Travel type

Expedition grade


$ (AUD)




Our mission is to discover the natural wonders of Malaysian Borneo along Sabah's east coast as you explore Malaysia's second-longest river, the mighty Kinabatangan Floodplain in search of Bornean orangutans, Bornean elephants and Proboscis monkeys, witness a bat exodus at a unique limestone formed cave and traverse throughout Danum Valley, a treasury of biological diversity amid a canopy of the tallest tropical trees in the world searching for the iconic tropical wildlife that calls this majestic part of the world home.

Your special host on this trip is the Founder of The Orangutan Project (TOP), and International Elephant Project, Leif Cocks. Leif is a world-renowned primatologist and has worked with orangutans and elephants for more than 30 years. Throughout the trip, he will share his unique knowledge of animal behaviours and will explain how the Projects are working to secure the survival of Critically Endangered orangutans and elephants in their natural habitat. 

Discover the natural wonders of Malaysian Borneo along Sabah's east coast as you explore Malaysia' s second-longest river, the mighty Kinabatangan Floodplain in search of Bornean elephants and monkeys, and traverse throughout Danum Valley, a treasury of biological diversity amid a canopy of the tallest tropical trees in the world searching for the iconic tropical wildlife that calls this majestic part of the world home.

You will commence your tour from Sandakan along the east coast of Sabah and travel straight to your nature resort to experience an introduction to the tropical rainforest of Borneo. The Rainforest Discovery Centre provides comfortable wildlife viewing opportunities along the treetop canopy walkway and trails surrounding the education centre.

From here we travel to the riverine forests of the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary where you will experience exploring the mangroves to keep an eye out for species who have adapted to this incredible landscape such as proboscis monkeys, silvered langurs and crocodiles etc. Short jungle treks will connect you with villages where you can experience local culture and purchase arts and crafts. From here, we travel south stopping along the way at Gomantong Cave to experience the bat exodus and hopefully encounter orangutans nearby the boardwalks.

Continuing your journey onto the Danum Valley Conservation Area where you will explore the largest protected area of tropical lowland rainforest in Borneo where all the megafauna on the island resides. Staying at a world-renowned research station, Danum Valley Field Centre, you will explore the extensive network of trails throughout the research plots in search of orangutans, red langurs, gibbons, Borneo pygmy elephants, cats, reptiles, civet and a plethora of bird species and not to mention the peculiar encounters during night walks! Following departure, you will travel north back to Sandakan for onward travels.

Leif Talks Tours
Hi, I have now completed many Leif Cocks Odysseys Eco-tours. On each one, we all had a great time, learnt all about the orangutan's habitat, made new friends and most importantly raised awareness & much-needed funds to help save this critically endangered species. In the complex world of conservation and animal behaviour, it is difficult to fully grasp the realities of what we see on just a short tour. That is why I feel that the members on this tour, being able to discuss the deeper insights into conservation and behaviour, may have enjoyed the trip so much more. The more you know about something the more interesting it gets! With any holiday a lot of time is wasted getting from one place to the other, however, time can fly when you have the opportunity to discuss what you have just seen and what you are about to see in a holistic and in-depth context. It would be great to have you on board!

Leif says "Want an enjoyable holiday, but want it to be something more? Why not, see what is really going on, connect with the most intelligent fellow beings on the planet, meet the people working at the coal face and become part of the solution"

Our goal is to provide our guests with a unique experience, to observe wild tropical biodiversity in their natural habitat. We will provide you with a safe platform to observe many endemic, rare and unique species of wildlife in Borneo. We will also provide you with comprehensive information about the destination you are in so that you are fully informed of your surroundings prior to, during and following your expedition. 

The purpose of this trip is to create awareness of the threat of extinction facing orangutans due to the destruction of their rainforest habitat and to raise funds to help orangutans. The trip host, Leif is generously donating their time and expertise to help make this a unique trip and a special experience for all our guests. Orangutan Odysseys has raised over AUD$1,000,000 since 2009 to help support the orangutans survival. Each participant of the trip will adopt an orangutan (included in trip fare) and agree to raise a minimum of AUD$1,000 in donations. Your participation in this event WILL make a difference.

