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Borneo Explorer

This is not just a holiday - it's an adventure! Borneo is an explosion of wildlife and nature, waiting to be explored. 

What's Included

STRAYBUSICON All transport – comfortable and air conditioned minivan and boat. 
TOURGUIDEICON Local Tour Leader - Knowledgeable Local Guide to provide invaluable knowledge, support and insider insights.
rice Meals – 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners. 
bed 8 Night's Accommodation – Twin-share accommodation is standard, and if you are travelling alone you will be paired with another traveller of the same sex. Single Room upgrades may be available on request.

Included Activities:

  • Welcome briefing, cold drink and local snacks
  • Bee keeping demonstration
  • Gong Making Village Visit
  • Kudat Turtle Conservation Society
  • Sunset at the Tip of Borneo
  • Mount Kinabalu entrance fees and hiking
  • Guided tour of the Mount Kinabalu Botanic Gardens
  • Entrance fee to the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
  • Entrance fee to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
  • Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Canopy Night Walk
  • Kinabatangan river wildlife cruises
  • Night cruise
  • Libaran Island Walai Turtle Conservation programme


Scroll through the gallery below to see the kinds of the things you'll get up to! 


Strademark BorneoOur mission is to get you off the beaten track amongst authentic local culture and our experienced crew has chosen some incredible destinations so you can see more and do more! 'Strademark' Places are the places you're less likely to find in the guide book but the ones you'll be talking about long after the adventure has ended. 

  • Stray further off the beaten track to Simpang Mengayau Bay, a remote stretch of beach at the northern tip of Borneo where you'll rarely find anyone else! Go snorkelling, diving, kayaking or learn more about the local Turtle Conservation project.
  • Experience one of Borneo's highlights at our exclusive Stray Jungle Camp as we head out on the mighty Kinabatangan River on wildlife spotting cruises in the afternoon, evening and the following morning. You'll experience something different each time!


5star review

"I was lucky enough to travel with Stray on the first Borneo Explorer tour and I was blown away by the amount of variety this trip packed in, in just 9 days! Highlights for me were releasing baby turtles at Libaran Island, seeing an Orang-utan in the wild along the Kinabatangan River and watching the flying squirrels from the treetop canopy boardwalk at the Rainforest Discover Centre!"


Jodine La Pere, June 2018

Tour Options

On the final day of the tour you will have several options: 

  • Stay in Sandakan - from here you can make your own way to Sipadan for diving, or to the Danum Valley wildlife reserve. 
  • Return to Mount Kinabalu National Park - if you would like to climb Mount Kinabalu, please contact our friends at Top Peak Travel to prearrange that for you. 
  • Return to Kota Kinabalu

Borneo Explorer



Day 1: Arrival Day - Kota Kinabalu

Hello and welcome to Stray! Your adventure kicks off in Sabah’s capital city of Kota Kinabalu. If you arrive early in the day, feel free to check into the hostel and head out to explore the city. Wander the waterfront area, check out the Central Market, watch the local fishermen or peruse the shops. If you’ve got the whole day to spare, you could visit the nearby islands on an island-hopping trip. Make sure to be back to the Fat Rhino Hostel by 6pm to meet your guide and your tour group for a welcome briefing and a cold drink on the rooftop. Afterwards, head down to the waterfront to try some Malaysian food at the local food stalls. You can choose to get your own dinner or dine ‘family-style’ at the night market with your new travel mates. Includes welcome drink and snacks.

Included: Fat Rhino Hostel (twin share)

Optional: ‘Family-Style’ Malaysian dinner

Today we head off-the-beaten-track to a remote beach at the very tip of Borneo. Simpang Mengayau Bay boasts long stretches of white sand away from the tourist crowds. On the way to the beach, we’ll stop the Borneo Honey Bee Centre and at a local village that produces ceremonial gongs. When we arrive at Simpang Mengayau Bay we’ll have some time for lunch and a swim. Mid-afternoon we’ll head to the Kudat Turtle Conservation Society where we will learn about the work being done to save the sea turtle population. After visiting the hatchery, we’ll spend the afternoon swimming and relaxing here and finish the day with a BBQ on the beach. Includes breakfast and dinner. 

