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Borneo Private Expedition
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10 days

from $11,753 AUD trip_detail hint icon

($7,995 USD)

Prices are per person, based on twin share occupancy. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange. The expedition price will be finalised at time of booking.

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Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to sites, safari drives, and easy hikes; and some days will have more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, or biking.

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Premium expeditions are led by a National Geographic expert, an expedition team, or top guides, and tap into National Geographic's worldwide resources to allow for in-depth exploration and special access to sites and experts in the field. Itineraries are fully planned, with some free time. Accommodations are high-end or best available. Ground transportation and most meals and activities are included in the trip price.

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Expedition Overview

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EXPEDITION OVERVIEW
  • Get up close to orangutans and Malayan sun bears at conservation centers in Sepilok.
  • Stay at Sukau Rainforest Lodge—a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World on the Kinabatangan River—and explore jungle waterways by boat.
  • Meet a marine biologist on Gaya Island and dive into the Bornean undersea to lend a hand with coral restoration efforts.
  • Search for pygmy elephants, gibbons, langurs, and rare birds in the primary rain forests of Danum Valley Conservation Area.
Itinerary

Misty mountains and jungle-shrouded rivers, colorful coral reefs and rain forests teeming with rare species: few places on Earth offer such a bounty of natural wonders as Borneo. Uncover the rich biodiversity of Malaysian Borneo on a journey from the wild interior of Sabah to idyllic Gaya Island. Stay in jungle lodges nestled within wildlife reserves, surrounded by canopy walkways suspended through the treetops. Set out on day and night hikes and river safaris to search for orangutans, proboscis monkeys, and leopard cats; and snorkel in tropical waters inhabited by sea turtles and a rainbow of fish.

Day 1: Sandakan, Malaysia/Sepilok

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Arrive in the city of Sandakan on Borneo’s eastern coast and transfer to your jungle lodge, located on a lakeshore just outside Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. Join your private guide for an introductory dinner, then set out on an optional night walk to seek out the sources of the jungle’s wild cheeps and shrieks.

Day 2: Sepilok

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Climb into the canopy early this morning and weave your way across aerial walkways to spot kaleidoscopic birds flitting amid the treetops. After breakfast back at the lodge, visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, where orangutans rescued from captivity are reintroduced to the wild. Spend the afternoon trekking through Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, and take another canopy walk at dusk, when you could find nocturnal creatures like tree frogs and tarsiers in the foliage.

Day 3: Sepilok/Kinabatangan River

Take a behind-the-scenes tour and watch the morning feeding at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center. Then board a local boat for a two-hour ride along the Kinabatangan River. Your destination is Sukau Rainforest Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge built by native Borneans to celebrate—and help protect—the riverine rain forest and the communities that depend upon it. Settle into your room, then depart at dusk in an electric-motored boat to look for orangutans, pygmy elephants, and proboscis monkeys.

Day 4: Kinabatangan River

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Awaken to the calls of gibbons and hornbills, and watch the sun rise during a guided wildlife cruise. Have lunch back at the lodge and take advantage of free time to wander the elevated boardwalk with the resident naturalist, tour the property’s eco-friendly facilities, or unwind by the pool. As a National Geographic guest, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the lodge’s in-house orangutan expert. Later, visit the Gomantong Caves, home to thousands of bats and swiftlets; then embark on another twilight river safari to search for monkeys, owls, and crocodiles.

Days 5-7: Danum Valley Conservation Area

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Travel overland to the valley of the Danum River, known for its 169 square miles of virtually undisturbed primary rain forest—which offers exceptional wildlife viewing. Spend two days exploring the many nature trails on your own or with a guide. Keep an eye out for rare species, including the leopard cat, Bornean gibbon, clouded leopard, and maroon langur. Rise early to explore the canopy bridges and boardwalks around the lodge; hike to a nearby waterfall to swim in rock-sculpted pools; and take guided night hikes when the forest comes alive with nocturnal species.

Day 8: Danum Valley Conservation Area/Gaya Island

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Venture into the jungle on an early morning nature walk. For the remainder of the morning, explore the rain forest on your own or take advantage of the lodge’s amenities before departing on an afternoon flight to Kota Kinabalu. Upon arrival, transfer to the docks and catch a shared ferry to Gaya Island. Settle into your secluded resort, accessible only by boat, and spend the rest of the day at leisure in this tropical paradise.

Day 9: Gaya Island

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Meet the lodge’s resident marine biologist for an excursion that includes an opportunity to lend a hand with local conservation efforts. Hear about programs aimed at restoring the bordering coral reefs and protecting endangered green sea turtles, then dive into the Bornean undersea to help out with coral restoration as clownfish, seahorses, and turtles swim past. This afternoon, enjoy free time to take advantage of the lodge amenities. Unwind at the spa or in the infinity pool, or take a short boat ride to a private beach.

Day 10: Kota Kinabalu/Depart

Ferry back to Kota Kinabalu and transfer to the airport to catch your international flight home.

What to Expect

This trip has an activity rating of light\/moderate and suits a range of interests and abilities. Travelers should be physically fit and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods and navigating uneven or slippery terrain. Excursions include visits to rehabilitation sites, river and land safaris, jungle walks, and hiking into a cave. Some river transfers are up to two hours.

Accommodations
Throughout the expedition, you’ll stay in high-end accommodations selected for their exceptional quality, location, and character, including Sukau Rainforest Lodge, a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection.

Expedition Team

Top private guides will accompany you throughout the trip, and local experts will meet with you along the way as described in the itinerary.

ACCOMMODATIONS
1 /4

Sukau Rainforest Lodge - Sabah, Borneo

On the banks of the Kinabatangan River, Sukau Rainforest Lodge invites you to discover the dazzling flora and fauna of its jungle waterways by boat and on foot.

2 /4

Sukau Rainforest Lodge - Sabah, Borneo

On the banks of the Kinabatangan River, Sukau Rainforest Lodge invites you to discover the dazzling flora and fauna of its jungle waterways by boat and on foot.

3 /4

Sukau Rainforest Lodge - Sabah, Borneo

On the banks of the Kinabatangan River, Sukau Rainforest Lodge invites you to discover the dazzling flora and fauna of its jungle waterways by boat and on foot.

4 /4

Sukau Rainforest Lodge - Sabah, Borneo

On the banks of the Kinabatangan River, Sukau Rainforest Lodge invites you to discover the dazzling flora and fauna of its jungle waterways by boat and on foot.

PRICES & DATES

  • date Jan 1-Nov 30, 2019
  • 2 People $14,693 AUD ($9,995 USD)
  • 4 People $13,223 AUD ($8,995 USD)
  • 6 People $11,753 AUD ($7,995 USD)

  • date Jan 1-Dec 31, 2020
  • 2 People $14,693 AUD ($9,995 USD)
  • 4 People $13,223 AUD ($8,995 USD)
  • 6 People $11,753 AUD ($7,995 USD)

Prices are per person based on double occupancy and do not include international airfare to/from your destination or internal flights during the expedition. Single traveler prices are available upon request. Internal flights are $100 per person. Surcharges may apply to certain travel dates based upon international or local holidays, as well as local events and festivals. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange and subject to change. See the terms and conditions for this trip for more information.

  • Transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary

What's Not Included

  • Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities