Borneo Birding Adventure

This birding adventure is a must for all bird and wildlife enthusiasts alike, with so many locations to get a glimpse of over 200 species of birds in the area. There are a myriad of opportunities to spot a vast array of special birds throughout this trip,  along with exciting and educational walks, river cruises, night tours as well as free time for you to enjoy doing what you love the best, bird watching!

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Borneo Birding Adventure Itinerary 

Day 1: Arrive in Kota Kinabalu (D)

Upon arrival to Kota Kinabalu International Airport, a guide and driver will transfer you to the hotel.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu at Shangri La Rasa Ria.

 

Day 2: Kota Kinabalu – Kinabalu Park (B,L,D)

Our driver and guide will be meeting to assist you at 8:30am for your transfer to the Kinabalu Park for a scenic journey into Borneo’s rugged island interior. Travel along winding roads, passing paddy fields and local villages. There is over 200 species of birds in Kinabalu Park.

Kinabalu Park is one of the premier birding destinations in Borneo. The Park encompasses a range of habitats, with lowland rainforest found in the Poring Hot Springs region (around 550 meters above sea level), and lower montane forest around the Park Headquarters (1, 500 meters). Around Mesilau substation, on the eastern part of the park (2, 000 meters), the area is covered by montane forest. The richest bird community is found in the lowland rainforests of Borneo. Nevertheless, Kinabalu Park offers many birds which are only found in mountainous region, including 58 strictly montane birds – 17 of which are endemic Bornean species. In the words of one birding expert, Kinabalu Park offers “many local curiosities and specialties”.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu at Sutera Sanctuary Lodges.

 

Day 3: Kinabalu Park & Poring Hot Spring (B,L,D)

Early in the morning, insect eating birds will be visible especially at the main entrance of the Liwagu restaurant, opposite the chalets. Other birds expected to be seen are the large Malaysian Treepie, the Ashy Drongo, the Laughing Thrush, Short-tailed Magpies, and flocks of birds such as the Mountain Leaf Warblers, Chestnut-crested Yuhina, the Temminck’s sunbird, various flycatchers and babblers. Along the forest trails, it is possible to spot the velvet-fronted nuthatch, Bar-winged Cuckoo-shrike, the Sunda Whistling Thrush, and the iridescent green Whitehead’s Broadbill. Other species that might be seen include the Black Laughing-thrush, Blue-winged Leaf bird, and various barbets, woodpeckers and bulbuls

This morning, walk to Mt Kinabalu National Park. An area known for its incredible biodiversity, guests will hike local trails at the base of the mighty granite monolith, Mt Kinabalu, while the guide offers insights about the immense variety of flora along the trail, including their medicinal properties and their importance to local communities or continues to the Poring Park the 41-metre-high canopy walk for a bird’s eye view of the surrounding jungle.

Continue to Poring Hot Springs (45km – approx. 1hr) where a stroll along a canopy walkway will give you a bird’s eye view of the tropical rainforest. The Canopy Walkway is suspended between trees at a height of 40m and offers an excellent opportunity to observe wildlife which shelter from predators on the ground. If time permits, you may also have a chance to soak in the hot sulphur pools, renowned for their therapeutic properties.  Full day bird watching at Kinabalu Park & Poring for 8 hours with car & guide disposal.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu at Sutera Sanctuary Lodges

 

Day 4: Kinabalu Park & Poring Hot Spring (B,L,D)

Full day bird watching at Kinabalu Park & Poring for 8 hours with car & guide disposal.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu at Sutera Sanctuary Lodges

 

Day 5: Kinabalu Park – Sepilok (B,L,D)

Early morning at 7:30am take a guided walk and learn from a local naturalist about the vast array of flora found in this lush park. Admire views of Mt Kinabalu, Southeast Asia’s highest peak.

Check-out and drive to Sandakan, sightseeing and possibly birdwatching on the way to Sepilok.

Overnight in Sandakan at Sepilok Nature Resort

 

Day 6: Sepilok – Abai river (B,L,D)

Breakfast at hotel restaurant. This morning at 7:30am we will go birdwatching at Sepilok. Then after at 10:30am we will, transfer to Sandakan Jetty to meet the boat (Private boat transfer at 11.30hrs) and transfer to the Kinabatangan River. This two-hour boat journey passes by local villages and lush rainforest and provides excellent wildlife-spotting opportunities for those looking to gander at some of Borneo’s quirky inhabitants.

Arrive at the lodge, check in and enjoy lunch. The Local guide will conduct a briefing on the upcoming activities and advice on recommended gear. Time in the afternoon to relax.

Late in the afternoon, at 16:30 hop on a riverboat for a cruise up the Kinabatangan River in search for wildlife – most notably, the proboscis monkeys which is endemic to Borneo. Other fauna is likely to be spotted in the Lower Kinabatangan Reserve includes elephants, hornbills, gibbons, and many birds.  Return to the lodge for dinner before mid-evening take a stroll along the boardwalk on a lookout for nocturnal animals and interesting insects.

Overnight in Kinabatangan at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort

 

Day 7: Kinabatangan (B,L,D)

Rise early in the morning at 06:30 hrs along with the birds and other animals of the jungle for an unforgettable river cruise to Kelenanap Oxbow Lake, a crescent shaped lake that formed when the river’s meander became so wide that it cut itself off. The stillness of the lake and relative protection provides a haven for animals and plants making for an ecosystem that’s completely distinct from that of the active river.

08:30 hrs – Continue with a visit the local fishing village, Kampung Abai. Interact with local Orang Sungai, a river people who have long inhabited the area, and observe daily activities in the fishing village.

10:00 hrs – Return to the resort for breakfast and spend the rest of the day is at leisure before heading out in the late afternoon to watch the river activities of many primate species that become active during this time. The afternoon is a particularly advantageous time to spot wildlife and the light is perfect for photography.

