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10 Day Amazing Borneo Small Group Tour

A portion of this tour runs as a group tour where you will be escorted by an expert tour leader. Another portion is self-guided, whether conducted by rail, cruise or land, and you will travel between destinations on your own, with free time to explore at your own pace.

Escorted Type
Partially Escorted

This tour is conducted at a medium-fast pace. Some long travel days may be required to complete this itinerary and you will typically spend two nights at each destination, with some one night stays required. This trip includes a mix of sightseeing and free time to explore at your own pace. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and some activities will be conducted on uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to handle your own luggage.

Pace
Moderate Pace

These tours are our proudest creations. They have been crafted for Inspiring Vacations travellers exclusively, with personal and unique experiences in mind. Please see the Important Information on your selected tour for exact group size. Enjoy features such as hand-picked accommodation, a sampling of the region’s best culinary delights, and a range of optional activities to choose from to best suit your travel style.

Group Size
Small Group

Take advantage of our 7 day cooling-off period. 

Cooling Off Period
7 Days
Small Group Tour
520 people have travelled to this destination
✓ Add Return International airfares for only $499 per person
✓ Small group tour, with no more than 16 travellers
✓ Unforgettable wildlife experiences; spot proboscis monkeys, get up close at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, visit rescued sun bears at their conservation centre, and embark on multiple river safaris along the Kinabatangan river
✓ 7 nights in central 4-star accommodation and comfortable jungle resorts
✓ 2 nights in a 4-star island resort on the island of Mantanani Besar
✓ Breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
✓ Partially escorted by local English-speaking tour guides
✓ Comfortable, dedicated transportation throughout
✓ In-depth sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary
 
What we love about this tour

Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.

Itinerary

Hotel
Promenade Hotel or Similar

Selamat Datang! Welcome to Kota Kinabalu

Welcome to Kota Kinabalu! This bustling waterfront city is surrounded by nature with offshore coral islands, forest covered hills, scenic rivers and of course, Mt. Kinabalu, the highest peak in Southeast Asia. Explore its street markets, dine on popular local and international cuisine, and enjoy one of the best sunsets this side of the world. 

Upon arrival, please make your own way to the starting hotel. There will be reliable transport companies awaiting you in the arrival halls, or a local taxi or 'Grab' rideshare should cost approximately MYR40. Alternatively, you can pre book an arrival transfer via the booking process.

Check in: Passengers will be arriving at various times throughout the day from as early as 6:00am through to late evening. If arriving prior to standard check-in time, which is generally 3:00pm local time, you are welcome to leave your luggage with hotel reception and explore your surroundings until check-in becomes available, as there are generally no scheduled activities on Day 1 of the itinerary. The hotel may grant early check-in, however this is strictly subject to availability and at the hotel’s discretion.

Hotel
Hotel Nature Lodge Kinabatangan or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, check out and transfer to the airport for your flight to Sandakan.

Upon arrival, proceed to Kinabatangan. The 560km long Kinabatangan River flows through a floodplain teeming with wildlife that includes large mammals, primates, birds, reptiles and insects. A river boat cruise makes light work of wildlife spotting and bird watching but you can explore deeper into the riverine forest on foot to seek out the more elusive species. Time for orientation, tea break and check in at your accommodation.

Afterwards, proceed for an afternoon cruise with the opportunity to view wildlife and birds in a virgin rainforest habitat.

Finish the day with dinner and a jungle discovery night walk.

Hotel
Hotel Nature Lodge Kinabatangan or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wake up to the calls of birds, insects, and animals. At around 6.00am take a morning jungle cruise before returning for breakfast at the resort. After breakfast, relax before setting out on a short jungle trek before lunch.

This afternoon sees more discovery on an afternoon river cruise.

Hotel
Hotel Nature Lodge Sepilok or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

After breakfast, continue to Sepilok. Upon arrival, enjoy a city tour.

As Sabah’s pre-war capital, Sandakan is rich in historical landmarks and monuments that include the Sandakan Memorial Park, Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple, St. Michael’s and All Angels church, and Agnes Keith Museum. Take tea at The English Tea House (optional) and browse the central market for Sandakan’s local produce.

