Build your own unique wildlife and adventure holidayBespoke Borneo
Bespoke wildlife safaris, private trips and family holidays in Borneo
We offer a personalised service creating tailor made holidays to Borneo for families, individuals, wildlife enthusiasts and anyone looking to create a really special experience in this part of the world. We have offices in Sabah and Sarawak and an excellent staff of wildlife guides. We try hard not to go to the 'usual' places or parks, but to offer something different and unique.
We have various treks in Borneo to look at and some excellent safaris, especially the Borneo Wildlife Tour which visits the famous Deramakot Reserve.
We specialise in the more remote wildlife reserves including the famous Danum Valley and Maliau Basin, as well as Deramakot Forest Reserve and the Imbak Canyon. The Kinabatangan River and flood plains come high on many a traveller's plans and for good reason; offering some of the most accessible wildlife viewing opportunities in Borneo, travel is by boat rather than foot on these sunrise river safaris.
Diving and snorkelling in Borneo
The Sipadan archipelago is a must-see destination for all dive enthusiasts, while many islands offer world class snorkelling too. Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, situated just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu is a tranquil getaway from the city, and Bako National Park offers secluded sandy bays to visitors from nearby Kuching. It's perfect too for family holidays in Borneo.
Still a little-known gem of Borneo, the northern 'Tip of Borneo' area called Kudat offers village homestays or private beach chalets. These secluded bays are perfect for unwinding after an adventurous Borneo trek.
Trekking on Mount Kinabalu and other peaks
For the active and adventurous, a wealth of treks and climbs await exploration. As the highest peak between the Himalayas and Papua, Mount Kinabalu is a challenging but popular climb, giving travellers sunrise views as far as the ocean from the top if its granite peak. With fascinating flora, Borneo's second highest peak Trus Madi is a scenic yet less visited alternative to Mount Kinabalu in the Crocker Range National park. Sarawak's Gunung Mulu is another challenging yet accessible peak. Rising from the forest canopy, this mountain dominates the landscape with a sheer rock face across a sea of impenetrable trees.
Trekking in the rainforest and meeting indigenous tribes
A rainforest trek should feature on any visitors trip to Borneo; from Mulu National Park to the lost world of Sabah's Maliau Basin, Borneo is home to awe-inspiring rainforests. As experts in adventure travel, our staff and local guides have spent years leading guests through the forests and can recommend the best reserves and trails to visit. From the easy trails of Lupa Masa Jungle Camp to the challenging multi-day treks, delving deep into the hearth of Borneo with the Penan Tribe, those looking for an alternative jungle adventure will find the trip for them.
Experiencing an ancient culture in heart of Borneo
The cultural diversity of Sabah and Sarawak is unrivalled; a mixture of religious and ethnic communities thrive together to make up Borneo's distinct cultural heritage. The gateway cities of Kota Kinabalu and Kuching themselves offer a myriad of crafts, cuisine and cultural experiences. As a responsible travel company, we pride ourselves on working with several local communities in Sabah and Sarawak, supporting sustainable tourism initiatives where visitors hire local guides and stay in family homestays. Sleeping in a longhouse with the famed headhunters of the Iban tribe, exploring rivers and rapids with the Murut people of Orou Sapulot, trekking to hidden waterfalls and caves with the Penan Tribe or seeking wildlife on he banks of the Kinabatangan River with the Abai villagers; few travellers ever forget the generous hospitably and captivating experience of staying with their host families.
What Should I Pack for My Bespoke Trip?
Since these trips are all unique, a kit list will be different for each. However, here is a general overlook at what to pack for a trip to Borneo.
When is the best time to visit Borneo (click here for details)?
Ideas for Borneo holidays
For keen birders and Borneo wildlife enthusiasts
1 day arrive Kota Kinabalu, overnight in the Hotel 63, sightseeing
3 days in Mt Kinabalu National Park staying in the park lodge. Guided walks to see the pitcher plants and forest and visits to Lupa Masa Jungle Camp.
4 days in Deramokot Reserve on a private wildlife safari using our 4x4 vehicle and private guide (see video of clouded leopard)
2 days in Sepilok staying in a cloudforest lodge, visiting the orangutan centre and sun bear sanctuary
3 days on a river safari on the Kinabatangan river and staying in a riverside lodge - http://kwrborneo.com/
4 days in the Danum Valley Borneo Rainforest Lodge on a wildlife safari
1 day transfer to Kota Kinabalu and depart.
