Birding and Wildlife Tour Sarawak Borneo Malaysia

Birding and Wildlife Tour Sarawak Borneo Malaysia

If you are interested in the Birding and Wildlife Tour Sarawak Borneo Malaysia, come and join us at Kaiyote Tours!

Birds and Wildlife of Sarawak, Borneo 

We are offering a very special trip to Sarawak, Borneo and this is definitely a trip of a lifetime! On this trip we will be traveling via boat and boots deep into the Borneo jungle to see and experience pristine rainforest habitat abundant with flora and fauna. Borneo is one of the last areas that is home to wild orangutans. This trip will be an adventure and all participants need to be in good hiking shape. The trails are slippery, muddy, rocky and we will be crossing and traveling through numerous creeks and rivers. There are plenty of insects, including leaches and so everyone will need to be prepared to handle this true adventure. This trip will make you feel like a real explorer and we are only taking four people for this very special trip!  This is what many would call a trip of a lifetime, hiking through the Borneo jungle. 
 
The island of Borneo is about the size of Texas. The island is home to three separate countries: Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Sarawak is located on the northern part of Borneo and is a state of Malaysia. Sarawak is rich in tropical rainforest, mountains and stunning coastal areas. Sarawak is slightly larger than the state of Florida and maintains 30 national Parks to protect distinct habitats and life zones for 185 species of mammals, 530 species of birds, 166 species of snakes, 104 species of lizards, and 113 species of amphibians including coral reefs and marine life. Sarawak in an excellent place to view Orangutans in the wild and the Rhinoceros Hornbill is the national bird. There will be time for cultural activities and we will be visiting three main National Parks: Santubong National Park, Batang Ai National Park, Kubah National Park and many other reserves and wetlands for birds and wildlife viewing. Our bird and wildlife tour, led by experienced and knowledgeable local guides from the Kuching Bird Watching Club.  
 

Printable Bird List
(Checklist of birds that we have seen on this trip)

  • Travel Dates: October 3 – 12, 2020
  • Group Size: 4 travelers plus guides
  • Trip Length: 10 days
  • Rates:  per person = $3,650 (based on double occupancy)
  • Rates include:  Domestic transfers and transportation, lodging, breakfast, lunch, dinner, group tours and park entrance fees. 
  • Not included:  International airfare, customs & immigration fees and visas, alcohol and basic travel insurance (which is required). 
  • Adventure level:  Adventurous, please check "Welcome" page for definition

Special offer:  Included with your trip (one per room) is a copy of the field guide “Birds of Borneo: Brunei, Sabah, Sarawak, and Kalimantan” (Princeton Field Guides) by Susan Myers. You will receive this when you reserve your trip so you will have time to study and know the beautiful birds of Sarawak.  

Map of the travel route here:  Sarawak Map (opens a new page)

If you would like to see recent photos click here:  Newsletter Archives (opens a new page)

More photos can be found here:  Photo Gallery (opens new page)

Basic Itinerary

Day 1:   Arrival in Kuching, Sarawak
There are no direct flights to the Kuching International Airport (KCH); most flights depart from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) which is the capitol of Malaysia.  Flights from the states are overnight and include crossing the international dateline, so be sure to schedule your flight to arrive in Kuching on October 3rd, which is usually 1 - 2 days after the departure date.  You will be greeted at the airport and transported to the hotel in Kuching. Activities for the day will depend on your flight arrival.  Kuching is the capitol of Sarawak and with a population of 325,000, it a nice size city with a lot of great food and culture.  Sarawak is located just north of the equator and has a tropical environment where the temperatures are consistent throughout the year.  The winter months are rainier than summer; it rains a lot here.  The city of Kuching is surrounded by numerous national parks and reserves.  About an hour drive south of Kuching, near the Indonesia border is the Borneo Highlands and Mount Penrissen raising to 4,200 feet.  Here is one of the best places to see the White-crowned Hornbill and the Mountain Serpent-Eagle, as well as sub-montane endemics such as Pygmy White-eyes, Chestnut -crested Yuhinas and the Borneo Barbet.  We will make Kuching our based for the next three nights.  

Day 2:   Bako National Park
Bako Buntal Bay and National Park is an important migratory site for over 25,000 birds. October is an excellent time to see Grey-tailed Tattler, Lesser Adjutant, Chinese Egret, Nordmann’s Greenshank and Far Eastern Curlew.  It is 45 minute drive and then a 20 minute boat ride to the park.  There are numerous jungle trails for viewing Proboscis Monkeys, Silver leaf Monkeys, wild boars, Long-tailed Macaques, water monitor lizards, otters and birds such as White-bellied Sea-eagle, Little Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Little Green-Pigeon, Pink-necked Pigeon, Blue-throated Bee-eater, Violet Cuckoo, Tiger Shrike, Asian Fairy-bird, Blue-winged Leafbird and White-rumped Shama.  We will stay in Kuching for the night.  

