Extreme Borneo

For active adventure and nature-lovers, this is your perfect 2-week break from city life. Maintaining a comfortable pace, this itinerary allows you to experience all authentic beauty and diversity that this Malaysian state has to offer – from lush rainforests, to golden beaches and surreal underwater worlds.
Start off by diving into the deep as you take in some of the best seascapes in South-east Asia. Then go on to trek through rainforests equipped with your binoculars to spot some of Borneo’s indigenous proboscis monkeys and Orangutans, Asian elephants and Sumatran rhinoceros. Pack in a self-fulfilling achievement to scale Mount Kinabalu’s peak before rewarding yourself with some much-deserved beach time.

Day 1: Arrive into Kota Kinabalu

Fly direct from Kota Kinabalu International airport straight to Tawau airport, where you will head straight to Kapalai Dive Resort. After all the travelling, bed down comfortably in one of their over-water wooden chalets looking out to the ocean as the sea breeze blows gently through your window.

Stay: Kapalai Dive Resort

Days 2 - 4: Diving at Sipadan and Mabul Island

Great dive sites here include: Barracuda Point, Coral Garden, The Drop Off, Turtle Cavern and Whitetip Avenue. Dive in with your experienced guide and navigate through the azure waters for close-up encounters with a swirling vortex of Chevron or Blacktail barracuda, or spot the bone-white skeletons of turtles that did not manage to escape this cavern. The diving highlight of your trip could possibly be swimming amongst a school of gentle Whitetip reef sharks.

Stay: Kapalai Dive Resort

Day 5: From beach to rainforest

Head back to dry land today where your guide will take you into the tropical heart of the Danum Valley Conservation area. Stay amidst lush rainforest in one of the Borneo Rainforest Lodge’s rustic chalets. In the afternoon, an in-house ranger will take you on your first trek on the Nature Trail & Canopy Walkway for the best views of the surrounding rainforest and the wildlife that roam the area. End your evening with a safari night drive in search of the rainforest’s elusive nocturnal creatures.

Stay: Borneo Rainforest Lodge

Day 6: Danum Valley Conservation Area 

Start your day early with a guided trek to the ancient burial site of Coffin Cliff, where you will capture stunning bird’s eye views of the valley. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the Natural Jacuzzi pool before lunch at the Lodge. The afternoon is at your own leisure – if you are in a more adventurous mood, try the Water Tubing session down the Danum River. After dinner, join the ranger for a Guided Night Walk on the Nature Trail.

Stay: Borneo Rainforest Lodge

Day 7: From Danum Valley Conservation Area to Kinabatangan River

Today you will head north for more time in the rainforest, but this time, staying on the Kinabatangan River for a change of scenery. After lunch, your guide will take you down the river, cruising through estuaries and oxbows lakes of the longest river in Sabah.

Day 8: Kinabatangan River 

This morning, the friendly staff will wake you up early for your dawn river cruise so you can capture surreal views of the morning mist hanging over the river’s surface. You have the rest of your day at leisure again before your relaxing cruise in the evening.

Day 9: Encounter with orangutans

Today check out early and drive 2 hours back to Sandakan City. Start off at the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary where you will get to catch the daily orangutan feeding session. Watch these subliminal creatures swing happily about in the trees as they play with each other and eat. The rest of the day tour takes you to Fishing Villages, Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple and the War Memorial before stopping at a quaint English tea garden for lunch. In the evening, catch a flight to Kota Kinabalu where you will stay at the luxurious Le Meridien.

Day 10: Climbing Mount Kinabalu

Today, you will be picked up early from your hotel to embark on your overnight Mount Kinabalu climb. Mount Kinabalu is the tallest peak in Borneo’s Crocker Range and stands at 4, 095 metres above sea level. Your climb is estimated to last for approximately 4 to 6 hours. Along the way, you will pass by different vegetation zones from Oak and Chestnut to mossy and eventually to alpine types of vegetation. Set up camp for the night.

Day 11: Relax by the beach

Wake up in the early morning and continue your climb to the summit. Upon reaching your goal, soak in the views as you capture a spectacular sunrise. After enjoying a much deserved rest, start your descent for a late breakfast. Look forward to going down the world’s highest via ferrate – a mountain path equipped with cables, ladders and bridges.

At the end of your expedition, you will be transferred to the luxurious Shangri-la Rasa Ria Resort. Time for a bit of relaxation by the pool and perhaps a soothing spa!

Stay: Shangri-La Rasa Ria

Days 12-13: Leisure at Shangri-La Rasa Ria

For the rest of your stay, relax and enjoy the facilities at your resort, the secluded stretch of Pantai Dalit Beach or visit the resort’s very own Orangutan Sanctuary.

Stay: Shangri-La Rasa Ria

Day 14: Departure

You have the day at leisure till you head for the airport, a wonderful end to your holiday.


Duration Description Overnight
Day 1: Arrive into Kota Kinabalu Kapalai Dive Resort
Days 2 - 4: Diving at Sipadan and Mabul Island Kapalai Dive Resort
Day 5: From beach to rainforest Borneo Rainforest Lodge
Day 6: Danum Valley Conservation Area  Borneo Rainforest Lodge
Day 7: From Danum Valley Conservation Area to Kinabatangan River
Day 8: Kinabatangan River 
Day 9: Encounter with orangutans
Day 10: Climbing Mount Kinabalu
Day 11: Relax by the beach Shangri-La Rasa Ria
Days 12-13: Leisure at Shangri-La Rasa Ria Shangri-La Rasa Ria
Day 14: Departure



  • Accommodation including breakfast
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle unless stated otherwise
  • 24 hour emergency contact

Not Included

  • Visa
  • International flights
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Early check in/ late check-out.
  • Travel insurance (please note that this is required for all Lightfoot Travel holidays)


1. Kapalai Dive Resort, Kapalai Island 2. Borneo Rainforest Lodge, Kintabangan 3. Melapi Lodge, Kinabatangan River 4. Le Meridien, Kota Kinabalu 5. Tented Camp, Mount Kinabalu 6. Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu

From USD 4,555 per person based on two guests travelling

Notes on our prices

  • This price guide provides you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
  • Prices are generally based on two people travelling together (unless stated otherwise) on a shared room basis.
  • Prices can fluctuate depending on season, standard of accommodation, excursions selected (private versus shared) etc.
  • This basic structure works very nicely, but don’t forget that Lightfoot Travel can provide a range of experiences and we tailor-make each itinerary based on your travel requirements. Get in touch to start planning your perfect trip with your own travel consultant