Birds & Mammals of Borneo

Borneo is estimated to be home to around 222 mammals (including 44 endemic – meaning they are not found anywhere else in the world), 420 birds (37 endemic), 100 amphibians and 394 fish (19 endemic). Just in the Heart of Borneo, a 220,000-km2 region in the mountainous centre of the... More

Borneo is estimated to be home to around 222 mammals (including 44 endemic – meaning they are not found anywhere else in the world), 420 birds (37 endemic), 100 amphibians and 394 fish (19 endemic).

Just in the Heart of Borneo, a 220,000-km2 region in the mountainous centre of the island, there are 10 primate species, over 350 bird species, and 150 reptile and amphibian species.

Borneo’s incredible biodiversity with tropical rainforests and climate provide the ideal conditions for a wide variety of species to thrive. Dipterocarp trees hold the greatest insect diversity on Borneo – as many as 1,000 species can be found in just 1 tree. They are also home to thousands of plants, lichens and fungi, which form the base of a food chain that nurtures a wide array of species. This web of life is at the heart of Borneo’s tropical rainforests.

On this exclusive trip we will be exploring the primeval forests of Borneo where orangutans swing through the trees, Proboscis monkeys leap from branch to branch and colourful hornbills take flight in the early morning sun. Deep in the jungle are Asian Pygmy elephants silently walk through ancient trails. Rivers flow freely and Mt. Kinabalu towers over the island. Visiting both Sarawak and Sabah, we search for some of Borneo’s most charismatic wildlife from its coast to the interior, meeting the island’s inhabitants learning about their culture, both traditional and modern.




  • Immerse yourself in the lush rainforest as you discover the many species of Borneo’s exotic & rare birds
  • The opportunity to view the largest array of wildlife in Sarawak including proboscis monkeys, silver leaf monkeys, long-tailed macaques and monitor lizards as well as diverse vegetation
  • Semenggoh Wildlife Centre – see orphaned and rescued orangutans
  • Lemanak River and Batang Ai – meet local Iban people in their natural surroundings and observe their traditional lifestyle, handicrafts, natural medicines and see virgin rainforest
  • Semadang river kayaking, visiting mini waterfalls and caves en route and feeding river fish
  • Excursion to Gaya Island
  • Kundasang WWII Memorial Park – learn about Sabah’s WWII history
  • Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary
  • Sukau Rainforest – home to an array of wildlife. River cruise in search of wildlife
  • Kinabatangan River and Kelenanap oxbow lake – river cruise to view birds and wildlife
  • Poring treetop canopy walkway – spectacular views of the rainforest below
  • Kinabalu National Park – tropical rainforest

Welcome to Borneo!! Upon arrival in Kuching a travel-to-nature Asia guide will be at the airport to greet and take us to our hotel. Please look out for your name-card once you exit out of arrival area.

The capital of Sarawak, Kuching, is a vibrant riverside city full of different ethnic groups who have migrated from the surrounding forests. With a great museum and a well preserved colonial centre there is much to do in this fascinating cultural hot spot.

Accommodation: The LimeTree Hotel

Morning visit the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. The centre consists of 740 hectare of virgin forest and it is home to orangutans. You will have an opportunity to observe how the orangutans are being rehabilitated and trained to fend for themselves before being released into the wild. Visitors are allowed to study and observe the orangutans at a distance. After Semenggoh, continue your overland journey to Batang Ai Jetty.

There will be three stopovers along the route: Serian, a predominantly Dayak trading town, Chinese farm house to see how pepper and cocoa are grown and Lachau bazaar for lunch.The journey passes through scenic countryside of rice fields, rubber, cocoa, pepper and oil palm plantations, which intermingle with luxuriant tropical rainforest, rivers and mountain ranges.

Upon arrival at the Batang Ai jetty, proceed by resort’s scheduled boat to Aiman Batang Ai resort. Two Overnight in Batnag Ai Jetty.

Accommodation: Aiman Batang Ai Resort
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, take a traditional longboat ride to the Iban longhouse from Aiman Resort. Arrive at Iban Longhose, welcome by the natives, tour the longhouse, watch the natives at work such as making mats, baskets, handicrafts and mending fish nets. Observe the natives doing their daily chores, like feeding their livestock, washing clothes, swim in the river or just relax at the riverbank. Enjoy the cultural performance.

Lunch at longhouse and witness the blowpipe demonstration, followed by a jungle walk to learn more about the plants that are used by the locals for (handicraft, food, medicine etc.). After experiencing the tribal cultural highlights return by longboat back to Aiman Resort. Overnight in Batang Ai.

Accommodation: Aiman Batang Ai Resort
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast take a ferry from the resort to the jetty, before driving back to Kuching, stopping for lunch en route. Overnight in Kuching.

