Sabah Wildlife, Local Culture and Resort (8 Days/7 Nights)

Sabah Wildlife, Local Culture and Resort (8 Days/7 Nights)

from 999.00

Fly to Sandakan to experience and enjoy Sabah’s fantastic wildlife with orangutans and sun-bears at Sepilok followed by opportunities to look for wildlife on the River Kinabatangan. Back in KK, spend time in the vibrant city and visit a cultural village before we round off your trip with time in a relaxing beach resort.

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Sabah Wildlife, Local Culture and Resort (8 Days/7 Nights) - (Adult £1,199, Child under 12 sharing £999, Single Room £1,499) (Peak Season surcharge applies - applicable dates at bottom of page)

Day 1 - Arrive Kota Kinabalu International Airport – Transfer to ‘KK’ City Hotel

We look forward to meeting and greeting you upon your arrival at Kota Kinabalu’s International Airport and transferring you to your hotel (Promenade 4 Star or similar) that will be your home for the first night of your tour. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy.

Day 2 - Air Transfer to Sandakan – Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre – Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre – Bilit Adventure Lodge - Kinabatangan Wildlife Afternoon River Cruise (Packed Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

We’ll request that your hotel provides a packed breakfast as we need to pick you up from the hotel at around 5 a.m. for your early morning flight to Sandakan on Malaysia Airlines (MH2042 0715>0755). You will be met at Sandakan Airport by your tour guide and transferred to the world-famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. There’s an opportunity to visit the hugely popular orangutan nursery where young orphan orangutans are trained in life-skills such as climbing that they’ll need in the wild. Then it’s a short walk to Platform A (Feeding Station) where orangutans living in the rainforest can return to Sepilok for food. As this is a natural environment you may be able to observe some orangutans here but as with all natural wildlife there are no guarantees. We then return to Sepilok HQ where we think you’re really enjoy the short film that follows lives of orangutans from their time of arrival at Sepilok through re-introduction into the wild.

Also, not to be missed is an opportunity to view the world’s smallest bear in a natural environment at the adjacent Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre where the knowledgeable rangers will point out individual bears and talk about their personalities and stories.

After lunch you will be driven overland to Bilit, Kinabatangan River arriving around 2:30 p.m. to check-in to the Bilit Adventure Lodge (standard air-conditioned room), that’s only accessible by river. The lodge is homely and comfortable, and you’ll be welcomed with afternoon tea accompanied by some tasty local Malay bites.

After a short briefing by the Nature Guide you will depart at 4 p.m. on an afternoon cruise on Sabah’s longest river, the 560km Kinabatangan River where there will be an opportunity to search for wildlife in their natural habitat that may include proboscis monkeys, orangutans, long-tailed macaques,  pygmy elephants, crocodiles, eagles, hornbill and herons. However, as with all wildlife in their natural habitat there are no guarantees and the above is a sample itinerary. After the cruise dinner will be served at the Bilit Adventure Lodge.

Optional: Night Walk can be arranged (RM10.00 nett per person per hour) and Tree Planting (RM10.00 nett per tree): For both activities pay locally on the day. For information, the profit on any monies that you spend on incidentals at Bilit including bottled water, beer, hiring of torches, raincoats and walks goes directly to the local community employed at Bilit Adventure Lodge.

Day 3 - Kinabatangan Wildlife Morning & Afternoon River Cruise – Bilit Adventure Lodge (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

Wake up to the early morning calls of the gibbons and tropical birds and start the day with another opportunity of a cruise on the Kinabatangan River, this time with a departure of around 6 a.m. for the early morning one-hour cruise.

After breakfast, you’ll have the whole day to unwind and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the Bilit Adventure Lodge and surrounding riverside environment. Mid-morning there’s an opportunity to enjoy a trek through the riverine forest followed by lunch. Spend the afternoon relaxing enjoying the view of the river rolling by before late afternoon there’s an opportunity for another river cruise to a different part of the Kinabatangan. After dinner there may be a chance to enjoy some informal local entertainment.

Day 4 - Gomangtong Cave – Sandakan Nature City Tour – Air Transfer to Kota Kinabalu (Breakfast / Lunch)

After breakfast at the Bilit Lodge, you will check-out and depart by 8:30 a.m. to the destination of Gomangtong Cave, a protected area where the limestone cave is the largest bird’s nest cave in Sabah and is home to millions of swiftlets.

After the visit to the cave you will be driven to the town of Sandakan, once the capital of British North Borneo where lunch will be taken at the English Tea House followed by a visit to the nearby Agnes Keith House, that was home to the American author famous for her three autobiographical accounts of life in colonial North Borneo with her English husband Harry Keith (the first Conservator of Forests and Director of Agriculture). The Sandakan tour continues with visits to Sandakan Memorial Park (WWII commemoration of Allied forces) and Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple which affords a magnificent view of Sandakan’s Bay and town centre. Also included are visits to St. Michael’s Church, the oldest stone church in Sabah with the foundation stone laid in 1893 and the Central Market or tamu where you can witness local seafood and produce being traded.

