The Heart of Sarawak

- A Secret Retreats journey -
6 Nights / 7 Days
from 2,000 USD /person



This journey has been personally designed by Lionel,
the author of this journey, who has made Borneo his home since 2005.

All our itineraries have generally been constructed on the basis of the rooms that have the most charm or best view, and not necessarily the first prices, nor the most expensive suites.
We can of course adjust according to your request.

Highlights of the Journey:

Highlights of the Journey:

  • Experience the ancient and unchanged lifestyle of the Iban and Dayak tribes and visit their longhouses.
  • Meet the ‘old man of the woods’ and see the orangutans in their natural environment.
  • Visit and learn about the work of the Semenggoh Orangutan Rehabilitation Center.
  • Cruise the Santubong river spotting for the rare proboscis monkey.
  • Trek the forest paths of the Bako National Park and see the rich variety of wildlife within this preserved forest environment.

Experience the richness and diversity of life in Borneo. This journey will take you on Borneo’s waterways and forest pathways to witness ‘the old man of the woods’ in their natural environment and to see the work of the foundation working to protect and conserve the orangutans and their habitat. You will enjoy the beauty of Borneo’s wildlife and unspoilt natural environments and meet with the local peoples who call Borneo’s forests, home. A visit to a longhouse to meet the forest people is a must for any Borneo journey and this journey will take you to two, one the home of the Dayak people and the other the home of the Iban. The regions and rainforest you will be visiting are renowned locally for their breath-taking natural environment, stunning scenery, clean rivers and jungle streams, and refreshing waterfalls. While visiting this pristine environment you will have the opportunity to enjoy a range of outdoor activities.


