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Trek Borneo

Borneo Trek
TrekORANGE 3
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About the Challenge

Borneo is known for its vast tracts of ancient rainforest and high biodiversity, harbouring many endangered animals including the orang-utan. Malaysian Sabah occupies the north-eastern corner of Borneo, and is a land of mountains, dense jungle, rushing rivers and friendly traditional villages.

Our challenging trek takes us through the lush rainforest of the Crocker Range before tackling the highest mountain in Malaysia and Borneo – the spectacular and demanding Mount Kinabalu (4095m). Combining varied and demanding trekking with rewarding cultural discoveries and spectacular natural beauty, this is truly a trip to remember!



We are currently confirming new dates and routes for this challenge and these will be updated as soon as available.  Please continue to check our website.


Detailed Information

  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick on scheduled airlines and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). 

    Your journey may involve a transit en route, details of route and flight times will be confirmed several months before departure.  We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier and flight times, please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • Some accommodation (in hotels or camp) will be twin-share. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller in a shared room.

    On some nights we are likely to sleep in more communal accommodation such as dormitories, huts, local homestays or monasteries, depending on the trip, and you may be sharing with a larger number of participants or the whole group; this type of accommodation cannot always be single-sex.

  • We stay in good tourist-style hotels in the cities, and Park cabins which are clean and comfortable; rooms are twin-share. In jungle home-stays we bed down on the floor in shared rooms – more basic but a great cultural experience. On the mountain we stay in a guesthouse in dorm rooms.

  • The food provided is plentiful, often local in style and freshly-cooked, and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we enjoy a buffet-style lunch-stop, other times we might have packed lunches. On some trips we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at the hotel, depending on accommodation. In some regions there may be less variety than you are used to, and in others fresh meat or produce can be harder to come by. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally on travel / free days, giving you the opportunity to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit different budgets.

    Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we may be in very rural or remote areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Usually leaders are based in the UK or other English-speaking countries and lead for us regularly throughout the year in many different countries. In some instances, trips are led by in-country guides with a wealth of knowledge about the region; they have been trained by us to provide the level of support expected on a Discover Adventure trip.

  • An expedition doctor or medic accompanies the group (dependent on group size.) Their role is to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly, and encourage you when things get tough. The total number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but at Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: participant ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Not all support crew will speak English well, but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. 

    Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek, and you will be provided with a guideline amount in advance. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in many countries we travel to is far below what you would spend on a normal night out.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next. If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the destination and terrain.

    Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

  • For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
  • Your booking is part of a group challenge, and the tour costs and fundraising targets listed on our website are based on a minimum number of participants which is shown on the challenge  Our typical groups run with approximately 20-30 participants; however you may find your group is smaller or larger than this.

    We will confirm at least 12 weeks prior to departure that your challenge is guaranteed to run. Occasionally it may be possible to still run the challenge with less than the minimum numbers, subject to a small group supplement.  If we think a small group supplement may be necessary, we will discuss this with you as soon as possible, usually 5 months before your departure date. 

    Minimum numbers and groups sizes may vary on Bespoke Charity challenges.  If you are booked onto a bespoke challenge please contact your charity for full details.

  • In the unfortunate circumstance that you need to cancel your booking, we would ask that you notify us in writing either by post or email.  Your cancellation will be considered effective from the date the notice is received. Registration fees, amendment fees and insurance premiums are non refundable and, depending on your payment option and how close it is to your challenge departure date, you may be liable for a cancellation charge.

    Full details of all cancellation charges may be found in the Terms and Conditions of booking.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience, fitness and ability as well as all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. If you have concerns about your fitness or if you have reduced mobility please do contact us for a confidential chat about whether this challenge is appropriate for you.

    For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Travel Insurance is compulsory on our challenges; we strongly suggest that you arrange insurance cover as soon as your booking with us is confirmed. Should you need to cancel on medical grounds, you will need insurance to cover the costs involved (registration fee and any trip costs depending on cancellation date). 

    You should also ensure that you have adequate cover for the type of challenge you are taking part in as well as medical emergencies, evacuation and repatriation.

    You can obtain a quote with Insure to Travel from our website here, or you may choose to take out your own travel insurance, just remember to let us know the policy number and emergency phone number!

    For more information about travel insurance, please click here.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. To find out if you need a visa you can check your requirements using our partner, Visa Machine, website here; please ensure you allow plenty of time.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

  • For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow participants and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!

