining a balanced ecology and significance to the local economy. When in season, we can witness the collecting of birds' nests by the local people, using bamboo ladders and poles. These nests, made of the birds' saliva, are a culinary delicacy in Asia. We then drive for two hours to Lahad Datu for lunch and continue for another 83 kilometres through selectively logged forest, cocoa and softwood plantations before arriving at Borneo Rainforest Lodge, located beside the Danum River on the edge of 438 square kilometres of undisturbed lowland rainforest. This area is home to an incredible variety and diversity of wildlife with over 275 species of birds and 110 species of mammals recorded, not to mention the abundant plant life. Many of these species are critically endangered and the reality is that you will probably not see animals such as Sumatran rhinoceros, but a stay at Borneo Rainforest Lodge for a couple of nights is sure to be a major highlight for any nature lover. There is irony in the fact that this wildlife reserve is created out of a huge logging concession area. Apart from the wildlife spotting opportunities, Borneo Rainforest Lodge is a first class nature resort complete with all the usual luxuries and your stay will be a memorable one. This afternoon we get to explore nature trails and walk along the Riverside Trail, in search of wildlife. Please remember that you need to wear strong and comfortable footwear and be prepared for leeches, especially if it is wet. In the evening we see a slide presentation on the Danum Valley area, before taking a night drive (weather permitting) through the rainforest in search some of the area’s many nocturnal species, including civet, flying squirrel, porcupine, sambar deer and leopard cat. If we are incredibly lucky, we may be able to see slow loris or clouded leopard. (B, L, D)
Danum ValleyToday we explore other parts of the park. Before breakfast, we go on an early morning bird walk. We spend the whole day exploring the forest for birds and mammals. Following a path leading up to an escarpment lined with ancient burial coffins (Coffin Cliff), we also trek to a waterfall and enjoy a dip in refreshing rock pools. After lunch at the lodge we enjoy a jungle walk through trails leading to a canopy walkway. (B, L, D)
Kota KinabaluAfter a morning trek and a last chance to do more wildlife spotting, we return to the lodge for lunch. We then transfer back to Lahad Datu, where we catch our flight back to Kota Kinabalu. (B, L)
Kota KinabaluThe tour ends after breakfast. A transfer to the airport is not included; however your tour leader will be on hand to advise you as to the options available. (B)
Itinerary VariationWhile the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.
About The Imaginative Traveller
Our aim has always been to provide exceptional travel experiences. We believe that adventure travel should be stimulating, and that it should give you an authentic experience of a place. We want our travellers to relish the amazing diversity of countries and cultures the world has to offer. Our focus is on innovation, not imitation.
Obsessed with quality
One of our strengths has been our obsession with quality. We've always believed that our commitment to you doesn't end as soon as you've paid for your holiday. On the contrary, it is just beginning. Whilst most operators simply get a local company to handle the day to day operation of their tours, we do it all ourselves. We have managers for each of our key destinations around the world and all our small groups are escorted by our own leaders. Our local teams include guides, drivers, administration staff and contacts in the local community who help us ensure that our adventures are active and involving.
For comparability, all prices in this dossier are quoted in one currency. We use the US Dollar since that is familiar to most. However, once on tour you will need to pay for all goods and services in the local currency. See your Country Dossier for details of exchange rates.
The greatest cities in the world and the richest historic sights; the finest regional food and the must-see spectacles. Museums and markets, medinas and mosques – from Hobart to Hong Kong, Cairo to Caracas, get under the skin of local life and explore what your destination means to its own people. Dive headlong into exotic metropolitan buzz – the souks of Marrakech, La Paz’s markets – or adventure to remote African hills to explore ancient and mysterious rock art. Take in cutting edge art at Bilbao’s dazzling Guggenheim, or soak up timeless rhythms sitting under a balanzan tree in Mali listening to Tuareg musicians. Whatever it is, wherever you are, there’s no greater adventure than learning how another culture ticks.
