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A baby orangutan in trees in Borneo.

Trek Borneo 2021

Challenge level: 3 out of 5

When can I go?

6 October - 17 October 2021 Sold Out
15 October - 26 October 2021 On Sale
Duration 12 days

What does it cost?

Registration fee (payable today) Info £299
Remaining amount
Total commitment Info

Trek Borneo 2021

Get ready for a magical trek through the mountains and jungles of Borneo, finishing at an awesome orangutan orphanage.

Starting with a flight to Koto Kinabalu, we trek from the foothills of Mount Kinabalu through lush jungles, bursting with amazing Malaysian wildlife. Bring your binoculars and look out for elephants, proboscis monkeys and orangutans. With birdsong as our soundtrack, we’ll venture through rolling rice paddies, mountain valleys and rainforest.

Along the way, we’ll encounter small villages with friendly locals, stay in beautiful jungle camps and cosy homestays and learn loads about the charming Sabah culture.

The rugged and sometimes slippery terrains may be challenging, but the views more than make up for it and we’ll conquer our trek with unforgettable memories and a bunch of new friends made.

As if that’s not enough to go ape about, we also see an awesome cultural show in Kundasang and visit the baby orangutans in the invaluable Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. This amazing orangutan orphanage is dedicated to raising and rehabilitating the orphaned apes, while minimising deforestation. What a way to end our adventure!

Why not jump on the opportunity to extend your stay in Malaysia to explore the paradise island of Mabul? We can arrange this for you upon your request.

Giving back to the planet

As a company dedicated to practicing responsible tourism, we're delighted to assure you that we've designed this amazing itinerary especially to give back to the places we visit.

Not only have we picked fantastic suppliers local to the area; we're also off-setting the carbon of the domestic flights and all ground operations for this challenge; so rest assured that we are minimising the impact of your trek!

What's more, the orangutan orphanage we visit use their profits to help the animals in their care and save them from extinction.

This truly special sanctuary does wonders to protect and rehabilitate the endangered animals. 

COVID-19 - keeping you safe
As we hope you know, the health and safety of our participants is always - and has always been - our highest priority.

Our team of experts here at DC has created a brilliant 14-step initiative, to minimise the risk of coronavirus and maximise your safety. Please click here to see our ground-breaking plan and rest assured that you're safe booking with us.

Worried about fundraising? Don’t be…

Trek Borneo 2021 is an Open Challenge, which means you choose how you fund your adventure.

You can self fund and pay the challenge costs yourself without the pressure of a minimum sponsorship target; or you can choose sponsorship and commit to raising a minimum amount for a charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice.

It's your chance to do something amazing for the cause closest to your heart; whether you choose to support your local hospice or animal sanctuary or a national charity.

Why not raise funds for the Orangutan Appeal UK, a wonderful charity that works closely with the Orangutan Sanctuary we visit?

Your itinerary

Days 1 & 2
UK – Koto Kinabalu, Borneo

Our orangutan adventure begins with an overnight flight from London to Koto Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah, on the South China Sea coast in North West Borneo. When we arrive in the morning of Day 2, our local ground handler greets us at the airport and we transfer together to our comfortable hotel in the city.

Home to sky scrapers and small seafront markets alike, Koto Kinabalu keeps up with 21st century advances, while holding on to tradition.

Once we’ve checked in to our hotel and freshened up, we meet again for a delicious welcome dinner. Fingers crossed for a clear sky, as the city is renowned for its exquisite sunsets.

Day 3
Koto Kinabalu - Tambatuon - Tanak Nabalu Homestay | approx. 4 hours 30 mins trekking

After breakfast at the hotel, we transfer (approx. 2 hours) to the gorgeous village of Tambatuon, nestled in a valley in the foothills of Mount Kinabalu. A world away from the busy city, the charming village is surrounded by rice paddies and fruit orchards, with a spectacular mountain backdrop and the lively Kedamaian River.

At this ideal starting point, we enjoy a welcome drink and picnic with a challenge briefing, before commencing our trek.