The day concludes with a transfer to Sandakan Airport and a late afternoon flight to Kota Kinabalu on Air Asia (AK6499 1805>1855). At Kota Kinabalu you will be met upon arrival and transferred and re-checked into the Promenade Hotel. We leave you to make your own arrangements regarding dinner and will be delighted to provide suggestions and recommendations.

What to Bring (Recommendations): Raincoat (wet season normally November – February), Cap/Hat, Insect Repellent, Sun-Cream, Good walking shoes, Torch-Light, Comfortable cotton T-Shirt with long or short pants, Binoculars, Camera, Personal Toiletries and Personal Medication.

Day 5 - Mari Mari Cultural Village – Kota Kinabalu City Tour (Breakfast / Malay Buffet Lunch / Dinner)

It’s a 9 a.m. pick-up and the day commences with a trip to Mari Cultural Village. Located in foot-hills on the edge of the rainforest in Kiansom village approximately 30 minutes from ‘KK’ city centre this is an opportunity to acquaint yourself with Sabah’s five main local ethnic indigenous tribes. Immerse yourself in local history and culture visiting traditional houses and enjoy demonstrations of bamboo cooking, fire-making and blowpipe with an opportunity to participate. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy local traditional dances and a Malay buffet lunch.

In the afternoon we will take you on a tour of Kota Kinabalu city and highlights include a visit to the excellent Sabah Museum which provides a great overview on Sabah’s history and people. Also included on the itinerary are Tun Mustapha Tower, a stop at the stunning floating City Mosque in Likas Bay, Chinese Temple, Atkinson Clock Tower and a visit to the Signal Point Observatory Platform that has a great view of KK city.

To conclude the day, we’ll return you to, and re-check you in to the Promenade Hotel (or similar) and we’ve booked you in tonight for the Promenade’s international buffet dinner that’s included in the tour.

Day 6 - Free time in KK City / Nexus Resort & Spa Karmbunai (Breakfast)

The morning is free time for you to enjoy, maybe you’d like to take a stroll in KK and buy some local products to take back home as presents? After lunch at your own expense (Blue Kinabalu can make suggestions and recommendations) we check out and leave the Promenade Hotel (or similar) at 1 p.m.

The drive north to Nexus Resort takes is some 30km north-east of Kota Kinabalu and takes around 45 minutes. The resort is situated on the 3,335 acre rainforest Karambunai Peninsula, that includes a six kilometre pristine white sand beach and there’s a chance to enjoy a dip in the warm South China Sea on a beach that is amongst Sabah’s finest. The hotel boasts eight restaurants and bars, three swimming pools and a championship Golf Course. Many water sports are available and other activities include trekking and cycling but if you’d like something a little more leisurely enjoy some quality pampering in the Borneo Spa. The icing on the cake are the welcoming, friendly and attentive Nexus team who will do their best to make your visit enjoyable and memorable.

Day 7 - Nexus Resort & Spa Karmbunai (Breakfast)

Enjoy the famed international buffet breakfast and spend the day relaxing and enjoying the beautiful Nexus Resort & Spa.

Day 8 - Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai – Transfer to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (Breakfast)

We will transfer you to Kota Kinabalu’s International Airport for your flight and wish you Bon Voyage…then Home Sweet Home!

Extensions to your stay in Nexus Resort can be arranged, please request in advance as will depend on room availability


Accommodation as described, meals as shown, ground transportation within Sabah, return air fare from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan, entrance fees, guide fees, tipping for Tour Guide & Driver.


Air fare to/from Kota Kinabalu, Travel Insurance, Malaysian Tourism Tax (RM10 per night per room payable at time of check-in), Alcoholic Beverages, Photography Permits, Additional activities and sundries at hotel/resort and any other item not stated on the itinerary.


Please select your tour to commence (the day we pick you up from Kota Kinabalu airport) on either Tuesday, Thursday, Friday or Sunday. This is to accommodate Sabah domestic flight schedules.

Peak Season - if your tour commences in the following period, please select the “Peak Season'“ option at Check-out:

24th June 2019 - 24th August 2019

23rd September 2019 - 7th October 2019

16th December 2019 - 3rd January 2020

As part of the reservation process you advise us of the date you’d like the tour to commence (we’re very flexible but if your tour commences within 21 days we suggest you advise us by email first)

Please note that this tour is on general sale and accordingly there may be other guests on the tour. 

If you’d like to request a bespoke or private tour, please complete your requirements in Bespoke Tours of Sabah and Blue Kinabalu will be happy to provide you with a quotation.

You may wish to extend your tour by a further two nights visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Mulu National Park that’s famous for its dramatic caves including the bat-filled Deer Cave. There’s also a rare opportunity to get ‘up close and personal’ with primary rainforest experiencing the Mulu Canopy Walk. Please refer to our separate Mulu tour for itinerary and prices. Please contact Blue Kinabalu for more details.