Borneo is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet! Bet you can’t guess how many different types of plants Borneo has? If you thought 15,000, then you’re obviously physic because that’s the correct answer (or estimate at least, cos that’s a lot of counting)! Borneo is also home to 222 mammals, 44 of which are only native to Borneo! Pretty impressive, right? Sooo I think you get the picture of how diverse Borneo is! You’ll be getting up close to Orangutans in their natural habitat, exploring local villages and trekking (or shall we say chasing) some unreal waterfalls. To top it off the trip ends with an open water PADI diving course, you’ll be a pro! If you’re looking for adventure and wildlife, well, you were BORN for this Borneo adventure (sorry, not sorry)!
We’ve perfected the balance between culture, adventure, beaches and parties. A high level of inclusions at a low cost. Think of a Ferrari for the price of a Ford. Highlights, hotspots & hidden gems are crafted into each itinerary with our own TruExclusives. We stay in a variety of different accommodations such as hotels, hostels, homestays, beach huts & even boats. Maximum adventure, minimum hassle.
Welcome to Borneo, the third-largest island in the world! Once you arrive, our legendary TruNinjas (a tour guide but cooler) will meet you at arrivals, and off you go to our awesome eco-lodge, where we will be staying! Your Borneo adventure has officially started! You’ll meet your TruFam for your welcome dinner in Kota Kinabalu city, followed by some sunset drinks by the waterfront. Can’t get much more of a dreamier first night in Borneo!
When in Borneo, immersing yourself in the culture is a MUST (Obvi). So that’s why next on the list is learning about history and culture through visiting the Mari Mari village. The village is set in the forest, away from all the hustle & bustle of Kota Kinabalu. You’ll meet members of the five main tribes of Sabah while learning all about their daily life and traditions. The REAL life perspective, you’ll hear all about the head hunters of Borneo, their ancestors as well as the stories of the high priestess of a tribe, also known as the Bobohizan. We told you we would immerse ourselves in the culture! For the evening, we have some time to relax until it’s sunset o’clock. This time though it’s not just any ordinary sunset, it’s one that’s been voted number one in the world! And yes, you can go tell all your friends and make them jealous, we give you permission.
Today is the day we have all been waiting for! We leave Kota Kinabalu in the morning and set off to Sepilok, the journey has a scenic view of the lush greenery as well as the small local villages before we arrive at our jungle resort. Before we go meet our orangutan friends at the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre you can freshen up, have a little nap, or take a dip in the pool and chill, you do you boo! Just make sure you are ready to meet the 80 orangutans that live freely in the centre *cue awwww’s*. At the centre, they focus on rehabilitating orangutans so that they can be released back into the wild eventually. Don’t think it can get much cuter? Hold that thought because there are 25 baby orangutans in the centre, so see if you can spot any little ones! If you weren’t already, we can guarantee that you will have fallen in love with these incredible animals! The love does not stop there though, as we go over to the Sun Bear Conservation Centre next door, to see some of the world’s smallest species of bear. Who are also cared for just like the orangutans and then released back into the wild. We then head back to the jungle resort where you can chill with your TruFam and gush over the wonderful friends we made earlier today.
Did someone say Tru Exclusive? Hell yeah, we did! You will not find this activity anywhere else, trust us when we say this is a TRUly exclusive experience! Yup, we’re going on a safari, but not just any safari, a river safari! Kinabatangan River is Sabah’s longest river (fun fact for ya!) Along the way we'll stop off at a Rainforest Centre too. Get those cameras all charged up and ready to go because you're in for a treat! During the river safari, see what beautiful wildlife Borneo has to offer and try spotting any orangutans, pygmy elephants, crocodiles, probosci's monkeys and the myriads of birds. We call this wildlife, HEAVEN! After becoming one with nature, we head back to our riverside lodge overlooking stunning mountains for the evening, dreamy stuff!
Rise and shine! Bet you’ve never had a wake-up call from gibbons or hornbills before, but that changes today! We are off to the Kinabatangan river once again to see what wildlife we can spot as some are more active in the morning! After spending our morning on the river, it’s time to head to Kundasang, Ranau. Ranau is home to the Kundasang war memorial and gardens, which is one of the first memorials to commemorate the brave Australian and British prisoners of war who died during the infamous Sandakan-Ranu Death march. Once we have immersed ourselves in Borneo’s history, it’s time to sample some local rice wines and feast at the nearby market to experience the real, local way of life! After we’ve filled our stomachs with too much rice wine & food from the market, it’s time to catch our beauty sleep for an early start tomorrow!