After a well-deserved and hearty dinner, head out again at 20:30 hrs for an unforgettable night river safari to see some of the jungle’s nocturnal inhabitants.

Overnight in Kinabatangan at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort

 

Day 8: Abai River- Sukau (B,L,D)

After breakfast a chance to explore the nature board walk around the lodge area.

Check-out from hotel at 10am and by boat ride from KWR to Sukau Rainforest Lodge for check in.

On arrival take a river cruise using electric motor in search of wildlife and birds. Enjoy candle light dinner overlooking the riverbank followed by slide presentation and interpretation by naturalist guide.

Overnight in Kinabatangan at Sukau Rainforest Lodge

 

Day 9: Sukau (B,L,D)

06:00 hrs – Rise early in the morning along with the birds and other animals of the river for a cruise to Kelenanap Oxbow Lake, a crescent shaped lake that formed when the river’s meander became so wide that it cut itself off.

After breakfast, proceed for an educational tour along the lodge’s Hornbill Boardwalk with our in-house naturalist. After lunch, join our in-house Orang Utan Talk activity. In the afternoon, proceed for another river cruise for more wildlife.

Overnight at Sukau Rainforest Lodge

 

Day 10: Sukau – Sukau Jetty – Danum Valley (B,L,D)

After breakfast, early boat transfers at 07.00 hrs and drop off at Sukau Lepit Jetty.

From Sukau Lepit Jetty, depart for a 50-minute journey to the intricate limestone system of the Gomantong Caves. After walking about 10 minutes, guests will reach two main accessible caves – Black & White Caves. Within these caves the ancient tradition of collecting of solidified swift let saliva for ‘Birds Nest Soup’ is still carried out, although under strict licensing and on sustainable terms. The area surrounding the caves is thick rainforest, where, on occasions, guests might see wild orangutans. This area is also home to around two million bats and the lurking, opportunistic bat hawk.

After tour, continue overland to Lahad Datu. Meet & Greet at Lahad Datu and proceed for registration & briefing.

From Lahad Datu depart for A join in transfer by 4WD into the thick virgin rainforest area of Danum Valley – one of the world’s most complex ecosystems. Around 30km of this 85km journey is on sealed roads, and the last two hours are along a gravel road – so expect a bumpy but interesting ride!

On arrival at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, check in late afternoon and take the option to relax or a walk along the trails and the 130-metre-tall, 300-metre-long canopy walk, high up in the 130-million-year-old rainforest which is literally humming with jungle sounds.

After dinner, board one of the open-top 4WD vehicles for an exhilarating night spotlighting tour. Accompanied by a local guide who shines a light into the jungle looking for nocturnal animals, spot a range of nocturnal animals that inhabit reserve, from samba deer to civet cats, leopards, and a stunning array of insects and frogs. Afterwards, return to the chalet.

Overnight in Danum Valley at Borneo Rainforest Lodge.

 

Day 11: Danum Valley (B,L,D)

Wake up to the jungle’s cacophony of sounds ranging from birds to primates, such as the gibbons. Taking a packed breakfast, travel to a 200-year-old Kadazandusun Burial Site, known as “Coffin Cliff”, along the 2.6km Viewpoint Trail. At the end of the trail, be rewarded with spectacular views over an ocean-like million-year-old jungle – a truly spectacular sight. The return journey includes a trip to the waterfalls!

Return to the resort for lunch.

The rest of the afternoon is at leisure; however, there is a range of optional activities available, such as private trekking, tubing on the Danum River and specialised guided tours. There is also a series of tracks leading around the Canopy Walk are free to discover at will.

This evening, venture into the jungle on foot with a local guide. Quietly entering the jungle reveals a stunning array of wildlife, not to mention the variety and size of the many insects that flourish in the evening hours.

Overnight in Danum Valley at Borneo Rainforest Lodge.

 

Day 12: Danum Valley (B,L,D)

This Morning at 09:00 enjoy another morning of trekking one of trail depending on wildlife sighting. Return to the lodge before an afternoon of relaxation or in search of more wildlife.  Dinner and optional Night Drive or night walk in search of nocturnal animals.

Overnight in Danum Valley at Borneo Rainforest Lodge

 

Day 13: Danum Valley (B,L,D)

This Morning at 09:00 enjoy another morning of trekking one of trail depending on wildlife sighting. Return to the lodge before an afternoon of relaxation or in search of more wildlife. Dinner and optional Night Drive or night walk in search of nocturnal animals.

Overnight in Danum Valley at Borneo Rainforest Lodge

 

Day 14: Danum Valley – Lahad Datu – Kota Kinabalu (B)

Have breakfast and spend the morning at leisure. At 7:30am check out and transfer to Lahad Datu Airport for onward flight to Kota Kinabalu. Please Note: Activities are subject to weather condition/departure time, and may be re-organised to best meet operational situation

Upon arrival in Kota Kinabalu, or KK as it is affectionately referred to, guests will meet our representative and be transferred to the jetty for boat schedule (Standard check-in 1400 hrs). Boat schedule in: 13:30 / 15:30 / 18:00 hrs.

This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the comfort of the luxury seaside resort.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu at Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa

 

Day 15-16: Kota Kinabalu (B, L,D)

Free at leisure.

Overnight in Kota Kinabalu at Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa.

 

Day 17: Kota Kinabalu Departure (B)


After breakfast, by boat schedule transfer to Jetty (Standard check-out 11:00am). Boat Schedule out: 09:00/ 11:00/ 13:00. Our driver will pick you up from your hotel transfer to Kota Kinabalu Airport.

  • Duration17 Days & 16 Nights
  • Price£5395

Extraordinary Sights

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