Overview

This tour takes you to wildlife sanctuaries, limestone caves, and the Marine Park. We start in Kota Kinabalu with a trip to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park to relax, swim or snorkel. The natural wonders of the region are at full display in the Mountain Garden of Kinabalu Park. Explore the surrounding forest areas on well-marked treks. Travel to Miri to explore Niah Cave – an archaeological heritage site. Visit the Niah Museum, the Traders’ Cave, Great Cave & the Painted Cave. Kuching is next for a better understanding of the Orangutan conservation program at the Semenggok Nature Reserve. Next stop is Batang Ai where we meet the natives of Borneo & spend a memorable night with them in the longhouse. We take a native longboat & head up the river to meet the Ibans, join their activities in the longhouse & see a blowpipe demonstration. The UNESCO world heritage site of Mulu caves is simply majestic. Walk through the forest to Lang and Deer Cave, and later in the evening see millions of bats fly out of the caves in unison. Take off on a 12 km long trek through the stunning rainforest, which was historically used by war parties during headhunting days. This is a tour of nature mixed well with local traditions and some stunning wildlife.

10 Nights 11 Days 14 Dec, 15 Dec, 16 Dec, and more Kota Kinabalu Airport
Inclusions/Exclusions
What we'll give. What we won't

What is included in the tour

  • You will enjoy 7-nights in an Air-conditioned hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis. The hotel rooms will have a private bathroom
  • Camp 5 accommodation is basic, 1-night with shared sanitary facilities
  • One night stay at the community room of the longhouse, it has shared sanitary facilities
  • Meals are covered as stated in the detailed description
  • All tour and transfers are with local English-speaking driver or guides in as air-conditioned vehicles
  • All entrance fees and/or boat fees as stated in the program
  • Drinking water available on the vehicles
  • Package includes GST 6% (Good and Service Tax)

