Tour Code: SDK1
Duration – 4 days/3 nights – begins at Sandakan airport on arrival of first flight from KK

One of the gems in our selection, this package provides a truly unique experience. Here you will get an opportunity to experience one of nature’s highlights when giant green turtle come ashore to deposit their eggs, and you may even be permitted to release turtle hatchlings into the sea. Your wildlife experience is again enhanced when you travel to the award-winning Sukau Rainforest Lodge, to an area along the Kinabatangan River, known to have the highest concentration of wildlife in Asia. The star of the show would of course be the endemic Proboscis monkeys but the probability of a sighting of other wildlife which includes the Borneo Pygmy Elephant and the Orang-utan, is high.

Day 1

On arrival at Sandakan Airport, you will be met and transferred to Sandakan jetty (note that if you are already staying in Sandakan, we will arrange to pick you up from your accommodation). The 45 minute speed boat transfer departs daily at 09.30 hrs to Turtle Island (Pulau Selingan) which is about 40km out of Sandakan. On arrival, check into your room.

Some of the rooms have recently been renovated (2012/2013 – so far one chalet only). There are four chalets in total – each with 6 rooms, accommodating up to 48 people. The rooms have twin beds. All rooms have air conditioning, a fan, and attached bathroom with hot water heater (not that you really need much in the way of hot water).

Free at leisure to explore island, swim and snorkel for the rest of the day.
Snorkelling gear is available for rent on the island


After dinner, wait for the signal from the Park Ranger before proceeding in small groups to watch the Green Turtles lay eggs on the beach, the transplanting of eggs to the hatchery, and the release of baby turtles to the sea. The island has been part of a park conservation area since 1977, and turtles nest here every night throughout the year. The whole process could take up to around midnight. One of our clients visited the island in March 2013 and reported that there were 15 nestings, with 1146 eggs transplanted, and 172 hatchlings released. The turtle which our client watched, laid 94 eggs.

Overnight in Twin Share room. [includes Lunch and dinner]Flash photography of turtles is strictly prohibited between 18.00 hrs and 06.00 hrs, however, you are permitted to take photos – you will need to set your camera to a high ISO equivalent and use slow shutter speeds.

Day 2

Return to Sandakan by boat from the island at 07.30 hrs. On arrival in Sandakan, proceed to Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre for an audio visual presentation in the theatrette. Walk ten minutes through the rainforest on timber boardwalks to witness the feeding of the orang-utans at 10.00hrs. You will have plenty of time to watch the orang-utans until they disappear back into the jungle.

Return to Sandakan for lunch, and then head to the jetty for a boat trip to Sukau Rainforest Lodge, travelling along Sabah’s longest river, the Kinabatangan River, with the opportunity to view birds and wildlife in virgin mangrove, wetland and rainforest habitats. Check into the Lodge on arrival.
In the late afternoon, take a river cruise using boats powered by electric motors, in search of some of the 10 primate species, including Proboscis monkeys, as they settle down on treetops for the night along the Kinabatangan River. The Sukau area is home to Borneo pygmy elephants, orang utans, proboscis monkeys and all eight species of hornbill found in Borneo.

Return to the lodge for solar heated hot shower, candle light dinner overlooking the bank of the river, and slide show conducted by naturalist guide. After dinner an optional night safari cruise (at a surcharge) spotting nocturnal animals, crocodiles and birds.


Overnight at Sukau Rainforest Lodge. [Includes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]

Please note that Sukau Rainforest Lodge has undergone extensive renovations to upgrade all its facilities since 2010. The new Sukau Rainforest Lodge offers guests added facilities to enhance their jungle experience.



Day 3

Wake up to the calls of gibbons and hornbills. Depart the lodge at 06.00 hrs on a morning river cruise up the Kinabatangan River to view more birds and wildlife. Proceed to the Kelenanap ox-bow lake. If time and weather permit, you may be able to participate in a short jungle walk. The area around the lake is known for its herd of Asian elephants which you might be lucky enough to see while in the area. Experience the wilderness of Borneo.

