Day 1 Arrival Kota Kinabalu: Upon arrival at Kota Kinabalu Airport, meet and transfer to a 3-star city hotel after which it is free at leisure for the rest of the day.
Day 2 Kota Kinabalu–Lahad Datu–Tabin (B/L/D): Transfer to airport for flight to Lahad Datu followed by transfer from Lahad Datu to Tabin Wildlife Reserve scheduled at 8:30am on gravel road for about 1.5 hours. Upon arrival, check into the charming timber bungalow of Tabin Wildlife Resort which comes complete with a private balcony and hot water shower, a real luxury in the forest. A variety of birds, insects and even small mammals are sighted easily within the resort which is set amongst the rainforest alongside the Lipad River. Discover the rich variety of jungle herbs, some endemic, used for generations by local folks for the treatment of various ailments. In the afternoon, visit the Lipad mud volcano which serves as a mineral salt lick for wildlife. After trekking through the jungle for about 20 minutes, arrive at the elevated bare area of the mud volcano. Try to identify the multitude of animal footprints here. Walk up the observation tower and admire the contrasting landscape of the bare area and its surrounding thick forest where birds are commonly sighted. After dinner, enjoy a slide presentation on Tabin’s uniqueness, followed by a night safari to look for nocturnal wildlife and birds. Overnight at Tabin Wildlife Resort.
Day 3 Tabin (B/L/D): Opt to join the early morning bird walk to discover some of Tabin’s rich collection of almost 300 bird species. After breakfast, trek through the lush green rainforest known for its rich diversity of plants and animal species to visit Lipad Waterfall. Take a dip in the natural pool and enjoy a natural and refreshing shower under the waterfall. Alternatively explore the surrounding vegetation or simply relax. In the afternoon you may wish to try out the Tabin Rainforest Foot Soak made with a natural blend of herbs, to relax tired muscles after long jungle treks. Overnight at Tabin Wildlife Resort.
Day 4 Tabin–Danum Valley (B/L/D): After early breakfast, check-out and travel by road to Lahad Datu and then take the 9:30am scheduled transfer to Danum Valley about 4 to 5 hours away. Arrive and check-in to the Borneo Rainforest Lodge. In the afternoon, depart for a guided walk on a nature trail (400m boardwalk circuit) and the 300m canopy walkway. In the evening, have dinner at the lodge. If weather permits, go for a night drive in search of nocturnal animals. Overnight at Borneo Rainforest Lodge.
Day 5 Danum Valley (B/L/D): Following breakfast, depart for a trek along the “Coffin Trail” that leads to an ancient Kadazan-Dusun burial site. It’s a 3km return trip, involving a 40-minute climb to a magnificent lookout point. Return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, hike the Segama Trail and East Trail in search of wildlife before returning to the Lodge. After dinner, depart for a night walk in search of nocturnal creatures. Overnight at Borneo Rainforest Lodge.
Day 6 Danum Valley–Lahad Datu–Sukau (B/L/D): After breakfast depart at 10:30am to Lahad Datu for lunch. Then travel overland to Sukau and check-in to the Kinabatangan River Lodge. Afternoon go on a river cruise up the Kinabatangan River to Menanggul River in search of proboscis monkeys, birds and other wildlife. Overnight at the Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge.
Day 7 Sukau–Abai (B/L/D): After breakfast depart by boat for Abai Jungle Lodge. Arrive at the lodge and explore the surrounding area on the nature boardwalk. At approximately 10am visit the nearby Abai Village and participate in tree planting. After lunch, free to relax or explore the surrounding on the nature boardwalk. At 4:30pm go on a cruise in search of proboscis monkeys, birds, reptiles and other wildlife. As night falls witness the glittering of fireflies on the mangrove trees. Return to the lodge for dinner followed by a guided night walk around the Lodge’s nature boardwalk and search for insects, birds and other wildlife. Overnight at the Abai Jungle Lodge.
Day 8 Abai–Sandakan–Sepilok–Depart or Extend Tour (B/L): At 6am, take another boat trip for bird watching and wildlife viewing at nearby Pitas Lake. Then return to the lodge for breakfast. Depart at 9am boat transfer to Sandakan for lunch. Then continue to the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary where captive orangutans are reintroduced into the wild. You will be able to observe them at their feeding stations in the rainforest and see a video presentation on the Orangutan’s rehabilitation programme. Transfer to Sandakan airport for departure or extend the tour.
Activities are subject to weather conditions and may be re-organised to best meet operational situations.
What to Bring? Insect repellent, long sleeve shirts & long pants, raincoat, sun hat, swim wear, comfortable trekking shoes, torch light, water bottle & personal toiletries. Leech socks are available for sale at the resort’s shop.
Kota Kinabalu (BKI)–Lahad Datu (LDU) on MASWings MH3010 (Dep 0625, Arr 0720).
Sandakan (SDK)–Kota Kinabalu (BKI) on Malaysia Airlines MH3094 (Dep 1900, Arr 1950)
* Images courtesy of Borneo Adventure.