Contact the concierge on

Your Journey Day by Day

6 Nights / 7 Days from 2,000 USD /person


Day 1 : Kuching Airport – Santubong Wildlife Cruise (-/D)
We will meet you from your flight and transfer you to the Ranee Boutique Suites, your hotel for the next 2 nights, to check-in (check-in time is 2pm). Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure wandering old Kuching until 4pm-4.30pm when we will pick you up for the Santubong wildlife cruise. A 30minute drive will take us to the Sarawak Boat Club jetty on the Santubong river where you will embark on a wildlife river cruise. As the light starts to fade we will search for the rare proboscis monkey and when dusk arrives we will search for crocodiles. Light refreshment is provided mid-way during the cruise. On the way back we will have our dinner in a local seafood restaurant.
Overnight at the Ranee Boutique Suites.
HOTEL: The Ranee Boutique Suites (Deluxe Room)
Day 2 : Kuching to the rainforest (B / L /D)
After an early breakfast, your day starts at 8am when we will pick you up for the 30minute drive and 20minute trek to the Semenggoh Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. The team here are doing admirable work to conserve orangutans and their environment and this is the best place in Sarawak to view semi-wild orangutans, many of which have been rescued from captivity and have to be trained to survive in the surrounding forest reserve. The rehabilitated animals roam freely in the rain forest and often return to the centre, especially at feeding time. Thanks to the successful breeding programme at Semengoh, there is a good possibility of you experiencing one of the most heart-warming sights in Borneo - an orangutan mother with her young baby.
Along the way we will visit the ethno-botanical gardens with their unique collection of rain-forest plants. After viewing the gardens we will head to the Anah Rais Bidayuh Longhouse. This longhouse is part of a Bidayuh (Land Dayak) village. The focal point of the village is the large and well-preserved traditional longhouse which is home to dozens of families. You will be given a guided tour where you will learn about the unique use of bamboo within the longhouse and also the traditional farming lifestyle of the Bidayuh people.
Then an amazing rainforest kayaking adventure in some of the most beautiful natural settings in Kuching! A leisurely paddle from the upper reaches of Sungai Sarawak. Savour the sights surrounding you of unique limestone formations and towering riverine trees while enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the rainforest. You will discover the fascinating carnivorous pitcher plant, Nepenthes, in its natural habitat and get to know some local herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits in a native Bidayuh village along the way. After a packed lunch on the banks of the river, enjoy a cool dip perhaps. The day’s journey ends at Kampong in the Borneo Highlands from where you will return to your hotel the Ranee Boutique Suites. We will pick you up at your hotel at 8pm for dinner at Jambu restaurant Kuching. Overnight at the Ranee Boutique Suites.
HOTEL: The Ranee Boutique Suites (Deluxe Room)
Day 3 : Kuching – Nanga Sumpa (B / L /D)
We will collect you from the Ranee Boutique Suites at 8am and after checking out we will leave Kuching to head to the Batang Ai lake. Along the way we will stop at the Lachau Bazaar and enjoy a leisurely stroll around the stalls and the nearby native market before taking an early lunch in a local coffee shop. After lunch we will continue our journey arriving at Batang Ai lake around 1.30 - 2.00pm where we will board a longboat and travel upriver to your next hotel, the Nanga Sumpa Lodge, arriving at approximately 3.30pm - the exact time will depend on river conditions. Overnight at the Nanga Sumpa Lodge.
HOTEL: Nanga Sumpa Lodge (Forest Wing)
Day 4 : Nanga Sumpa (B / L /D)
After breakfast, we head out into the rainforest. A gentle hike to start the day along jungle trails on the river bank to meet our longboat which will take us upriver to the Enseluai waterfall. Along the way (if conditions allow) the boatman may stop to demonstrate fishing, Iban-style, using a ‘jala’ or throw net. We will also visit the Jambu longhouse, located approximately 30 minutes upriver from Nanga Sumpa Lodge. Jambu is a relatively small community with just 8 families, it is the most isolated community on the Delok River. After visiting Jambu our journey upriver to the waterfall continues. On arrival at the waterfall you will have time to relax, swim and enjoy the rainforest surroundings. Your Iban hosts will prepare a riverside BBQ lunch and then mid afternoon we will return downriver to the lodge. This evening’s dinner is a menu of local delicacies served at the lodge. Overnight at the Nanga Sumpa Lodge.
HOTEL: Nanga Sumpa Lodge
Day 5 : Nanga Sumpa – Santubong (B /L /D)
A leisurely start to today, with breakfast at the lodge followed by free time to relax, swim in the river or wander Nanga Sumpa. At around 11am we will take an early lunch before checking out and starting our journey downriver to the Batang Ai lake jetty arriving at approximately 1.30pm before continuing on overland to Santubong, Kuching. We will arrive at Santubong at about 6.30pm and head to your hotel for the night, Cove 55, to check-in. Weather conditions and the water level of local rivers may force us to modify the tour in the interests of safety. The itinerary above is for guideline only.
HOTEL: Cove 55 (Balcony Room)
Day 6 : Santubong – Bako National Park (B /L /-)
Today you will visit the Bako National Park, home to a diverse and rich variety of wildlife - flora and fauna. We will meet you at Cove 55 between 8.30am-9am from where we will take the 40minute drive to Bako Village. Once at the village we will take a boat ride to the park which is situated on a peninsula. The boat journey will take around 25minutes, the exact journey time depending on the tides. Bako is one of the best places in Sarawak to see wildlife in a natural setting. The rich variety of animals that are commonly spotted at Bako include the proboscis monkeys, silver leaf monkeys, long-tailed macaques, wild boar, monitor lizards and numerous species of birds. The forest types within the park range from mangrove to kerangas (heath forest), tropical swamp vegetation, cliff vegetation and beach vegetation. There are several trails to follow inside the park, the choice of which is best to follow depends on your level of fitness. The park’s coastline is also dotted with small bays, coves and beaches, it is a rich and diverse environment, a jewel in the crown of Borneo’s national parks.
Around mid-afternoon we will return to Santubong and Cove 55. This evening dinner is at your leisure with no fixed dinner arrangement. Recommendations for dinner will be available.
HOTEL: Cove 55 (Balcony Room)
Day 7 : Santubong - Airport (B /-)
Breakfast at Cove 55 and free time to relax before checking out and heading to the airport for your onward journey. We will transfer you to Kuching Airport to catch your flight.

End of program.

Your Accommodation on this Asia Travel Itinerary

The Heart of Sarawak

6 Nights / 7 Days
from 2,000 USD /person


The total price includes:
Accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis in the hotels as detailed in the itinerary.
All meals (lunch and dinner) when mentioned in the program.
All transportation by air-conditioned car or by boat as indicated in the program.
Entrance fees to all sites as mentioned in the program.
Local English-speaking guide for all visits mentioned in the program.

The total price does not include:
Visa fees (please ensure your passport is valid for 6 months beyond your departure date).
Other meals that are not included in the program.
Drinks, personal expenses, tips and gratuities.
Options and other activities not detailed in the program.

Recommended to Pack!
Comfortable light clothing for hiking and walking.
A headtorch.
Water bottle.
Oral hydration salt and personal medications.
Comfortable walking shoes including strap-on sandals.
A drybag (for camera storage etc).
A rain-jacket or poncho.
Your favorite trekking snacks (energy bars, nuts etc).
Sunscreen and insect/mosquito repellent.
Sunhat and sunglasses.
A light backpack for day use.
We provide leech socks.

This Secret Journey was designed in cooperation with Lionel and Sticky Rice Travel (License 1017824-D)


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