Proboscis monkey from tree to tree in Borneo

Borneo Family Adventure

Trip code
BNF001

For real family adventure in a setting straight from The Jungle Book, there’s nowhere in the world to beat Borneo.

This is one of the last true wildernesses on Earth — but you don’t have to be a grizzled explorer to enjoy it. In fact, Borneo is full of safe and exciting adventure experiences that the whole family can enjoy, and this trip is packed with them.

Pricing

Price based on 3* accommodation
From
2,400
pp
Price based on 4* accommodation
From
2,700
pp
Price based on 5* accommodation
From
2,900
pp

Key facts

12 days / 11 nights
Walk and boat through the mangrove forests of Bako National Park
Kayak from village to village in the Sarawak countryside, and go whitewater rafting on the Padas River
Visit orangutans and sun bears at three wildlife sanctuaries, go on a canopy walk in the jungle, and enjoy several wildlife-spotting river cruises at the Kinabatangan River
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MAP LEFT MAP RIGHT DAY 1-3 KUCHING DAY 4-5, 9-12 KOTA KINABALU DAY 7-8 KINABATANGAN RIVER DAY 6 SEPILOK
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DAY 1-3 KUCHING DAY 4-5, 9-12 KOTA KINABALU DAY 7-8 KINABATANGAN RIVER DAY 6 SEPILOK

Transfers will be by car and boat, with three internal flights (from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan, and from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu).

What's great

You’ll visit both of Malaysian Borneo’s best orangutan sanctuaries, giving you the best chance to see these flame-haired men of the jungle close-up

Long journeys have been kept to a minimum

There’s a great variety of included experiences, balancing wildlife with adventure and spectacular scenery

There’s plenty of time to relax on the beach at the end of the trip

Things to consider

Some activities may not be suitable for children under the age of eight, but we can suggest alternatives

The destinations on this itinerary are well-known and popular, so you won’t be going too far from the beaten track

Your chances of animal sightings are excellent, but nothing is guaranteed!

Even if you travel in the “dry” season, always expect rain in a rainforest

Some accommodation is pretty basic — it’s all part of the fun of the jungle!

The experience

We’ve based this trip on our favourite family-friendly experiences, but yours might look completely different. Tell us your ideas and we’ll craft an itinerary to suit you.

Day 1-3

Kuching

Borneo is one of two places in the world with orangutans, so it’s only fitting that you kick off your adventure by visiting the King of the Swingers in his natural habitat. After visiting the Conservation Centre, spend the rest of the day kayaking through the Sarawak countryside, passing rainforest, pepper farms, and Bidayuh minority villages. The next day, you’ll dive into the rainforest proper with a visit to Bako National Park, where you’ll might spot monitor lizards among the mangroves or proboscis monkeys in the towering trees. In the evenings, make the most of all the sweet treats and spicy snacks in Borneo’s cat-themed culinary capital: Kuching.

Orangutan swinging from tree in Semenggoh Orangutan Sanctuary - Pat Whelen

Highlights

Visit the orangutans at Semenggoh Rehabilitation Centre

Kayak along a gentle river in the Sarawak countryside, passing through villages and farmland

See the mangrove forests of Bako National Park

Rainforest kayaking in Kuching

Day 4-5

Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu is the springboard for some of Borneo’s most amazing experiences. Begin with the journey to Pangi, travelling through the jungle by train on a railway built in 1896 to transport tobacco. On arrival, gear up and get out on the water for an exciting rafting ride on the rapids of the Padas River — in the safe hands of an expert rafting guide, of course. It’s an exhilarating ten-kilometre course through farmland and rainforest, but there are plenty of gentler sections where you’ll have a chance to soak up the scenery. Back in Kota Kinabalu for the evening, discover the city’s hidden charms: delicious seafood, friendly people, and beautiful sunsets.

Rafting on the Padas River near Kota Kinabalu

Highlights

Go on a scenic train ride through the Sabahan countryside

Raft on the exhilarating rapids of the Padas River

Sample KK’s super-fresh seafood at the city’s night food markets

Train in North Borneo

The finer detail

  • Breakfast every day
  • Six lunches: two in Kuching; one during whitewater rafting; one in Sepilok; two at your lodge on the Kinabatangan River
  • Two dinners: both at your lodge on the Kinabatangan River
  • Two full-day experiences: walking & boating through Mangrove forests; whitewater rafting on the Padas River
  • Four half-day experiences: kayaking through villages; two orangutan sanctuaries; the Sun Bear Conservation Centre
  • Two night stay on the Kinabatangan River including wildlife spotting activities
  • All accommodation
  • All entrance fees to sites included in guided experiences
  • All domestic transfers and transport

Day 1:
Car transfer from airport to Kuching (30 minutes)

Day 4:
Car transfer to airport (30 minutes)
Flight from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu (1.5 hours)
Car transfer from airport to Kota Kinabalu (20 minutes)

Day 5:
Car transfer of 2 hours to Beaufort Railway Station then 2 hour train journey to Pangi Station, before return journey in reverse

Day 6:
Car transfer to airport (20 minutes)
Flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan (45 minutes)
Car transfer to Sepilok (20 minutes)

Day 7:
Car transfer to Sandakan Jetty (20 minutes)
Boat transfer along the Kinabatangan River (2 hours)
OR: Car transfer to Kinabatangan River (2 hours) and boat transfer to Lodge (5 minutes)
(This depends on accommodation)

Day 9:
Boat Transfer along Kinabatangan River to Jetty (2 hours)
Car transfer to airport (20 minutes)
OR: Car transfer to Airport (2 hours) (This depends on accommodation)
Flight from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu (45 minutes)
Car transfer to beach (1 hour)

Day 12:
Car transfer to airport (1 hour)

  • International flights
  • Any necessary visas
  • Any lunches or dinners unless stated
  • Entrance fees to any sites not included in guided experiences
  • Tipping and personal expenses
  • Tourist taxes & any National Park fees