Accommodation: The LimeTree Hotel
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

There should be time this morning to explore Kuching on your own. Afterwards Fly to Kota Kinabalu.

Known as KK to the locals, the capital of Sabah is a now a modern multi‐cultural city. The evening is free to relax, explore the bustling Filipino markets or enjoy a sundowner on the waterfront. Overnight in Kota Kinabalu.

Accommodation: Kota Kinabablu Marriott Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Free day; optional snorkelling and island trip. Today you are free to enjoy some of the many activities in Kota Kinabalu has to offer. The most popular option is to visit one of the tropical islands is Gaya Island.

Kota Kinabalu – Gaya Island:

A 30 min speed-boat journey from the city and offering excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities. Here you can never be bored whether you are relaxing on the white sand, snorkelling or just swimming in the warm South China Sea. If you are interested in diving or arranging a snorkelling trip please speak to you leader. Trek to one of the trail and learn about the unique medicinal plants, tropical hardwood trees and tropical Dipterocarp rainforest. A great way to dispel the jet lag as you’ll almost certainly be well relaxed and rested after this.

Accommodation: Kota Kinabablu Marriott Hotel
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

Note: Do not forget to bring along hat, insect repellent, swimwear and sun block lotion.

Today continue your overland journey to the foothills of Mt. Kinabalu, make a short stop at Pekan Nabalu market to sample local fruits in season and to stretch our legs. Proceed to the Kinabalu Natural History Gallery and Mountain Garden in Kinabalu Park Headquarters.

If weather permits, take a guided walk on one of the trails to explore the cool montane forest. After that, we visit the Kundasang War Memorial Park to learn about Sabah’s WWII history and for great photos with the majestic Mount Kinabalu (if weather permits). Overnight in Kundasang.

Accommodation: Zen Garden Resort
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After leisurely breakfast, continue your journey to Poring from Zen Garden, east of Kinabalu Park HQ to walk amidst tropical lowland rainforests leading up to the treetop canopy walkways suspended 41 meters above the forest floor across giant Mengaris trees.

Enjoy lunch, before visiting the Kipungit Waterfall, stopping for a soak here or in the rejuvenating hot sulphur public pools. If the weather permits, treat your foot to a delightful but very ticklish fish massage at the Moroli River in Luanti which will almost certainly leave you in giggles. Next proceed by road to Sepilok. Overnight in Sepilok.

Accommodation: Sepilok Nature Resort
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. We proceed to watch a video show about the plight of the Orangutans and the rehabilitation efforts ongoing at the Centre. Walk ten minutes through the rainforest on wooden boardwalks to witness the feeding of the Orangutans, and then you continue to the newly completed enclosed nursery area for young orang utans. Thereafter visit the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre to learn about conservation of the world’s smallest bear.

After lunch, we will drive the short distance to Sandakan jetty to take a boat to the multi awards winning Sukau Rainforest Lodge on the Kinabatangan River. The floodplain of the Kinabatangan River is a low-lying wilderness covered by a patchwork of natural rainforest and ever-encroaching oil-palm plantations. The whole area is dotted with oxbow lakes, sandstone hills and limestone outcrops, and is home to a wealth of wildlife including our first truly wild Orang-utans and the remarkable Proboscis Monkey.

Each early morning and mid-afternoon we will take boat trips along the river and into tributaries and oxbow lakes. Once off the main river channel the boatman of each of our motorised canoes will turn off the noisy diesel engine and switch on the low-powered and silent electric motor, enabling us to really enjoy the sights and sounds of this rich wilderness. Here we hope to see wild Orangutans making their way slowly through the canopy of riverside trees or, in late afternoon, watch them making their night-time nests.

We can also watch troupes of the bizarre Proboscis Monkey crashing through the branches or swimming across the flooded channels. These comical creatures often sit in the trees and watch us float by, hands resting beside their huge pot bellies and the males with their extraordinary floppy nose. In addition we hope to see Long-tailed Macaques and the odd Silvered Langur, along with a wealth of spectacular birds, including Rhinoceros, Helmeted, Black, Oriental, Pied, Bushy-crested, Wreathed and Wrinkled Hornbills, Blue-eared and Stork-billed Kingfishers, Jerdon’s Baza, Blyth’s Hawk-Eagle, Black-and-Red and Black-and-Yellow Broadbills, and if we are very lucky perhaps a pair of the endangered Storm’s Storks. Of course there are many smaller birds as well, though watching these from the boats is not too easy. There is also a chance of seeing Crocodile or Asian Pigmy Elephant from one of these boat trips. Weather permitting we may undertake a night cruise which could provide sightings of Buffy Fish Owl or one of the strange nocturnal inhabitants such as the enigmatic Colugo.

