Borneo is a diverse Island, made up of 3 countries, Indonesia, Brunei and our destination, the state of Sabah in Malaysia. Sabah has much to offer a photographer from the deep steamy jungles to the long winding waterways and from the mysterious caves to the heights of Mount Kinabalu there are plentiful opportunities to get amazing photos. Sabah offers a varied amount of flora and fauna including the orangutan, proboscis monkey, hornbills and over 5000 species of flowering plants found nowhere else in the world. 

We are currently still finalizing the itinerary as we are extending the tour by 3 or 4 days so that we can spend more time in the Jungle to maximise our chances of seeing a good variety of animals. We will commence on Saturday May 17th 2025 and finish either Saturday May 31st or June 1st. We have advertised now with an Early Bird price* based on 2024 pricing and we anticipate an increase once 2025 prices have been released so the earlier you book the better the price will be for you. 
A deposit of $AU1000 will secure your place now ($AU 500 of the deposit is non refundable. If the tour does not run then we will refund in full). *The Early Bird balance needs to paid in full before Dec 31st 2024. The normal price will be adjusted once we have been updated on the 2025 prices. 

We visit in May when there should be an abundance of fruit and flowers, which should increase our chances of seeing a variety of animals. We are intentionally visiting some remote jungle areas in the hope of seeing wildlife in their natural environments and then we will visit some rehabilitation centres where will see orangutan, sun bears and proboscis monkeys so one way or another you will see these wonderful creatures. 
We arrive on the Saturday to start our 15 day of photography refreshed on the Sunday morning. We will begin in Kota Kinabalu where we will start with street photography in a bustling market before we visit a cultural village experience where locals in traditional dress bring alive tribal customs and culture before finishing with sunset over the bay.

Monday we take an early flight to Lahad Datu on the Eastern Coast where we will meet our driver and venture into the rain forest jungle to experience all that it has to offer. We will be staying within two different National Parks over the next  week which are known for a huge variety of flora as well as insects, spiders, birds as well as the chance of the wild animals like orangutan, gibbon, macaque, otter and pygmy elephant.  Night drives or walks will give us the chance to see some of the nocturnal animals like the flying squirrels and the civet cat. The first stop, Tabin National Park, is known as Sabah's greatest wildlife sanctuary. It was created in the year 1984, the 300000 acres reserve is the largest wildlife reserve in Malaysia. It has areas of mud 'volcanos' which ooze mineral salts that attract many different varieties of creatures to it, even sun bears are known to visit although we would be very luck if we saw one. We will stay in the heart of the jungle at a river resort.  We may see the 3 largest of Sabah’s mammals, the Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Tembadau or Banten, which is like a wild buffalo. There are many mammals including otter,  nine species of primate, three species of cats all of which are on the protected wildlife list and more than 300 species bird. 

We will then move to the Danum Valley whose rainforest is known to be the oldest in the world, with an age of over 140 million years. This primary virgin rainforest boasts one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth and stands as one of the most ecologically essential forests worldwide. There are more than 340 different bird species, 124 different mammal species, 72 different reptile species, and 56 different amphibian species found in Danum Valley. That is why naturalists, wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers from around the world visit Danum. It is one of Sabah’s most famously protected areas and a favourite location for wildlife photographers.

The Kinbanatang river is the longest river in Sabah (560km) passes through many diverse habitats and eventually spreads out in to a huge fertile floodplain on which supports many animals, birds and water life. We will head out early morning and late afternoon along the river to spot proboscis monkey, gibbons and many other primates (including an orangutan if we are lucky), as well as crocodile, lizards and plentiful birdlife including hornbills and kingfisher. With luck we might see pygmy elephants coming down to for a drink or to bathe. The cruise back in the afternoon also provides a beautiful sunset along the river. There is an option to join a night walk when you can get up close with birds whilst they sleep and if you are fortunate see frogs and the tiny western Tarsier. The area was under threat from logging but now Sabah’s government have gazetted 27800 hectares creating the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.

En route to Sepilok will we call in at a cave known for the swiftlets that create nests harvested for bird's nest soup. This area is also a favourite haunt of wild orangutan. They are often spotted here quite close up and can be seen lazing in the canopies during the heat of the day along the edge of the car park! If you wish to visit the caves this is an optional extra as it is not for everyone. The caves main chamber is massive and with multiple openings which allows the light to filter through giving it a cathedral like atmosphere and great photo opportunities. However, the cave is also home to thousands of bats and insects which over the decades have produced mounds of guano so the smell is quite overpowering. As I said, it's not for everyone but if you wish to go in then Anna-Mair will accompany you. We will continue to Sepilok where we will visit the orang-utan rehabilitation centre that works with orphaned and stolen apes. We will visit the centre at least twice seeing the nursery and feeding sessions for the other apes which will attract the orangutan to coming out of the trees for a feed. We will also visit the Sun bear rehabilitation centre, the Rainforest Discovery Centre and Labuk Bay for an up close experience with the proboscis monkey.

Our adventure will the continue west to Poring Hot Springs where we will photograph the waterfalls and Tropical Gardens where if we are lucky (or unlucky) witness the Rafflesia in flower. This amazing looking flower is one of the largest flowers in the world but is better known as the stinking corpse lily! We will stay at a overnight at a Tea Garden with terraces of tea growing against the hillside. Whilst in the area we will visit the Anzac Memorial Gardens in Kundisang. Our final full day of photography will be at Mt. Kinabalu National Park that has some lovely forest trails covered with mosses and fungi. We will spend some time in the Botanical Gardens with a variety of orchids and other tropical flowers. Fingers crossed the clouds will clear so we have views of the mountain itself.

We will finish our tour back in Kota Kinabalu.

The full itinerary will be given on request although some small changes may be applied before departure. 

What's Included:

  • Airport transfers

  • Internal flight from Kota Kinabalu - Lahad Datu

  • All internal transport and accommodation

  • 17 days/16 nights in Borneo -15 days of photography

  • Entry fees

  • Most meals on Tour

  • Highly experienced local guides and drivers

  • Small group size

  • Photographic support from Anna-Mair Francis

What's not included:

  • Flights to/from Kota Kinabalu and your home City

  • Camera tax (local tax on photographers charged at some location approx total RM250)

  • Tourism tax in hotels (RM10 per room/per night)

  • Alcohol/soft drinks with meals

  • Photographic equipment

  • Laundry, gratuities, etc

  • Excess baggage

  • Travel Insurance (we require a copy of your insurance with your final payment)

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Terms and Conditions

The deposit of $1000 of which $500 is non-refundable unless we cancel the trip. Full balance is due 60 days for departure. Last minute bookings will be accepted subject to availability. See Terms and Conditions on our "about" page for all policies. A single supplement of $750* AUD will be added if travelling alone unless you want to share with someone of the same gender, we will endeavour to match you. If we do not have another single traveling then the single supplement price will need to be paid before departure. The tour will begin and end in Kota Kinabalu. You will need to book and pay for your return flights from your city. *This is based on the 2024 price and may rise in 2025. A copy of your insurance will be needed after booking.

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