Day 3:   Kubah National Park
Kubah National Park is located 45 minutes outside of Kuching and this beautiful lowland forest is home to numerous endemic birds including the Bornean Banded Kingfisher, Bornean Wren Babbler, Yellow-rumped Flycatcher and Blue-banded Pittas.  Kubah National Park is situated on a sandstone plateau, mostly covered by mixed dipterocarp forest.  Resident birds include:  Red-bearded Bee-eater, Raffle's Malkoha, Banded Broadbill,  Grey-bellied Bulbul, Crimson Sunbird, Spotted Fantail, Rufous-crowned Paradise and Chestnut-naped Forktail.  We will spend the whole day birding this wonderful park and head back to our hotel in Kuching for the night.  

Day 4:  Nanga Sumpa, Batang Ai
This day we will start a travels to Batang Ai.  We will leave most of our luggage at the hotel in Kuching and take with us only the bare-essentials.  It is about a 5-hour drive from Kuching to the Batang Ai Reservoir Jetty.  On the way we will stop at the Serian Market, which is one of the largest open markets in Sarawak.  Once we arrive at the Batang Ai Jetty, we will travel by boat across the reservoir and up the river to Nanga Sumpa, about a 2-hour boat ride.  The Nanga Sumpa Lodge is located next to an Iban tribe village and in the evening you are welcome to visit the Iban Longhouse and spend time getting to know the local Iban people.  The Nanga Sumpa Lodge has a large veranda overlooking the river and is a great spot for watching birds.  The lodge has limited electricity from a generator and each room has a private bathroom, but no air-conditioning...  

Day 5:  Nanga Sumpa, Batang Ai
This day is the start of our 3-days of trekking in the jungle to find birds, wildlife and orangutans.  We will pack a lunch and spend the day hiking.  Most of the trekking is on a scale of "moderate" difficulty, but because the trails can be muddy and slippery, you will need to be in good physical shape and cable of handling the terrain and there are some sections of trail that are very steep; you need to be a good hiker.  We will see numerous orangutan nests and occasionally find some orangutans too. The forest and plant life is beautiful and we will see Pig-tailed Macaques, Silver-leaf Monkeys and numerous squirrel species, including cute little Pygmy Squirrels.  There are wild boar, sun bears and wild cats in the forest, but these are very rare to see.  In the late afternoon we will return to the lodge for a great traditional meal cook with plants and vegetables from the rainforest.  

Day 6:  Lubok Kasai, Batang Ai
The Batang Ai area is home to the most significant population of wild orangutan in Sarawak. There are opportunities to spot Pig-tailed macaques, Silver-leaf Monkeys, hornbills and a variety of other birds as well. It may be humid and hot in the jungle but there is plenty of refreshing clear water as well: swim in the waterfalls or the river to cool off. Many lowland bird species reside at Batang Ai:  Garnet Pitta, Rail Babbler and Bulwer’s Pheasant.  In the morning we will hike to the Enseluai Waterfall and meet the boatmen for a picnic and grilled lunch along the river.  From the waterfall it is a 30-minute boat ride up river to Lubok Kasai. At this point, the river can be very shallow and at times we will need to walk in the river and push the boat.  Lubok Kasai is a true jungle lodge, there is no electricity here, only beautiful nature.  Everyone will have a private room and there is a shared bathroom.  

Day 7:  Lubok Kasai, Batang Ai
We will pack a lunch and spend the whole day hiking and looking for birds, wildlife and wild orangutans; returning to Lubok Kasai in the evening for dinner.    

Day 8:  Damai Beach
Today will be a long travel day, but most of it will be amazing!  It is a 1-hour boat ride from the Lubok Kasai camp back to the Nanga Sumpa Lodge, where we will take a short break.  From Nanga Sumpa it is a 2-hour boat ride back to the Batang Ai reservoir Jetty.  From the Jetty it is a 5-hour van ride back to Kuching, where we will stop and pick up our luggage and take a short break. From Kuching it is 45 minute drive to Damai Beach and here we will have time to relax at the beach or poolside.  Damai Beach is located just outside Santubong National Park, which is a beautiful and rugged lowland forest of sandstone and tall rainforest trees and amazing coastal habitats.  We will spend time walking the land from the sandy beaches to the mountainous rainforest. 

Day 9:  Santubong National Park
Damai Beach is located next to the Sarawak Cultural Village; not only is this a great place to learn about local Iban culture, it is also a great birding spot where we have seen the Hooded Pitta, Black Bittern, Stork-billed Kingfisher, White-breasted Waterhen and Brown Shrikes, just to name a few birds, and in the ponds there are also large monitor lizards.  After a morning of birding, visiting an Iban performance show and lunch at the cultural village, we will head to the Permai Rainforest Resort for more birding and a chance to see flying lemurs and snakes. Damai Beach is also located only a half a mile from the start of the trail that goes to the top of Santubong Mountain, where Rhinoceros Hornbills can be found at the half-way overlook. 

Day 10:  Fly Home 
There will be a shuttle to the airport for flights back home. From Damai Beach it is about a 1-hour drive to the airport. 

Please note:  The lodging described in this itinerary is always our first choice based on availability.  Details of this trip are a little vague as it is VERY flexible. Destinations throughout the trip are based on the desires, ability and goals of the group.