We will also take time to wander very gently along the short trails into the secondary forest just around our lodge where, with patience, a great variety of birds can be found. Black-headed Pitta can usually be seen, and others such as Raffle’s Malkoha, Buff-necked, Banded and Crimson-winged Woodpeckers, Straw-headed Bulbul, Black-throated and Chestnut-winged Babblers, Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, Little Green Pigeon and perhaps even Malaysian Honeyguide. Many birds can also be seen from the lodge veranda, while we can relax with a cold drink, especially if one or two of the adjacent trees are fruiting. It is also a great place for photographing dragonflies and butterflies.

Our time at the Kinabatangan River will be spent at the secluded Sukau Rainforest Lodge. This modern lodge offers the best accommodation along the Kinabatangan River, and will be our base for the next two nights. Overnight in Sukau.

Accommodation: Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Take an early morning river cruise up the Kinabatangan River to Kelenanap oxbow lake to view more birds and wildlife. After breakfast, proceed for an educational tour along the lodge’s Hornbill Boardwalk with our in-house naturalist.

After lunch, join our in house Orangutan Talk activity. In the afternoon, we proceed for another river cruise for more wildlife observation. Sometime explore the forest on foot, and always it will be unpredictable the more often we go, the greater the chance of seeing something really exciting. As this spectacular show draws to a close we will retrace our steps back to Sukau Rainforest Lodge for a final night alongside the Kinabatangan River.

Accommodation: Sakau Rainforest Lodge
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, return to Sandakan by boat. After lunch proceed to airport for our flight to Kota Kinabalu and then to Kuala Lumpur.

Upon arrival transfer to The Le Apple Boutique for overnight stay. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Accommodation: The Leapple Boutique Hotel
Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant metropolis, striking for its remarkable cultural diversity. Ethnic Malays, Chinese prospectors, Indian migrants and British colonials all helped carve the city out of the virgin jungle, and each group has left its indelible mark on the capital. Around the iconic Twin Towers you can spend hours in one of the numerous air-conditioned shopping malls of the Golden Triangle, or visit the colourful Chinatown, the hawker stalls at Jalan Alor, and discover the Indian culture near Brickfields or Masjid Jamek.

For first-timers to the city, this tour introduces you to the beauty of old and modern Kuala Lumpur. The first stop will be at the breath taking Royal King Palace, which provides excellent photographic opportunities.

Next drive pass the National Mosque and the Railway Administrative building before coming to the Independence Square where the country first national flag was hoisted to mark the achievement of independent from the British in 1957. Here at this spot, you will be also able to photograph the scenic Sultan Abdul Samad building with its intricate Moorish architecture. Lastly The most photographed locale in Kuala Lumpur is undeniably, the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. Also known as KLCC, this 88-storey building stands at an imposing height of 452 metres and is hailed as the world’s tallest twin structure. Complementing the Islamic-inspired architecture is the beautifully landscaped KLCC Park, complete with water fountains and spacious walking paths, which make for a great base for tourists to put their posing skills to the test.

The double-decked Skybridge, situated on the 41st and 42nd floors of the Petronas Twin Towers, is also one of its major draws, where guests can photograph the breathtaking city landscape from a jaw-dropping height.

Afternoon free for individual activities. * Twin Tower Ticket Included.

Accommodation: The Leapple Boutique Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Early breakfast at hotel. After Breakfast, meet our representative at the lobby, for your tour of Kuala Lumpur, but this time around the outskirt. Batu Caves is an iconic and popular tourist attraction in Selangor. Site of a Hindu temple and shrine, Batu Caves attracts thousands of worshippers and tourists, especially during the annual Hindu festival, Thaipusam. A limestone outcrop located just north of Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves has three main caves featuring temples and Hindu shrines. Its main attraction is the large statue of the Hindu God at the entrance, besides a steep 272 climb up its steps to finally view the stunning skyline of the city centre. Monkeys frolic around the caves, and it is a popular spot for rock climbing enthusiasts. Paintings and scenes of Hindu Gods can also be seen in the Ramayana Cave.

The Pewter Factory: The discovery of tin in Malaya had lured him and thousands of other Chinese to the fledgling tin-mining town, where he joined his brothers who had established themselves as tinsmiths. Yong Koon enjoyed brisk business making simple household items of tin, operating from his shop at No. 23 Cross Street. He later made pewter incense burners, joss stick holders and candlestands for the altars of Chinese temples. Employing a few other craftsmen, he was among the first pewter smiths in Kuala Lumpur.

After the tour, check-out and transfer to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) for your homeward-bound  flight.