We’re going hiking so grab yo’ boots and lets gooo! To start the day off, we’ll explore Mount Kinabalu’s treetops, pretty amazing start we’d say. The view is incredible from the Canopy Tree Top Walk, no need to imagine what a hundred million-year-old rainforest would look like because it’s right in front of you! Definitely a memory you will cherish forever so make sure you really take in all that is around you as it’s not every day you get to see a rainforest, let alone from birds-eye view! Next up is the highest waterfall in Sabah, the Langanan waterfall stands 100m high (just a tad tall no biggie). Hope your feeling up for a challenge as we are going to go on a 3.5km trek, but trust us, it’s so worth it. Our stomachs are sure to be grumbling, so it’s time for a well-deserved lunch. You should be proud of yourself as you’ve completed the trek, high-fives all around (or elbow bumps, ya know 2020 & all)! Now, it’s time for the ultimate relaxation session at the mineral-infused hot springs, your muscles can thank you later! Ahhh, sounds dreamy right.
Wow, what a jam-packed (but epic) week we’ve had, which means it’s only right for us to have a day to relax. So the ball is in your court, you choose what you want to do today. Whether it be checking out the local markets to get those taste buds tingling, treating yourself to a massage or just taking in your gorgeous surroundings of Kota Kinabalu, maybe even catching the sunset! Whatever you fancy doing, the choice is yours (just make sure you do it in TRU style).
Divers paradise is calling! *cue under the sea - the little mermaid* Borneo is known for its unique and unforgettable marine life, as well as some 10/10 scuba diving, need some more convincing? Here’s why you need to go diving in Borneo. We’ll head to Gaya island by speed boat, where we will spend our day either snorkelling or trying out diving for the first time, take yo’ pick! However, suppose you are a bit of a pro, and you're already a qualified diver (we get it, you're cool). In that case, you can get up close and personal with the amazing marine life straight away! From reef sharks to clownfish, and fingers crossed maybe even some turtles! What a fin-tastic day (see what we did there!).
All good things must come to an end, which means it’s time to love and leave Borneo after an epic 9 days! You won’t just be going home with unforgettable memories to cherish forever but also your TruFam, it’s been real. Enjoy your last breakfast in Borneo and reminisce over the amazing sights you’ve seen. If your adventure is continuing, then our TruNinjas will be happy to help you with further travel plans! Until we meet again, Stay Tru!
*Please note, as you will be diving on the last day of your tour, you are required to allow at least 24 hours before flying to comply with PADI guidelines and for your own safety.*
Our first stop is in Kota Kinabalu City and we will be staying in an Eco Lodge! We are located only 5 minutes away from the marina and super close to the hotspot for diving in Kota Kinabalu. For those of you that enjoy retail therapy we are near the Imago Shopping Centre. It's the perfect base to meet the TruFam and get our Borneo adventure started!
Nestled within the lush greenery of Sepilok-Kabili Forest Reserve is our second accommodation. You wanted to immerse yourself in nature - well this is the ultimate accommodation for that!
Next up we are staying in some cool jungle chalets within the jungle along Kinabatangan River. From here we will go on an epic river safari so get those cameras all charged up and ready to go because you're in for a treat!
Nestled in the hills of Kundasang with stunning views of Mount Kinabalu is our next accommodation! Here we will do so much, from waterfall treks to hot springs and tree top walks. Are you ready? Of course you are!
Where does the trip start & Finish?
The trip starts and finishes in Kota Kinabalu.
Which airport do I need to fly into?
You will need to fly into Kota Kinabalu International Airport, airport code BKI.
What's the closest airport to the end destination?
The same as the start, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, airport code BKI.
*Please make sure you don't book your return flight for at least 24 hours after your last day of your tour to make sure you are fit to fly after diving*
How do I get back to the start destination and how much will it cost?
The trip finishes in the same place as where it starts - Kota Kinabalu.
What kind of accommodation is included on this trip?
The accommodation a mixture of dormitories, twin and triple share rooms.
How much is pre-night accommodation?
Pre-night accommodation costs £25 per night.
What is the currency?
The currency used in Borneo is Malaysian Ringgit.
What Visa do I need?
You do not need a visa to enter Borneo for the duration of this trip. You are given permission to stay for 3 months upon arrival.
Are there any COVID precautions in place for my trip?
Yes! We’re doing everything we can to make your trip as safe and stress- free as possible. All trips are run with enhanced safety and hygiene protocols advised by the FCO (Foreign Commonwealth Office) & WHO (World Health Organisation) including only working with partners who uphold the same standard and are taking the maximum amount of precautions. From switching to private transport where possible to offering private room upgrades, we’ve got all areas covered to ensure your trip is an amazing one! You can read more here.
What happens If I can’t travel due to COVID?
We’re only operating in countries that are open without quarantine and are safe and easy to travel in. That being said if you could no longer travel due to COVID or if something were to arise, we’re offering complete flexibility for our TruTravellers. From free date changes to lifetime deposits. The TruCrew are always here to give you some TLC and to go through your options. Think of us as ya BFF’s, the fun auntie/uncle of the family who loves a drink or your travel guardian angels. Were not fussed.
Is my money protected?
Yep! You will never lose your money. You’re protected. TruTravels is both ABTA and ATOL registered meaning your money is safe. We’re offering free date changes or to keep your deposit on file for as and when you’re ready to travel, 2 months, 2 years or even 20!