This eight day wildlife tour in Borneo visits the world famous Sepilok orangutan centre, the Kinabatangan river for a wildlife safari and Deramokot Reserve which has become famous in recent years for sightings of the clouded leopard.

The trip offers shared safari facilities in Deramokot in our 4x4 vehicle, twin/double room accommodation in the lodges and professional wildlife guiding. Adventure Alternative Borneo has been operating wildlife tours in this region for ten years now and has a high level of reputation and respect for the animals and the environment.


  • Hanging out with the Orangutans
  • Elephants playing on the banks of the Kinabatangan
  • Searching for the elusive Clouded Leopard and many other rare animals
  • Wildlife cruises on the river and sunset over Borneo rainforest

Some of wild animals of Borneo you may encounter

Orangutan - Pygmy Elephant - Clouded Leopard - Tarsier - Slow Loris - Leopard Cat - Marbled Cat - Sun Bear -      Rhinoceros Hornbill (and the other 7 species) - Proboscis Monkey - Bornean Gibbon - Civet Cats - Flying Squirrels - Estuarine Crocodiles - Sunda Skunk - Maroon Langur - Grey Langur and a variety of spectacular birds and reptiles.

Brief itinerary

Day 1-2: Arrive Sandakan airport (east Sabah), two nights staying in a nearby lodge. Visit the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, Sun Bear Center and Rainforest Discovery Center.

Day 3-5: Wildlife safari in Deramakot Forest Reserve in our 4WD. Shared vehicle with up to seven people and the guide, dawn and evening drives with  shared accommodation in a forest lodge. Deramokot has been much talked about as the best wildlife destination in Sabah. The wildlife count for our clients has been remarkable, but without a doubt a sighting of the rare clouded leopard stands as one of the great highlights of the holiday. Some of our trip advisor feedback has been great. The twin en-suite rooms have a ceiling fan and hot and cold water. Electricity runs until midnight so you can charge cameras and food is served in a traditional hall.

Day 6-7: Safari on the Kinabatangan River. Cruises early morning and at dusk, forest walks during the day and accommodation in riverside lodge.

Day 8: Travel back to the coast and depart Sandakan airport.

Additions -

The main trip lasts eight days and we have arranged a number of short additions to lengthen your holiday including:

  • A 3 day climb of Mount Kinabalu.
  • A visit to Tabin Forest Reserve for more wildlife viewing in pristine rainforest.
  • 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).
  • A three day visit to the northern tip of Borneo to enjoy the secluded beaches of Kudat.
  • Additional days in Kota Kinabalu for sightseeing and visiting the islands.

What's it like visiting the rainforest?

This is not a particularly physically demanding trip in terms of the activities that you will undertake. The focus is on enjoying the environment and surroundings in an adventurous but comfortable way.

The rainforest is a clean and pure place to visit. The canopy offers excellent shade from the intense sun keeping temperatures cooler than in the cities. However, it is very humid and you will need to continually drink water. We travel using tracks and trails which are used by vehicles - it is unlikely that we will be off the beaten track with a machete on this trip. Sometimes the paths around lodges can be muddy and slippery and the terrain is up and down, but trekking pace is never fast. You will only carry day packs when jungle trekking and there will be lots of stops for drinking and cooling off in the streams and rivers.

Packing List

  • Duffle bag
  • Daybag
  • Camera bags, tripods etc
  • Lightweight trekking or walking boots 
  • Lightweight clothes, synthetic-material trousers and shorts, shirts and T-shirts, jumper or mid layer fleece, socks, trainers or sandals.
  • Sun hat, sun lotion, SPF lip screen and sunglasses
  • Reusable water bottles 
  • Head torch
  • Camera kit, chargers, electronics
  • Personal wash kit - eco-soap recommended
  • Personal first aid - headache tablets, oral rehydration and plasters are useful
  • Passport, insurance papers, spending money, air tickets, reading books, diary.

Travel very light and compact in the jungle. In addition to the information below, check out extra kit tips and survival tips for trekking in the jungle.

Note that anything delicate, absorbent or electronic is likely to suffer from the humid atmosphere, all such items should be housed in a good quality waterproof stuff sack or pouch. 

Why Adventure Alternative for this Borneo Wildlife Tour?

  • We have our own company, offices and very experienced western and local staff based in Borneo with years of experience living, working and travelling in Borneo, exploring its attractions, managing logistics in-country and looking after visitors. 
  • Adventure Alternative is fully bonded, insured and registered in the UK, and Adventure Alternative Borneo is a registered operator in Malaysia which is licensed to use the Adventure Alternative trademark.

  • Our staff are highly knowledgeable, experienced and have a deep love and concern for the protection of the environment and flora and fauna in the areas we visit.

  • We have always tried to avoid the mainstream destinations and itineraries for holidays to Borneo and researched places that are more remote and special, and we are always looking for new and authentic places to explore.

  • All Borneo trips include a donation made to a fig tree planting project.


