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Kinabalu Rainforest Trek

Borneo Trek TOUGH
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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!


Kinabalu Rainforest Trek

9 DAYS
  • We arrive in this bustling city, known widely as KK, and transfer to our hotel for dinner and a full trip briefing! Night hotel.

     

    (Lunch not included)

  • An early start sees us loading up the vehicles for the hour’s drive to the Crocker Range National Park – stunning jungle-covered mountains which separate the coast from the interior. Our trek takes us downhill on jungle paths, passing native villages with some cultivated land, and into primary rainforest with rushing streams and dripping, steamy vegetation tangled with creepers. It’s very atmospheric, with insects buzzing and melodic bird-calls high up in the canopy. We reach our host village and enjoy a wonderful insight into the local people’s everyday lives. Night community hall.

     

    Trek approx 5 hours

  • Our route takes us through more dense jungle, experiencing this incredible and remote habitat close-up! The paths we trek on are old trading paths used by villagers who crossed the mountains to the coastal markets to trade for goods such as salt. Some of the remote villages in this region have no road access and still rely on these paths. We cross rushing streams and jungle ridges as our route takes us up and down through the jungle; the paths get muddy and overgrown and, although the paths are not too steep, it’s hard work and a great warm-up for our Kinabalu summit trek. We spend the night in a native village beside the river. Night village house.

     

    Trek approx 6-8 hours.

     
  • Our last day of jungle trekking takes us through more dense vegetation into secondary rainforest, past more small villages and photogenic rice-paddies. The scenery is wonderful!  We have lunch at the end of the trail, and transfer back to our hotel in Kota Kinabalu for a well-appreciated shower and bed! Night hotel.

     

    (Dinner not included)

  • After an early, energising breakfast, we drive (approx 2 hours) to Kinabalu Park, the gateway to the mountain. We complete Park formalities and start our trek (1866m), initially on easy terrain. We then trek steadily up through lush vegetation, which provides welcome shelter from the hot sun. The landscape around us gradually changes to conifers, shrubs and mosses as we ascend, and becomes steeper and more demanding. Kinabalu is one of the most biologically diverse spots on the planet and has World Heritage Site status. Many of the incredible ferns and orchids are endemic, and provide plenty of distraction from weary legs! Coming out of the vegetation onto a clear rocky plateau at around 2500m, we can see the mountain-top above us, an impressive sight with waterfalls cascading down the bare slopes. It’s not far now to Laban Rata, where we will have time to relax before retiring early. Night mountain hut (3270m).

     

    Trek approx 5-6 hours

  • We start in the early hours and trek up to the summit in the dark, using our head-torches to light the way.  A series of steps cut into the rock takes us through low shrub, and then out ontobare granite rock.  It is hard-going, especially if you are feeling the effects of being at altitude, so we trek slowly and steadily.  Some parts are very steep but we use the permanent rope bolted into the rock to pull ourselves up when we need the extra help!   After optimistically ascending a number of ridges to see only more rock ahead of us, we finally see the distinctive marker of the summit of Low’s Peak (4095m.).  A magnificent sunrise awaits us, and in clear conditions we can enjoy views which stretch for miles – a well-earned reward for our efforts. We descend the same way, stopping for breakfast back at Laban Rata and returning to the Park Gate and Kinabalu Park.  Night cabins.

     

    Trek approx 6-8 hours (3-4 hours ascent, 3-4 hours descent)

  • Leaving the mountain behind, we depart Kinabalu Park and start our journey back to Kota Kinabalu. En route we stop at Poring Hot Springs, one of Sabah’s chief attractions and a great way to relax any aching muscles. We can take a dip in one of the soothing, hot mineral springs set in beautifully landscaped gardens, and walk along the canopy walkway 100ft above the forest floor – a fantastic way to observe the flora and fauna. We then return to Kota Kinabalu for a great evening of celebrations to mark our achievements this week.

     

    (Dinner not include)

     

    Drive approx 2 hours

  • We transfer to the airport for our early morning flight home via Kuala Lumpur.


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £4,150 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target £3,150 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £299 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,850 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £4,200 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £3,200 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,875 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £4,200 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target £3,200 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £349 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,875 Airline Taxes £225.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), 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). We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier 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.

  • All food is included except for a few meals as specified in the itinerary. The food is plentiful, generally local in style, freshly-cooked and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we have packed lunches, sometimes meals are buffet-style, other times we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at our hotel, depending on accommodation.

  • 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 are often 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.

  • All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic (dependent on group size), who is there 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 number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but an average-sized overseas group would be led by two leaders and a doctor. 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 lifestyles. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. In some destinations we work together as a team with local guides to help set up or break camp, or prepare meals.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is carried by vehicles, porters, mules, etc (depending on terrain and accessibility) from one night-stop to the next. 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 mobile phones, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. Our leaders 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 compulsory medical questionnaires – is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be 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.

  • Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will 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.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is up-to-date and any visas are obtained in good time. For further information please see our Factsheet and Visa information page.

    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 trekkers 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!

  • Can I book my own flight?

    If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost. You will be responsible for making your own arrangements for meeting the rest of the group, though we can advise you. We need to know if you do not require our group flight as early as possible; please complete the form in the information pack you’ll be sent with your booking confirmation.

    Do I need travel insurance?

    Yes, you must have adequate travel insurance cover in order to participate in any overseas challenge. Most charities allow you to organise this independently as long as your insurance company is aware of the nature of what you are doing and that it is a charity event. Some charities have their own specific policy. Alternatively it can be arranged through us.

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

£160 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 gauige fitness levels and gain advice from our experienced leaders.

MORE INFORMATION

GRADE | tough (3)

This trip involves more rigorous days; weather, altitude or basic living conditions will add to the challenge. We will supply you with a thorough training guide when you have registered. Training for the challenge is all part of the preparation and requires commitment! Without it, you will find the challenge less enjoyable - and we want you to have the time of your life!
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