Please note that parents are responsible for the arrangement of visas if required.
Please ensure that your child’s passport is valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of departure from their destination.
Would you like to learn more about wildlife and conservation? Are you concerned about deforestation and the impact it is having? Would you like to make a difference and help a community preserve habitat and their way of life? Would you like to escape the concrete jungle and visit the real jungle? If so then Borneo is the place for you!
The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) states that the Kinabatangan River in Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia is one of only two known places on Earth where 10 primate species can be found. This includes the Bornean Orang Utan, the Proboscis Monkey, Macaques, Maroon Langur and Bornean Gibbon, most of which are endemic to Borneo. The area and its wildlife is under threat from the pressure of palm oil plantations and poaching.
We start our journey by finding out about species conservation and why this is necessary at the Sepilok Orang Utan rehabilitation centre and Sun Bear conservation centre. Working with the indigenous community of the Kinabatangan river you will have chance to understand more about the threats to the rain forest and how the locals are trying to preserve it. You will have chance to work in partnership with the local community through tree planting and river cleaning as well as learning more about the local culture and people through cooking and dance lessons!
We finish back in Kota Kinabalu to see the under water diversity in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park in a snorkelling adventure. During your stay in Borneo, you will have numerous opportunities to see and photograph the wildlife and see first hand how diverse the untouched forest is and how this changes with mono-culture. Visiting the will help you see how every day choices here in Hong Kong can make a difference!
Day 1 – Fly to Borneo / Cultural Race
Arrive at Kota Kinabalu Airport where you will be met by your Borneo Dream Group Leader. You will then be transferred to the Mari Mari Cultural Village to take part in a Cultural Race – cool! The coach transfer will take ~ 45 minutes during which you can enjoy a packed lunch. The Cultural Race provides an opportunity for you to learn about some of the old traditions of the five main tribes found in Sabah in a fun, involving way. During the cultural race you’ll be split into teams and you’ll each visit the five homes of the tribes at Cultural Village – Dusun House, Rungus House, Lundayeh House, Bajau House, Murut House – at which you’ll complete activities such as starting a fire using bamboo, learning a traditional dance, cooking a traditional Sabahan dish and more. After you’ve finished the race you’ll get to watch a cultural dance show and have a buffet dinner (which will be a selection of traditional dishes).
You’ll then be transferred to your Lodge in Kota Kinabalu arriving around 19:00hrs. Check in to your Lodge and join your Borneo Dream Leader at your Lodge for a briefing about the next day. As it’s an early start in the morning it will be an early night and time for a good nights sleep ahead of your wildlife adventures starting tomorrow. Overnight at a Backpacker Lodge in central Kota Kinabalu.
Day 2 – Sepilok, Sun Bear & Rainforest Discovery Centre
Today is the start of your wildlife adventures in Borneo! You’ll be collected ~ 5:00am and transferred to BKI Airport to catch the first morning flight to Sandakan (dep BKI 07:00, arrive SDK 07:45). You’ll be transferred from Sandakan Airport to Sepilok. You will start to learn more about wildlife conservation efforts in Sabah by visiting Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center and the Sun Bear Conservation Centre. At the world renowned Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center you will come face to face with human’s closest relative, the Orangutans. While Orangutan rehabilitation is still the primary goal at Sepilok, present aims include public education on conservation, research and assistance to other endangered species such as captive breeding of the rare and endangered rhinoceros. At the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre you will be able to observe Sun Bears undergoing rehabilitation. After lunch you will visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre and learn more about the rainforest ecosystem, go on a short guided trek through the lowland primary rainforest found at the Centre and go along the raised canopy walk to spot bird life.
At dusk you’ll head back to your Lodge for the night. Time to freshen up before dinner at the Lodge. After dinner you will have a presentation by a representative from Sabah Wildlife Department (with translation into English by your lead Nature Guide) about the wildlife in the Kinabatangan area and the conservation programmes aiming to protect this special place. Overnight at the Lodge near Sepilok.
