Headhunters & Beyond

Borneo Holiday in Sabah & Sarawak

Borneo, Gunung Mulu National Park, Kota Kinabalu & Surrounds, Kuching & Surrounds

Duration: 16 nights

Price: From £3,450 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, private transfers, transportation, experiences as stated and taxes

We all love to brag about our holidays– and saying that you’ve hung out with a legendary headhunter tribe is pretty hard to beat! Snaking along the Sarawak River by land and long-tail boat, this Borneo expedition gives you an exciting mix of culture, natural spectacles, and simply stunning beaches.
Perfect forThose after a bit of everything - adventure, culture and beach.
In the knowExtend your holiday to Peninsular Malaysia, to see the lush jungles and tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands.

Best for

  • Adventure
  • Beach
  • First-timers
  • Food & Wine

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All itineraries on our website are designed as a starting point. Tell us your budget/wishlist/preferred length of stay and we'll help you select the best hotels and experiences, so your holiday is totally personalised.

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Itinerary details



Fly overnight to Kuala Lumpur, and then catch your connecting flight to Kuching – the bustling riverside capital of Sarawak state. Staying three nights at the Hilton Kuching, which sits right on the waterfront, you’ll spend your first day on a relaxing river cruise: passing colourful Malay villages, the pink and gold city mosque and the Astana royal residence, along with colourful tambang boats and fishermen hauling in their catch.

The next day is a real treat for wildlife lovers, as you’re taken on a short drive to the Semenggoh Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, where you'll get to see orangutans up close as they roam semi-wild in the rainforest.
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Batang Ai National Park


After leaving Kuching, you’ll be taken on a wonderfully scenic drive past paddy fields, ramshackle villages and cocoa plantations. You will board a longtail boat, and drift along winding tributaries into legendary “headhunter” territory to a traditional longhouse.

Despite the fearsome reputation of their ancestors, the Iban tribe couldn’t be more welcoming, and you’ll see the men with their symbolic tattoos, learn how to use a deadly blow-pipe as their ancestors did, and perhaps be treated to a traditional dance as you sample their home-brewed rice wine.

Your base for two nights is the Seri Simanggang hotel
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Miri Marriott Resort & Spa

1 nightMIRI

You’ll now fly on to Miri, and spend a relaxing night at the luxurious Miri Marriott Resort & Spa, enjoying the sunset over the South China Sea, before flying on to Mulu the following day.
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It’s an early morning flight to Mulu, and after this you’ll be taken to Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa - the perfect base for experiencing the stunning natural treasures of Mulu National Park.

Together with your expert naturalist guide you’ll take a 3km hike deep into the rainforest, passing stunning shards of rock, before arriving at Deer Cave, which has the largest cave entrance in the world. Stepping into its vast jaws, you’ll follow a path by torchlight to the ‘Garden of Eden’, where lush vegetation thrives beneath a shaft of sunlight. 

In the evening you’ll head on to Lang Cave, where millions of bats can be seen whooshing out at dusk. The following day, you’ll take another long-boat ride along winding rivers to visit the tribal Penan settlement, and you'll also have the chance to swim amongst butterflies in Mulu’s magical clear-water caves.
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Shangri La Tanjung Aru


After all that exploring, it’s now time for total relaxation as you fly to Kota Kinabalu and stay two nights at the exclusive beach enclave that is Shangri La Tanjung Aru. If you want a bit more culture, you’re just a shuttle ride away from the city, and you can also hop in a speedboat to the surrounding islands for some amazing snorkelling. Most likely though, you’ll just want to sunbathe on the beautiful white-sand beach, and make the most of the fantastic spa.
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Finally, some real barefoot luxury as you board a boat to pristine Gaya Island and the gorgeous Gaya Island Resort. With this as your home for four nights you can make the most of Borneo’s pristine waters and incredible marine life. Begin the day with a relaxing kayak through the mangroves; snorkel amongst shimmering fish, and then trek into the rainforest in the afternoon to see macaques and the elusive 'bearded' pig.

After one last spa treatment in amongst the trees, you’ll transfer back to Kota Kinabalu and fly to Kuala Lumpur for your return flight home.
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Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel locations for this itinerary

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