Together, we venture through lush nature, listening to the chatter of birds and wildlife as we go. Finally, we reach our night’s homestay and jungle camp in Tanak Nabalu. Having had the perfect introduction to life in the jungle, we settle down for dinner and a good night’s rest.

Day 4
Tanak Nabalu Homestay - Kintoki Jungle Camp | approx. 5 hours trekking

Breakfast at camp and a briefing from our fab challenge leader sets us up for an awesome day’s trekking through lush paddy fields, rubber and pineapple farms and tropical rainforest.

We tackle stretches of steep and slippery terrain, both up and down-hill; but the scenery more than makes us up for it. We drink in the sights of the massive variety of plants, including a whopping 1,000 species of orchids, the blooming rafflesia and the extraordinary carnivorous pitcher plant.

Once we reach our gorgeous jungle camp, we have some free time to explore the camp and swim in the river. We meet again for dinner around a camp fire, with the friendly locals playing jungle bamboo music. Tonight, we’ll sleep on mats in comfortable tents.

Day 5
Kintoki Jungle Camp - Nunuk Gompito Jungle Camp | approx. 5 hours trekking

Waking up to another breakfast at camp, we follow an undulating forest trail with beautiful trees towering above us, passing some boulders and a gorgeous stream along the way.

We may have a few exciting river crossings and again, our trail could be slippery, but we take our time and tackle the terrain together.

After dinner at our jungle camp, we have a cosy night’s rest in hammocks!

Day 6
Nunuk Gompito Jungle Camp – Hayo Hayo Jungle Camp | approx. 4 hours 30 mins trekking

More forest and potentially slippery trekking awaits us today, with both sunny open stretches and shady trails. Making our way further through the jungle, we can spot wild jungle fruits, strangling figs, orchids and dipterocarp trees.

Arriving at our jungle camp around mid-afternoon, we set up camp and gain more brilliant insight into the culture, as the locals teach us some survival skills!

Tonight, you also have the opportunity to take a night walk to watch out for the local wildlife, including the Bornean frog, beetles and more.
We finish the day with dinner before kipping down in our comfortable tents.

Day 7
Hayo Hayo Jungle Camp – Guas Nabalu Kiau Nuluh – Walai Tokou Homestay | approx. 4 hours 30 mins trekking

Rise and shine to our last day of trekking! This morning, we may spot giant squirrels and/or hear the local hornbill flying close to our camp, so keep your eyes peeled and ears pricked!

After breakfast and a briefing, we venture up to the stunning Nuluh Lingion View Point. As the name implies, our ascent treats us to breath-taking panoramas of the surrounding mountains and jungle.

We spend some time here to make the most of the view point, with a steaming cup of coffee, served by the locals. Then we’re back on our feet to tackle the final stretch down to our finish line at Guas Nabalu Kiau Nuluh (approx. 1,000m above sea level).

Shining with an awesome sense of achievement, we tuck into a delicious lunch prepared by the locals, before transferring to our homestay in Kundasang (approx. 50 mins/ 25km).

This evening, we celebrate having conquered our challenge with dinner at the homestay and a cultural show of traditional music and dance. Then it’s to bed for a very good night’s sleep.

Day 8
Walai Tokou Homestay – Poring Hot Springs (optional) – Kinabalu Pine Resort

After several fairly early mornings on our trekking days, we can enjoy a lie-in today, with a late check-out and a chance to enjoy the homestay and its stunning mountain panorama.

Alternatively, you can take an optional tour in the morning to the nearby Poring Hot Springs (approx. 1 hour/40km transfer) and stroll along the awesome canopy walkway, suspended between trees at a height of 40m!

The walkway gives you an enchanting bird’s eye view over the tropical rainforest – an unforgettable experience.

You can also take the chance, if time permits, to bathe in the hot sulphur pools, renowned for their therapeutic properties.

After the optional tour and lunch at camp, we’ll say goodbye to the locals and transfer (approx. 50 mins/ 31km) to a resort in Kinabal, where we stay for the night.

