Grand Tour of Sabah

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10 Days / 11 Nights
Availability : Year-round
Tour Details

Grand Tour of Sabah is a complete exploration of the natural wonders of the state of Sabah in Borneo – from the lush rain forests to the beautiful islands.

The Malaysian state of Sabah with its unspoilt nature and stunning scenery is the ideal destination for combining adventure, wildlife safari and diving.

On this trip you will visit the main attractions of Sabah including Turtle island, Kinabatangan River, Tabin Reserve, Danum Valley and Mataking Island.


  • Witness marine turtle laying eggs at night. Selingan Island in Sabah, Borneo is a safe haven for endangered green and hawksbill turtle.
  • Get up close and personal with the Orangutan in Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
  • Observe Borneo’s abundant wildlife up close as you embark on a safari river cruise on the Kinabatangan River
  • Experience some of of the oldest and most pristine rain forest on the planet in Tabin Reserve and Danum Valley.
  • Escape the ordinary world and go to the tropical Mataking Island where you will find turquoise sea, sun, white sandy beaches and colorful marine life.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Sandakan - Turtle Island
Day 2
Sepilok Orangutan - Kinabatangan River
Day 3
Kinabatangan River
Day 4
Sukau - Tabin Wildlife Reserve
Day 5
Tabin Wildlife Reserve
Day 6
Tabin - Danum Valley
Day 7
Danum Valley
Day 8-9-10
Mataking Island

What's Included

  • Accommodation for the nights listed in the itinerary
  • All internal transport as per the itinerary
  • Sightseeing tours / activities where specified
  • English speaking guide
  • Conservation fees
  • Meals as specified
  • Tourism Tax (RM 10 per room/night)

Day 1 Arrive in Sandakan - Turtle Island

Upon arrival in Sandakan transfer to Sim Sim jetty to board the boat to Selingan Turtle Island. Selingan has been designated a national park to protect the newly laid eggs and vulnerable hatchlings from predators. The journey to the island will take approximately one hour.

On arrival check into at the lodge and spend the rest of the day at leisure. You can relax on the beach or explore the tropical island’s surrounding.

After dinner, standby at the Cafeteria. Wait for Park Ranger’s signal before proceed in a small group to witness a marine turtle laying the eggs on the beach and the release of the baby turtle into the sea (turtle sightings can never be guaranteed).

Overnight in Turtle island at the park chalets.


Day 2Sepilok Orangutan - Kinabatangan River

Early morning head back to the mainland and proceed to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre for up-close orangutan encounter.
Walk 10 minutes through the rainforest on wooden boardwalk to witness the feeding of orangutans from the platform in the forest.
Continue to the outdoor nursery where the juvenile and baby orangutans are taught the skills they need to survive in the forest.
Proceed to Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre where the world’s smallest bears are kept and rehabilitated.

After Sepilok, venture on a 2-day wildlife safari on the Kinabatangan River. First, you will be taken to Sim Sim jetty to board the boat to Abai Jungle Lodge. Enjoy a relaxing 1-hour cruise, journeying up the river. Upon arrival check into your lodge on the riverbank and then enjoy lunch.

Late afternoon head out on a safari cruise on the Kinabatangan River. At dusk, you may have the chance to see proboscis monkey and other wildlife than the area is famed for.
Before dinner you will experience a night cruise to witness the glittering fireflies on the mangrove trees.

Overnight at the Abai Jungle Lodge


Day 3Kinabatangan River

Wake up early and embark on a river cruise to the Pitas Lake in search of wildlife species that are significantly active during pre-dawn or early morning hours.

The rest of the morning is at your leisure to explore the rainforest on a boardwalk located behind the lodge or visit the village of the native “orang sungai” people and take part in a tree planting project.

After lunch head further up the river to Sukau. Switching lodges gives you a great chance to see more wildlife.
Upon arrival at the lodge head out on another safari cruise on the Menanggul River, a tributary of the Kinabatangan River.

Overnight at the Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge


Day 4Sukau - Tabin Reserve

Early morning transfer to Tabin Wildlife Reserve office in Lahad Datu (about 2-hour drive). Then after registration continue to the reserve (about 1.5-hour drive).

