Jungle Sisters Rock Borneo - Borneo Tours for Women

Another Great Tailor-made Tour

2019 Dates:

Ex-Kuching - 14th October

12 Days / 11 Nights

 

$3,250 or $2,900 Twin Share

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KUCHING-MULU-HEADHUNTERS TRAIL-LIMBANG-KOTA KINABALU

 

Join a team of like-minded women and immerse yourself in Borneo’s varied treasures with this 12-day package encompassing Kuching and the natural wonders of Mulu National Park and World Heritage Area.

 

Sample a taste of adventure as you kayak and trek through remote and pristine rainforest.

 

Luxuriate in nature’s wonders cruising remote riverways by longboat. Experience the heartwarming pleasure of meeting people still grounded in a traditional way of life.

 

And take in natural scenery and wildlife of such magnificence that it will quite simply take your breath away in wonder.

 

You’ll also have the chance to help protect this incredible place and its people by volunteering as part of your itinerary. It’s your chance to give back, without sacrificing lots of time.

 

Our tours enable you to connect with the locals, walk the path less travelled and have some flexibility and ‘down time’ not available in mainstream tour packages. But we also include the iconic sights of the region as well. Sound like the trip for you?

 

The tour starts in Kuching and finishes in Kota Kinabalu, leaving you to explore Sabah or fly direct to a variety of destinations (including Perth).

 

Additional tours options pre & post tour available on request 

 

Tour includes:


Kuching experiences: Bako National Park, Semonggoh Wildlife Centre, kayaking, volunteering with Project Orangutan, Matang Rehabilitation Sanctuary


Mulu National Park experiences: Show cave tour of Deer and Lang Cave, bat exodus, Clearwater Cave, Cave of Winds, Batu Bungan longhouse craft market, guided night walk, canopy skywalk, sunset longboat cruise, visit to Penan longhouse at Long Iman and volunteering with the community.

Kota Kinabalu: Accommodation at Kota Kinabalu's  Marriott Hotel 


Headhunters Trail experience: trekking, longboat rides, overnight at outcamp and longhouse.


Flights: Kuching-Mulu. Limbang-Kota Kinabalu


Accommodation: Included


Meals: (B11, L4, D5) All breakfasts, picnic lunches (when required), welcome dinner, farewell dinner, a steam boat night in Mulu, meals whilst trekking and a multitude of local fruits, snacks and treats throughout our travels.

 

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 

Kuching- let the adventures begin

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 and Chinese Temples near Kuching’s Main Bazar. It also just a short walk to the riverside promenade of Sarawak River, a great place to take a stroll at any-time of day or night.

 

If you arrive early, check out the tin merchantsin 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.

 

A sunset boat cruise is a great way to relax into the Kuching pace and the on-board commentary gives you an insight into the history of Kuching and the greater Sarawak. 

In the evening we'll come together for our welcome dinner at Top Spot, a legendary open rooftop seafood market.

 

Let the adventures begin!

Day 2

Semenggoh
Wildlife Sanctuary
and 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.

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Day 3 

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.

Day 4

Bako National Park

Journey to Bako National Park on a 20-minute boat ride through a stilted water village bustling with local fisherman.

 

As the inlet opens to the calm waters of the South China Sea we pass traditional fish traps, mangroves and islands.

 

Look out for the bottle-nose dolphin, crocodiles, water monitors and coastal sea eagles.

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 a trail or two in search of local wildlife before returning to town in early afternoon.

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Day 5

Free Day

This is your chance to enjoy Kuching at your own pace.

Take in the city on a morning bike tour, visit local markets, join a cooking class, visit Kuching's museums and temples or take it easy and  indulge in a traditional massage.

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Day 6

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.

 

Check in to your room and regroup before our afternoon/evening tour to Deer Cave and the 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.

 

It will be late when we return and the awesome cooks at the park cafe will be on hand to prepare a steam boat and a variety of jungle dishes especially for our ladies. 

Day 7 

Visit a local longhouse handicraft market on the way to Clearwater Cave and a relaxing picnic at Clearwater Cave

We leave the park by longboat at 9.00am 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 through the ancient underground river passage of Clearwater Cave.

Free afternoon

Your accommodation is perched under forest canopy and embraced by a series of self-guided walks trails through the rainforest.  

 

You may choose to walk, rest or swim. Here’s your chance to breathe out, ahhhh, you’re here, among one of the world’s most treasured natural environments.

 

7pm-9pm night-walk

 

In the evening we regroup for a leisurely night walk on the walk trails around camp headquarters. This two-hour guided tour will give you an insight into nocturnal jungle life.

Immerse yourself in the sounds of the rainforest, interpret the cacophony of jungle noises, watch the courtship dance of the firefly, search for luminescent fungi and scorpion and perhaps spot an elusive marsupial or two.