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Air-travel, domestic or international to/from Malaysia, this can be quoted separately by us on request
  • Any optional tours you take
  • Charges for arranging guides for other languages if requested
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications – including phone bills, postage, gratuities and the likes
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the program
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Drinks with meals and bottled water
  • Porter charges, certificate, and the likes
  • Hotels may charge for early check-in and late check-out, this can be covered only if it is explicitly mentioned in the program
  • Hotels charges for storage of Luggage and use of porter services
  • Gifts for the longhouse visit, this is quite a tradition in this part of the world
Highlights
What makes this tour special
  • Explore the beauty of coral islands when you swim & snorkel in the Abdul Rahman Marine Park
  • Get a glimpse of the unique flora and fauna of the region at the Mountain Garden
  • Explore the prehistoric Niah Caves - the Great Cave & the Painted Cave
  • Learn about the traditional lives of the natives when meeting the Iban tribe & cruise in a longboat
  • Witness some of the world's greatest cave scenery at the Mulu Caves
  • Learn about the region's history as you follow in the headhunters' footsteps 
Itinerary
Day 1: Kota Kinabalu Arrival
  • Arrive at Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state in the northern part of the island of Borneo. This s a coastal city partly surrounded by rainforest. It's known for its bustling markets, modern boardwalk and beaches. It is also a gateway to Kinabalu National Park, the home of 4,095m-high Mount Kinabalu. You have the day to yourself, explore the city and its shopping options. Overnight stay is at a hotel of your choice.
  • Meals included: none
Day 2: Coral Island Tour
  • We take a boat ride to an island in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. This has great views and options to relax under the trees on the beach or go snorkeling or swimming. Malaysian Borneo is surrounded by hundreds of spectacular and picture postcard tropical islands, all ringed with prolific coral reef and teeming with more underwater wildlife and fish species than anywhere else on planet earth. You get a glimpse of all this while on the island. A simple lunch is provided, we return to the city by late afternoon and the rest of the evening is at leisure. Night stay at the hotel.
  • Meals included: breakfast and lunch
Day 3: Kota Kinabalu – Kinabalu Park tour - Miri
  • We will start our 2-hour long drive from your hotel in Kota Kinabalu. The road that takes us to the Kinabalu Park is along the ridges of the Crocker Range. The park itself has the distinction of being the first UNESCO designated world heritage site in Malaysia. It is described as one of the most important biological sites in the world with more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna, including 326 birds and around 100 mammal species, and over 110 land snail species. It is also home to the highest mountain in Borneo – Mount Kinabalu.
  • Your guide will take you on a trail to explore the uniqueness of the park and will then take you to the exquisite Mountain Garden. You will be able to see a large collection of rare orchids and plants endemic to Borneo in this garden. 
  • After a quick lunch, we start for the airport for an evening flight to Miri (Airfare not included). You will be received at the airport by a guide and transfer to your hotel arranged.
  • Meals included: breakfast and lunch
Day 4: Miri – Niah National Park - Kuching
  • We start for the Niah National Park, it is a 2hour drive tak ing us through oil palm plantations. We will spend the entire day at the Niah Caves. The Caves are a national heritage site and an archaeological site as well.  It was declared a National Historic Monument in 1958. Once we reach the park headquarters we have to register to enter and then cross the Niah river. We will visit the Niah Museum and explore some of the relics collected at the Niah Caves (please note that the Museum is closed on Mondays). This done we will take a 3 km plank-walk leading through mixed dipterocarp forest to the cave's entrance. We will visit the Traders' Cave, Great Cave and finally the Painted Cave where cave paintings are found on the walls of the cave. We now return to Miri after the tour with a lunch stop en-route. We move to the airport and take an evening flight to Kuching (airfare not included). Upon arrival in Kuching, transfer to your hotel is arranged. Overnight stay at the hotel.
  • Meals included: breakfast and Lunch
Day 5: Kuching – Semenggoh Nature Reserve – Batang Ai
  • Our first stop is the Semenggoh Nature Reserve, originally built to protect the Orangutans and to rehabilitate captive and orphaned ones back to the wild.
  • The reserve has its own rare flora and fauna including the giant squirrel, pigmy squirrel and splendid variety of birds. Trekking trails make Semenggoh an ideal place for wildlife photographers and nature lovers.
  • The highlight of the visit is a chance to see an Orangutan, your guide will help spot one during the morning feeding time. This is when the Orangutans swing down from the trees for a free handout of fruit. This reserve is one of the few places in the world where humans can interact with their shy jungle cousins.
  • We now start our journey to meet with the natives of Borneo and spend an amazing night in a longhouse. This is a 290 Km drive through the countryside. The long road will take us to a beautiful lake called Batang Ai. We shift to a traditional long boat for a 60-90 min boat ride over the lake to reach our destination, a Longhouse. This longhouse belongs to the Ibans (a local tribe). Your guide will take you through the longhouse encouraging you to take part in daily activities. Traditional dinner is arranged in the longhouse, and do taste the local rice wine “Tuak” The night stay is at the longhouse (This is basic accommodation in the common room, everything you need is arranged for you)   
  • Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 6: Batang Ai - Kuching
  • The morning at the longhouse is announced by the loud and clear morning songs of the cockerels, enjoy the natural surroundings. After a traditional breakfast get-together with the Ibans in a blowpipe demonstration, time for the hosts to show off some splendid skills. We now start our journey back to Kuching and our hotel. We have lunch en-route.
  • Meals Included: breakfast and lunch
Day 7: Kuching Departure - Mulu Arrival – Mulu Caves Tour
  • The morning includes a relaxed breakfast and check-out. Transfer to the airport is a rranged for your flight to Mulu. You will be received at the Mulu airport, a quick transfer to your designated hotel follows. Once settled in comfortably, change into your trekking gear. We now move to the Mulu National Park Headquarters for registration. Lunch is arranged at the park’s canteen.
  • We start our adventure with a 45 min walk to the first set of caves. This walk is on narrow forest paths made of wooden planks that take you through riverine and lowland forests on limestone cliffsides.  The first cave we reach is the Lang’s cave which has an exquisite collection of stalagmites and stalactites. You are observing nature at its creative best, we recommend carrying a good camera for some stunning pictures. The next cave we visit is the Deer cave, this is famous for its passage which is the largest for any cave in the world. The Deer cave is also famous for its large (as many as 3 million) populations of bats. These caves are designated as world heritage by UNESCO.
  • Once the exploration of the caves is done we move to the bat observation platform. The site of millions of bats coming out of the caves in the dusk is simply mesmerizing. It appears like black streams emerging from the caves. You will require a good camera as the light is low when the bats finally decide to venture out in the evening.
  • We return to the park headquarters for a transfer to the hotel.
  • Meals provided: Breakfast and lunch
Day 8: Mulu Caves Tour – Camp 5
  • Breakfast is followed by check out from your hotel.
  • The day’s adventure begins with a half hour long boat ride. Our first shortstop is at a Penan settlement. This is your chance for understanding the old nomadic lifestyle of the people and indulge yourself in the local handicrafts market. The boat ride then takes us to the wind cave. A plank walk leads from the riverbank to the entrance of the Wind Cave. This cave is so named because of the cool breezes which you can feel at the narrow parts of the cave. This cave is part of the Clearwater system and has many impressive stalactites, stalagmites, flowrocks, helitites and rock corals. Some of these are illuminated in the ‘King’s” Room. A short walk takes us to the Clearwater springs, we take a short break here. 200 steps lead up through the forest to the mouth of Clearwater Cave. Clearwater is a fascinating cave system to scroll around, it has its own underground river system. Plank walks, paths and small floating bridges make this an easy and enjoyable experience. There are excellent photo opportunities for those who are bitten by the photography bug.
  • We now climb down the steps to the picnic area for a quick lunch.
  • We now take a one-hour long boat ride to Kuala Litut, this is the starting point for our trek to camp 5. The 2-hour trek will take us to camp 5 which is a large shelter located at the base of Mount Api. Camp 5 is really basic, and you have to carry your own sleeping bag as well. Night stay is arranged at the camp shelter.
  • Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Day 9: Camp 5 – Limbang
  • A day of trekking and boat rides awaits us. Post breakfast we start a 12 Km trek along the Head-h unter’s trail.  This will take us about 5 hours, and we will follow the footsteps of the old-world head hunting war parties. We now reach the town of Kuala Terikan.
  • From Kuala Terikan we shift to a boat and take a 2 to 3-hour long ride (Depending on water levels in the river) over the Terikan and Medalam rivers. This river ride takes us to an Iban longhouse. We now shift to an AC vehicle for a 30 min transfer to the town of Limbang.  We now check-in to our hotel for the night stay at Limbang. Dinner is arranged at a local restaurant.
  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 10: Limbang Departure
  • A relaxed breakfast starts the morning. We have time for some exploration of the local markets with traditional native products on sale. Time for some memorabilia. Your transfer to the airport awaits you. Time to take your flight to the next destination.
  • Meals included: breakfast

