UK - In flight
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your flight to Kota Kinabalu.
On arrival we transfer to the Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel (4T) and the rest of the day is free to enjoy the South China Sea coast.
A tour takes us through a city of old-world charm and modern hopes, friendly locals and a fine food scene ranging from street food to a revolving restaurant. The city mosque is a resplendent masterpiece large enough to hold 12,000 worshippers. The Sabah State Museum offers insight into the city’s rich history and modern art that represents its changing character, while a stop at a handicraft market and bazaar shows the working life of the city.
Kinabalu National Park
We drive along the ridges of the Crocker Range to Kinabalu National Park, a UNESCO-protected area of tropical lowland and hillside rainforest dominated by Mount Kinabalu. It has an exceptionally rich variety of plants including over a thousand species of orchid, and the majority of Borneo’s mammals, birds, amphibians and invertebrates (many threatened and vulnerable) can be found here. We make our way along the mountain’s garden trails, which showcase the diversity of plant life on the mountain. We’ll also visit a handicraft market. We stay for two nights, in the heart of the action within the national park at Nepenthes Lodge (3T).
Kinabalu National Park
The Poring Hot Springs are an excellent place to view lowland birds and some mammals. Those with a head for heights and nature will love the Canopy Walkway, taking you 43m up into the treetops. Around 75% of rainforest animals spend their time in the forest canopy. We then stroll around the Butterfly Garden, an excellent place to watch for beautifully coloured butterflies, birds, and maybe even a flying lizard! We proceed to the Kundasang War Memorial Park, dedicated to the British and Australian prisoners of war who perished on the Sandakan Marches during World War II, and complete our day at Kundasang Market, where local farms sell their produce, including fruits unknown to the British table.
Travel overland to the tiny village of Sukau on the Kinabatangan River, where we spend two nights in an authentic, basic lodge located deep in the Borneo jungle - Bukit Melapi Lodge (2T). The greatest concentration of wildlife in Malaysia is found in this area, including rare orang-utans, proboscis monkeys and endangered birds, pygmy elephants, Sumatran rhinos and saltwater crocodiles. We take a cruise along Menanggol River to see what we can spot.
We have more opportunities to spot Borneo’s incredible array of wildlife as we cruise to a nearby oxbow lake this morning and along the river this afternoon. Maybe a gibbon, red or silvered leaf monkey, hornbill or Oriental darter will be on the cards today.
Gomantong Caves - Sandakan
The Gomantong Caves support swiftlets and a million bats within the cathedral-like chamber, while serpent eagles, bat hawks and kingfishers can be seen lingering on the outer walls. The caves are harvested for the bizarre edible bird’s nest. Next we visit Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, the perfect place to watch a pendulous nosed proboscis monkey leaping amongst the trees or dining on young leaves. We stay in Sandakan, amidst tropical rainforest, at the Sabah Hotel (3T).
See orang-utans in their natural habitat at Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre. The centre was founded in 1964 to rehabilitate orphaned, injured or displaced orang-utans and return them to the wild. Today nearly 80 are observed while they roam freely in the reserve, while others are cared for in nurseries. Next is the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, which rehabilitates the world’s smallest bear. These bears continue to be threatened by forest degradation and poaching. Large forest enclosures provide a natural environment while the bears prepare for the wild. Our last visit is to the Rainforest Discovery Centre to learn of the tropical flora and fauna which attracts an astounding 300 species of bird to the reserve, plus unique forest mammals such as flying squirrels.
Sandakan - Kota Kinabalu
Return to civilisation for a tour of Sandakan. Religious relics, colonial mansions and reminders of World War II dot the city which has grown on trade. We visit the market, a social focal point of the city, and see the colourful interior of the magnificent Chinese Temple, before heading to Sim Sim, where the stilt houses of local tribes sit above the water. We then transfer to the airport for our flight to Kota Kinabalu and the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Hotel (5T), a luxury property close to the tropical forest.
A day to relax in our luxurious resort or on the beautiful two-mile crescent beach of pale sand.
Kota Kinabalu - In flight
Enjoy a free morning before we transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight to the UK.
Day 13 UK
Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.