Jazz in the Jungle - Festivals and Highlights of Sarawak
25 SEPTEMBER 2019
11 Days/10 Nights
Ex-Perth REDUCED TO $3,990 FOR A LIMTED TIME Normally $4,450 Twin Share p.p.
or ex-Kuching $3,450 Twin Share
(Single supplement $550)
click map for larger view
After a hugely successful & sold-out inaugural tour don't miss 2019 JAZZ IN THE JUNGLE.
Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival takes place along the promenade of Sarawak River, Kuching and trust me, you don't have to love Jazz to love Borneo Ethical Adventures' 'Jazz in the Jungle Tour' which will coincide with the festival.
I've included a few treats such as; 2-Day pass to Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival, a private river cruises, a catered picnic in stunning jungle wilderness, a variety of accommodation choices and 'al la carte days' where you get to choose how your day unfolds.
Caving and kayaking can be arranged for those with a taste for adventure whilst those with a passion for the more pure form of 'tasting' can get their adrenaline fix with a day at the local market and cooking classes with the charismatic staff at a local cafe.
As I introduce you to my second home you'll soon be charmed as the warm nights on the waterfront fill with sounds of sultry jazz and the flavours of Kuching's multicultural past are revelled by the street vendors, funky fusion restaurants and bars of Kuching.
Everyday offers a new experience that will add a layer of love to your Borneo travel as we wander the streets and trails, volunteer with Project Orangutan and visit stunning parks and rivers that earned Sarawak a place in the Top 10 Asian destinations to visit in 2017.
Option 1: Includes international flights ex-Perth
Option 2: Tour starts in Kuching and finishes in Kota Kinabalu
Kuching experiences: 2-Day festival pass, accommodation, breakfasts, transfers, entry fees and escorted tours of Semonggoh Wildlife Centre and volunteering with Project Orangutan
Optional extras: Bako National Park, sunset wetlands cruise, Day Spa and/or Cooking class and local market tour.
Mulu National Park: Accommodation, breakfasts, all transfers, boat rides and entry fees, escorted tours of Deer and Lang Cave, bat exodus, Clearwater Cave, Cave of Winds, Batu Bungan longhouse craft market, picnic lunch at Clearwater Cave, sunset river cruise and BBQ picnic with the Penan tribe of Long Iman. You'll also have the opportunity to volunteer at the local school,.
Optional extras: Night Walks, Canopy Skywalk tour and Adventure Caving.
Kota Kinabalu: Accommodation, (3 nights at The Marriott Hotel) transfers, farewell dinner
Meals: all breakfasts, picnic lunches (when on day trips) and some evening meals...but not all.
Please note that the itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and other variables.
*More details on accommodation choices is available here
Welcome to Kuching
Kuching is a beautiful old city, interlaced with quaint back streets and boasting a riverside promenade that rivals the lively riverfronts of Europe.
Kuching’s streets are alive with the aroma of street foods, colourful wares and the smiles of the super-friendly locals.
Our hotel is situated amongst the bustling traders on Kuching’s Main Bazar. It also directly oppostite the riverside promenade of Sarawak River, a great place to take a stroll anytime of day or night.
If you arrive early, check out the tin merchants in Carpenter Street, visit one of the many local museums or simply take a seat near the river and chat with the locals as you watch the world go by.
We’ll meet up in the hotel bar before sunset for a welcome drink and enjoy dinner together at an open-air rooftop seafood restaurant
Wildlife Sanctuary & (optional) River Kayaking
Depart 8am for a full day of Borneo at its best. Kick start the day with a visit to Semenggoh Wildlife Sanctuary to witness orangutans in a relatively natural setting.
Semenggoh was established more than 40 years ago as a rehabilitation center for endangered animals and now has expanded to become a research facility into orangutan biology and behavior, providing vital information to safeguard the orangutans’ precarious future.
Semenggoh also provides a successful breeding environment for orangutans unable to be rehabilitated into the wild.
