SABAH; Kota Kinabalu-Sandakan-Tawau; Manukan Island, Tamparuli, Kinabalu National Park, Mt. Kinabalu Climb, Poring Hot Springs, Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Sukau Village, Kinabatangan River Cruise, Ox-Bow Lake, Gomantong Caves, Sipadan Island Diving, 5-Star Beach Resort leisure.
Day 1: Arrival in Kota Kinabalu
Welcome at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA), and transfer to Manukan Island; pending on your flight schedule, we will have some time to take you through Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s capital first); rest of day free at own leisure at the island. Overnight at Manukan Island. (No Meals)
Day 2: Manukan Island
Spend a leisurely day at Manukan Island, one of the islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. There are many activities you can do at the island such as swimming, snorkelling, sun-bathing, short nature trekking in the emerald forest, etc. Overnight at Manukan Island. (Breakfast)
Day 3: Local Markets and Kinabalu National Park
After breakfast, take the ferry from Manukan Island to Kota Kinabalu, and meet your guide and driver at the jetty. Proceed to Donggongon, a rural town some 30 minutes from Kota Kinabalu and immerse yourself in the weekly market with all its local vegetables and other products; later proceed over Tamparuli and Nabalu, another famous market, and to the Kinabalu Park Head Quarters (KP HQ). At the KP HQ, get a first impression of the incredible Flora & Fauna of Sabah; admire the range of medical plants and orchids, many of which are endemic to Sabah, at the Mountain Garden. We are entirely at your disposal, and we take the day at leisure. We’ll have lunch in a local restaurant on the way to Kundasang, where in the late afternoon we check in and spend the night. Overnight at a Mountain Lodge near or at Kinabalu Park. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4: First Day of Mt Kinabalu Climb
07:00 hrs After breakfast we take you to the KP HQ for registration of your climb. Here, you meet your local mountain guide, and you can hire a porter if necessary. You start your climb around 9 am, and some five hours later you should reach Laban Rata, at 3300 m where you will stay overnight at the Resthouse. (Breakfast)
Day 5: The Summit and Poring Hot Springs
02:00 hrs You are woken at 2 am, and by 3 am you are on the summit trail. You should reach Low’s Peak, the highest point in South East Asia, just before sunrise. After that back to Laban Rata and the KP HQ, where we expect you around midday to 2 pm for a well-merited lunch. 14:00 hrs We continue our journey to Poring Hot Springs (Note: this activity will be cancelled if you reach Timpohon Gate/KP HQ after 3pm). There are no more active volcanoes in Sabah, but there are some hot springs, the last manifestation of volcanic activity a long time ago. Poring is part of the Kinabalu Park and at 400 m a.s.l. is surrounded by beautiful tropical rainforest. Soak your sore muscles in the hot waters, they will appreciate it! Late in the afternoon we head back to the Mountain Lodge. Overnight at a Mountain Lodge. (Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6: Sukau, Sandakan
08:00 hrs Today, we take you overland to Sukau. The five to six hours’ drive takes you through some of Sabah’s most spectacular landscapes, tropical rainforests, and in its second half lots of palm oil plantations. We have lunch at a local restaurant on the way. Later continue to overland to the Gomantong Caves, famous especially amongst the Chinese since ancient times for their swiftlets that produce edible nests – the caves of Gomantong are also called “Bird nests’ Caves!” The drive takes approximately thirty minutes. A 15-minute walk over wooden bridges takes you to the impressive limestone caves, where during harvesting times men climb up to the 60 meter high ceiling on flimsy-looking rattan ladders. The caves are not only home to swiftlets, but also to couple of millions of bats and smell accordingly. In Sukau, check into your chalet on the Kinabatangan River, and in the late afternoon. take a leisurely boat ride in search of wildlife, notably the Proboscis monkeys, a unique creature that is endemic to Borneo and exists no where else in the world. By nightfall return to the lodge for a sumptuous dinner with local and Malaysian specialities. Overnight in a River Lodge on the Kinabatangan River. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7: Wildlife in Sabah