Bespoke Dates
Fixed Itineraries
Start Date
End Date
£1bn dollars
£1bn dollars
Start Date
End Date
Start Date
End Date

Borneo Wildlife Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Sepilok

Upon arrival at Sandakan airport you will make the 30 minute transfer to Sepilok Forest Edge, situated next to the world famous wildlife centres.​After checking in, it will be time for lunch or a visit to the Rainforest Discovery Centre or possibly visit to the 3 p.m Orangutan feeding, which are both located a short walk away.

After dinner you will enjoy a night walk in the nearby forest. With luck you may spot the Western Tarsier and sleeping birds and frogs and snakes. Sepilok is one of the better locations to spot the endemic and iconic Borneo Bristlehead. A good nights’ sleep awaits…

Meals: Dinner only


Day 2: Sepilok

After breakfast you visit the nearby Sepilok orangutan rehabilitation center where you have an opportunity to enjoy these iconic primates at close quarters and learn more about the rehabilitation and conservation work that takes place here. Next, you visit the Sun Bear Conservation Center, a relatively new center established in 2008, which provides care and rehabilitation for orphaned and captive Malay sunbears with the long-term goal of releasing them to the wild and raising awareness of their plight.

Spare time can be spent looking for wildlife around the resort where hornbills and orangutans are sometimes seen.

After dinner a second night walk.

Meals: Full board


Day 3: Deramakot Forest Reserve

For those keen dawn birding is on offer, otherwise a relaxing morning before check out at 11.00 a.m and continuing 2 hours to Telupid town where you will take lunch at a local restaurant. Then proceed a further 2 hours to Deramakot forest reserve through oil palm plantations and forest reserves. The road can be wet and muddy.

Deramakot is the jewel in the Sabah Forestry Departments crown and spans an area of over 100,00 hectares with its adjacent Tangkulap reserve. It was the first tropical forest reserve to be recognised by the Forest Stewardship Council for good forest governance and since AA Borneo pioneered nature tourism in the reserve 4 years it has rapidly become justifiably famous for its astonishing mammal and bird diversity. The best in South East Asia?

The exact program at Deramakot will depend on weather and recent animal sightings. Your guide will discuss fully with you after check in.

Deramakot has simple rooms split into two chalets on a small hill of 3 bedrooms in each. Although they have air con and hot water ensuite bathrooms these are by no means considered ‘luxury’. Meals are cooked by in-house cooks so can be varied to suit requirements, and these are served in the restaurant area, consisting of local Asian dishes and fruits.

Meals: Full board

Day 4 - 5: Deramakot Forest Reserve

Two full days in the reserve. Exact itinerary will be discussed with your guide but you will have dawn and night walking and 4*4 safaris each day, 2 hours are included each evening which can be extended for an extra 125 myr per hour, cash payment. An optional trip via 4*4 drive to safe swimming area in clean river with picnic facilities is included.

Meals: Full board

Day 6: Kinabatangan River

Time for morning birding before breakfast and check out by 9am and return to the main highway and travel approximately 2 hours to the river village of Sukau. Sukau was the first village on the mighty Kinabatangan River to develop nature tourism and is now a busy hub of lodges and homestays.  Enroute to the lodge you’ll stop by Gomantong caves. This large cave chamber is famous for its swiftlets and bats but the surrounding jungle is home to  maroon langurs and orangutan.

Check into Borneo Nature Lodge. Lunch will be taken en-route. Your first boat safaris begins at 4.30pm.

Dinner @ 19.00 before a night-walk along the board-walks in search of nocturnal critters.

Meals: Full board


Day 7: Kinabatangan River

Wake up to the calls of birds, insects and animals as the pre-dawn chorus begins at 6.30am take a morning cruise. We will visit the nearby fishing village to learn about their way of life and enjoy a flexible itinerary to explore the river to maximise wildlife viewing opportunities. This will include longer river trips if required to try and view the migratory Borneo Pygmy Elephants.

Meals: Full board

Day 8: Depart or next destination

Following breakfast, transfer 2 hours to Sandakan airport or next destination

Meals: Breakfast only

Borneo Wildlife Tour cost £1695.00

The advertised price is based on a minimum of 2 people travelling and using a shared guide at Deramokot. We can easily adapt the programme and provide quotes for your preferences.

Single person supplement is £300.00

Call us to discuss a discounted rate for more than 3 people.


  • Accommodation throughout the trip
  • All meals listed in detailed itinerary (B,L,D)
  • 4x4 or minibus/car transport throughout the trip
  • Park fees, permits & camping fees 
  • Trip leader for each section of the trip (note the leader will be different for each section of the trip, if you would like a single trip leader throughout then this will be an additional cost) 
  • Wildlife guide for visiting Deramokot Reserve on the basis of sharing a guide with other people. If you would like a private guide then please contact us for a quote and information on availability.


  • Flights to Sandakan, east Sabah
  • Lunches and dinners not listed in the detailed itinerary
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Visa - please check regulations here

A minimum deposit of £100 is required on booking to secure your place and we ask that the remaining balance is paid in full six weeks prior to your departure.

Our local provider is Adventure Alternative Borneo which 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.


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 six weeks before travel.

Tours from only 1,645pp Dates & Bookings
Key Information
  • Duration 8 days
  • Numbers 2-5
  • Accommodation Lodges