Included: Merrimas Villa (twin share)

Included: Borneo Honey Bee Centre, Gong Making Village, Kudat Turtle Conservation Society

Today is a free day to experience all that Simpang Mengayau Bay has to offer – there are so many activities to choose from! Join a half day snorkelling trip out to some nearby reefs, hire a surfboard (seasonal), go kayaking, take a mangrove river cruise or just relax on the beach. If you’ve got a SCUBA diving license you can even go diving here. We’ll all meet up early in the evening to watch the sun set at the tip of Borneo where the Sulu Sea and the South China sea collide, before a group dinner where we’ll share stories of the day’s adventures. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Included: Merrimas Villa (twin share)

Optional: Snorkelling, surfing, kayaking, fishing, diving, mangrove river cruise

Included: Watch the sunset at the tip of Borneo

This morning, we’ll begin the scenic drive to Mount Kinabalu park. Enjoy views of this impressive mountain as you wind up into the cool hillside. Mount Kinabalu was Malaysia’s first World Heritage site and is one of the most important biological sites in the world, as it is home to over 4,500 species of flora and fauna. A guide will point some of these out to you as we take a tour of the botanical gardens. Then you’ll be able to test your knowledge when you hike the park’s trails afterwards! You’ll have the afternoon to explore the park at your leisure before we head to the Slagon Homestay for a delicious dinner, a few games of pool and maybe even some karaoke (for the brave!). Includes breakfast and dinner. 

Included: Slagon Homestay (twin share)

Included: Mt Kinabalu park entrance fees and hiking, guided tour of the botanical gardens.

After an early breakfast we’ll set out for Sepilok, home of the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. The centres are conveniently located across the road from each other which means that you can walk between the two. Spend a few hours watching the sun bears play in the forest, and admire the Orangutans up close at their feeding sessions. Tonight, you’ll get the chance to see birds, flying squirrels, butterflies, monkeys/primates and other wildlife as you walk on elevated walkways through the tree canopies and along jungle tracks with an experienced wildlife guide. Includes breakfast. 

Included: Nature Lodge (twin share)

Optional: Gomantong Caves, Sandakan War Memorial

Included: Entry to the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Canopy Night Walk

It’s a short drive from Sepilok to the little village where we’ll depart on our Kinabatangan adventure. We’ll board a boat that will take us along the Kinabatangan River, then shoot off down a tree canopied canal to our exclusive Stray Jungle Camp. Situated on a remote part of Oxbow Lake with no tourists around, the wildlife is in abundance! After lunch, we’ll head out on the boat for a wildlife-spotting cruise. Look out for proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, long-tail macaques, hornbills, kingfishers, storks, and if you’re incredibly lucky – wild orangutan and pygmy elephants!  As the light starts to fade, we head back to the camp for a local style dinner. Night brings out more creatures and we’ll go on a cruise to spot fireflies and nocturnal wildlife. Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and snacks

Included: Jungle Camp (twin or triple rooms)

Included: Kinabatangan river wildlife cruise, night cruise. 

The next morning you’ll get another chance to head back out on the water on another wildlife cruise.  Each time you head out on the boat, you’re likely to have a completely unique experience.  In the afternoon you have free time. The Camp has a strong conservation focus and is actively involved in a reforestation programme, which you can contribute to by planting a tree. Tree saplings are bought from a local village (which helps support their local economy) and then planted near the camp. Trees are labelled with the name of the person who planted them and each year they receive an email with a photo of the progress!  Includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. 

Included: Jungle Camp (twin or triple rooms)

Included: Kinabatangan river morning wildlife cruise, tree planting. 

Our next destination is the Walai Turtle Conservation Park on Libaran Island. When we arrive, we’ll learn about the community-based efforts to save the sea turtles, through an engaging conservation presentation. After lunch, you’ll have the afternoon free to enjoy the beach, go kayaking or take a stroll to the local village. In the early evening we’ll visit the hatchery and, if some eggs have hatched, we’ll take the baby turtles down to the ocean and release them into the sea! After dinner, we’ll keep an eye out for sea turtles coming up the beach to lay their eggs.  Includes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Included: Walai Penyu Resort Glamping-style tents on the beach (twin share)

Included: Turtle conservation presentation, kayaking

After breakfast, we’ll take the boat back to Sandakan town for a quick stop before we continue our journey to Kota Kinabalu. Some people may opt to finish their trip in Sandakan in order to go diving in Sipadan or visit the Danum Valley. There is an alternative option to hop-off half way and end your journey at Mount Kinabalu where you can hike to the top of the mountain (must be prearranged). Whichever option you choose, we hope you had a blast on your Stray adventure!

Includes breakfast. 

Included: Breakfast

Borneo Explorer



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Borneo Explorer



We've chosen high quality backpacker accommodation in a variety of hostels, homestays, lodges and even glamping on the beach! Twin-share is included with your tour. If you are travelling alone you will be paired with another traveller of the same sex. If you'd prefer a private single room, please get in touch: [email protected]

Borneo asia journeys route 2018 19 2


First Departure: 19 April 2019
Departures:  Twice per month on Fridays 

19 April 2019

3 & 17 May 2019

7 & 21 June 2019

5 & 19 July 2019

2 & 16 August 2019

6 & 20 September 2019

4 & 18 October 2019

1 & 15 November 2019

6 & 20 December 2019