Tour Code: SDK4
Duration – 2 days/1 night – begins at Sandakan airport on arrival of first flight from KK

This two day journey uncovers the secret lives of marine turtles. The tour gives you an exclusive first hand experience to see how sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in a safe and supportive environment, which has been under the protection of the Sabah Government since 1977. This conservation success story is now a model for wildlife protection bodies the world over.

Day 1

You will begin your Turtles and Orang-utans tour in Sandakan. 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.

The rooms have recently been renovated. There are four chalets in total on the island – each with 6 rooms, accommodating up to 48 people. The rooms all 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

Start the second day of your Turtles and Orang-utans tour. Return to Sandakan by boat at 07.30 hrs. Proceed to Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre for an audio visual presentation in the theatrette about the plight of the orang-utan and the rehabilitation efforts of the centre. 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.

After the orang-utans, you will be able to visit the Borneo Sunbear Conservation Centre to find out more about the world’s smallest bear. Return to Sandakan for 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]

Note that a non-refundable deposit of $A150 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, light raincoat and flashlight (torch).

Tour Code Destination Duration Inclusions 1 Person 2 People 3 People
SDK4 Turtle Island & Sepilok 2d/1n Full Board $1120 $565 $565

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

Accommodation is limited to two people per room. Single supplement rates apply for β€œodd” numbers of people – $A85 extra per adult

NOTE 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.

Photographs copyright to Penny Favilla, Phil Youdale and Borneo Adventure