Borneo Mammal Tour
The Borneo Rainforest is a complex ecosystem that has significant seasonal and even yearly variations in weather patterns across the island. It is home to more than 200 species of mammals, over 400 resident birds, 100’s of amphibians and fish and over 15,000 plants! Borneo's forests are some of the most biodiverse on the planet.
This is a specialist trip that specifically focuses on diurnal and nocturnal rarities such as the Clouded Leopard, Flat Headed Cat, Marbled Cat, Otter Civet, Tufted Ground Squirrel, Pangolin, Tree Shrews, Tarsier - the list goes on… With our experienced and knowledgeable guides, join us as we explore the wonderous environments and mammals found at Deramakot, Kinabatangan River and Danum Valley. We have designed this trip to give you total freedom of movement to explore throughout the night, which is often hard to do. You have your own guide, vehicle and cook to give you maximum flexibility and the best chances of spotting some of Borneo's magnificent mammals.
BORNEO MAMMAL TOUR ITINERARY OVERVIEW
Day 1: Arrive and transfer to Deramakot Forest Reserve
Days 2-7: Deramakot
Days 8-9: Kinabatangan River
Days 10-13: Danum Valley
Day 14: Depart
BORNEO MAMMAL TOUR MAP
BORNEO MAMMAL TOUR DETAILED ITINERARY
Day 1: Deramakot
Our meeting point is Telupid town, which is in the centre of Sabah state at 1 p.m. We can assist with transfers from Sandakan, Sepilok or Kota Kinabalu.
Meet your guide for lunch and then transfer 2 hours in 4*4 to Deramakot Forest Reserve. The first part of our journey is through an oil palm plantation before reaching the adjacent Tangkulap Reserve and onwards to Deramakot HQ.
Deramakot at 55,00 hectares is the jewel in the Sabah Forestry Department’s crown. It was the first logging concession in South East Asia to be sustainably certified and until recently was virtually unvisited and unheard of. It is now proving to be the best location to see Borneo’s rare and endemic wildlife with about 75% of mammals in Sabah being found in Deramakot. It is a key habitat for five globally threatened large mammals, namely Orangutan, Bornean Pygmy Elephant, Tembadau (Banteng), Proboscis Monkey and Clouded Leopard. Deramakot consists of lowland mixed dipterocarp forests dominated by the family Dipterocarpaceae. As a working logging forestry concession with adjacent forest reserves, levels of hunting and poaching are low. This may partly explain the level of good wildlife sightings in Deramakot.
Deramakot consists of one major 30 km road that runs through the core area from HQ to the river with a number of side trails to explore. It is on this main road that most of the hours will be spent looking for the elusive mammal life. In addition there is abundant and diverse birding to see.
The 7 hours of 4*4 use included per 24 hours will be spent entirely during the nights as the target species are aimed for. The time out may begin after dinner or even later so as to finish around dawn. Extra hours can be requested whilst there depending on availability.
The hot daylight hours will be for resting or exploring on foot around the H.Q where gibbons and orangutans are sometimes seen and the calls of the hornbills and Argus Pheasant are a daily occurrence.
Provided for your stay at Deramakot are a private guide, driver and 4*4 and a private cook for greater flexibility for safaris timings. The rooms are simple, clean, they have air con & are en-suite hot water bathrooms. Laundry facilities are available.
Days 2-7: Deramakot
Each of the evening's outings will depend on recent sightings, weather conditions and your guide’s proposals. Whilst it is hoped the nights remain dry, rain is possible unexpectedly at anytime so be prepared accordingly.
Apart from the main targets the sheer diversity of the mammal life in Deramakot will ensure there is always an unexpected surprise and possible at anytime:
Moon rat, Slow loris, Western tarsier, Red leaf monkey Silvered langur, Proboscis monkey, Long-tailed macaque, Pig-tailed macaque, Bornean gibbon, Orang-utan, Pangolin, Long-tailed porcupine, Common porcupine, Thick-spined porcupine, Sun bear, Yellow-throated marten, Malay badger, Oriental small-clawed otter, Malay civet, Otter-civet, Binturong, Masked palm civet, Common palm civet, Banded palm civet, Short-tailed mongoose, Collared mongoose, Clouded leopard, Flat-headed cat, Leopard cat, Asian elephant, Bearded pig, Lesser mouse-deer, Greater mouse-deer, Bornean yellow muntjac, Red muntjac, Sambar deer, Tembadau or Banteng.
(B, L, D)
Days 8-9: Sukau
After breakfast, we'll depart back to Telupid and onto the village of Sukau on the mighty Kinabatangan River.