We’ll have the chance to see the sanctuary’s semi-wild orangutans, ranging from heart-meltingly cute infants and boisterous adolescents to the powerful male adults, as they enjoy life in a secure natural habitat.
From Semenggoh we venture further out of the city to embark on a kayak journey along the Sungai Sarawak Kiri River, stopping at scenic locations for swimming, sightseeing and a traditional longhouse lunch at a Bidayuh Village.
You’ll be amazed at the ambiance, pristine beauty and sense of isolation of this river, only an hour from the State capital.
Alternatively, a transfer to town can be arranged for those that do not want to take part in the afternoon kayaking.
Behind the scenes with Project Orangutan, Matang Rehabilitation Sanctuary
The dedicated staff and volunteers at Matang are committed to the care and rehabilitation of endangered Bornean wildlife.
You'll have the opportunity to get behind the scenes and learn what is required to keep this valuable volunteer project at Matang afloat.
Warning – you may find yourself smitten by the endearing nature of the resident orangutans.
Project Orangutan is a conservation company helping to save and protect the endangered wildlife on Borneo.
They specialise in ethical volunteering and tourism experiences working with the magnificent orangutan and other protected species such as the clouded leopard, binturong, sun bear and false gharial, among others.
As we join the Project Orangutan team for the day we have an exceptional opportunity to gain a behind-the-scenes insight into orangutan conservation and rehabilitation.
We will have the chance to spend time with experts in the field, who will be happy to share their experiences and knowledge as they orientate us with the centre’s residents and facilities.
After lunch it’s our turn to help out, whether it’s making ‘toys’ for orangutans, building infrastructure or ‘mucking-out’ living quarters – yep, we roll our sleeves up and get down and dirty in our effort to provide real support to the centre, rather than a tokenistic volunteering gesture.
Today is a free day to enjoy at your leisure.
We can provide as little or as much help as you need to ensure this day turns out just the way you planned.
Here's just a few options if you feel like getting out and exploring what Kuching has to offer.
Bako National Park provides the perfect introduction to your wildlife encounter with regular sightings of the proboscis monkey, long-tailed macaque, silver leaf monkey and wild boar. Explore the park via a network of trails.
Market Tour and Cooking Class. Visit Kuching's fresh produce markets full of weird and wonderful fruit, vegetables, herbs and more.
You'll shop for ingredients, taste fruits in season and return to town to cook local favourites.
Your skilled, friendly and funny teachers are cooks by day, mums my night and will be your new friends in no time as they share the secrets of Sarawak cooking.
Or you may prefer to experience a tribal massage, wander the back streets of Kuching, relax by the hotel pool, cross the river to visit the Orchid Gardens and back streets of the Malay quarter or relax as you enjoy a 2-hour sunset cruise on Kuching's peaceful Sarawak River.
Mulu World Heritage Area
Pack your bags and get ready for the next leg of your journey as we fly into the heart of Borneo and Malaysia’s iconic World Heritage Area, Mulu National Park. With no road into this area you can expect a pristine wilderness full of all the weird and wonderful things that awarded it UNESCO’s world heritage status in all four criteria.
Find yourself captivated by enchanting underworlds – enormous caves home to great flocks of bats that cloak the sky in darkness as they swirl through the heavens.
Wander through misty rainforest viewing claws of jagged rock and jungle-cloaked mountain peaks through breaks in the jungle canopy. Admire the riot of wildlife – from the tiny pigmy squirrel, to some of the largest insects on Earth.
See exquisite orchids emerge from the dense leaf litter cloaking the jungle floor. Fall under the spell of this pulsing, breathing, living utopia.
Your accommodation here is perched under forest canopy and embraced by a series of self-guided walks trails through the rainforest.
Afternoon tour to Deer and Lang Caves and experience the sunset bat exodus
Take an easy 2.7 km trail to Lang and Deer Caves. As you saunter through the rainforest and by jungle steams your guide will regal you with captivating stories of the plants and wildlife you encounter, and the traditional roles and customs for people who live in the jungle.
