Borneo - Sabah Adventure
10 days - ex Kota Kinabalu
Sabah is breathtaking! Climb Mt Kinabalu, come face to face with orangutans, bathe in the crystal
clear sea and explore tribal villages in this action packed adventure.
Day 1 Kota Kinabalu
Travellers will be arriving at different times during the day so feel free to arrive at the joining point at
any time as there are no planned activities. The group meeting is normally set for 6pm on the day of
arrival. Please check reception for a note from your leader.
Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, is an intriguing city that was born between the wild jungles and
the South China Sea. Having survived World War II bombings, KK now has a charm that can only be
found in a frontier town.
In your free time you can immerse yourself in history at the Sabah State Museum, visit the Monsopiad
Cultural Village, home to a notorious head hunter, or explore the islands off-shore of Kota Kinabalu,
excellent for swimming or snorkeling. Allow approximately USD15 for an island visit, although costs
can vary depending on your negotiating skills, the time you wish to spend on the island and the
number of people with whom you share a boat with.
Please note that your leader will collect your local payment at the group meeting.
Day 2 Mt Kinabalu National Park
In the early morning we travel to the base of Mt Kinabalu by bus, approximately two-and-a-half hours.
Mt Kinabalu is the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. Hopefully you'll catch a
glimpse of the summit, which in the afternoon is often shrouded in cloud. The huge rock monolith
looms over us as a daunting reminder of the climb we are about to embark on but don't be
discouraged, it's a rewarding experience!
We stay at the foot of the mountain, so there's the opportunity to stretch your legs by explore the trails
around the park, check out the visitor centre or if you wish, do an optional trip to Ranau and Poring
There are some beautiful nature walks around the headquarters and at Poring Hot Springs, through
lowland tropical forest on well marked trails. Alternatively you can relax for the afternoon and mentally
prepare yourself whilst listening to the sounds of the jungle.
In the evening we have a short briefing about tomorrows climb.
If you do not wish to climb you can arrange to stay at the base of the mountain.
Days 3-4 Mt Kinabalu Climb
We set off early to begin the ascent up Mt Kinabalu. It is not an easy walk, but it is incredibly
rewarding, willpower being the main requirement, as it's uphill all the way! The well-marked trail is
predominantly made up of steep steps that vary considerably in size. Altitude can affect anyone, no
matter how fit you are, and it can certainly slow you down a fair bit. There's no rush,the key to
success with altitude is to drink plenty of water, take your time and enjoy the pristine environment.
We leave our main packs in storage. Carrying just an overnight pack, you pass an extraordinary
variety of plant life including fungi, mosses, lichen, varieties of orchids and several types of
carnivorous pitcher plant. If you a very lucky you may even see rafflesia, the worlds largest flower.
The climb is 8km and usually takes between 5 and 7 hours. There are shelters along the way to stop
for brief rests. We spend night 3 at Laban Rata in basic mountain huts. Laban Rata is at an altitude of
3,272m. Food and refreshments are available at Laban Rata and you can normally rent towels and a
sleeping bag for a nominal fee. It's an early night in order to prepare for the final climb very early
tomorrow morning! Getting to the summit (4095.2m) from Laban Rata takes 2-3 hours.
If for any reason, you are separated from your group higher on the mountain, there is a thick white
rope all the way to the summit. If visibility is very low it may be necessary to hold onto the rope and
follow it. The rope leads all the way from the vegetation belt above Panar Laban to the summit. The
weather on the summit can deteriorate very quickly, with thick mist reducing visibility to 3m, rain
storms and strong winds can also occur at times. When climbing on the summit and the higher part of
the mountain, it's important to have sufficient warm clothes, a headtorch, spare batteries, waterproof
rain coat, food and water. During the descent we stop at our mountain hut before continuing to the
park head quarters and returning to our accomodation for the night. The descent is tough on the
knees and takes approximately 5-7 hours. A certificate is available to prove that you completed the
climb - this can be arranged for RM10.
Trip Details - Borneo - Sabah Adventure Page 3 of 12
You can for an additional charge hire a porter to carry your bag. The porters charge per weight.
Days 5-6 Kinabatangang River
We journey overland next by bus for around 6 hours to an area known as Sukau where we visit the
This is Sabah's longest river and home to an incredible variety of wildlife. We stay in the jungle and
get to observe an vast array of insects, birds and animals in there native environments. Walking along
jungle trails and travelling by boat along the river you regularly see king fishers, hornbills, macaque,
and proboscis monkeys. Very occassionally you may get lucky and see elephants, wild boar, otters,
orang-utans and other reclusive species.
Days 7 Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
A 100km journey overland takes us to Sepilok where we visit Sepilok Orangutan Centre
(approximately 5 hours).
We pass through primary rain forest & Sabah's arable farming areas, which is predominately palm oil
& rubber plantations.
Sepilok is one of the highlights of the trip where you'll get to meet the adorable 'wild men of Borneo'.
Orang-utans and their human like features are a truely unforgetable experience. The centre is an
excellent example of active conservation, re-introducing domesticated, injured and orphaned orangutans
back into the wild. You'll visit one of the feeding platforms & there's a vistor centre where you
can learn more about these amazing animals. There are walking trails where you can see not only
orangutans, but several species of macaque & a host of other birds & wildlife roaming freely. (Please
note there is an additional camera fee at the centre)
It must be remembered the reserve is primarily set up to help re-introduce orangutans back into the
wild after a life of domestication or having been orphaned. As we walk into the reserve to see the
semi-wild orangutans it is essential that we follow the parks instructions. We are not permitted to
interfere or touch the orang-utans as human contact must be kept to a minimum.
Day 8 Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu
We travel to Sandakan, where we visit the small but informative Memorial Museum on the site of a
former Japanese POW camp, which highlights Borneo's involvement during World War II, infamously
remembered for the 'death marches'.
We may have time to take in some of the sights of the city, go shopping & experience the hustle &
bustle of the waterfront markets, before transfering back to Kota Kinabalu by air (45min flight) & have
more time to explore the city. On a clear day (depending on flight pathes) you sometimes get to see
Mt Kinabalu from the air.
Day 9 Manukan Island/ Kota Kinabalu
Today is a lazy day to rest & relax on Manukan Island. A 25 minute boat ride takes us to one of
several islands that make up the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Marine Park & gives you the chance
to go snorkelling & soak up this tropical paradise. There are also optional diving possibilities for those
with the appropriate certification and experience. The rest of the day is yours to wander around town
& check out the shopping possibilities.
Day 10 Kota Kinabalu
Today is departure day and you are free to continue your onward travel.