Day 3 – Jungle Trek in Sepilok Forest Reserve
Today you’ll join a trek through the pristine Protected Kabili-Sepilok Virgin Jungle Reserve. You’ll join an ~ 8km trek which starts from Sepilok Laut Base Camp and finishes at Rainforest Discovery Centre. The trek takes ~ 4 hours to complete depending on trekking pace with stops along the way for educational briefings by your Trekking and Nature Guide. The beautiful Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve is home to a diverse array of wildlife and vegetation including at least 350 tree species and at least 90 species of mammals. Primates found in Sepilok Forest Reserve include the Red Leaf Monkey, Orangutans (due to the location of Sepilok Sanctuary) and Macaques. There are ~200 Bird species found in and along the Forest Reserve including the Blue-headed Pitta, Bornean Wren-babbler, Bornean blue flycatcher, Hornbills, Kingfishers, Cuckoos and lots more! After an early breakfast at your Lodge you’ll be transferred by coach to a jetty in Sandakan to catch a boat transfer round to Sepilok Laut Base Camp. From Sepilok Laut Base Camp you will start your trek along a 700m raised boardwalk through the mangrove forest. Proboscis Monkeys are found here, and feed almost entirely on the mangrove foliage. You’ll then start the trail to Rainforest Discovery Centre and spend most of your time trekking through primary lowland rainforest (with three small hills along the way, the highest one being 560m). The trail is undulating and overall it is graded as an ‘easy’ trek, however you should be in good health and physically able to trek at a gentle pace for a few hours in tropical heat. During the trek your Guides will explain which plants can be used for ‘survival’ in the rainforest i.e. they can be eaten, used for medicine. Your Guides will also explain more about the forest ecosystem you are trekking through. On arrival at Rainforest Discovery Centre you’ll be transferred to the Sepilok Lodge to freshen up before having a late lunch.
After lunch you will be transferred to the Kinabatangan Lodge located at the Lower Kinabatangan River Sanctuary. The journey will take approximately 2 hours. The Kinabatangan River is the longest river in Sabah (the second largest in Malaysia) and it provides a unique and rich ecosystem. The Sabah Wildlife Department and WWF established the 26,000ha Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary with the intention to protect a floodplain corridor for the conservation of habitats and species, as well as to mitigate the impacts of erosion and flooding.On arrival at the Lodge you will receive a briefing about the Lodge and check in to your accommodation. You’ll join a late afternoon river cruise along the Kinabatangan River in search of wildlife. Various species of wildlife may be seen such as Proboscis Monkeys found only in Borneo, Leaf Monkeys, Macaques, Gibbons and exquisite insects and birds. If you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of a wild Orangutan and the Borneo Pygmy Elephants. Return to the Lodge for dinner. After dinner you will join a short guided walk into the secondary forest behind the Lodge in search of nocturnal wildlife. Overnight at Kinabatangan Nature Lodge located on the banks of the Kinabatangan River.
Day 4 – Kinabatangan River
At 06:00hrs you will join an early morning River Cruise along the Kinabatangan River. During early morning cruises you typically see Crocodiles, Hawks, Eagles, Hornbills, Kingfishers and much more. Back to the Kinabatangan Lodge for breakfast. After breakfast, you will go for a trek to a nearby Ox Bow lake and learn more about the local flora (a ~ 2 – 3 hour return trek) found in the surrounding secondary rainforest. Once back at the Lodge you’ll have chance to freshen up before lunch. After lunch it’s time to support your first ‘hands on’ rainforest conservation activity – river cleaning. The river cleaning project involves clearing the Water Hyacinth from impacted sites along the Kinabatangan River. The Water Hyacinth is a floating plant with thick, glossy, round leaves, inflated leaf stems, and very showy lavender flowers. Water hyacinth is considered to be nuisance due to the physical problems and ecological impacts arising from its uncontrolled growth. You will receive a full briefing (including safety practices) about the river cleaning activity, you’ll then be transferred by boats to the chosen site along Kinabatangan river. The river cleaning site you visit will have been chosen the previous day before based upon the location of water hyacinth at nearby sites. Late afternoon you will join a boat ride cruising along the Kinabatangan River for more wildlife sight-seeing. The more river cruises you join the more opportunities for wildlife encounters. Return to the Lodge for dinner. After dinner you will join a Local Dance Class (starts ~ 8pm) at the Lodge led by the Youth Group from nearby Bilit Village – an opportunity to watch, and then try some local traditional dances, and to have fun! Overnight at the Kinabatangan Lodge.