Day 9
Kinabalu Pine Resort – Sepilok

As if our challenge couldn't get any more exciting, today is the real highlight!

After breakfast at the hotel, we transfer (approx 4 hours/218km) to Sepilok and visit the invaluable Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.

Founded in 1964, this sanctuary spans a beautiful 43 square kilometres of protected forest land, minimising deforestation and giving a safe home to not only orphaned orangutans, but a variety of rescued wildlife, such as sun bears, gibbons, Sumatran rhinos and elephants.

Along with providing medical care for the animals, the centre staff are dedicated to raising and rehabilitating the animals. Through a fantastic buddying system, the young orangutans are paired with older ones, so that their buddy can raise them as their mother would have done and teach them to live in the wild. 

Why not help protect orangutans yourself and choose the Orangutan Appeal UK as the charity you fundraise for? This charity is a partner of the Sepilok Orangutan Centre, dedicated to the rehabilitation and preservation of orangutans and the conservation of their habitat

Bidding the centre a fond farewell, we transfer to our hotel in Sepilok and end the day with a group dinner.

Days 10 - 12
Sepilok – Koto Kinabulu OR optional extension to Mabul island

Day 10 sees us transferring to Koto Kinabalu, to catch our flight back to the UK on Day 11. Touching down in London on Day 12, we part ways at the airport and you make your own way home.

Alternatively, you can jump on the awesome chance to extend your stay in Malaysia and fly instead to Tawau for access to the paradise island of Mabul.

There will be an optional later flight back to the UK on Day 13, (following the internal flight from Mabul to the Koto Kinabulu International Airport. We can arrange for you upon request (at an additional cost) – please get in touch and let us know if you’d like to do this at least 14 weeks before the challenge.

Days 10 – 14
Optional extension and stay in Mabul (not included in challenge costs)

There is an optional extension to stay in Malaysia a little longer and experience the ridiculous beauty of Mabul Island.

If you choose to do this, Day 10 will see you transferring by air, land and boat to the island, followed by an approx. 90-minute transfer to a gorgeous resort in Semporna.

You’re then free to spend your time on the island as you wish, with opportunities to go snorkelling and spot the schools of tropical fish and even turtles, if you’re lucky!

On Day 11, you’ll enjoy a delicious farewell dinner on the island, before travelling back to a hotel in Kota Kinabalu the next day (Day 12).

You can then catch the optional later flight from Kota Kinabalu back to the UK on Day 13, arriving in London on Day 14.

The optional extension package price covers:

  • Transport to and from the island
  • Your international flight back to the UK on Day 13 - 14
  • Accommodation on the island (2 nights) and in Kota Kinabalu (1 night)
  • All meals on Days 10 and 11
  • Breakfast on Days 12 and 13

If you’d like to join this optional extension, please get in touch at least 14 weeks before the challenge and we can arrange this for you.

Book my place

Funding options

Self Funded

Pay your registration fee and your challenge costs yourself.


Pay the balance

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £299 when you book, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Pay the challenge cost yourself 12 weeks before the challenge starts.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £400), your food, accommodation, transfers, entry fees, guides and medical support, including two doctors.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £400).
  • The challenge cost does not include the optional extension and stay on Mabul Island. If you choose to partake, you will need to budget for this as well.
Book my place


Pay your registration fee and raise the minimum target for your chosen charity.


Minimum sponsorship target

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £299 when you book, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Fundraise the minimum sponsorship target for a charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice.
  • Your charitable funds must be paid in 12 weeks before your challenge starts.
  • Providing you have raised the funds, the charity you are supporting will pay the challenge costs on your behalf.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £400), your food, accommodation, transfers, entry fees, guides and medical support, including two doctors.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £400).
  • The challenge cost does not include the optional extension and stay on Mabul Island. If you choose to partake, you will need to budget for this as well.
  • Please note that not all charities are happy to commit to the minimum sponsorship option. If you choose this option, we contact the charity you want to support on your behalf. If they are not happy with the minimum sponsorship option, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.
Book my place

Trek Borneo 2021

As we hope you know, the health and safety of our participants is always - and has always been - our highest priority.