Return to the lodge for a late breakfast, then take an educational tour on the Hornbill Boardwalk which is located behind the lodge, with the in-house naturalist.

In the afternoon, proceed on another river cruise in search of more wildlife. Wild Orang-utan are often encountered on this cruise. After dinner, an optional (at a surcharge) night safari cruise spotting nocturnal animals, crocodiles and birds.
Overnight at Sukau Rainforest Lodge. [Includes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]


Day 4

After breakfast, return to Sandakan by boat. You will have lunch at Sabah Hotel.

After lunch (around 13.00 hrs) you will transfer to the Rainforest Discovery Centre (about 30 minutes from Sandakan). Proceed to the canopy walk for a spot of bird watching – you may catch sight of the Hornbill. You will also be taken on a short walk along a constructed trail through the jungle – about 45 minutes; and then on to the botanical garden.

From the Rainforest Discovery Centre, you will be transferred to the Australian war memorial at the World War II Japanese Prisoner of War camp. You will be able to visit the information gallery and also walk the loop trail.

Transfer to the airport for your evening flight to Kota Kinabalu, or alternatively, to your accommodation in Sandakan. [Breakfast and Lunch included]


Sukau Rainforest Lodge

The 20 rooms, multi international award winners, is managed by Borneo Eco Tours. It was originally built in 1995 in traditional Malaysian architecture using several Borneo hardwood species. It was rebuilt in 2010, offering upgraded facilities. More work was carried out on the lodge recently. It is built on stilts with a lounge, gift shop, education centre, Hornbill Boardwalk with two elephant passes, three open deck for wildlife viewing, an enclosed garden, a riverside Melapi restaurant, open sun-deck, river jetty. Electricity is supplied by acoustic generator, and hot water by solar heaters. All rooms are twin bedded, with ceiling fan, mosquito netting, attached bathroom, hot shower and toilets. River tours are conducted by boats powered by electric motors and four stoke outboard engines. The lodge was named by National Geographic Adventure Magazine in 2009 as one of the top 50 jungle lodges in the World.

Birdlife is especially rich here including eight species of hornbills, kingfishers, egrets, darters, owls, kites, eagles, broadbills, doves, storm storks, herons, hawks, ospreys, falcon, pheasants, parakeets, bee eaters, woodpeckers, pittas, bulbuls, forktails, babblers, warblers, flycatchers, orioles, flowerpeckers, spiderhunters, among others.

Note that a non-refundable deposit of $A200 per person (twin share) is required at the time of booking this trip.

Please bring along swim wear, sun screen, hat, personal toiletries, insect repellent, drinking water bottle, walking shoes, binoculars, camera, light raincoat and flashlight (torch).

Tour Code Destination Duration Inclusions 1 Person 2 People 3 People
SDK1 Turtle Island, Sepilok & Sukau 4d/3n Full Board
Superior room at Sukau
$2350 $1175 $1175
Turtle Island, Sepilok & Sukau 4d/3n Full Board
Borneo Villa at Sukau
$2650 $1325 $1325

Prices per person in Australian Dollars and valid 01 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 (E.O.E.) Refer to General Booking Conditions

Peak season surcharge applies 01 July to 31 August – $80 per person (twin share)

Accommodation is limited to two adults per room. It is possible for one child to sleep in the same room as the parents, however, the bedding will be a mattress on the floor.


the trip to Turtle Island involves a boat journey via the Sulu Sea. Please be advised that during the monsoon season (November-February), in the event of inclement weather conditions during or before the boat journey, the tour may be cancelled or postponed if it is deemed that the journey will jeopardise the safety of the passengers. In the event of cancellation, a replacement tour will be offered (which will not include Turtle Island). Borneo Tour Specialists will not be liable for any compensation. We would suggest that alternative tours be arranged during the monsoon season, particularly in the months of December and January.

Includes tours, entrance fees (excludes camera fees), accommodation and meals as indicated, and English speaking guide.

Photograph courtesy of Katie Clews, Phil Youdale, Penny Favilla, Borneo Adventure and Borneo Eco Tours