Borneo is one of the world’s true adventure holiday destinations and offers everything an adventure traveller could want... diving, trekking, wildlife, caves, amazing cuisine and stunning rainforests. The best way to take in the amazing country of Borneo is to trek it, so we have put together a sample 12-day adventure. So, if you are up for the challenge to discover and explore Borneo’s amazing combination of unique wildlife, jungles and white tropical beaches, check out our sample itinerary below.
Typical day-to-day Borneo trek itinerary
Day 1 – Arrive at Kota Kinabalu
On arrival you have time to rest. Now is the chance to soak up a bit of sun on the fabulous tropical beaches before your trekking adventure begins.
Day 2 – Free day – Kota Kinabalu
Enjoy a rest day at Kota Kinabalu and go for a swim in the warm tropical waters or check out the town of Kota Kinabalu and experience the warm hospitality of the people and some superb cuisine.
Day 3 - Kota Kinabalu to Kiulu
And now the fun begins... you are collected from your accommodation and transported to Kiulu for an adrenalin pumping day of whitewater rafting! There is also a high and low ropes course available at Kiulu for the more adventurous as well as tubing down some of the more gentle rapids.
Day 4 - Kiulu to tribal village
From Kiulu, day four is spent trekking in the amazing rainforests to discover the diverse and unique wildlife of Borneo. You make your way to a remote tribal village to spend a really enjoyable evening of tribal dancing and a sumptuous feast.
Day 5 – Kiulu to Sandakan
A short internal flight takes you from Kiulu to Sandakan. Make sure you check out the amazing aerial views as you fly over the dense rainforests. And when you land, it’s off on an amazing safari river trip.
Day 6 – Sandakan
Today is a tough one with a full-day trek in the dense jungle. But this is where you get to see the wildlife of Borneo, including orangutans and proboscis monkeys.
Day 7 – Sepilok
After leaving the jungle you will be transported to visit the famous orangutan centre at Sepilok and enjoy some real close-up encounters with these amazing creatures. The day then finishes with a trip to the Gomantong Caves and as dusk falls you can see thousands of bats leaving the caves and take to the skies.
Day 8 – Sepilok to Turtle Island Park
This is one of the highlights of this incredible adventure. You will be taken by boat to the Turtle Island Park to see the sea turtles nesting on the beach... it is amazing to see these creatures making their epic struggle up the beach to lay clutches of eggs in the sand and this really is an unforgettable experience.
Day 9 – Sepilok to Pulau Tiga
Another short internal flight takes you to Kota Kinabal for a short vehicle ride to the stunning tropical island of Pulau Tiga, where you arrive in the evening to enjoy a tasty seafood BBQ feast.
Day 10 – Pulau Tiga
Today is spent relaxing on this beautiful island and soaking up the sun or snorkeling in the warm tropical sea. Sea kayaks are also available if you are feeling energetic enough.
Day 11 – Lankah Syabas
A last internal flight takes you to Lankah Syabas to relax on the sandy beaches at the end of what has truly been an unforgettable and amazing trekking and nature trail of Borneo. Now is the time to celebrate with a meal before returning to your chalet for the evening.
Day 12 – Kota Kinabalu
Lankah Syabas is just a 25-minute drive from the Kota Kinabalu where your adventure begun. Spend the day relaxing once more on the beaches before you return home.
How to get to Kota Kinabalu
We recommend booking this trip through a reputable trekking tour operator. Due to the large distances and terrain covered it is advisable to have knowledgeable guides as well as all of your accommodation booked in advance. For a real adventure and to save some money you could of course book some flights to Borneo and arrange guides and accommodation yourself but using a reputable trekking tour operator has many benefits.
A Borneo trekking experience typically will include:
- Return flight
- All departure taxes
- All airport transfer and holiday transport costs
- All internal flights
- All accommodation
- All meals
- Adventure holiday leader and full support crew
- Luggage transfers
- All group camping equipment and basic medical kit
Who can do this Borneo trekking trip?
This 12-day adventure activity trip is suitable to relatively fit individuals who are able to trek for five to six hours in a day. The trip is relatively easy going but the rain forests and jungle can be hot and humid depending on the time of year you choose to travel. So if you choose to go during the warmer months, make sure you are fully prepared for warm and clammy temperatures. Hydration will be even more essential than usual.
Regardless of your level of fitness, it is always good advice to have a full medical check-up before deciding whether or not to tackle the Inca Trail. Also when you are planning your trip ensure you have had at least one rest day after flying to Cusco to recover from any jet lag or travel fatigue.
Always consult your doctor for a list of all the medical requirements for an adventure activity holiday. Before traveling to Borneo ensure your tetanus and polio vaccination are up to date and start a course of anti-malarial tablets before you travel and invest in some heavy duty insect repellent plus a mosquito net. The table below lists the vaccinations you may require as well as the time you should see your doctor before traveling in order to get your vaccinations.
|Disease||Recommendation||When to see your doctor|
|Typhoid||Vaccination recommended||10 days before travel|
|Hepatitis A||Vaccination recommended||2 weeks before travel|
|Diphtheria||Vaccination recommended||3 months before travel|
|Hepatitis B||Vaccination recommended||2 months before travel|
|Rabies||Vaccination sometimes recommended||1 month before travel|
|Yellow fever||Certificate of vaccination required if traveling to Borneo from a Yellow Fever infected area||10 days before travel|
|Japanese B encephalitis||Vaccination sometimes recommended||1 month before travel|
Why not trek Borneo for a charity? Get sponsored for your trip and raise loads of cash for a worthy cause. Not only will you have trekked one of the most amazing trails in the world but you'll have helped other people too... the feeling of achievement will be fantastic!
Feeling inspired? Why not view our list of Partner Charities and pick a great cause to support.