Our team of experts here at Dream Challenges has created a brilliant 14-step initiative, to minimise the risk of coronavirus and maximise your safety. Please click here to see our ground-breaking plan and rest assured that you're safe booking with us.

With even the government unsure how exactly the coronavirus situation will eventuate, we can't make any guarantees; but we can promise you that we will always put your health and security first and will always be just and flexible in any decisions we have to make, regarding postponements and transfers.

If the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against travel to Borneo in 2021, the tour will either be postponed until a safer time or cancelled.

In this situation, we will email all participants registered for the challenge with options you can take, such as transferring to the postponed date or another challenge.

All tour operators and holiday insurance providers, including us, take our guidance from Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice. Dream Challenges is also proud to be a member of ATOL and ABTOT, which means your money is always protected.

Absolutely! As part of our amazing 14-step initiative to minimise the risk of coronavirus and maximise your safety on all our challenges we're delighted to have found a fantastic travel insurance policy, which covers you for COVID-19.

You can see the insurance policy here or click here to check out the full 14 actions we're taking to keep you safe.

Trek Borneo is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part in this trek will have a low level of fitness when they sign up.

This challenge is the perfect motivation to get fit, while exploring one of the world's most beautiful countries and supporting the charity of your choice.

We do strongly recommend you train for the trek and we'll send you a fantastic training plan once you sign up. This training plan builds up as time goes on, so you'll be ready and raring to go ape by the time we jet to Borneo!

Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and life long friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.

Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for Trek Borneo 2021. Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising. You may also want to reach out to the fellow participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.

Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join this awesome trek in Borneo.

You will of course need a pair of walking boots and you'll also need to bring your own three-season sleeping bag. We will supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on the event well before your departure date.

We stay in a range of awesome accommodation on this trek on a twin-sharing basis, including three-star class hotels, comfortable jungle camps and homestays. All camping equipment, except for your sleeping bag, is provided and already set up for us upon our arrival at each camp.


Yes of course! We're delighted to offer you the opportunity to fly to the stunning paradise island of Mabul on Day 9 with an optional later international flight on Day 13. We can arrange this for you upon request (at an additional cost). Please get in touch and let us know if you’d like to do this at least 14 weeks before the challenge by emailing us at events@dream-challenges.com.

Your registration fee of £299 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.

Your challenge costs of £2,100 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the Sponsorship option) cover:

  • Your flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £400)
  • Meals throughout the challenge
  • Accommodation
  • All transfers in Borneo
  • Entry fees where required
  • A team of awesome, first-aid trained local guides and Dream Challenges staff
  • Full support from the Dream Challenges office in the lead up to and during your challenge
  • Medical support, including two doctors, who will accompany us throughout the challenge
  • Your Trek Borneo 2021 medal and t-shirt

*Please note, the optional stay on Mabul Island at the end of our adventure is not included in the challenge costs.

In addition to paying your registration fee (£299) and either paying your challenge costs or raising the minimum sponsorship target, you'll need to budget for your:

  • Airport taxes and the fuel surcharge (approx. £400)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional stay on Mabul Island and flight extension

The group size for this challenge is likely to be around 30 people.

You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. Dream Challenges has a recommended policy that provides appropriate cover for this type of activity. We will send you the details once you have registered. You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity trek in Borneo.

Currently, GB citizens don't require a visa to enter Borneo, but we'll let you know if this changes.

The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and will support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.

Once you have registered, we will send you a realistic training programme to help you get fit for the challenge. The programme builds up gradually as the event gets closer.

During the trek, we'll have two qualified doctors accompanying the group from the get go and at all times throughout the challenge, along with a team of experienced challenge guides and porters.

Porters will carry your luggage, food and water, so you will only need to carry a small day pack, containing essential accessories and equipment.

We’ll have an event leader, plus two qualified event doctors, who will be with you the whole time.

As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.

We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.

NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home

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