Challenge level: 4 out of 5
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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've designed this amazing itinerary especially to give back to the places we visit.
We have picked fantastic suppliers local to the area and we're also off-setting the carbon of the domestic flights and all ground operations for this challenge!
Can't wait until 2024 to trek in Borneo? Join our group for Trek Borneo 2023.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Pay the registration fee (£399) and challenge costs (£2,449) + airport taxes/fuel surcharge (capped at £475).
Pay the balance
Pay your registration fee (£399) and airport taxes/fuel surcharge (capped at £475), and fundraise £4,898 or more for your chosen charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
This amazing charity trek in Borneo is tough and a real adventure, but you don't need to live in the gym to complete it. Loads of people who sign up for our non-competitive charity challenges have low levels of fitness when they register. The point is to train, do your best, and reach your fitness goal while making a big difference for the charity that means the most to you.
That said, we strongly recommend you train for the trekking challenge. We'll face long days of trekking in humidity, encounter steep climbs in the mountains and tackle a lot of uneven terrains and overgrown trails in the jungles.
Once you register for Trek Borneo, we'll send you a realistic training plan. This builds up gradually over time so you'll be ready and raring to go by the time we depart for Borneo. We also recommend checking out our top trekking tips here and our indoor training ideas here for the days you don't feel like facing the weather!
Please invest in a pair of quality hiking boots with ankle support to wear during your training and on your trek in Borneo, as these are essential for walking on uneven terrain. We also recommend incorporating hills in your training treks.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our charity 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 2024. 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 your fellow participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can train and fundraise with.
Everyone who is 18 years old or over by the departure date is more than welcome to join our charity trek in Borneo. We'll have adults of all ages taking part to achieve something awesome for charity — one of the many things that make our overseas challenges so special
If you would like someone under the age of 18 to join you on our trek, please contact us to discuss (01590 646410 or email@example.com, Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm).
You will need a pair of quality walking boots with ankle support — these are essential for trekking on uneven terrain. Please also bring a 2-litre water bottle and a three-season sleeping bag.
We will supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on our challenge in Borneo well before your departure date.
We'll stay in a fantastic range of accommodation on our charity trek in Borneo on a twin-sharing basis, including comfortable local hotels, 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 17 weeks before the challenge by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your registration fee of £399 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
Your challenge costs of £2,449 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the Sponsorship option) cover:
*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 (£399) and either paying your challenge costs (£2,449) or fundraising the minimum sponsorship target (£4,898) you'll need to budget for your:
The group size for this challenge is likely to be around 30 people.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance upon registering for this challenge, covering health, accident, loss, and repatriation. We advise that you arrange personal travel insurance as soon as you can after you register to ensure you have coverage for your booking as well as the challenge itself.
Dream Challenges has found a policy that provides appropriate cover for this type of activity and also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19. We will send you the details once you have registered. You can also call us for details on 01590 646410 during our office hours (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday).
You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity trek in Borneo.
Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate coverage for your challenge.
It is your responsibility to obtain a visa for Borneo if you need one. Ensure that you apply and obtain your visa in plenty of time. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/borneo
The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your trekking challenge for charity and we 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 regular email updates with everything you need to know about your challenge, including the itinerary, an example insurance policy, the structure of an average trekking day, a full kit list, and a realistic training plan to help you get fit for the challenge. The training programme builds up gradually as the trek gets closer.
We'll also send you seasonal fundraising ideas. During the trek in Borneo, we'll have a UK doctor with expedition medicine training accompanying the group at all times, along with a team of outdoor remote first-aid trained 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, and your 2-litre water bottle.
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