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Best 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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Vacation Style Holiday TypeSafari
Activity Level Challenging
Group Size Small Group
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!
Welcome to Borneo! Upon arrival to Sandakan, your guide will meet you at the arrivals hall from where you will transfer to Sepilok Nature Resort and check into the hotel. At 18:00, we will in the lobby for a drink and a trip briefing. After the briefing go straight to dinner and overnight at the hotel.
After an early breakfast, we will head out for trekking at the Rainforest Discovery Centre afterwhich we will return to the lodge for lunch. in the afternoon we will continue to the Orangutan Sanctuary next door. At dusk we will return to the canopy walk at the Rainforest Discovery Center to look for flying red giant squirrels as they emerge from their nests.
Sepilok to Kinabatangan
After breakfast, depart at 07:45 for Sepilok where our first stop will be the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. The founder of the centre will give us a private tour, and give us a talk about the work they do. We will enjoy lunch at San Da Gen Kopitiam and from there our driver will send us on on your journey to the Kinabatangan River. The drive takes 45 minutes, and then you will depart on a 2 hour scenic boat journey to the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, a boutique lodge situated on the banks of the Kinabatangan River. Upon arrival we will check into our chalets and then head out by small boat for a dusk river cruise to search for the wildlife along the river. The region is teeming with fauna such as orangutans, pygmy elephants, hornbills, macaques, leaf monkeys, otters, etc. After our cruise we will return to the lodge for dinner and then an optional night walk to search for some of the nocturnal residents of the forest. Some of the species we could see include civet cats, owls, frogs, snakes, flat-headed cats, and much more.
05:20 wake up for light breakfast, before departing at 06:15 on a dawn river cruise to search for more wildlife. We will spend 2 hours on the river, before returning to the lodge for breakfast. Afterwards we will head out for a walk on the boardwalk in search of birds, mammals, and pitcher plants. We will then return to the lodge for lunch and some time to rest and work on post processing techniques. At 16:00, head out for another river cruise followe by dinner at lodge. After dinner, we can decide to do another night cruise or night walk.
Spend another day on the river, taking river trips and short treks around the lodge in the Kinabatangan.
Kinabatangan to Tabin
05:20 wake up for a full breakfast, before departing for our next destination – the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. A boat will take 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). We 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.
Tabin Wildlife Reserve
Before breakfast we will do a walk around the lodge looking for gibbons and other mammal and birds to photograph. Breakfast, and head out for a 1-2 hour jungle trek in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. We will 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.
Tabin to Danum
Wake up early for breakfast, before departing from the lodge at 07:30 to head for Danum Valley. We will head back to Lahad Datu, take a short break, and then continue for 2 hours in Danum Valley. 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 we will, head out on a wildlife drive.
Early wake up for a dawn walk on the lodge’s canopy walk – which is bound to be one of the highlights of the tour. We will walk through the ancient trees, and spot wildlife and birds with our local guide. After the walk we will return for breakfast, before continuing on another walk to learn about rainforest ecology and find wildlife. The rest of the day will be split up between photographing wildlife around the lodge and doing some post processing of the images we have been able to create thus far on the trip.
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
Jesselton Hotel. In the evening, head out for a final dinner with the group. Overnight at Jesselton
Danum to Kota Kinabalu
We will spend our last day exploring Danum Valley with our local guide, up on the canopy walk, or relaxing in the serene setting of the lodge. We will depart the lodge at 13:00, for the 2 hour drive back to Lahad Datu. from where we will board our 50 minute flight to Kota Kinabalu and check into the Hyatt Hotel.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home after an incredible adventure.