Luxury Borneo family holiday
- 1 day arriving in Kota Kinabalu and staying in the 5 star Hyatt Hotel
- 4 days at Sapulot for wildlife safari, followed by a day rafting and overnight at the Hyatt
- 3 days on Mount Kinabalu trekking to the summit for the adventurous, others to the Rasa Ria top resort
- 2 days at Lupa Masa Jungle camp with waterfalls, hot springs and bug safaris at night
- 3 days private wildlife safari at Deramokot Forest reserve, finishing at the Four Seasons hotel in Sepilok
- 3 days on Lankayan Island for either a PADI dive course or relaxing in the exclusive resort
- 2 days back to Sandakan for seeing orangutans and sun bears and heading home
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.
Why choose us for your bespoke trip to Borneo?
Our staff have years of experience living and working in Borneo so know first hand the best places to visit on your Bespoke Borneo holiday.We never outsource to other travel providers and our local staff in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu will manage all your in-country logistics.
Adventure Alternative has won the World Responsible Travel Awards twice and also received accreditation by Sustainable Travel International for our sustainable business model. We know that at a local level, tourism can really improve peoples lives. We work closely with local people and help them develop adventurous, high quality holidays that provide unique and rewarding experiences for our visitors.
Our ethos is to make a profit with a sustainable tourism model that delivers positive social, economic and environmental benefits to the communities and areas where we work, so our travellers can be assured that their trip will contribute to growing community of responsible travellers.
In Borneo we have offices in Kuching and in Kota Kinabalu and over the years we have gained a strong reputation for providing trips that are not the run-of-the-mill wildlife trips and adventure holidays in this part of the world. We set up the company in order to offer something different, and we have a great wealth of experience and knowledge to draw on. Typically our clients come to us with a set of dates, a budget and a general idea of what they would like to see and experience; over a number of emails we gradually help to build something that is unique and special to that individual or group.
Dates & Bookings
Danum Valley Field Centre
3D2N in the Danum Valley Conservation Area and staying at the Danum Valley Field Centre, trekking through primary rainforest with your private nature guide in search of some of Borneo's elusive wildlife.
Price is for 2 people sharing a standard room with fan, all meals, wildlife guide, one night drive, transfers to and from Lahad Datu, conservation and camera fees. Not included: tourism tax, private guide, extended safaris, personal expenses.
Penan Tribe Trek
4D3N visit to the interior of Sarawak to live with the last nomadic tribe in Borneo, the Penan Tribe. Trek deep into the Ulu Baram region to remote villages and hidden waterfalls, to stay in community homestays and immerse yourself in this fascinating culture.
Mount Mulu Climb
4D3N trek and climb of Mount Mulu. At 2376m, this climb is especially memorable for the virgin rainforest views, prolific orchid and pitcher plant diversity, and spectacular summit views. This is a near 50 km round trip and is one of the toughest treks that Borneo has to offer.
Kawag Nature Lodge, Danum
3D2N stay in this beautiful lodge in Danum Valley with guided wildlife walks and visits to see waterfalls and caves. Rooms are of a high standard and food is excellent, with personal attention to service and experienced guides. Perfect for couples or families.
Price is for a twin or double room and includes air conditioned twin or double room, in-house guide, all meals, one night drive, transfers to and from Lahad Datu. Not included: tourism tax, private specialist guides and extended night drives.
3D2N trek up Mount Kinabalu:
Day 1 - Transfer to Kinabalu park, twin/double room in Sutera lodge. Evening walk to see fireflies and pitcher plants.
Day 2 - Check into Park, meet guide and start ascent. Overnight inLaban Rata lodge with buffet meal provided.
Day 3 - Summit Mt Kinabalu and descend back to park gate, arriving afternoon and transfer back to KK.
Our price includes booking the climb for you, two transfers, accommodation at the park chalet and in the Laban Rata mountain hut and all meals on the mountain.
Price excludes payments to be made directly to Sabah Parks: entry fee, climbing permit, park guide and porter, insurance and internal transfer which is a cash payment of around £90.00 per person, plus a group fee of £70.00 for the Sabah park guide for up to five people. Breakdown on the cost tab of the Mount Kinabalu page.