Hotel
Hotel Nature Lodge Sepilok or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today we visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Set up to help re-introduce these wonderful creatures back into the wild after a life of domestication or having been orphaned. There's a short film about the orangutan rehabilitation process to watch in the reserve's interpretation centre. 

The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is also within walking distance. We will visit this wonderful new centre taking care of rescued Sun Bears that have spent many years mistreated. Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre is giving a better life to these bears by caring for them with the hope of reintroducing them back into the wild.

Proceed for lunch before a rainforest discovery centre visit to learn about the fascinating flora and fauna of Borneo. We take a walk along the canopy walkway to see the jungle from above and visit the plant discovery garden. 

Please note there is a small camera fee charged locally

Hotel
Promenade Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

After breakfast, check out from the resort and return to Sandakan.

Fly to Kota Kinabalu where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax.

Hotel
Sutera Mantanani Resort or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy breakfast this morning and check out of your hotel at the required time. You will then meet in the lobby at 11:45am for your transfer to Kota Belud (approx 2hrs - change of vehicle required en-route). There will be no stop for lunch this day, so please be prepared by packing a light lunch for yourself that you can have on the way. 

Arrive at the jetty and enjoy a 30-minute boat ride to Sutera Mantanani Resort. Set on a white sandy beach, the resort is located on the idyllic island of Mantanani Besar. Note: for safety reasons, guests are limited to 1 cabin/backpack size luggage item - a surcharge is applicable for additional luggage (from AUD$17 per item) You will store your main luggage at the hotel prior to check-out this day.

Upon arrival, settle in and you will be taken on a sunset walk of the island, where you can see the bright orange, red and yellow pastels of the sensational evening light streaks across the horizon before dipping behind the ocean. Following this, you can then enjoy your included dinner. 

Hotel
Sutera Mantanani Resort or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning following breakfast you will be taken on a snorkelling adventure. Dive in the crystal clear waters and marvel at the abundance of fascinating aquatic life swimming in the waters of Mantanani Island. See countless species of fish and other sea life as you glide through the water.

After this, you are free to enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. Be sure to check out some of the in-house activities available at the resort.

Hotel
Promenade Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy an early breakfast before checking out of your resort. You will also be provided with lunch prior to boarding your return boat to the mainland. Travel back to Kota Kinabalu before checking in at your hotel.

Tonight is free to enjoy an optional group dinner.

Meals
Breakfast

There are no activities planned for the final day. At the appropriate time, please make your own way to the airport for your flight home.

Inclusions

  • Small group tour, with no more than 16 travellers
  • Unforgettable wildlife experiences; spot proboscis monkeys, get up close at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, visit rescued sun bears at their conservation centre, and embark on multiple river safaris along the Kinabatangan river
  • 7 nights in central 4-star accommodation and comfortable jungle resorts
  • 2 nights in a 4-star island resort on the island of Mantanani Besar
  • Breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Partially escorted by local English-speaking tour guides
  • Comfortable, dedicated transportation throughout
  • In-depth sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary

  • Kota Kinabalu -  enjoy free time to explore sleepy  Kota Kinabalu
  • Sandakan - explore Sabah’s pre-war capital on a guided city tour
  • Sepilok - get up close to majestic orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
  • Sepilok - visit rescued sun bears at the conservation centre
  • Sepilok - get high above the jungle on a treetops canopy walk
  • Kinabatangan river - spot wildlife on multiple river safaris on the Kinabatangan river
  • Kinabatangan river  - enjoy short jungle treks into virgin rainforest
  • Mantanani Besar -  spend two nights relaxing on the idyllic island of Mantanani Besar

Inspiring Stay

Enjoy two relaxing nights in a sea-view chalet on the idyllic island of Mantanani Besar

Fine Print

This product requires full payment upfront to secure your booking.
 
Once you have created your booking you will be directed to your invoice to choose your preferred payment method.

This package includes international airfares or has the option of adding international airfares to your booking when selecting your departure city.

If international airfares are included this will be stated in the ‘Inclusions’ section

Alternatively, if international airfares can be added to your booking you will be able to select your departure city after clicking ‘Book Now’ and a cost will be stated next to your selected departure city. This cost will then be added to your booking and flights will be added to your booking.