Notes

  • We try our best to get the mentioned hotels, but during heavy bookings period, we may have to substitute within the offered category. Please note - Shangri-la Hotel in Kota Kinabalu is not a 5Star-property under Shangri-La Hotel & Resort chain.
  • The tour detailed itinerary may change due to unforeseen events - we will cover all that we have stated here only the program by day may change. For example, if our program states a city tour on Day 1, it may be postponed to Day 3 instead. This is mostly a last-minute adjustment and will be without any prior notice
  • Some package can be booked on a private basis, but certain services may be on a shared basis only. This is to minimize impacts on the natural environment or if other circumstances require so. These services include boat transfers in Kota Kinabalu/Coral Island and boat transfers & activities in the longhouse.
  • Sightings of wildlife depend on several natural factors (e.g. weather) and therefore cannot be guaranteed.
  • A longhouse is a traditional place mostly untouched by modern facilities, be prepared for some discomfort. We will take the best care, but You will be accommodated in the community area of the longhouse with no privacy. A mattress, mosquito net, pillow, blanket and clean linen will be provided. Simple sanitary facilities are available. Please note - Pets like cats and dogs might be encountered in the communal hall of the longhouse and livestock such as chicken or pigs are roaming freely within the longhouse compound.
  • It is customary to bring some gifts for the Iban longhouse people, which can be divided by the number of families. Your guide can assist you during one of the stops en-route to buy some suitable presents. This custom is only applicable to Iban longhouse tours.
  • The longhouse stay is simple, and we request you to please travel light. Your luggage can be kept safe at your hotel in Kuching.
  • The flight availability from Miri via Lawas to Ba’kelalan and back are operated through small aircraft – ATR Aircrafts. This sometimes limits the luggage allowance on these flights, we recommend you check these details on your flight ticket and plan accordingly.
  • The tour involves overnight camping and steep climbing, we suggest traveling light when on this tour. Your hard luggage can be stowed in Miri if the return is planned to the city. This facility is available at hotels in Miri. In case you just transit in Miri on the way to Mulu and will move onwards from there without going back to Miri then, we can arrange a representative of Pro Vacations to meet you during your transit in Miri and store the luggage for you (This is an additional service we offer and is not included in the package; charges depend on size and weight of luggage). Should you not transit in Miri or choose to continue from Limbang overland to Brunei, you will have to bring along your entire luggage. If porters are needed, this has to be booked in advance (not included in the package; charges depend on the size and weight of luggage)
  • This is a true trekking tour where long hours are coupled with steep climbs that too under tropical climate conditions. The tour is an effort to complete and would require high levels of fitness and good stamina. Be prepared for some hard day’s work on the tour.
  • Always carry some high-energy snacks for the trekking.
  • The trek will have a night stay at Camp 5 which has very basic facilities, be prepared for some discomfort. The camp has temporary electricity (Solar power), pipe water from the river and simple sanitary facilities, you will have to carry your own towel and sleeping bags as this place has no mattresses or beds.
Pickup point
Directions.
Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI), Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia View on Map