Meal: Breakfast


  • Airport (pick up/drop off) transfers by private A/C vehicle
  • Twin room sharing accommodation at all hotel/lodge/resort as mentioned
  • Daily breakfast throughout the trip and other meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • A tour leader throughout
  • Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles and river boats
  • Internal flights as per the itinerary
  • Guided Sightseeing, all activities and day excursions as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees to all included sites (national parks/conservation areas/monuments etc.)
  • Local nature guides at included sites
  • Applicable government taxes

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Personal clothing & equipment
  • Tips for trip leader/guide, driver, hotel staff and porters
  • Items of personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, laundry, showers and other unforeseen expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the above ‘Included’

Price: US$ 2,695 per person (Twin Sharing Basis | Based on Minimum 6 Travelers)
Single Supplement: US$ 600

Your Feedback

The LimeTree Hotel, Kuching

The LimeTree Hotel is a unique, mid-range boutique hotel with a passion for limes and a strong commitment for environmental sustainability. Centrally located in the area of Padungan, it is minutes away from New Chinatown, local eateries, shopping malls and just an 8 to 10-minute walk to Kuching Waterfront - making it an ideal base to explore the city.

Aiman Batang Ai Resort, Batang Ai

Aiman Batang Ai Resort offers the ideal getaway for serenity, mindfulness and relaxation. Located on the fringe of the Batang Ai National Park, this 100-room resort offers pristine nature surrounded by nearby tribal communities and wildlife who have made Batang Ai their home. Fashioned in the traditional longhouse design, the resort offers opportunities for invigorating activities or simply relaxation and peace.

Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel, Kota Kinabalu

Find your respite in stylishly appointed hotel accommodations with open floor concepts, modern amenities, 24-hour room service and balconies with panoramic sea views. From our dramatic lobby to our sleek, modern hotel rooms and suites, you'll experience a charming visit at Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel. Explore the nearby coral islands or just relax along the beach.

Zen Garden Resort, Kundasang

Established almost a decade ago, Zen Garden Resort has grown from a tiny business, consisting of just 6 rooms and 1 chalet, to the largest resort that Mount Kinabalu has to offer. Presently, it has 7 chalets and 120 individual rooms to accommodate your various needs. In addition, there is an open-air coffee house to enjoy a relaxing afternoon sipping coffee.

Sepilok Nature Resort, Sepilok

It all started in 1991, when John and Judy opened what was then known as Wildlife Lodge, with only 5 fan rooms. With passion and interest in nature, they slowly increase the number of rooms to 60 and now it is known as Sepilok Jungle Resort which now is set amidst in this magnificent landscape full of nature.

Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Kinabatangan

The award winning Sukau Rainforest Lodge nestles on the banks of one of Borneo’s most important waterways, the Kinabatangan River, home to many of Borneo’s magnificent wildlife. It offers the rare comfort and luxury in the midst of the Borneo Rainforest whilst retaining an Eco-Lodge ethos, the delicate balance of true sustainability.

The Leapple Boutique Hotel, Bukit Bintang

Centrally located in Bukit Bintang, Leapple Boutique Hotel sits between Lot 10 and Fahrenheit 88 Shopping Mall. Its modern non-smoking rooms have free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV. It is a 5-minute walk from Pavilion Shopping Centre. The Zen-themed rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a personal safe and a fridge. Private bathrooms have a hot-water showers and a hairdryer.

Trip Facts

  • Price (USD) From 2,695
  • Duration 13 Days
  • Group Size 6-12 Pax
  • Arrive Kuching
  • Depart Kuala Lumpur
  • Trip Level
    easy to moderate
  • Activity Birding | Wildlife
  • Meals 12 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • Accommodation 3-4* Hotel and Eco-Resorts

Giving back to the communities is our responsibility!

With every trip, you also support the SWAN and thus projects for Sustainable Community development and Biodiversity protection.

Our primary NGO partner is Social Welfare Association of Nepal (SWAN), with whom we have carried out multiple CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) projects. Besides carrying out regular CSR activities in the areas of education and women empowerment, we have supported relief and rehabilitation initiatives in the aftermath of several natural disasters like earthquake, immediate response to COVID-19 pandemic across Nepal. 

Giving something back to the world is a special and responsible affair of travel-to-nature Asia right from its inception. When you travel with travel-to-nature Asia and SWAN-Nepal, you become an integral force for change in addressing the most pressing social and wildlife conservation issues. Your tourism funds help transform the future of under-privileged and marginalized communities and transform the future of at-risk natural places you travel. Portion of our profit flows to local communities who live with and steward nature, creating jobs and improving livelihoods.

By joining one of our holidays you are playing a vital role in bringing positive changes in the lives of local community.

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