Sarawak Explorer and Island Escape
Discover the unique creatures, culture and islands of Borneo’s Sarawak state in this eight day escape and completely private tour
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Completely private tours in Kuching, Gaya Island and Kota Kinabulu
- Semonggok Wildlife Rehabilitation tour
- Bako National Park tour
- Sarawak River cruise
- Private speedboat rental
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Meet and greet airport service
- Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
Discover the unique creatures, culture and islands of Borneo’s Sarawak state in this eight day escape and completely private tour.
Begin with a busy four days exploring the famous Bako National Park, visiting the Semenggoh wildlife rehabilitation centre to see orangutans up close, as well as experiencing the cultural side of Kuching with excursions to see its traditional long houses, villages and a river cruise.
Your final three days are more relaxing and spent on the beautiful coral island of Gaya off the Kota Kinabulu coast to explore the offshore islands and generally unwind in tropical bliss.
Example Trip Itinerary
Private transfer from Kuching airport to hotel
Accommodation in Kuching
- 389 rooms
- Swimming pool
- Fitness centre
- 5 restaurants and bars
- Babysitting service
In the heart of the city, in the Golden Triangle and within walking distance to Kuching Waterfront, Pullman Kuching is the ideal base to explore this fascinating region. With 389 rooms there is plenty of choice for couples, families and groups. The five bars and restaurants include the Puzzle restaurant serving international buffet and al carte meals, while Nu Er Hong serves Chinese food. Liquid, the poolside bar, is popular spot in the evenings. The outdoor pool and spa are the ideal place to wind down between sightseeing excursions and the hotel offers a full service fitness centre.
Spend time exploring this historic city or venture out to the nearby national parks. Speak to your personal travel designer about you wish to spend your time in this fascinating region for an itinerary to encompass all your interests.
This exciting half day tour takes you to Semonggok Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. During the drive to the centre you will pass the ethno-botanical gardens which boast, like Semonggok, an unusual array of rainforest plants. As Sarawak's premier spot to see semi-wild orangutans, this is your opportunity to take a jungle trail or forest walk to witness the animals in their rainforest setting. With a flourishing breeding programme, Semonggok also offers the special chance to experience an orangutan mother with her young baby. Rescued from captivity, these rehabilitated orangutans are trained to survive in the forest reserve and tend to return to the centre at feeding time.
This half day city tour is a fantastic way to get acquainted with Kuching. The tour of this historic capital will take in sights of Chinatown, the vibrant Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple, the Cat Statue, the internationally renowned Sarawak Museum plus the Civic Centre Viewing Platform. You will see Kuching's heritage buildings of the White Rajah period including the Astana, the previous residence of the White Rajahs, from the Waterfront. Look out for the Pavilion, the Square Tower and the Court House which will also be incorporated into the tour. On your way back to your hotel you will pass by the golden-domed City Mosque and bustling Old Kuching which is packed with textile shops and spice traders.
Boasting seven different rainforest ecosystems, Bako National Park houses an impressive amount of varying flora and fauna. Throughout the tour look for the strange proboscis monkeys, Bako's most prominent inhabitants, as well as other monkeys including silvered langurs and long-tailed macaque monkeys. A huge range of birds can be seen as you wander through the mangroves and strangler figs, plus wild boar, flying squirrels and monitor lizards. You will be taken on well-marked trails to rugged, lush hilltops and private beaches, as well as shown the famous Sea Stack, one of the coastline's unusual traits. If you would like more time at Bako, you have the option to stay at a chalet or bungalow within the park for overnight.
This half day tour takes you to Anah Rais, a vast Bidayuh village with a large and well-preserved authentic bamboo longhouse where numerous families live. You will be taken by a guide around the longhouse who will show you the unusual design and cultural elements of the property. You will also be given an insight into lives of the residents and their traditional farming culture.
During this village tour you will have the chance get involved with local life as you discover how to throw a Malay spinning top, shoot a Penan blowpipe and learn about the Orang Ulu sape. As you visit the seven traditional buildings within the seventeen acre site, you will be shown the unusual and different ethnic cultures which reside here. Throughout the day you will learn about village life and the daily pursuits which take place including beadwork, weaving, wood and bamboo carving, sugar-cane crushing, sago-making and pepper-growing. This four hour tour will then end at the air-conditioned mini-theatre with a vibrant and cultural ethnic performance.
