Borneo Trek Expedition

Experience true off-grid living, trekking through the heart of the Bornean jungle and helping to protect orangutan habitats. You’ll discover a totally different way of life, living as part of a rural community and working together to create sustainable change.

  • Location Borneo, Asia
  • Duration 4 weeks
  • Expedition Type Trek

On this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, you’ll get the opportunity to explore the unique jungle ecosystem and unexplored tropical wilderness on an adventurous 5 day trek. You’ll play an active part in helping to protect this important environment through long-term conservation projects. There will be plenty of time to immerse yourself in the traditional culture too, as you live in the heart of a rural village and work alongside local people to support community development.

A fully supported expedition, from start to finish

Your expedition cost is comprehensive and covers the incredible activities you’ll be taking part in, as well as the extensive support you’ll receive in the lead up to, and during, your expedition.

Don’t forget you’ll also need your vaccinations, visas, kit and some spending money. You can find guidance on all of these on your personal Traveller Gateway once you sign up.

  • Ongoing pre-expedition support
  • Flights and in-country transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Food and accommodation
  • Adventure challenge
  • Project costs
  • Leader and staff costs
  • Camps t-shirt
  • Orientation and language lessons
  • 24 hour emergency support
  • Reserve location

This sample itinerary will give you an insight into what you’ll be getting up to. Please note, the exact projects, activities and camps may change closer to the time of your expedition.

Day Activities More details
Day 1 Arrive in Kota Kinabalu On arrival at Kota Kinabalu, you will be met by a member of our awesome Camp Borneo crew who will take you to your first camp. When you arrive at camp, there will be an arrival briefing, camp orientation and village tour by our Camp Manager. You will then enjoy a home-cooked dinner with your team and will be treated to a cultural welcome performance from the local community.
Day 2 – 6 Community project work Over the next few days you will be getting stuck into some community project work. You could be getting involved in helping to build classrooms, constructing and refurbishing community buildings and installing water storage systems. Whichever project initiative you work on, you’ll be working hand in hand with locals to tackle real needs. During the evenings, you’ll get to experience more of the local culture, with language lessons and cultural dance sessions (be prepared to show off your best moves!).
Day 7 Get prepared for your trek Today is all about getting trek-ready. You’ll have an expedition briefing where you will be introduced to your guides and we’ll run through what you can expect over the coming days.
Day 8 – 12 Jungle trek Over the next four days, you will be trekking through villages, farmland and deep Bornean jungle. Experience true off-grid living as you sleep in hammocks, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the jungle. You will gain a new perspective on life as you visit poignant memorials to World War II soldiers, and you’ll have the chance to learn essential jungle first aid and survival techniques whilst mastering some incredible traditional skills.
Day 13 – 16 Environmental project work Over the next few days you will be based at our environmental camp where you will learn more about the Borneo jungle and the challenges faced in this important habitat and home to many species including orangutans. Project work will include working on reforesting the area by growing and replanting native trees.
Day 17 Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary Today you will visit the famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to see these amazing creatures up close and personal in their natural habitat. In the afternoon, you’ll head to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, the only one of its kind in the world – where you can learn about the conservation work taking place to protect these unique bears.
Day 18 – 19 Explore the city of Kota Kinabalu Today you will head back to Kota Kinabalu for a few days for some sight-seeing and last-minute souvenir shopping. Depending on time, you may also get to spend some time by the coast, taking in the white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters before checking into your hostel for the evening.
Day 20 Goodbye Borneo After breakfast at the hostel, it’s time to say your final goodbyes to the Camp Borneo crew and head to the airport in time for your flight home.

How you’ll make a difference

You’ll work on a range of projects throughout your expedition, each aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and designed to make a significant and lasting impact on the region’s most critical issues.

Village enhancement projects

Borneo – Village enhancement projects

You’ll get involved in a number of projects to improve facilities for the rapidly growing population of Bongkud. Projects may include constructing a youth centre, improving the drainage system to ensure cleaner and healthier living and establishing a community farming programme to improve food security and encourage self-sufficiency within the village, without needing to transport supplies from larger towns.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
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Zero hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

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Good health and well-being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

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Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

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Climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Habitat conservation

Borneo – Habitat conservation

Batu Puteh is an incredible haven for a large majority of Borneo’s wildlife including orangutans, elephants and proboscis monkeys, and is one of the world’s most important natural habitats. However, it’s also one of the most threatened. You’ll get involved in activities to help safeguard this wildlife paradise for future generations by helping to tackle deforestation.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
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Climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

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Life on land

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Experience the local way of life in our authentic camps

Our camps are the heart of our expeditions. Built and staffed by locals in the traditional style, and located within the heart of communities, they are the perfect place to relax after a day of project work. You’ll get to stay in a number of camps during your expedition, which could include those featured below.

Camp Bongkud

Camp Bongkud

Set in the shadows of the mighty Mount Kinabalu, Camp Bongkud is surrounded on all sides by lush picturesque scenery. Its hillside location gives it a pleasant breezy climate which makes it the ideal hillside retreat after a hard day’s project work.

Being in the heart of the village also has its advantages; all your project sites are only a short walk away and you can challenge the locals to a friendly game of volleyball on the community court during your downtime.

  • Location: 127 km (3-3.5 hours drive) from Kota Kinabalu Airport & 160 km from Kudat
  • Accommodation style: Traditional longhouses
  • Bed type: Comfy mattresses & bedding including mosquito net.
  • Toilets: Flushing toilets,
  • Showers: Cold water showers & sinks
  • Power: Mains electricity backed up by generator (between 18:00 – 22:00). British 3 pin power sockets
  • Social area: Chilling hut, volleyball court, badminton & board games
  • Signature dish: Banana fritters & steamed banana cake
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Camp Batu Puteh

Batu Puteh is all about getting back to nature! Our jungle camp is set in the heart of one of Borneo’s most ancient forests along the banks of the Kinabatangan river where you’ll get the chance to live alongside elephants and orangutans for an experience that’s hard to beat.

Our camp offers three types of accommodation and you’ll hopefully get a chance to try them all:

Jungle camp: Get back to basics and experience true adventure. Learn how to rough it in the jungle with local guides accompanying you and showing you the ropes. Sleep in a hammock and cook over a camp fire before falling asleep to the soothing sounds of the forest.

Eco camp: A little more luxury but still an exciting wilderness experience. This camp offers raised camping platforms where you can enjoy camping in the great outdoors.

  • Location: 350 km (6 hours drive) from Kota Kinabalu Airport & 60 km from Lahad Datu
  • Accommodation style Jungle Camp: Hammock, tarpaulin & mosquito net. No toilet or washing facilities – completely back to nature!
  • Accommodation style Eco Camp: Tents with comfy mattresses & bedding. Flushing toilets, cold showers & sinks
  • Power: Gas lighting available in eco camp
  • Signature dish: Local cakes – Linggang & Gelang

The highlight of my trip to Borneo was engaging in meaningful project work and experiencing the village culture. Getting to know not only the members of my team but all the helpers and village people as well.

Natalya, Camp Borneo 2019

Our local camp legends

Our camps are staffed by members of the community who will make you feel like a local in no time. These legends will make your expedition spectacular and will show you the very best of their home country.

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As a Camps traveller, you’ll get to learn about our rich Bornean culture and experience its spectacular beauty – from mountains to coasts and jungles full of flora and fauna. Many people in rural villages in Sabah don’t have the opportunity to travel to other countries, so having travellers come to stay at camp is an amazing opportunity for cultural exchange (both ways!) and inspires the younger generations to study hard and see the world.

Interested in this expedition?

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