Check into the Tabin Wildlife Resort nestled within the rainforest beside the Lipad River.
Visit the Trogon Hall gallery for information about the conservation of Tabin Wildlife Reserve and briefing on birds, insects and animals that are found in this area.

After lunch hike for about 20 minutes to the active Lipad Mud Volcano. The elevated bare area of the Mud Volcano is frequented by wildlife and birds that are attracted to salt to fulfill their mineral requirements. The adventurous can try the effects of the volcanic mud, said to be responsible for a fine complexion.
Trek back to the resort along the elephant trail.

After dinner, enjoy a CD/Slide presentation on Tabin’s natural wonders, followed by a night safari to look out for nocturnal wildlife and birds.

Overnight at the Tabin Wildlife Resort


Day 5Tabin Reserve

Join the early morning bird walk to discover some of Tabin’s rich collection of more than 300 species of birds. After breakfast, drive to the core area and trek through the lush green rainforest to Lidap Waterfalls. Take a dip in the natural pool and enjoy a natural and refreshing shower under the waterfall. Alternatively, explore the surrounding vegetation or just relax.

In the afternoon, try out the Tabin Rainforest Foot Soak made with a natural blend of herbs, to relax tired muscles after long jungle treks (optional). In the evening, a dusk drive to look out for more nocturnal wildlife & birds coming out to look for food during this time of the day.

After dinner, go for a night walk along the trail near the resort in search of sleeping birds, frog, and nocturnal wildlife.

Overnight at the Tabin Wildlife Resort


Day 6Tabin Reserve - Danum Valley

Head back to Lahad Datu. Then, after registration at Danum Valley office continue to Borneo Rainforest Lodge (about 2.5-hour drive).

Enjoy the changing landscape of the regenerated forest to virgin rainforest of a million years old.
Borneo Rainforest Lodge is nestled in the heart of Sabah’s largest protected forest, alongside the Danum River.
The entire Danum Valley Conservation Area is a primary rainforest, which means it has never been logged before and is completely untouched.

After a brief orientation and lunch, proceed for a guided walk along the Nature Trail for an introduction to the rainforest ecosystem.

In the evening see a slide presentation on Danum Valley Conservation Area, then join a night safari on an open-air truck. Using a powerful spot light the guide will point out nocturnal species.

Overnight at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge


Day 7Danum Valley

Rise early this morning and enjoy a whole day in the beautiful Danum Valley. Start your day with the Canopy Walkway, a rope-style bridge built 26 meters above the forest floor. The view is magical. In the early mornings, mist hangs over the rainforest, forming a white veil from which only the tallest treetops emerge.

After breakfast hike to View Point Trail and Kadazandusun Burial Site. Stop along the trail to admire the variety of flora and fauna and spectacular views.
On the way down, enjoy a refreshing dip in the natural Jacuzzi pool.

After lunch (if weather permits) enjoy an extended hike to look for orangutan, birds and other wildlife along nature trails or go for a relaxing Water Tubing session down the Danum River.

As darkens falls, proceed for a guided night jungle walk in search of nocturnal species.

Overnight at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge


Day 8Danum Valley - Mataking Island

After breakfast you will be driven for about 5-6 hours to Semporna jetty to board the boat to Mataking Island.

Offering outstanding natural beauty, Mataking Island has unspoilt white sandy beaches, crystal waters and tropical vegetation. This pristine Island is located about 1 hour by speedboat from Semporna in the south-east of Sabah.

One side of the island is protected by a shallow sandy lagoon and on the other side the coral reef is very close ideal for snorkeling. Comfortable attractive facilities are surrounded by delightful landscape and consist of a reception area, restaurant, gift shop, PADI Centre, outdoor Jacuzzi pool and spa. Wooden cottages come with air-conditioning, ceiling fan, coffee/tea maker, hair-dryer, and private shower-styled bathroom with hot/cold water and complementary drinking water.

On arrival check in to your room, the rest of the day is free for your leisure.

Overnight at the Mataking Reef Dive Resort


Day 9Mataking Island

At leisure or diving.

Overnight at the Mataking Reef Dive Resort


Day 10Mataking Island - Depart Tawau

Boat schedule 11.00hrs and 14.00hrs. Transfer to Semporna by speedboat, then continue to Tawau for your flight to your next destination.