Extension

Orang-Utans & River Safari

This wonderful trip offers a fabulous way to experience Borneo’s spectacular rainforest and wildlife, and to unwind after your trek!

Sepilok Orang-Utan Sanctuary is one of the highlights of any visit to Sabah. Surrounded by a 43km2 Forest Reserve, the centre was set up in 1964 and re-introduces rescued or orphaned orang-utans to the wild. The released apes often retain the habits they have learned at the centre and regularly come back to the feeding stations, giving us a wonderful opportunity to observe them.

We continue our wildlife discovery with a river safari on Kinabatangan River. Malaysia’s second-longest river, the Kinabatangan flows across Sabah; the lower Kinabatangan was designated a Wildlife Sanctuary in 2005. This protected eco-system is widely considered to be one of the best places to view wildlife in South-East Asia.

We cruise the waterways, exploring rainforest, ox-bow lakes and mangrove swamps, looking out for proboscis monkeys, orang-utans, gibbons, crocodiles and pygmy elephants, and birdlife such as hornbills and kingfishers. We stay for two nights in an eco-friendly river lodge, designed to blend in with its natural surroundings – a wonderful place to enjoy the serenity of the river and rainforest surroundings.

This trip is remote and fairly adventurous with some early starts to maximise wildlife-spotting, but there’s plenty of time to relax and watch the river go by!

Extension

Tropical Retreat

Just ten minutes from Kota Kinabalu, treat yourself to some 5* luxury at this wonderful beach hotel, set among 25 acres of exotic gardens overlooking a wide sweeping bay on the South China Sea. The hotel’s marina offers a variety of boat trips and watersports; a highlight is a trip to the neighbouring tropical islands, part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, where the clear blue water offers fascinating snorkelling amongst the colourful coral. Or simply relax and enjoy the beach cabanas, swimming pool with infinity area, and fabulous sunset bar. For ultimate pampering, there’s also a luxury spa. This is the perfect way to relax after the rigours of your trek!

Once in resort, this extension does not have an organised itinerary. You can arrange activities through the hotel and are free to spend your time as you wish.


Testimonials

Susan


I'm absolutely thrilled to have made it , even if at a slow & steady pace.We had a great bunch of people on the trip, and I'd like to say that Eva did a great job of seeing us all through with patience, humour, professionalism and a caring concern for us. I'm
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thinking about  what I can do for next year now, Patagonia is top of the list!
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Laura


The trek, mountain climb and especially the extension (because that was my main reason for going!) was fantastic, thank you!  I think we were very lucky with the weather and a great group, especially Eva! I almost thought I wouldn’t make the summit due to a
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bad back but I did it! Eva was just fantastic, as it was my first trek, I wasn’t sure what to expect but she made everything clear and less worrying! She was very supportive and felt more like a friend than the tour leader very quickly. She has a great personality for her job and was motivating and funny as well as sensitive to anyone who may have been struggling or feeling sore, worried or overwhelmed. Thanks again – I believe our trust is already planning another one for next year!
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Laura


This was my first such experience and challenge and I only wish I hadn't waited so long!

Georgie


The Kinabalu Rainforest Trek was truly stunning. Being immersed in the jungle, completely out of my comfort zone was totally exhilarating. I always felt the support of our Tour Leader, Eva, and the local crew. The trek was made even more spectacular with the climb of
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Mount Kinabalu. I'm so pround of what we as a group achieved that day, pushing past what we were thought were our limits and realising they were not even close. The river safari extension is highly recommended. I was blown away by the wildlife we saw on Kinabatangan River!
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Jane


The challenge left me physically and emotionally exhausted and excillarated. I was terrified before I started and amazed that DA helped me achieve so much. Thank you.

Carole


As always I had a great time. The DA leader and the local guides were excellent. All in all a great trip with a great bunch of people.

Trek Training Weekend

Snowdon_Training_Trekking

£170 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Trek Training Weekends take place in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. This training weekend is designed to put you through your paces to enable you to gauge fitness levels and gain advice from our experienced leaders.

MORE INFORMATION

GRADE | tough (3)

Trip grade 3 web

Trip grades range from Challenging (1) to Extreme (5).

TOUGH trips can involve tough terrain, with some very rigorous days; weather, altitude and/or basic living conditions will add to the challenge. They demand good stamina, fitness and a determined attitude.

See Trip Grading Explained.

Challenges 2019-2020

Get our latest Brochure

Our 2019 / 2020 Challenges Brochure is available by Post or Download