Untamed Borneo Trip Notes


At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

Trip code : PASW
Trip length : 10
Trip starts in : Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Trip ends in : Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Maximum group size : maximum 16


  • Kinabatangan River wildlife cruise
  • Sandakan's war history
  • Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre


Iconic of both Borneo and Sumatra, the curious and intelligent orangutan is perhaps one of the most humanlike creatures in the world. In fact, this great ape shares 97% of its DNA with us and can live for over 60 years. Males can grow up to 1.5 metres tall and their strong arms can stretch over 2 metres from fingertip to fingertip – perfect for all that climbing, swinging and general treetop loitering.



Kota Kinabalu

  • You will be free to explore Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah until your Welcome Meeting at the hotel. You can find details of the meeting at the hotel’s reception.
  • Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, is an intriguing city that was born between the Borneo jungle and the South China Sea. Having recovered from World War II bombings, 'KK' now possesses a gateway charm that can only be found in a frontier town.
  • If you have enough free time, why not immerse yourself in local history at the Sabah State Museum, visit the Monsopiad Cultural Village (once home to a notorious headhunter).
  • Tonight you enjoy a Welcome Dinner that showcases the delicious cuisine in Kota Kinabalu.

Kinabalu National Park

  • Leaving Kota Kinabalu behind, you'll head for the hills and the beautiful Kinabalu National Park that encompasses Mount Kinabalu.
  • Arriving in time for lunch, you will have the afternoon to stretch your legs and take in the mountain views or many of the numerous walking trails - keeping an eye out for birds, snakes and the odd little leech.
  • There is plenty to see and do here. The Mountain Botanic Garden is an excellent showcase of the diverse plant life on the mountain, as flora from all over the park has been replanted here.
  • In the afternoon you will drive to Sabah Tea Plantation where we will stay.

Kinabalu National Park - Poring Hot Springs

  • Today you will get up early to catch glimpses of this mighty monolith before the cloud rises for the day. You will then get to visit the tea factory and learn about tea production. Please note that at various times throughout the year the tea factory may not be in production.
  • After an Asian breakfast you then take a day trip to Poring Hot Springs (approx. 1 hr), where you will have time to soak in the famous thermal pools, take in the trails that abound within the reserve, or have a refreshing swim in a nearby waterfall.
  • You will take to the treetops on the canopy walk.
  • Please note for the trip departing on the 19th of April 2014 there is an amendment to the accommodation. Please see "Other Important Information" section of this document for further information.

Kinabatangan River

  • You will travel to the lower Kinabatangan River, Bilet, today (approximately 4-5 hours).
  • The Kinabatangan River itself is the second longest in Malaysia. It stretches 560 kilometres from Mt Trus Madi to the Sulu Sea. It is surrounded by a protected forest reserve, and an abundance of Borneo’s wildlife.
  • You will take a lazy river cruise in the afternoon, where you will have the opportunity to spot some of the aforementioned wildlife, crocodiles, macaques, orangutan, proboscis monkeys, along with kingfishers and hornbills are among the more frequently spotted animals. Wild elephants are a rare sight these days.
  • You will return to the chalet in time for dinner, and for the adventurous, there will be an optional night trek.


  • After a morning river cruise you will depart for Sandakan today (approx 2.5-3 hours).
  • On the way you will have the opportunity to visit Black Cave, located within an intricate network of caves called Gomantong Caves. These caves are particularly noteworthy thanks to the valuable and edible swiftlet nests that lie within. These nests are used in bird’s nest soup. Traditionally, bird’s nest collection was an art and ritual, but in the modern era locals are required to have a license to climb to the rood of the caves to harvest the nests
  • As we near Sandakan we will make a stop at the Sandakan War Memorial.
  • You will gain an insight into the city's tumultuous past at this emotive War Memorial. The memorial was built on the site of a Japanese POW camp.
  • This site also marks the starting point of the tragic Sandakan Death Marches – where 2400 POWs were forced to walk through the jungles of Borneo.
  • Only six Australians survived this march, and all six were only able to do so because they escaped.
  • Once capital of British North Borneo, Sandakan has strong trading ties with Hong Kong traditionally.
  • The myriad of Chinese temples, the flavours in the local cuisine and bustling harbourside markets are a testament to these ties.

