Festival of Wildlife: Iban & National Parks Extension
Designed as an extension to our Festival of Wildlife, enjoy a week in Sarawak, with day excursions from Kuching to see the extensive wildlife in the surrounding national parks, before heading inland to spend time in a remote jungle lodge.
Starting in Kuching, you will travel out to Talang-Satang National Park to see rare Irawaddy dolphin and a turtle conservation centre, and Bako National Park to see general wildlife including orangutan and proboscis monkey.
You then head into the interior to spend a couple of nights at a remote jungle lodge near wildlife-rich Batang Ai National Park for an opportunity to visit a jungle-dwelling Iban community and their longhouse. Finally visit Gunung Gading National Park to see Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower, and Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, a rehabilitation centre for orang-utans.
Day1: Fly from Kota Kinabalu to Kuching
On arrival in Kuching, you will be met and transferred to your accommodation in the city.
Accommodation: Kuching Hilton Hotel, 3-nights
Day2: Visit Satang Island
Early this morning drive to Damai Beach, approximately 45 minutes away, to board a small boat. This will take you out to the mouth of the Santubong and Salak Rivers to spot the rare Irrawaddy dolphin, a species of oceanic dolphin closely related to the killer whale, which is often seen in this area.
Continue to Satang Island, out in the South China Sea, part of Talang-Satang National Park – a turtle nesting ground for green and hawksbill turtles. Here you visit the turtle hatchery and learn about the conservation efforts undertaken to support these endangered species. Afterwards you can relax on the white sandy beach, or enjoy snorkelling the shallow waters off the island to see corals and other marine life.
In the mid-afternoon begin your return journey, passing Tukong Ara Island – a protected islet for breeding terns, before returning to your hotel in Kuching.
Day3: Bako National Park
This morning drive to Bako village for the 25 minute transfer by boat into Bako National Park, known as one of Sarawak’s wildlife hotspots. Here you spend the day exploring the park’s forest trails and coastline in search of Borneo’s iconic wildlife - proboscis monkeys, long-tailed macaques, wild boars, monitor lizards and a number of bird species are frequently encountered. After a full day exploring this natural ecosystem, return to Kuching in the late afternoon.
Day4: Batang Ai Reservoir
After an early start, drive to Batang Ai Reservoir, approximately 4.5 hours away. Arriving at Batang Ai Lake in the early afternoon, you board a longboat for the trip upriver to Nanga Sumpa and your accommodation, an award-winning jungle lodge located on the banks of the Delok River.
The evening is at leisure, with time to settle in and enjoy a relaxed evening meal in the rainforest. A visit to a longhouse offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of the various tribes who have lived for generations in the remote interior, and is often the highlight of a trip to Sarawak.
What makes Ulu Ai so special is the natural environment and stunning scenery: clean rivers and streams, refreshing waterfalls and undisturbed tracts of primary and secondary rainforest. The lodge serves as a base for a range of nature-based activities that involve trekking on jungle trails, and offers an opportunity to learn about the culture and lifestyle of the Iban community by visiting the nearby longhouse and surrounding farms and participating in the daily activities of the Iban. Orangutan live in the area and can be seen in their natural environment.
Accommodation: Nanga Sumpa Lodge, 2-nights
Day5: At Nanga Sumpa
After breakfast, hike the jungle trails along the river before taking a boat trip upriver to the scenic Enseluai Waterfall. On the way, visit Jambu longhouse, which is located a mere 30 minutes upriver from Nanga Sumpa. With only eight families, this small isolated community, provides a fascinating insight into life in the rainforest. After enjoying lunch with your hosts, retrace your route back to Nanga Sumpa lodge for dinner.
Day6: Return to Kuching
This morning is free so you can enjoy a swim in the river or explore the area around the lodge in search of wildlife, before an early lunch. At around midday, you board the boat for the trip back downriver to Batang Ai Lake jetty, where transport will be waiting for the drive back to Kuching.
Accommodation: Kuching Hilton Hotel, 1-night
Day7: Gunung Gading & Semenggoh Nature Reserve, drive to Kuching and depart
Your last day in Sarawak includes two exciting excursions - to see the famous rafflesia plant and the endearing orangutan. After an early check-out from the hotel, you drive west to Gunung Gading National Park where a short walk should be rewarded with views of the iconic rafflesia flower. You may also come across other wildlife such as wild boar, deer, squirrel and a variety of monkey species, as well as wild orchids and pitcher plants.
After an enjoyable morning studying these botanical highlights, you head to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. This afternoon you visit to the centre at feeding time, when the 20 or so orangutans living in the reserve make their way to the feeding platforms.
Late this afternoon, you return to Kuching airport.
Duration and price excluding international flights: 7 daysfrom £1,495 pp
Single supplement: From £195
Group size: 12
Included in the price/package:
6 nights hotel/lodge accommodation
Guided wildlife excursions
Bako offers an intoxicating mix of coastal scenery, teeming rainforest and abundant wildlife. It is one of the best places in Borneo to see proboscis monkey, which are regularly encountered, often right beside the raised boardwalk. With such a variety of habitats, the park’s flora is correspondingly rich and diverse.