Borneo Rainforest Lodge, Danum
3D2N stay at the prestigious Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley Reserve. Guided safari walks and nature treks, plenty of wildlife viewing and relaxing in comfort surrounded by the pristine jungle environment. Check in 1400, check out 1130. Peak season 1st March - 30th April & 15th July - 15th October.
Price is for a standard twin/double room with fan, in-house guide, one night drive, return transfers to and from Lahad Datu and permits. Not included: tourism tax of 6% for all trips (paid in cash), a peak season surcharge of 106RM per person and private specialist guides or extended night drives. Please check first for availability of rooms before booking.
Hotel 63, Kota Kinabalu
Good quality boutique hotel in the middle of Kota Kinabalu, easy walking to the riverfront, shopping malls and boats for day trips to the islands. Price is for a standard double or twin room and includes breakfast and wifi and service tax.
Hibiscus Retreat, Kudat
3D2N in a beach chalet for two people set in a secluded cove on the Kudat peninsula on the northern tip of Borneo. Perched on a small cliff top with unrivaled views of the South China Sea, Hibiscus Beach Retreat is a chalet perfect for couples. Price is for bed and breakfast only; local activities can be arranged on location. Flights are not included, there is a limited connection from Sandakan or KK, and there is a car transfer from KK which takes 5 hours.
4D3N visiting Sepilok Orangutan Centre and the Kinabatangan River for wildlife safaris in East Sabah. Accommodation at Paganakan Dii and Borneo Nature Lodge. Start and end at Sandakan.
Visit the world famous Sepilok wildlife centres where rehabilitated orangutans can be seen in their natural environment, rescued sun bears being readied for release back into the wild and giant flying squirrels among others endemic species. On the Kinabatangan river there are three boat safaris to see wild orangutan, pygmy elephant, crocodiles, proboscis monkey, clouded leopard and many other animals and birds including the hornbill.
Price is per person based on shared wildlife guide and safaris, twin/double rooms, and all meals and transfers.
Big Fin Resort
3D2N stay in this secluded beach resort off the coast of Kota Belud near Kota Kinabalu. Private ensuite double rooms with balcony and sea view. All rooms have wall fan, hammocks, double beds with bedding, towels and mosquito net, western toilet and cold water shower. Activities include diving (including PADI courses), kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkelling/beach hopping and jungle treks nearby.
Price includes room, breakfast, lunch and dinner, drinking water and hot drinks, and boat transfers from Mengkabar village. £30 surcharge for peak season April/July/August. Not included are transfers to the village from Kota Kinabalu (private taxi is around £50.00).
Via Ferrata on Mt Kinabalu and Lows Peak
2D1N climb of Mount Kinabalu climbing to Low's Peak and then doing the via ferrata with Mountain Torq.
Day 1 - Entry and registration, hike up to Mountain Torq Pendant Hut.
Day 2 - Summit Lows Peak, via ferrata on descent, hike back to park gate.
Price includes payment to Mountain Torq for accommodation, meals and via ferrata equipment. Note: this is a non-refundable 100% payment we have to make to Mountain Torq one week after booking. Also Mountain Torq does not offer any refund in the via ferrata does not happen due to bad weather. Please check availability with us first!
Price excludes a cash payment of £120.00 direct to Sabah Parks for park entry, insurance, climbing fee and transfer within the park, and 6% govt tourism tax, plus a group fee of £70.00 for the guide.
Choose a scheduled date or contact us to set up private dates or a bespoke itinerary. The minimum deposit is £100.00 and the balance is due four weeks before travel.
- Borneo Preparation
- Borneo Health and Comfort
- Borneo clothing advice
- Borneo Culture Tips
- Lupa Masa Jungle Camp
- Maliau Basin
- When is the best time to visit Borneo?
- Danum Valley - Trip Add-on
- Penan Tribe Trek - Trip Add-on
- Mount Mulu - Trip Add-on
- Mount Kinabalu - Trip Add-on
- Kawag Nature Lodge - Trip Add-on
- Borneo Rainforest Lodge - Trip Add-on
- KK's Hotel Sixty-3 Add-on
- Hibiscus Beach Retreat - Trip Add-on
- Big Fin Beach Resort - Trip Add-on
- Sepilok / Kinabatangan River - Trip Add