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.
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.
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.
Take advantage of our 7 day cooling-off period.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Enjoy two relaxing nights in a sea-view chalet on the idyllic island of Mantanani Besar
This package is sold as land only, however you do have the option of adding international airfares to your booking. Simply click on’ book now’, and under upgrades , you will be asked “Would you like us to contact you around our flight service?”
By selecting this option Inspiring Vacations will contact you to discuss adding flights to your chosen destination. We can assist with flying the airline of your choice to turn your booking into a flight inclusive package.
We would be more than happy to provide you with a quote for the following requests:
We are currently unable to provide a quote for the following requests:
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.
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.
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.
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 is $421.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price.
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.
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://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html for up to date information in terms of entry requirements.
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.
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:
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 Tour Accommodation
Post Tour Accommodation
Arrival and departure airport transfers
Your transfer may be shared with other Inspiring Vacations customers.
Please select the number of extra nights required in the 'Additional Nights Accommodation' field when making your purchase. The additional cost for these arrangements will be added to your final payment invoice and are subject to availability.