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre - Sandakan

  • You will head to Sepilok today to visit some rare and beautiful creatures.
  • You will visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, where you will have an opportunity to see these famous monkeys - found only on the island of Borneo - feeding with their different family or bachelor groups. If you are lucky you might also see a hornbill or two.
  • You will also spend some time at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre - a reserve set up to help rehabilitate and re-introduce orphaned or domesticated creatures back into the wild.
  • To aid their adaptation, a supplementary diet of bananas and milk is laid out on feeding platforms twice daily. You will be able to watch and photograph these charming creatures as they swing into view on ropes and vines from a viewing platform.
  • It is very important that you don’t interrupt the orangutans, as human contact must be kept to a minimum to ensure their full recovery and successful re-introduction.
  • Return to Sandakan for the night.

Kota Kinabalu - Manukan Island

  • You will be transferred to the Sandakan today for a flight to Kota Kinabalu. Keep in mind that the luggage allowance for this flight is only 15kg, and any excess baggage charges will have to be covered by you.
  • Manukan Island is found just 20 minutes off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, and is one of the larger islands found in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine National Park. You will take a boat from Kota Kinabalu to Manukan Island
  • You will spend two days on the island, the first of which will be free for you to explore and partake in some local activities.
  • You might enjoy going for a walk along the 1.5km beach at low tide, going for a swim, or simply taking the opportunity to relax at the end of a bit trip.
  • On your second day on the island, you will go on a snorkelling trip, where you will hopefully see brightly coloured tropical fish and coral.
  • You will spend one last night in tropical paradise before returning to Kota Kinabalu.

Kota Kinabalu

  • You will return to Kota Kinabalu today by boat.
  • The rest of the day will be free for you to relax beach side before an optional farewell dinner with your new travel friends.
  • The trip will come to an end after breakfast on Day 10.


While 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.



Discovery tours are all about exploring & experiencing the world with like-minded people, dipping your toe beneath the usual tourist surface & discovering the real essence of a region. They are genuinely innovative, exciting & imaginative tours that offer that little bit more to travellers.

Style Facts

  • Enjoy a destination in depth and comfort
  • Tourist class hotels and family homestays
  • Both private and local transport
  • A number of included activities and meals throughout
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.



Our Plus tours allow you to immerse yourself within a destination or culture whilst travelling and sleeping in comfort. They are packed with highlights to ensure you get the most out of your valuable time away yet are also slower paced allowing you time to savour the culture, traditions and sights of your destination – the perfect balance.

On some trips we’ll push you out of your comfort zone to ensure an authentic experience, on other trips you will stay in amazing places where there is no ‘roughing it’ involved. There is plenty of choice so you can select a trip with as much activity or as little as you wish. Our small groups ensure a more intimate experience and that the impact on the local environment and community is kept to a minimum. Extra Comfort tours offer rich and rewarding adventures and are stress-free, safe and, most importantly, fun!

Style Facts

  • Innovative itineraries offering authentic travel encounters
  • A mix of active adventure, culture, wildlife, sightseeing and relaxation
  • Well appointed, quality hotels in central locations
  • Arrival transfers, transport (mostly private) and accommodation included
  • Many meals and adventure activities also included
  • Fully trained and experienced local leaders

 This tour is operated by our partners Peregrine Adventures


  • The services of an expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour
  • Local flight: Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu
  • Orang-utan encounter at Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre
  • Boat trip in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park: visit Manukan Island and relax, snorkel or swim
  • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Kundasang - war memorial, guided walk around lower Mt Kinabalu, Sabah tea factory tour, Poring Hot Springs canopy walk, Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary and Sepilok - Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
  • Explore with a wildlife cruise on Kinabatangan River
  • 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, departure transfers, tips and items of a personal nature.


9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners


Most 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.

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