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Embark on an overland journey that showcases the beauty of Sabah - covering nature, wildlife and local culture. (Private & small group)
Depart Kota Kinabalu and travel 2 hours along the ridges of the Crocker Range to Kinabalu Park. Enjoy superb mountain views as you travel to the Park at 1524 meters. Explore one of the many trails that lead through tropical Montane Oak and Chestnut Forest. Kinabalu is a botanist’s paradise with over a thousand species of orchids, numerous different rhododendrons and pitcher plants. The bird life is equally fascinating with most species being montane, including a number of endemics. Stay overnight at Mountain Lodge.
Drive overland easterly to the district of Sandakan. The drive will take 4 hours passing through scenic countrysides to the village of Sukau by the Kinabatangan River where the greatest concentration of wildlife in Malaysia and possibly all of Borneo can be found. In the late afternoon, boat trip to watch the curious proboscis monkeys gather by the river bank. A good chance to see numerous species of birds and other wildlife until nightfall. Dinner. Stay overnight at the riverside traditional style Bukit Melapi River Lodge.
At 0700hrs, breakfast, thereafter take another boat trip, this time, to the ox-bow lakes. Birds abound in all shapes and forms. The lakes are the abode of freshwater fish, otters and sometime – wild elephants may be sighted. Trek in the riverine rainforest and return to the Lodge. After lunch, follow our nature trails to see more wildlife. Overnight at Bukit Melapi River Lodge
After breakfast, drive overland to the famous Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. Founded in 1964 the Centre helps once captive orang utans learn to climb and fend for themselves in the wild with the hope that one day they may return to the forest. The semi-wild orang utans may return to the platform provided by the Centre for milk and bananas twice a day during the process of returning to the forest. Visitors will get a close up view of these orang utans and have the chance to photograph them at close range.
Visit the nearby Rainforest Discovery Centre. Experience the spectacular view of Borneo’s tropical rainforest as you walk among giant dipterocarp trees. You may be able to spot forest life such as the resident Bornean Bristleheads, hornbills, pittas, kingfishers, broadbills, flying squirrels, giant tail squirrel and large geckoes. Learn about some of Borneo’s most interesting plants such as the rare slipper orchids and the bizarre carnivorous pitcher-plants.
Overnight at Sabah Hotel.
Depart Sandakan overland along parts of the infamous ‘Death March’ route to Ranau. Along this route, over 1800 Australians lost their lives (only six escaped) during WWII. Your journey will take you through the Sandakan War Memorial, scenic countrysides and villages many of which supplied food and shelter for some of the Australian Soldiers who escaped from the Japanese.
Proceed to Poring Hot Springs at the Southern end of Kinabalu Park. Lowland dipterocarp forest makes up most of the vegetation at Poring and it is an excellent place to view lowland birds and some mammals. A short trek into the forest to the Canopy Walkway for a bird’s eye view of the tropical rainforest. The Canopy Walkway is suspended between trees at the height of 40 meters and offers an excellent opportunity to observe wildlife in the canopy.
Visit the Kundasang market where varieties of local produces from the hinterland are sold. The market is also the focal point for socialising among the locals. Proceed to Kundasang War Memorial. This memorial is the end of the Death March, built as tribute to the memory of the Australians and British POWs who died in Sandakan, Ranau or during the Death Marches and as a tribute to those local who rendered assistance to these POWs, this war memorial is made of four gardens – the Australian Garden, the English Garden, the Borneo Garden and the Contemplation Garden and Pool. Spend some time in quiet reflection.
Transfer to Mountain Lodge for overnight.
Early morning, proceed north to Kudat. Villages, rice fields and nice scenery can be seen along the way. Visit the Gong making cottage industry, the gong is the most important ethnic Rungus musical instrument played during festivities such as weddings. Stop by the honey bee farm and observe how a bee farm is managed. Visit a traditional Rungus longhouse in a village just outside Kudat. Observe the way of life, the dress and the living quarters of the Rungus tribe. The Rungus tribe are renowned as highly skilled artisans, whose make colourful beaded necklaces with motifs of ancient designs, usually signifying old fables and legends. They are also highly skilled at basketry and cloth weaving.
After tour, transfer to your hotel in Kota Kinabalu for overnight.
Optional Add-on tour: 2 Nights Selingan Island and Sandakan
Day 1: Sandakan/Selingan Island
Morning transfer to the jetty to board a boat to SelinganIsland. Afternoon at leisure. After dinner, watch turtles laying eggs on the each, the transfer of eggs to the hatchery and the release of hacthling to the sea. Overnight Selingan Island (B/L/D)
Day 2: Village Walk / Mangrove
Depart Selingan Island and return to Sandakan. Proceed to a village just outside of Sandakan town, stopping on route at an oil palm plantain. Tour the village school and a house made of traditional materials in Malays style. This village is home to the Bling Centre for the State of Sabah. Residents are taught handicraft and trained as massage and reflexology therapists. Visitors are able to buy handicrafts and have a massage before a simple lunch of a local delicacy. Proceed to jetty for a boat ride into the Mangrove Forest. A good chance to see macaques, birds, reptiles and other wildlife. Overnight at Sepilok Nature Resort.
Accommodation on all Sabah tours is basic. Rooms are generally twin bedded, with air-conditioning, ceiling fans, mosquito netting, (except Mountain Lodge) and attached en-suite bathrooms with hot showers.
As these lodges are in remote locations, rooms are simple, clean and comfortable. Although they provide a unique and memorable experience, you must be prepared to live without the creature comforts of home.
Please be advised that the trip to Selingan Island involves boat transfers. In the event of adverse weather conditions during or before the journeys, the boat operator has the absolute discretion to cancel or postpone the trip if it is deemed that it will jeopardize the safety of passengers. In the event of cancellation, a replacement tour will be offered.
To enquire about this tour give us a call on (0412 456 196) or simply fill out the form below.