05:30 hrs In Sukau you are woken up to the calls of gibbons and hornbills. By 0600 h board a small boat that takes you to an Ox Bow Lake to experience the mystique and charm of an early morning on the Kinabatangan River, and to observe wildlife. On a short jungle walk along the lake we might see some interesting Bornean wildlife and birds. Return to the lodge for breakfast; Free at own leisure, and lunch; in the afternoon you are taken for another river cruise in search of more wildlife. Overnight in a River Lodge on the Kinabatangan River. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8: Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre
07:00 hrs You leave Sukau by car, to arrive in time for the feeding of the orang utan at the world famous Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, where you can experience a close encounter with the “Wild Man of Borneo.” In Sepilok, orphaned and captive or as pets treated Orang Utans are being rehabilitated to a life in the jungle of Borneo. Visitors are taken over wooden bridges to a feeding plat form, where every day the apes have the possibility to obtain food. However, the centre is no zoo and one cannot guarantee that there will be a lot of Orang Utans. These animals live wild in an area that caters to their needs, and the less they depend on man the more successful the rehabilitation programme works. After the feeding, followed by a video presentation on the mission and work of the centre, you continue back to Sandakan for lunch. Then, transfer to Sandakan Airport for flight to Tawau. In Tawau, transfer and check into a city Hotel for Overnight. (Breakfast)
Day 9-11: Mabul & Sipadan – World Class Diving
08:00 hrs (exact schedule upon booking) You are picked up from your hotel and taken to the jetty in Semporna for transfer to Mabul Island, near Sipadan, the world class diving site. The next three days discover the underwater flora & fauna unique to Sipadan and Mabul, unique in the world! Overnight at beach chalet on Mabul Island. (Full Board while at Mabul – except for alcoholic and carbonated beverages)
Day 12: Back to Kota Kinabalu
07:00 hrs (exact schedule upon booking) Leave Mabul and reach Kota Kinabalu on flight MH2663, 1740 hrs arrival 1820 hrs; transfer to a hotel in Kota Kinabalu. (Breakfast)
Day 13: Back to Kota Kinabalu
Day free at leisure. Overnight at a Hotel in Kota Kinabalu. (Breakfast)
Day 14: Departure
Day free at leisure until your departure. Transfer from hotel to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Tour Service ends here. (Breakfast)
Inclusive in the Programme:
* All transport (from KK – KP – Sukau and other land transfer)
* Airfares from Sandakan to Tawau and Tawau to Kota Kinabalu
* All boat trips
* All accommodation in Hotels (based on twin-share) / Lodges as indicated
* Experienced, licensed tour guides throughout
* All meals as indicated below
* All excursions as per programme
* All entrance fees
* Mountain Climbing Permit and Insurance
* Mountain Guide
* Diving: three boat dives per day; unlimited shore dives
International airfare to/fro Sabah, Camera & Video fees where applicable, meals and drinks not indicated, tips and other personal expenses.
Special Note on Diving at Sipadan:
* All divers must show proof of diver certification for each level and specialty before diving is allowed.
* All divers and snokellers will be required to sign a waiver form.
* Flying after diving (last day at resort) — The latest recommendation from DAN, Training Agencies, etc. indicates that you should wait a minimum of 12 hours and sometimes up to 24 hours after diving before you fly. However, SMART recognises that people, agencies and even computers and tables differ on this. If you choose to dive on the day you leave and fly, you will be required to sign a seperate Liability/Release Form (Waiver) to do this. You will only be able to do one morning dive; however, this is at the discretion of the Resort Management. The extra charge for the dive on the last day is RM50/USD14 per person/per dive.
NOTE: Tour Itinerary, Sequence and Final Rate subject to availability of spaces, accommodation at specified hotels, and tour sites.