Furthermore, Orangutan Odysseys have partnered up with The Orangutan Project which supports conservation programs in Borneo - so by travelling with us you are directly supporting their orangutan conservation efforts and environmental programs. And finally by supporting ethical and eco-tourism you are helping support the locals and the environment. 

ITINERARY - 10 days

11th to 20th February 2025
*Subject to change without notice due to local conditions

Day 1 - 11 Feb: Arrive Sandakan Arrive at Sandakan airport (in Sabah Malaysian Borneo) and be transferred to a local hotel (TBC). This evening over dinner we shall meet for a tour briefing. (No meals)

Day 2 - 12 Feb: Sandakan Tour - Sepilok
Today we will spend some time looking around town including a visit to the Sandakan war memorial, Agnes Keith house and the English tea house for lunch. After lunch we shall move to our accommodation go for an afternoon walk at Rainforest Discovery centre before returning to Sandakan in the evening. Join your guide for an evening meal on the Sandakan waterfront. Meals B,L,D. 

Day 3 - 13 Feb: Sepilok to Kinabatangan River
A leisurely morning before your 9.30 am pick up and transfer to Hornbill Lodge (Kinabatangan River) for lunch. Afternoon river cruise (share-in basis), dinner at the lodge and optional night cruise (additional charge to be paid directly to the lodge). Meals: B,L,D.

Day 4 - 14 Feb: Kinabatangan River
Early morning river cruise to Kelenanap Ox-bow lake and then short jungle walk (weather permitting) back to the lodge for breakfast. Free for the day to visit the nearby village or explore some of the boardwalk areas near the lodge. At 4 pm embark on another river cruise. Dinner at the lodge and optional night cruise. Overnight at Hornbill Lodge Meals: B,L,D.

Day 5 - 15 Feb: Visit HUTAN (NGO) 
Today we shall visit with the HUTAN who are the local NGO group looking after orangutans and the rainforests. They are supported by TOP and we shall see and learn about their wonderful work. Afternoon return to for overnight at the Hornbill Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 6 - 16 Feb: Kinabatangan River - Danum Valley
After breakfast, check out from our Lodge and transfer to Danum Valley, stopping in Lahad Datu along the way for an early lunch. Arrive at Danum Valley Field Centre (DVFC), your accommodation just outside the Danum Valley Conservation Area, around 2 pm. Check-in and freshen up before continuing on to the Danum Valley Field Centre for your first trek. Return to DVFC for dinner and then on a night drive. Meals:B,L,D.

Day 7 - 17 Feb: Danum Valley
Wake up early for an early morning nature walk nearby DVFC to see the forest come to life. Return to the centre for breakfast and then head back to the field centre to embark on a trail in the area before returning for lunch. After lunch, take a dip at the Ulu Segama River before heading off for another trek. There are various types of trails and your guide can discuss this with you. Return to DVFC in the late afternoon, in time to watch the sky change colour as the sunsets. After dinner, go on an included night walk with your guide. Meals: B,L,D.

Day 8 - 18 Feb: Danum Valley
Early morning 4x4 drive to Bukit Atur for a breathtaking sunrise experience atop a canopy of lowland tropical rainforest. Back for breakfast and then spend another full day with your guide exploring the forest with more chances to spot wildlife by some short walks or possibly embarking on one of the longer trails our guide will have to determine your fitness level before taking you on a long hike. Meals: B,L,D.

Day 9 - 19 Feb: Danum Valley - Kota Kinabulu
Wake up early for an early walk and more wildlife sighting possibilities. Return to the dining hall for breakfast, and spend the rest of your morning at leisure until check out time at 11:00 am. Arrive around 1 pm - 1.30 pm at Lahad Datu for our flight. While waiting for the flight your driver and/or guide can bring you somewhere for lunch in Lahad Datu. Later we touch down in Kota Kinabalu and be met by your driver and transfer to Jesselton Hotel. Meals: B.

Day 10 - 20 Feb: Kota Kinabulu.Tour ends
This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast then continue your travels or begin your journey home. Meals (B). All arrangements from KK to be made by the guest. Tour ends

Tour Extensions: We can offer some wonderful and exciting tour extension options to places like Kota Kinabalu, Kinabalu National Park and Mulu Caves and more. If you're interested in extending your stay please contact our office for more details.