Taking place on a purpose-built pontoon boat, your river cruise will show an array of exciting sights unique to this tour of historic Kuching. See how traditional river life is lived in Sarawak as you pass with front row seats vibrant Malay villages, the Astana, the impressive City Mosque, the Kuching Waterfront and Fort Margherita. Gliding along, look out for colourful tambangs, fishing boats and wooden cargo vessels.
Private transfer to Kuching airport
Flight from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu
Private transfer from Kota Kinabalu to Gaya Island
Private speedboat transfer to Gaya Island
Accommodation in Kota Kinabalu
- 52 villas
- Thirty minute speed boat ride from Kota Kinabalu
- On-site Marine Ecology Research Centre
- PADI Dive centre
- Three dining spots
- Function and meeting rooms
The densely forested Gaya Island sits just off Borneo’s coastline and the Gayana Eco Resort is one of the best places to stay here. The environmentally conscious resort boasts 52 sumptuous villas which not only sit out on the water but command views of the impressive Mount Kinabalu. The villas combines neat local style with an array of modern comforts. The dining options consist of Alu Alu Seafood, Macac Restaurant and Latitude Lounge where healthy, fresh and delicious dishes make up the menus. You can choose to dine here or within the comfort of your own private deck. Gayana also has a good spa but if you want to get active however, this beautiful resort also provides lots to get involved with. Just some of the activities include discovering the ocean’s vibrant gems whist snorkelling, to playing marine biologist for the day at the on-site Marine Ecology Research Centre.
- 120 villas and one suite
- Swimming pool
- Three restaurants and bar
- PADI dive centre
Within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, a short boat ride off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, Gaya Island Resort rests along the coast of Malohom Bay, a natural sanctuary nestled in the hillside of an ancient rainforest with a stunning outline of Mount Kinabalu on the horizon. 120 spacious villas and one suite use local materials and blend harmoniously with the natural environment while villa interiors are designed with a contemporary elegance, set amidst lush rainforest and protected mangroves, many with breathtaking views over the South China Sea. Activities cater to all tastes and mood. Discover the rainforest on guided nature walks, take part in yoga sessions and indulge in spa treatments, or explore nearby islands and the stunning waters by sea kayak, PADI dive programmes or chartered yacht. Three restaurants cater a range of food, including regional specialities and fresh seafood, or choose to dine at leisure on your villa’s private verandah.
- 48 timbered villas
- Thirty minute speed boat ride from Kota Kinabalu
- Private balconies
- Three dining locations
- PADI Dive Centre
- Use of Solace Spa at Gayana Eco Resort
- Use of the Marine Ecology Research Centre at Gayana Eco Resort
Just thirty minutes from Kota Kinabalu, this scenic resort is nestled in on a secluded bay with fine white sands on its doorstep and an ancient verdant jungle for its backdrop. With its 48 timbered villas, high quality service and picturesque backdrop, this is the ultimate heavenly hideaway. The hand-crafted villas unite traditional Borneo design with modern-day comforts, ensuring every your every need is met. Private balconies offer beach views, while the larger accommodations boast wraparound decks alongside personal plunge pools. Dining here consists of the contemporary European bistro, Koi, the relaxed, oceanfront Pantai Grill and the atmospheric Wine Cave. Leisure is also well catered for with the use of Solace Spa at sister and nearby property, Gayana Eco Resort, alongside a long list of exciting activities from kayaking to jungle trekking.
While away your days on this beautiful island with both action and relaxation. With stunning coral reefs that surround the coast and crystalline waters, Gaya Island is an excellent choice for swimming, snorkelling and diving, while the vast stretches of white sandy beaches make for the perfect place to lie back and soak up some rays. Moving away from the beach, there is plenty of opportunity to hike and explore nature with trails running throughout the dense, tropical forest that covers the land.
This morning you will go on a tour to Manukan Island and Sapi Island, two of the beautiful and popular islands within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, just twenty minutes from the jetty. Enjoy fine white sands and crystal clear waters as you snorkel and experience the underwater wildlife. During the tour you will enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch in the stunning natural setting of Sapi Island.
A delightful evening watching the sunset from scenic Signal Hill, the opportunity to pick up handicrafts and curio from a night market before enjoying a fresh seafood dinner whilst watching cultural dance.
Speedboat transfer from Gaya Island to Kota Kinabalu
Private Transfer to Kota Kinabalu Airport
Get in Touch
Sarawak Explorer and Island Escape
How We Work
We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.