Lang Cave is possibly the most stunning cave in Mulu with a low ceiling that makes spotting the swiftlet and bats nesting in the bell-holes easy.
It is adorned with lavishly decorated walls of shawls, layers of rim stone pools and spectacular stalagmites and stalactites.
Not far away is the jaw-dropping Deer Cave. With a cathedral-like cavern snaking two kilometres under the earth and a ceiling never lower than 90m high, Deer Cave is the biggest show-cave in the world.
Its cavernous reaches are also home to around three million wrinkle-lipped bats that emerge from the cave most evenings around sunset.
We time our walk to witness the phenomenon of these bats streaming from the cave entrance – a stand-out scene in David Attenborough’s Planet Earth series.
Watching the bats swirl through the sky in meandering rivers of black is a truly heart-stopping experience.
From within the cave you can also visit the ‘Garden Of Eden’, one of the most pristine collapsed cave systems in the world. Witness its dazzling beauty by peering through a 30-metre column of water streaming from above, like a giant shower for the jungle gods.
Penan Longhouse & Handicraft Market on the way to Clearwater Cave
Picnic lunch at Clearwater Cave
We leave the park by longboat at 9.30am and travel up river stopping at Batu Bungan Craft Market.
Here you can test your skills with a blowpipe, pick up some local crafts direct from the women who collect and weave the products or try your hand (or should we say nose!), with a Penan nose flute.
As we journey further up the river and out from under the forest canopy you’ll start to see the breathtaking beauty from a different perspective.
Any boat ride on these rivers is like a meditation in nature and this one is no exception. You can’t help but feel alive, relaxed and complete as Mother Nature soothes your very soul with her beauty.
Next we travel through an intriguing underworld of cave passages, formed over two million years to create a winding network of tunnels snaking 220 kilometres under the earth.
First, we visit the Cave of Wind to enter the lavishly decorated halls of King Chamber, adorned with stalactites, stalagmites, flowrocks, helitites and rock corals.
From here we set out on a meandering boardwalk perched precariously along the cliffs to Clearwater Cave Picnic Area were we recharge with a light snack and refreshment before venturing into one of the largest cave passages in the world.
A picnic lunch is provided at Clearwater Cave and you can enjoy a refreshing dip before cruising back to Mulu Park in the afternoon.
OPTIONAL: Night walk with local guides as they revel the creatures behind the cacophony of night sounds in the jungles of Mulu.
Free Day followed by sunset longboat cruise & BBQ with Penan families of Long Iman
After a leisurely morning at Mulu we fly to Kota Kinabalu.
Sabah's capital, at the north-west tip of Borneo is a melting pot of culture, gateway to Sabah's legendary islands and more remote rivers and jungles that provide homes to stunning array of birds, primates and all things 'jungle'!
Enjoy sunset drinks and a seafood feast and we celebrate out travels and new found friends as the sunsets over the South-China Sea.
Day trips in and around Kota Kinabalu can be organised on request.
Optional extension: Extend your holiday in Kota Kinabalu or let us plan a journey to Sabah's world renown dive sites or remote rivers.
Check Out Day
Our tour finishes today and for those travelling from Perth a direct 5 hour flight is available with Malaysia Airlines.
We've chosen hotels in excellent locations that represent the very best value for money and service for our group.
Kuching: The Grand Margherita's Astana Wing is a superb waterfront hotel. The rooms have been recently renovated and this hotel is the proud host to Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival so you wont have to wonder far to enjoy some sultry jazz music under the Kuching night skies.
In Mulu we stay under the forrest canopy in the world heritage listed national park. Our private bungalows and balconies provide us with easy access to all that Mulu has to offer including self-guided walk trails, waterfalls, a fantastic cafe and Visitor Interpretive Centre.
In Kota Kinabalu we take it to the top with three nights on the waterfront in Kota Kinabalu's new Marriott Hotel.