Rainforests of Borneo
- The Safari Starts at Sandakan Airport and ends at Kota Kinabalu Airport
- Small group of only 6 photographers
- Photographic opportunities from vehicles, river boats and on foot
- Search for wild Orangutangs and other species like pygmy elephant and gibbons
- Incredibly diverse photographic opportunities and activities
- Activities include walks, game drives, boat rides
- Private vehicles and high end accommodation
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This Wild Eye photographic safari will see you traveling to some of the most amazing nature and wildlife destinations in Borneo including Sepilok, the Kinabatangan River, Tabin Wildlife Reserve and the Danum Valley which will offer you the opportunity of searching for and photographing species like orangutans, pygmy elephants, hornbills, macaques, leaf monkeys, otters and many more.
Borneo, the third-largest island in the world and the largest island in Asia, has some of the world’s most species-rich equatorial rainforests with prime patches that are easily accessible from modern, multiethnic cities.
For many visitors to Borneo, their most memorable moment is glimpsing a wild orangutan swinging through the jungle canopy. Jungle animals are shy by nature, but a good guide – like the ones we use – can help you tell the difference between a vine and vine snake, between a twig and a stick insect, and between the call of a hornbill and a gibbon.
We look forward to sharing this incredible Wild Eye Adventure with you!
- 2 nights: Sepilok Jungle Resort
- 3 nights: Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort
- 2 nights: Tabin Wildlife Resort
- 3 nights: Bornoe Rainforest Lodge
- 1 night: Kota Kinamalu Hyatt Regency
Welcome to Borneo! Upon arrival to Sandakan, your guide will meet you at the arrivals hall. Transfer to Sepilok Nature Resort (20 minutes) and check into the hotel. At 6:00 PM, meet your guide in the lobby for a drink and a trip briefing. After the briefing go straight to dinner. Return to your hotel for the evening.
After an early breakfast, head out for trekking at the Rainforest Discovery Centre. Return to the lodge for lunch. Continue to the afternoon feeding at the orangutan Sanctuary next door. At dusk we will return to the canopy walk at the Rainforest Discovery Center to watch red giant flying squirrels emerge from their nests.
After breakfast, depart at 7:45 AM for Sepilok. First stop will be the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. The founder of the centre will give you a private tour, and give you a talk about the work he does. Head for an early lunch at San Da Gen Kopitiam. You driver will send you on your journey to the Kinabatangan River. The drive takes 45 minutes, and then you will depart on a 2 hour journey to the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, a boutique lodge situated on the banks of the Kinabatangan River. Upon arrival, and check into your chalet. Head out by small boat at 4:00 PM for your dusk river cruise to search for the wildlife along the river. The region is teeming with fauna – orangutans, pygmy elephants, hornbills, macaques, leaf monkeys, otters, etc. etc. You will spend two hours out on the river, before returning back to the lodge for dinner. After dinner, you have the option to head out for a short night walk to search for some of the nocturnal residents of the forest. Some of the things to be seen are: civet cats, owls, frogs, snakes, flat-headed cats, and much more!
5:20 AM wake up for light breakfast, before departing at 6:15 AM on your dawn river cruise to search for more wildlife. Spend 2 hours on the river, before returning to the lodge for breakfast. Afterwards, head out for a walk on the boardwalk in search of birds, mammals, and pitcher plants. Return to the lodge for lunch and some time to rest. At 4:00 PM, head out for another river cruise. Dinner at lodge. After dinner, take an optional night cruise or night walk.
Spend another day on the river, taking river trips and short treks around the lodge in the Kinabatangan.
5:20 AM wake up for a full breakfast, before departing for our next destination: Tabin Wildlife Reserve. A boat will send us upriver for 2 hours, before we meet with the vehicle to send us to Lahad Datu. On the way, we will stop at Gomantong Caves, the largest edible bird’s nest harvesting sites in Borneo. We will also stop at the village of Batu Puteh, one of the rural villages along the main highway. The village has a community conservation project, and many of the families also have small palm oil farms (5-20 acres). You will be able to talk with some of the people from the project, and also hear their take on palm oil from rural people with very small palm oil holdings. We will stop in Lahad Datu for lunch, before taking a 1.5 hour drive to Tabin Wildlife Resort. On the way into the conservation area, we will pass through the center of a very large palm oil plantation. Check into the resort, and head out for a wildlife drive at dusk. After dinner, have the evening to rest.
Early morning optional walk before breakfast (6:15 AM – 7:30 AM). Breakfast, and head out for a 1-2 hour jungle trek in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing, trekking, or heading out on a scenic drive. After dinner, there will be another night drive to search for leopard cats, civets, owls, etc.
Wake up early for breakfast, before departing from the lodge at 7:30 AM to head for Danum Valley. You will head back to Lahad Datu (1.5 hours), take a short break, and then continue 2-2.5 hours in Danum Valley (15 minutes sealed road, 2 hours dirt road). Danum Valley consists of over 438 sq kilometers of class 1 virgin primary rainforest, with a huge diversity of flora and fauna. The conservation area is the best place in Borneo to see orangutans in the wild. Arrive at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge for lunch, and then proceed to check in. The lodge is Borneo’s premier 5-star jungle lodges, and is the only resort in the entire conservation area. Head out for a wildlife walk in the afternoon to search for orangutans, gibbons, hornbills, and more! In the evening, head out on a wildlife drive.
Early wake up for a dawn walk on the lodge’s canopy walk (1500 feet long long, with a maximum height of 100+ feet). Walk through the ancient trees, and spot wildlife and birds with your guide. Return for breakfast, before continuing on another walk to learn about rainforest ecology and find wildlife.
Today is an early day! 3:30 AM wake up for a 4:00 AM departure to the top of Danum Valley. The drive takes 1+ hours to the top. A continental breakfast will be waiting for you in a tower with a 360 degree view of the valley. Enjoy breakfast as you watch a stunning sunrise over the conservation area. We will continue to the Danum Valley Field Centre, the research station that oversees all science projects in the conservation area. You will get to meet scientists, and learn about the efforts of the scientists. Return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, take a trek or relax down by the Danum River. Optional night drive or night walk in the evening.
Spend your last day exploring Danum Valley with trekking with your guide, up on the canopy walk, or relaxing in the serene setting. Depart from the lodge at 1:30 PM, for the 2 hour drive back to Lahad Datu. Depart on your afternoon flight back to Kota Kinabalu (50 minutes) and check into the Hyatt Hotel.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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