 

 

OPTIONAL ADVENTURE CAVING 

You’ll embark on a 200-step climb to Clearwater Cave entrance but the adventure really begins when you step off the show-cave boardwalk and into the cool, clear waters that have been carving out the expansive Clearwater Cave system across the millennia.

 

Depending on the water levels, you will wade, swim and climb to the far reaches of Clearwater Cave and return via the same passage.

 

Day 8 

Canopy Skywalk, Free Day,

Sunset longboat cruise and visit to Long Iman 

Canopy Skywalk 

Mulu boasted the longest tree based skywalk and stretched across 480m of rainforest canopy.

 

This early morning guided tour gives you the rare opportunity to see forest from a different perspective.

OPTIONAL COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:

SK Batu Bungan School

SK Batu Bungan is home to more than 100 primary school children from remote rivers and tributaries of the region.

 

You may have the chance to volunteer here, on projects ranging from tree planting and painting to teaching English.

Sunset Longboat Cruise 

Late in the afternoon we'll take a long boat down river to Long Iman and enjoy a traditional meal cooked by our jungle hosts.

 

You can purchase beautifully woven baskets and bags direct from the Penan ladies of Long Iman.  

Day 9

Trekking

The Headhunters Trail

Morning

Spend the morning at your leisure. You may choose to offer more time to volunteer, take some downtime or sign up for a canopy skywalk.

 

Lunch-time departure for Camp 5.

 

Our last few days at Mulu allow you to journey even further into the remote heart of Borneo as we travel by longboat and remote trails along the historical Headhunters Trail of Borneo.

 

Averaging less than 200 visitors per year, the Headhunters Trail weaves through a pristine wilderness teeming with animals such as the samba deer, Borneo’s argus pheasant, a variety of monkeys and bird life including the rhinoceros hornbill.

 

Porters can be pre-booked to carry your backpack (up to 20kg) on request.

 

10km trek to Camp 5, at the Pinnacles.

 

Heading up river along the magnificent limestone cliffs of the Melinau formation, it’s time to prepare for our next adventure and the beginning of the Headhunters Trail.

 

We set off through flat jungle terrain on a 10km trek to Camp 5, the camp most popular for travellers embarking on the gruelling climb to the Pinnacles.

 

The Pinnacles comprise a series of 45m high towers of limestone that piece through the jungle canopy in craggy towers of rock.

 

Camp 5 is nestled at the base of the Pinnacles and alongside the dazzlingly clear waters of the Melinau River. Cool off with a dip under a nearby waterfall or chill out riverside before dinner.

 

For the super fit, adrenalin-charged traveller we can schedule a Pinnacles climb for you the day before. You’ll be able to share tales about your climb with your fellow travellers awaiting you back at camp, as you join together for your evening meal at Camp 5.

 

As Camp 5 houses up to 50 fellow travellers, most of whom are climbing the Pinnacles, it’s not unusual for late arrivals and early morning departures. We’ll sleep on basic mats in rooms allocated to 10 people per room. 

Day 10

Medamit Longhouse

We start the day early with a seven-kilometre trek enroute to Mentawai Rangers Station.

 

You’ll watch the vegetation change as we emerge from the darkness of the jungle and enter the heath-like kerangas forest where our longboats await.

 

Relax in the longboat and watch the forest skyline for your last sightings of hornbills and monkeys, or scan the riverbank for sun-baking water monitors.

 

We spend the night at a modern interpretation of a Sarawak longhouse, complete with running hot and cold water, electricity and shiny tiled living spaces.

 

Your hosts at Medamit will provide a traditional feast for our final night together and a glass or two of tuak.

 

Drinking tuak is part of the traditional culture, but watch out - tuak bites!

Day 11/12

Medamit-Limbang-
Kota Kinabalu

The next morning is our last longboat ride past a scattering of longhouses as we draw closer to the town of Limbang. From Limbang we fly to Kota Kinabalu.

We hope that your final days trekking and travelling to Limbang provide the perfect opportunity to reflect on your journey, your contribution to the people, wildlife and lands of Sarawak and to solidify the friendships of the like-minded travellers drawn to Borneo Ethical Adventures.

 

Together we will have enjoyed travel experiences that enrich mind, body and soul, both for travellers and those whose paths we cross.

 

Transfer to our hotel on the bustling waterfront on Kota Kinabalu where we'll enjoy one night of luxury together.

 

Enjoy sunset drinks overlooking the South-china Sea as we toast to our awesome adventures and share a meal at a waterfront restaurant.

We look forward to sharing this world with you.

Dates: 14 October 2019

12 Days/11 Nights

AU$ 3,250 or $2,900 Twin Share

Impressions from this Tour