Whilst surrounded by vast tracts of oil palm plantation the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary still boasts an astonishing diversity of wildlife. It is one of only two places in the world inhabited by ten species of primate and over 200 species of birds.
The main focus for the two night stay will be the Flat Headed Cat. A very erratic creature, the best chances to view will be along the river banks at night and extended time will be spent in the boats searching for it.
There will also be good chances to view the Pygmy Elephant, Orangutans, Maroon and Silver Langurs and the bizarre Proboscis Monkey. Also all 8 species of the hornbill can be found along the river.
(B, L, D)
Days 10-13: Danum Valley
The final destination will be to the renowned Danum Valley Conservation Area.
Consisting of 438,000 hectares of protected lowland forest, research has shown no evidence of permanent human settlement and since becoming a research centre very low levels of hunting and poaching.
Danum is home to an astonishing variety of plants and wildlife; including more than 340 species of birds, 124 species of mammals, 72 species of reptiles and 56 species of amphibians. The flora is as rich as the fauna with over 200 species of plants found per hectare. In 2019 researchers discovered the tallest tropical tree in the world when they found a giant reaching 100 metres.
Whilst most visitors stay at the Field Centre or more luxurious Rainforest Lodge for this trip the sleeping quarters are at the Infapro base. 30 minutes drive from the Field Centre gate, staying here allows for unrestricted time for night safaris which are otherwise restricted at other locations.
Rooms at INFAPRO are basic and food simple Malay style. The days can be spent on the trails at the Field Centre but the main activity will again be in the evenings on the road where we've spotted the Clouded Leopard on a number of occasions.
(B, L, D)
Day 14: Depart
Extra nights are available before or after trip commencement at request, including Mt Kinabalu and Tawau Hills National parks.
BORNEO ADD-ON TRIPS
Before or after your trip there are also a number of optional Add-on trips / activities, or hotels that you may like to take advantage of to extend your holiday, or just to cover accommodation before or after joining us. Some of the options are shortened versions of some of our main Borneo trips, others are adventure or relaxng wind downs in their own right. These can be found on the 'More Information' tab on this trip page and the options include:
- A 3D2N ascent of Mount Kinabalu.
- 4D3N trek / climb of Mount Mulu, which is one of Borneo’s toughest - harder and more adventurous than Mt Kinabalu.
- 3D2N visit to some luxury in the Kawag Nature Lodge in Danum Conservation Area for relaxation and wildlife viewing.
- A visit to the tropical islands off the coast of Sandakan including glamping on Turtle Island or Libaran (or a bespoke diving trip to Sipadan Island).
- 2D2N visit to the Hibiscus Beach Resort, which is a stunning and idyllic boutique beach chalet set in a secluded cove on the Kudat peninsula on the northern tip of Borneo.
- 3D2N Big Fin Beach resort for snorkelling, diving, paddle boarding or relaxing at this private and secluded beach resort, just off the coast of Kota Belud, near Kota Kinabalu.
- 3D2N add-on trip to the Danum Valley Conservation Area, staying at the Danum Valley Field Centre, with guided treks through primary rainforest.
- 4D3N trek into the interior of Sarawak to live with the last nomadic tribe in Borneo, the Penan.
- 4D3N add-on with visits to the Sepilok Orangutan Centre and the Kinabatangan River for stunning wildlife safaris.
- 3D2N treat with a night at the prestigious and award-winning Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley Reserve.
- Additional nights accommodation in Kota Kinabalu or for sightseeing and visiting the islands, staying in the Hotel Sixty 3.
Our advertised price is based on 3 people however the price does vary depending on the numbers (maximum 6 people) as follows:
2 people: £3400pp
3 people: £3100pp
4 people: £2900pp
5 people: £2700pp
6 people: £2400pp
- Accommodation throughout the trip based on twin/double sharing:
- All meals listed in the itinerary (B,L,D)
- 4x4 safari vehicle for up to six people in Deramakot for up to seven hours per 24hrs
- Minibus or car transport for transfers between reserves
- Park permits as per the itinerary
- Professional wildlife guide and cook.
- International flights or transfer to Tellupid
- Lunches and dinners not listed in the itinerary
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Personal expenses
- Visa - please check regulations here
- Additional visits or activities outside of the itinerary
There are a number of optional additional tours to extend your stay which you can find on the Extras tab and will be offered during the booking process. Adventure Alternative Borneo has its office in Kota Kinabalu and a full complement of staff to manage all our Borneo holidays. Where we do use providers such as hostel and guesthouse owners and homestays these are people our Adventure Alternative Borneo staff have known for years, and spent time with to build up the trust between both parties.