Days 1 and 2 - UK to Kota Kinabalu
Fly to Kota Kinabalu via Kuala Lumpur, arriving on day 2. Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah, one of two Malaysian states on the exotic island of Borneo and our base for the next two nights.
Day 3 - North Borneo
Today our adventure will begin as we head towards the north of Borneo where we will travel past vast oil palm and coconut plantations on our way to the village of Bavanggazo, where we'll step inside a longhouse. Built on stilts, these buildings are home to several families of the indigenous Rungus tribes. En route we will also make a stop at Gombizou and Sumangkap villages to observe gong-making and honey bee farming.
Day 4 - Kinabalu National Park
Kinabalu National Park is home to a huge variety of flora and fauna native to Borneo, including several hundred species that are found only in the park itself. We'll explore on our included nature trek along one of the many trails, and also catch a glimpse of Mount Kinabalu, which is South East Asia's highest peak. After a stop at Poring Hot Springs, where we can take a dip in the soothing waters, perhaps take a thrilling walk more than 40 metres up in the canopy of the Menggaris tree – the 'King of the Forest' – for fantastic views.
Day 5 - Sandakan
Enjoy scenic views of the Kundasang highlands as we travel by road to Sandakan. We'll stop for lunch in a restaurant before we visit Sandakan Memorial Park. This was built in honour of the Prisoners of War who died in the Sandakan Death Marches during the Second World War.
Day 6 - Abai
Borneo is one of two places in the world where the endangered orangutan still lives in the wild, and we'll visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to observe man's closest relative and enjoy a walk in the tropical lowland forest. We'll also head to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre to see these endearing animals, also known as honey bears, whose numbers are dwindling due to deforestation and poaching.
After lunch, we'll transfer to the jetty in Sandakan, from where we'll cruise up to the Lower Kinabatangan River Sanctuary. This wonderful journey takes us on the Sulu Sea and through magnificent mangrove forests. We'll then cruise up river to Sukau village to search for primates, especially endemic proboscis monkeys. On arrival in Abai, we'll check in at the Kinabatangan Abai Jungle Lodge where later this afternoon we'll head off on a river cruise to search for wildlife. A further treat comes tonight after dinner when we take another cruise to discover the jungle at night with an expert nature guide.
Day 7 - Abai
Wake up to the wonderful sounds of the rainforest then cruise to the Pitas lake to observe wildlife. We'll head back to the hotel for breakfast before we are invited to join a tree-planting project with the locals. A simple lunch will be arranged by the villagers at Abai village.
Back at the lodge perhaps take time to explore the boardwalk behind the lodge, you may be lucky and spot wild orangutan, silver leaf monkeys and many other types of wildlife. We will round off the day with another cruise to see more wildlife.
Day 8 - Sukau
Nyaung Shwe is a small town which stands at the gateway to Inle Lake. After a relaxing train journey through picturesque scenery we’ll board a private motorboat for a wonderful journey into this marvellous freshwater lake, situated 900 metres above sea level. We’ll see the local fishermen’s unique leg-rowing technique and admire the incredible floating gardens – islands of weed and water hyacinth on which vegetables are grown.During a free morning at the lodge, perhaps join some of your travelling companions and head off to explore your surroundings – stilted paths up to 800 metres long stretch into the forest, and animals often venture quite close.
After lunch, our wildlife search continues as we cruise up river to our next destination, Sukau, for an overnight stay. Here we'll look out for primates, in particular orangutans, as well as pygmy elephants and exotic birds – some of the world's most spectacular species are resident in Borneo.
After checking in to our lodge, we'll take to the water again to enjoy wonderful views and search for exotic wildlife.
Day 9 - Koto Kinabalu
Today's journey, first by road and then by air, will take us back to Kota Kinabalu. The rest of the day is at leisure. Later, there will be time to visit the night market to shop for souvenirs of your holiday.
Day 10 - Koto Kinabalu
A journey on the North Borneo Railway aboard a vintage British Vulcan steam locomotive takes travellers back to a bygone era when North Borneo was a Crown Colony of Great Britain. We'll take this nostalgic trip to Papar – Sabah's main rice-growing region – on track primarily used for the transportation of tobacco in its heyday. Sit back, relax and enjoy views of traditional villages, grazing buffalo and beautiful countryside interwoven with paddy fields as you are served a tiffin-style lunch on board. Tonight, gather with your fellow travellers to enjoy a sumptuous Malaysian Farewell dinner, enhanced by a lively cultural performance of Sabah dances.
Day 11 - Koto Kinabalu
We leave Kota Kinabalu today for your flight back to the UK via Kuala Lumpur.
Day 12 - Kuala Lumpur to UK
You'll arrive back in the UK today.