DAY 1: Arrival at Kota Kinabalu
We meet at the Kota Kinabalu airport and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and spend the day at leisure.
Overnight at Kota Kinabalu.
DAY 2: Kiulu Rafting and Mari-Mari Cultural Village
Meet at the hotel lobby. Depart for Kiulu River (about 1 ½ hrs drive).
Journey will pass through the countryside offering views of paddy fields and villages. Upon arrival, you will be briefed on safety measures and the various rapids by the river guide. Feel the adrenaline rush as you paddlethrough the bumpy riverbeds at neck breaking speeds to reach back to the ending point.
Arrive at the ending point and enjoy a sumptuous lunch by the Kiulu River.
Proceed to Mari Mari Cultural village.
Upon arrival at the entrance of the village, teleport back to the times of ancient Borneo through unique ingenious architecture, simulated lives and ritualistic ceremonies. You will be ushered in to the warmth of different homes of the ethnicities of Sabah to get acquainted with each village tribe and experience their rich culture.
Transfer back to the hotel for dinner. Overnight at Kota Kinabalu.
DAY 3: Kinabalu National Park – Poring Hot Spring - Desa Cattle Farm
Meet at the hotel lobby and proceed to Kinabalu Park. Journey will take approximately 2 hours passing along mountainous roads that wind along the Crocker range. Along the way, we shall make a brief stop at Nabalu, a place where the local natives gather to sell local produce, fruits, home grown vegetables and handicraft souvenirs.
On arrival at Kinabalu Park we shall proceed for a walk along the nature trails in the Botanical Garden. If the day is clear, you may even spot a majestic view of Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain between the New Guinea and Himalaya. Kinabalu Park boasts an estimate of 4,500 species of plants which include 1,500 species of orchids, 77 of which are endemic to Kinabalu. The park also supports 289 species of birds and 290 different types of butterflies. After the walk we depart for lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, we shall visit the Poring Hot Spring. At this natural hot spring, there are Japanese baths where visitors can soak themselves and let the invigorating sulfurous water stimulate the body. It is believed to have curative powers. Visitors can also try the Treetop Canopy Walk, where suspension bridges are suspended at the top of the tropical jungle.
Transfer to Kinabalu Pine Resort and dinner. Overnight at Kundasang.
DAY 4: Luanti Fish Spa - Overland to Kinabatangan River
Post breakfast we shall check-out and visit Luanti Fish Spa. Lunch will be at a local restaurant and than we shall transfer to Kinabatangan River. After check-in, there is a an afternoon river cruise planned in search of wildlife in the area – a good chance to see Proboscis monkey, Orangutan, pygmy elephants, birds and more. After dinner and subject to weather conditions, we shall enjoy a night drive safari in search of nocturnal animals. (1 hour)
Overnight at Kinabatangan.
DAY 5: Kinabatangan
Rise early for another “Misty Kinabatangan River Cruise” (1 hour).
Later we shall go for a jungle walk to explore the Merbau Trail. You will be fascinated to see more than 100 years old Merbau Tree that has a big cavity underneath that can be fit around 5-6 people at one time. It was believed that the village people used to hide their daughters in the cavity during the Japanese era (2 hours).
Late afternoon, enjoy another river cruise and try to spot more wildlife (2 hours) before returning to the lodge for dinner.
Overnight at Kinabatangan.
DAY 6: Gomantong Cave
After breakfast, check out from the resort and proceed to Gomantong cave. Gomantong cave described by WWF as “the best-managed edible bird's’ nest cave in the world”. It is located in the heartland of the Gomantong Rainforest Reserve and has been the focus for the birds’ nests for centuries.
*Stopover at any restaurant during the journey for lunch. Hotel and check in. Dinner and overnight at Sandakan.
DAY 7: Bakungan Island Day trip
After Breakfast. Pick up from hotel lobby and transfer to jetty for Bakungan Island day trip.
Activities: Swimming and snorkelling.
Then, transfer back to Sandakan, Dinner and overnight in Sandakan.
DAY 8: Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Sanctuary – Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre - Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey - City Tour
Meet at the hotel lobby and drive approximately 40 minutes to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Sanctuary. It was established in 1964 to return orphaned "apes back to the wild”
Later we shall visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sabah, that promotes sun bear conservation in Borneo through animal welfare, conservation, rehabilitation, education and research - giving captured sun bears a better home and restoring their right to live in the wild.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
Post lunch visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. Labuk Bay the mangrove forest covers about 400 acres with 2 different platforms, A & B giving the visitor an excellent view of these monkeys.
Then, proceed for the Sandakan City Tour, to explore various landmarks in the city.
Australian War Memorial: It is dedicated to some 2700 Australian prisoners of war who died at the Sandakan camp and in the ensuing death marches through the jungles of Sabah.
Sandakan Central Market: the most amazing variety of fresh seafood and agricultural products.
Sim-Sim Water Village: where houses are all built close to the water surface, which earlier was a narrow, uninhabited coastal fringe of jungle and mangroves.
Puh Jih Shih Buddhist Temple: this landmark offers a breath taking view of the Sandakan Bay.
Agnes Keith House: house of the famous writer who wrote “Land below the Wind” and “White Man Returns”, is now turned into a heritage house providing interesting insight into life during British North Borneo.
Dinner and overnight in Sandakan.
Day 9 - Take a flight back home
Take a flight from Sandakan and to Kota Kinabalu and take a flight back to Mumbai