The Greatest Land You've Never Heard Of

Kinabatangan River wildlife cruise
Mount Kinabalu climb
Hike to the top of Mt Kinabalu, Borneo
Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre
Poring Hot Springs plantlife
Sabah's capital Kota Kinabalu
Wise Orangutan say: "He who grippeth the rope with three hands, grippeth the rope well."
Mesilau Nature Resort
UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mount Kinabalu National Park
  • You and Borneo meet in Kota Kinabalu – we think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Orangutans! In Sepilok! And elephants – maybes! – along the Kinabatangan River! Get hot and sweaty climbing up Mt. Kinabalu, then hot and wetty soaking in the Poring Hot Springs on the way down.


    Try not to indulge in too much ikan panggang (stingray – a local delicacy) because at the end of this trip we’re taking you on a two-day hike to the top of South East Asia.


    Day 1 - Kota Kinabalu

    The locals have finally settled on calling it KK, after previous name-changes included Deasoka (below the coconut tree), Singgah Mata (pleasing to the eye) and Api-Api (fire!).

    • Arrive in KK and get to know the area
    • Perhaps visit the Sabah Museum and the State Mosque
    • Why not escape the hustle and bustle of Kota Kinabalu and take a walk up Signal Hill, which offers great views over the city

    Day 2 - Sepilok

    Meet the rellies today at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. They’ll tug on your heartstrings then spend half an hour picking their noses. They’d fit right in at home.

    • Visit the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre
    • View rare orangutans swinging freely in the trees, especially around feeding time
    • Visit Sandakan War Memorial.
    • Spend a night in dorm rooms at a lodge in Sepilok

    Day 3-4 - Kinabatangan River

    Stay with a local family for the night. We’ll take a dusk cruise up the Kinabatangan River and if you’re lucky you might spot a wild orangutan or an elephant.

    • Head overland to an area known as Sukau
    • Visit the KOPEL Eco-Tourism initiative to learn more about the project
      Spend a night in an authentic camp hut
    • Stay with a local family near the Kinabatangan river
    • Observe the variety of wildlife in the area - this is a nature lover’s paradise
    • Take a boat ride along the river - the perfect vantage point from which we can marvel at the peaceful wilderness.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5 - Mesilau

    Time for a few stats: Mesilau has 4500 species of plants, 289 species of birds and 290 types of butterflies. Numbers are for nerds but that’s pretty darn impressive.

    • Drive to Kudasang and the Mesilau Nature Resort
    • Take the opportunity to explore the surrounding area - home to an estimated 4,500 species of plants, 289 species of birds and 290 different types of butterflies.
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 6-7 - Mt Kinabalu

    No joke – this is a really hard climb. It’ll take a few days to trek up to 4095 metres, but it’s worth it to reach the highest point in South East Asia. Views stretch from the jungles of Sabah on one side to the South China Sea on the other. Soak your bones at the Poring Hot Springs when you get way down.

    Day 6

    • Start the trek and walk five to six hours to a hut on the mountain
    • Hike through tropical rainforest into alpine terrain
    • Take in the diverse array of plant life long the way, such as orchids, rhododendrons and pitcher plants
    • Be lucky to see the Rafflesia - the largest flower in the world

    Day 7

    • Commence the ascent to the summit very early in the morning (about 2:30am)
    • Aim to reach the top before sunrise
    • Experience awe-inspiring views from the summit at Low’s Peak - with the jungles of Sabah on one side and the South China Sea on the other
    • Return to mountain hut for a well-earned breakfast before continuing the descent to the base
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8-10 - Kota Kinabalu

    They know their stuff on the KK food front. You pick the biggest, fattest, tastiest looking bit of seafood and they’ll cook it to your liking.

    Days 8-9

    Take an excursion to the Poring Hot Springs and perhaps take an interesting walk along a canopy walkway, located high in the treetops, or visit to a tropical gardenStay on the edge of Kinarut seashore for a few nights

    • Enjoy time at your leisure to laze by the pool or perhaps hire a canoe for a paddle on the warm waters off the South China Sea
    • Check out the sea life with an optional scuba diving trip to the near by Islands

    Day 10

    Trip ends after breakfast

    • What's Included

      • An experienced local tour guide, all transportation, accommodation, sightseeing and meals as indicated. The flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan is included and will be provided locally.

      Not Included

      • International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
    • Map Itinerary

    • Trip Dates and Prices

      Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
      23 Nov 2014 - 02 Dec 2014 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      04 Jan 2015 - 13 Jan 2015 Available US $1,440 Book Now
      01 Feb 2015 - 10 Feb 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      22 Feb 2015 - 03 Mar 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      15 Mar 2015 - 24 Mar 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      29 Mar 2015 - 07 Apr 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      12 Apr 2015 - 21 Apr 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      03 May 2015 - 12 May 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      24 May 2015 - 02 Jun 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      21 Jun 2015 - 30 Jun 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      12 Jul 2015 - 21 Jul 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      02 Aug 2015 - 11 Aug 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      23 Aug 2015 - 01 Sep 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      06 Sep 2015 - 15 Sep 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      20 Sep 2015 - 29 Sep 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      04 Oct 2015 - 13 Oct 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      25 Oct 2015 - 03 Nov 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      15 Nov 2015 - 24 Nov 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      06 Dec 2015 - 15 Dec 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
      20 Dec 2015 - 29 Dec 2015 Available US $1,400 Book Now
    • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

      At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

      The Greatest Land You've Never Heard Of

      Sam - Australia, 31 Mar, 2013
      Overall Rating

      What a phenomenal holiday. We absolutely loved the Mt Kinabalu climb. The accommodation was generally superb and we were lucky to have a great group of enthusiastic travellers, which made it a trip to remember. Despite the fact that our itinerary was changed at the last minute (due to rebel insurgency and a 'Do Not Travel' warning for in East Sabah), our guide Rony made up for it. He was a fantastic leader and companion, and he provided us with incredible experiences and genuine insights into the culture and workings of Malaysia. I learnt a great deal and am very keen to visit again!

      The Greatest Land You've Never Heard Of

      Karyn - Australia, 28 Oct, 2012
      Overall Rating
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    - 16
    Boat, Bus, Plane
    3 nights Guesthouse, 1 night Mountain huts, 2 nights Jungle lodge, 3 nights Hotel
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

    What to know

    A good level of fitness is required for the climb. You will trek on hilly terrain, generally on well-defined paths, walking between 3-8 hours per day.

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