Conditions of flights for this package bookable by Inspiring Vacations:

  • Flight Offer valid from select departure cities within the purchase path only
  • Flights will be booked with the best available airline/s with luggage included. Low-cost carriers may be booked in conjunction with a full-service airline. Depending on the carrier, entertainment and meals may not be included but payable at an extra cost on-board. We cannot specify or guarantee the airline booked. If you would like a specific airline, please request this at the time of purchase. To make a flight request, please click ‘Book Now’ and select Would you like us to contact you around our flight service?  By selecting this option you will be sent a request form after completing your purchases to make your request. 
  • Flights may not be direct and may include multiple connections
  • Due to disrupted airline schedules globally with the pandemic, stopovers/transit times may be longer than usual (up to 12 hours in duration in some circumstances).
  • Once ticketed, flights are non-refundable; any changes will be subject to the airline rules, Airline change fees and an Inspiring Vacations change fee of $250 per person.
  • Full names as per passport (including all middle names) are required at the time of submitting your traveller booking form. Any error in the names submitted will be subject to an Inspiring Vacations name change fee of $150 plus any applicable fees charged by the airline, or the ticket may be non-refundable with the purchase of a new ticket required. 
  • If the required booking class is unavailable at time of booking, surcharges may apply. Total cost is final only at time of ticketing. Once issued, air tickets are subject to amendment and cancellation fees or may be non-refundable
  • Any airline schedule changes or cancellations are outside of our control. It is important that you, as the customer, stay up-to-date with the latest airline schedule information prior to your departure. If a schedule change results in extended transits or an earlier/later departure from your destination, any additional accommodation or alternative arrangements will be at the traveler's expense.
  • After booking, the price payable may be subject to change as a result of factors beyond the control of Inspiring Vacations. Inspiring Vacations reserves the right to increase the price payable and this will be reflected on the customer's invoice. Increases may be in relation to, but not limited to, currency fluctuations, airline taxes, airfare increases and fuel surcharges.
  • Internal airfares (where applicable and included in the itinerary) will be using a local carrier and may include low-cost carriers without meals or entertainment. Checked baggage will still be included for each passenger. Any additional baggage required is payable at time of check-in. 
  • If you are travelling with another party on a separate booking, we cannot guarantee that the same flights will be booked for all parties, as this strictly depends on availability. 
  • You will be responsible for handling your luggage at all times as the services of porters are not included. If travelling over the recommended amount, you will be liable for any excess baggage fees enforced by the airline, payable directly.
  • In the event of that you no-show on your scheduled flight, please be aware the airline will require you to pay a no show fee, Airline reissue fee plus any additional airfare and taxes. Inspiring Vacations will also charge a $250 admin fee to assist re accommodating you on the next available flight. Please note that depending on the airline's policy, purchasing a new ticket may be required.

 

Baggage

Included baggage differs based on your country of origin. Included baggage will be as per the following:

Country of Origin

Carry-on Baggage

Checked Baggage

Australia

7kgs

20kgs

New Zealand

7kgs

20kgs

United States of America

15lbs

45lbs

Canada

15lbs

45lbs

India

7kgs

20kgs

United Kingdom

7kgs

20kgs


Baggage allowances provided by the airline might differ to the values stated above. However limitations are required due to transport storage restrictions on your selected tour or package.

Flight requests, amendments or preferences

We understand customers may wish to request changes to their included airfares. If you wish to fly with a certain airline, land at a certain time or change your flight in other ways we will gladly provide you with a personalised quote tailored to your specific requirements.

To make a flight request, please click ‘Book Now’ and select Would you like us to contact you around our flight service?  By selecting this option you will be sent a request form after completing your purchase to make your request.

We would be more than happy to provide you with a quote for the following requests:

  • Airline Preferences - You may wish to fly with a particular airline
  • Cabin Preferences - These include upgrading to premium economy or business class
  • Extensions (start and end cities must remain the same) - You may request to extend your stay pre or post tour.
  • Meal Requests - You may request a specific meal for dietary requirements.
  • Seat Requests - If you would like to request particular seating. However please note, not all airlines allow the selection of pre-purchased seat arrangements.

