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Your flight from London lands you in the glamorous Malaysian city of Kuala Lumpur. You’ll be warmly met upon arrival and transferred to the iconic Mandarin Oriental, which is linked by a walkway to the famous Petronas Towers.
From gleaming skyscrapers to busy market areas and boutique shopping districts, this vibrant city has plenty to keep you occupied. Take a guided tour and discover attractions like the Heritage Railway Station, atmospheric Thean Hou Temple and lush Perdana Botanical Gardens where you’ll find countless exotic plants
Stay: Two nights in a double room at the Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur
This morning you’ll fly to Sandakan in Borneo and be taken to your nature resort on the edge of the rainforest. The resort is within easy reach of the celebrated Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary which works to rehabilitate injured and orphaned orangutans.
Stay: One night in a chalet at MY Nature Resort
Today a comparatively short drive brings you to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Sanctuary where you’ll have every chance of watching rescued orangutans roaming free in their natural habitat. And the wonders don’t stop there; the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is also nearby, as is the Tropical Lowland Dipterocarp Forest of Borneo.
You’ll be staying in an award-winning rainforest lodge on the banks of the impressive Kinabatangan River. The perfect base from which to see and photograph all manner of wildlife in an untouched rainforest environment, including proboscis monkeys, Borneo pygmy elephants and a wide diversity of indigenous birdlife. If you’re feeling adventurous you can take a night safari in search of river crocodiles.
Stay: Two nights in a superior room at Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Today you journey to Danum Valley – a hotspot for Borneo’s wildlife. En route you’ll call in at the Gomantong Caves – famous for the production of the main ingredient for Chinese bird’s nest soup. Once you arrive in Danum Valley you’ll check into the Borneo Rainforest Lodge and immediately venture into one of the world’s last remaining stretches of virgin rainforest. With its changing habitats, its numerous rivers, waterfalls and picturesque pools, the Danum Valley is an untouched haven for Borneo’s larger mammals.
You’ll be guided through the forest, across soaring canopy suspension bridges and along hidden jungle paths. You’ll learn all about the delicate flora and fauna of the region; set off on night safaris in search of rare nocturnal creatures and visit Coffin Cliff – an ancient Kadazandusun burial site that features coffins embedded high in the cliff face. Your guide will even show you a crystal-clear rock pool deep in the jungle – perfect for bathing and relaxing.
Stay: Three nights in a deluxe river view room at Borneo Rainforest Lodge
Now wildlife of a different sort beckons. From Lahad Datu Airport you’ll fly to Kota Kinabalu before taking a boat ride to Gaya Island. Just off the coast from the Jesselton Marina Jetty, Gaya Island lies in the heart of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.
You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy guided diving and snorkelling safaris to experience the park’s rich and colourful marine life. But you may simply prefer to lounge on the fine sand beach, indulge in wonderful regional cuisine and take occasional forays into the established rainforest nearby.
Stay: Four nights in a Kinabula sea view villa at Gaya Island Resort
Enjoy a final swim and a last stroll along the beach in the morning, before catching a boat ride over to Kota Kinabalu for your flight to Kuala Lumpur. At KL you’ll board your connecting flight to London Heathrow, arriving in the UK early the next morning.
We were asked 2 or 3 times 'how did you find this place?' which was well off the usual tourist track. Answer: we didn’t, our agent (you) did!- CWW, Chile