Big game enthusiasts, bird-twitchers and photographers will all find heaven in Africa’s parks and reserves. Kruger’s diversity, Ngorongoro Crater’s concentration, Okavango’s exoticism, South Luangwa’s walking safaris – whatever your passion may be, the great thing about safari is that there is no single ‘safari’ experience; each park has its own flavour, its own character and each creates its own memories. The same is true of the Galapagos – each island is different to the next and home to unique wildlife: Espanola’s albatrosses; Sombrero Chino’s penguins; the difference in marine iguanas on all the islands. Couple this diversity with the animals’ famed fearlessness (no zoom lenses needed!) and cruises here are endlessly thrilling adventures. Whether venturing upriver by canoe in Peru’s Amazon with the lush greenery surrounding you, or exploring hushed trails in Costa Rica’s dense undergrowth, a jungle wildlife adventure is a thrilling walk on the wild side. Catching sight of a monkey swinging through its natural habitat or a toucan taking flight is unforgettable, and when the jungle suddenly opens out onto a clay lick, welcome to one of nature’s great spectacles: a sudden a riot of noise and colour as hundreds of macaws and other birds gather.
• The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour, and local guides at some sites.
• Local flights: Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan and Lahad Datu to Kota Kinabalu.
• Orang-utan encounter at Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre, including an overnight stay at a jungle lodge in Sepilok.
• Boat trip in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park: Gaya Island for a jungle walk and Mamutik Island to relax on a beach.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Sandakan - water village, local market, Chinese temple and Australian War Memorial; and Gomantong Caves.
• Boat to Sukau Rainforest Lodge and wildlife cruises on Kinabatangan River.
• Jungle walk at Kelenanap ox-bow lake including an opportunity to participate in a tree planting conservation project.
• 2 nights at first-class nature resort - Borneo Rainforest Lodge in the Danum Valley. Bird walk, canopy walk, trek to Coffin Cliff, rock pool swim, night drive, and a riverside trail walk in search of wildlife.
• Free time to explore Kota Kinabalu.
• Arrival transfer.
International flights, airport departure taxes, visas, insurance, other meals, camera fees, any optional tours and activities during free time, tips and items of a personal nature.
8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
3 nights Comfortable hotel,5 nights Rainforest lodge
Single room supplementMost of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.
Well before travelling, please ensure that you have a current passport, with an accurate photo, that is valid for at least six months after your scheduled return home. Also check that your airline tickets are in exactly the same name as your passport. Some countries may require that you have a return air ticket, or have sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket.
On all our holidays you must have comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. Please take your insurance policy with you when you travel as your tour leader will need to see and record your policy details at the pre-tour briefing. If you arrive without travel insurance they will require you to purchase a policy before you continue your journey with us.
If you are covered by a policy arranged through your credit card company you will be asked to provide evidence of this cover as well as a 24-hour emergency contact number. Your leader will need to record your credit card type and number as this is required to activate your request for emergency assistance. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the requirements set out by your credit card company in order to be effectively covered and that the cover offered is of a suitable standard.
Borneo (Malaysia) - Please note that visa requirements can and do change. It is essential that you confirm requirements with the nearest relevant embassy or check with your travel agent before you travel. At the time of writing, Australians, Americans, Canadians, British and New Zealanders do not require a visa for Malaysia. All other nationalities should check with the Malaysian High Commission, Embassy or Consulate in their country for up-to-date visa information
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.The itinerary and supplementary information has been compiled with care and provided in good faith. However it may be subject to change, and does not form part of a contract between the client and The Imaginative Traveller.
Responsible Travel - Travellers' Guidelines
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It’s about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.
- It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
- We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
- Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school. It is of course your own personal choice but you could consider giving to registered charities or contributing to our Responsible Travel fund instead. Money donated through our fund to our worldwide projects is matched pound for pound by Imaginative Traveller and used to help local grassroots projects.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavor to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don’t buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don’t leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn’t at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you’ll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare’s projects can be found on their website.
If you would like to contribute to our Worldwide projects, helping communities all over the World, you can also do this on our website or with a sales consultant. Please refer to our responsible travel page on the website for details of our current projects. Any donation you make will be matched £ for £ by Imaginative Traveller (up to a maximum of £1000).
Have a great trip!
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Imaginative Traveller & Peregrine Adventures This trip is operated by our partner company, Peregrine Adventures. Peregrine is an Australia based company with more than 30 years experience in adventure travel and they share our ethos for offering unique holiday adventures. As this is a codeshared departure you can expect there to be both Imaginative Traveller and Peregrine travellers on your trip.
Last updated: 09/03/2012