Day 5 – Kinabatangan River / To Kota Kinabalu
Wake-up to the calls of gibbons and hornbills. At 06:00hrs you’ll join an early morning river cruise to enjoy more wildlife encounters. At the Kinabatangan River the more river cruises you join the more chances you have to see more wildlife and interesting species. Return to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast, you will support your second rainforest conservation activity – tree planting. At the tree planting plot you will receive a briefing from your Nature Guide regarding the role and importance of the tree planting activity. Each student will then carefully plant three (3) seedlings near the river (at a site designated for tree planting). The Tree planting activity you are joining is helping to regenerate the rainforest in one of the many ‘gaps’ or fragments along the river as part of the “Kinabatangan – Corridor of Life (CoL)” programme. You will then join a cooking class in Bilit Village (led by villagers) with the results being your lunch! After lunch you will be transferred back to Sandakan Airport (arriving at SDK by 4:30pm latest). You’ll catch the 18:05 Air Asia flight to BKI Airport (arriving at BKI 18:55). On arrival in Kota Kinabalu you’ll be transferred to your Lodge in central Kota Kinabalu. You’ll then go for dinner at a nearby restaurant (around 8pm) before heading back to your Lodge for a good nights sleep. Overnight at the same Backpacker Lodge in central Kota Kinabalu you stayed in for the first night of your trip.
Day 6 – Biking & Rafting Adventure
Today you will join a biking & rafting adventure! Have an early breakfast at your Lodge ready for pick up at 7:30am from your Lodge. You’ll then be transferred by coach to the starting point for your morning biking activity, a ~ 1 – 1.5 hour transfer. You will be provided with a safety briefing by your lead Bike Guide then your bike ride adventure starts! Your biking route will take you on a ride through the heartland of the Dusun people. You will cycle through small riverside villages as well as jungle, plantations and the Dusun people’s farms. If your legs feel up for it your Bike Guide can take you off to explore some more adventurous trails with single-track and technical descents. A support vehicle is nearby at all times should a problem occur. You’ll then have lunch at the Adventure Centre located on the banks of the Kiulu River.
After lunch you’ll be transferred to the start point for the rafting adventure. After a safety briefing by your Rafting Guide will start your white water rafting ride down the Kiulu River at around 2:00pm, a Grade I – II rafting experience. The rafting experience will last ~1.5 hours and offers a fun, rafting adventure in the scenic Kiulu Valley. After your rafting end point you will use the changing facilities to get showered and changed into your ‘travelling home’ outfit, then enjoy a buffet lunch (around 12 noon) and views of Mount Kinabalu. You’ll be transferred back to your Lodge in Kota Kinabalu arriving back around 5:30pm – 6:00pm. You’ll then have time to freshen up at your Lodge. You have the option before dinner of joined a guided walk with your Borneo Dream Leader to see some of the sights of central Kota Kinabalu like the popular Night Market or you can have some free time to buy gifts. Dinner will be at a nearby restaurant around 7:30pm – time to re-fuel after a busy day. After dinner you’ll back to your Lodge and pack your bags ready for tomorrow. Lights out.
Day 7 – Snorkeling Adventure / Depart Kota Kinabalu
Today it’s time to say goodbye to Borneo and travel back home. Before you start your journey back home you will join a day snorkelling adventure in nearby Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. After an early breakfast you will meet our crew for 8:00am at Jesselton Point Jetty in central Kota Kinabalu, a short stroll from your Lodge. Our boats will transfer you to an island in the Marine Park. You will join a morning snorkelling session guided by a team of PADI Instructors who will take you snorkelling along a coral reef teeming with marine life including various species of Damsel Fish, Puffer fish, Lion Fish, Parrot Fish, Blue Spotted Rays, Clown Fish (AKA Nemo) and a Turtle if you are lucky! You will be transferred back to the jetty in Kota Kinabalu by 11:30am (latest).
Stroll back to your Lodge and time to freshen up before checking out by 12:30pm. Head for lunch at a nearby café. You will be collected at 1:30pm from your Lodge and transferred to BKI Terminal 1 ready to catch your flight back from Kota Kinabalu to Hong Kong. We hope you take many wonderful memories and powerful learning’s from your adventures in Borneo.