We are currently unable to provide a quote for the following requests:

  • Stopovers - Is where you might want to stop in transit for a certain amount of days prior to your tour or after your tour.
  • One way flights
  • Different start or end city to the tour - you may not amend the arrival or departure city of your itinerary. 
  • Around the world tickets  - Is when a ticket includes multiple stops in different continents.
  • Return home to a different city from the one you departed.
  • Frequent Flyer point redemption - Is when an airline allows you to redeem points to pay for your flights or upgrade your ticket.  

If we can’t fulfill your request and you still wish to proceed with the booking, please select Land Only (excluding UK customers). This will allow you to travel on the land portion of the package without the included airfares. You will then be able to arrange your own flights separately.

FAQs
For more frequently asked questions please view our FAQs  section. 

Online check-in 

Some airlines may not permit online check-in where flights have been booked by a travel company. Where unavailable to do so online, you will be required to check-in at the airport. Inspiring Vacations cannot check-in online on behalf of our customers.

Fitness Requirements
While the tour itinerary should give you some guidance and overview to the expected requirements, to determine if this tour is right for you we categorise each of our tours in terms of their intensity. These guidelines are to ensure that each tour group is conducted as expected and to ensure the overall satisfaction of all Inspiring Vacations customers.

As a general rule, porterage is not included, therefore at all times you are expected to handle your own luggage where help may not be available.

This particular tour is categorised as a”3”
3 – Moderate Tour: A good level of fitness and mobility is required, as this tour includes a moderate level of physical activity and is considered a medium-fast paced tour. You should be able to walk up and down stairs, get on and off the coach and able to walk reasonable distances of approximately 2 kilometres per day or more with ease. Any physical ailments you may have must be disclosed at the time of booking to determine your suitability. If you have any form of walking aids, other than a walking stick or hiking poles, then this tour is not suitable.

Tipping
A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. While tipping is not customary, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations.

You may also consider tipping your tour leader and driver for outstanding service throughout your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Mantanani Luggage Requirements 
Due to travel via boat for your planned stay at The Sutera Resort, you are only permitted to travel with maximum 1 luggage (cabin or backpack size only), otherwise a surcharge of approximately AUD 17 per luggage must be paid. 

Accommodation
The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, however, any changes are beyond our control.

Single Supplement
Single supplement is $788.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price.

Triple Share
Not available.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is recommended to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while traveling.

We have partnered with nib to offer our customers competitive rates for their travel insurance. You can book Comprehensive or Essentials cover for your domestic, international or multi-trip journeys simply by clicking HERE.

 Note that Inspiring Vacations cannot provide advice with regards to any insurance product.

Visa & Passport information
It is the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return.

Visas may be required.

Please note that these details are subject to change without notice. We recommend visiting https://smartraveller.gov.au for up to date information in terms of entry requirements.

Group Size
Minimum: 2
Maximum: 16

Children
Children must be 5 years old or above and share a room with parents at all times. Children are charged the same price as adults.

Tour Style
To meet the needs of various types of travelers, we choose to operate various types of tours, and depending on your selected package will mean different services are provided throughout your trip. The following descriptions of each tour style we hope will ensure that each traveller has appropriate expectations before they start their travels: 

  • Partially Escorted - A portion of these packages runs as a group tour where you will be escorted by an expert tour leader. Another portion is independent, whether conducted by rail, cruise or land, and you will travel between destinations on your own, with free time to explore at your own pace.

You can enhance your holiday by arriving or departing before or after the tour. On this tour you can choose from the following options:

Pre and post-tour accommodation

  • Pre Tour Accommodation - $126 per room, per night for double/twin/single
  • Post Tour Accommodation - $126 per room, per night for double/twin/single

Arrival and departure airport transfers

  • Pre tour transfer - $52 per car, maximum of 2 travellers
  • Post tour transfer - $52 per car, maximum of 2 travellers

Your transfer may be shared with other Inspiring Vacations customers.

Please specify in the 'Special Request' field when making your purchase your preferred travel arrangements and if you would like our team to book additional nights' accommodation. The additional cost for these land arrangements will be added to your final payment invoice and are subject to availability.

  • International airfares
  • Airport Transfers
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Tipping
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary
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