Selingan, the largest of the islands, houses the park's headquarters, a turtle hatchery, tourist accommodation and basic facilities. The other two islands are more for conservation activities.
As turtle landings usually occur after dusk, an overnight stay would be the best plan to see the turtles as they come ashore to lay their eggs, but shining a light on them or using camera flashes should be avoided as either can be stressful on the creatures.
Turtles lay their eggs throughout the year, but the best time to head there is between July and October when the sea is calmer. Observe the collection of eggs, tagging of mother turtles and releasing of baby turtles into the sea.
Kinabatangan River sustains one of the world's richest ecosystems. Other than being home to Borneo's indigenous orang utan and proboscis monkey, the surrounding forest is also one of only two known places in the world where 10 species of primates are found. All the eight species of hornbill found in Borneo make the area their home.
A trip up the river at dawn or dusk is the best opportunity to see the wildlife. You might even sight an Asian elephant wandering through the trees. Optional tours can be arranged for night safaris as well to spot crocodiles, birds and nocturnal animals.
Departure: Daily – Morning
DAY 1 - Early morning, transfer to airport to board a plane for Sandakan (via MH2042 ETD0700hrs). Meet and greet at the airport and transfer to jetty. At 9:30 AM, boat departs to Turtle Island. It takes about an hour to reach Selingan Island which lies 40km north of Sandakan in the Sulu Sea off Sabah's east coast. Selingan Island is the main nesting area for the green turtles. A day of relaxation for you to swim or snorkel at the island. After dinner, prepare to wait for the Park Ranger to inform us of the sighting of a turtle laying eggs. Learn about the conservation of these turtles; witness the collecting of eggs from the nesting site, planting them in the hatchery and see baby turtles scrambling to the open sea upon released on the shore. Overnight stay at the island chalet, room with attached bathroom.
Meals Included: Lunch & Dinner
NOTE FROM SABAH PARKS:
DAY 2 – 6:30 AM check out, have breakfast and embark for another boat ride back to the mainland Sandakan. Proceed to drive for about half an hour to Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre where orphaned and injured Orang-Utan brought to Sepilok to be rehabilitated to return and fend for themselves back to the wild. Sepilok is a primary lowland forest; a fine showcase of Borneo’s remaining rainforest. Witness the feeding of Orang-Utan from a platform in the forest and later watch the 25 minutes scheduled video documentary show. Drive for about 2.5hrs drive through rustic countryside studded with villages. Take a short boat transfer to Borneo Nature Lodge. Time for orientation, have lunch and check in. Relax by the river before embarking by boat up-river at 4:00 PM along Sabah's longest river, Kinabatangan with opportunity to view wildlife and birds in its virgin rainforest habitat. Search for some of the primates species including the endemic Proboscis Monkeys as they settle down on treetops. Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is on the best places in Southeast Asia to observe wildlife. Overnight at Borneo Nature Lodge.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
DAY 3 - Wake up to the calls of birds, insects and animals. At 6:00 AM take a morning cruise up to The Kinabatangan River and onto Kelenanap Ox-Bow Lake for bird watching and in search of other wildlife. Take a short jungle walk (if weather permits) and experience the wilderness of Borneo before returning to the lodge for breakfast. . Free at leisure to explore the surrounding areas or nearby village. In the late afternoon at 4:00 PM, boat cruise along the river to see many species of flora and fauna of the rainforest and overnight stay at Borneo Nature Lodge.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Note: Optional tours e.g. Night Cruise, Night Walk & Tree Planting can be arranged at the lodge with minimal rates depends on the weather condition (Optional night activity starts at 8:00 PM)
DAY 4 - Depart early morning and visit the Gomantong Cave, famed for its edible birds' nests. Take about 15 minutes’ boardwalk to the opening of Simud Hitam cavern and explore the cave system on boardwalk. Return to Sandakan, stop for lunch at local restaurant.
At 2:00 PM after lunch proceed for a city tour and explore the various landmarks of Sandakan which may include Central Market, the most amazing variety of fresh seafood and agricultural products, Sim-Sim Water Village where houses are all built close to the water surface while observing the fascinating view of the sea, visit Puh Jih Syh Buddhist Temple which offers a panoramic view of Sandakan Bay situated on the hilltop of Tanah Merah. After tour, transfer to airport for your evening flight (MH3094 ETD1810hrs) back to Kota Kinabalu.
Meal Included: Breakfast & Lunch
Package Includes: English speaking guide, land/boat transfers based on joining basis, entrance fees, accommodation and meals as stated
Package Excludes: Camera/video camera fees, airfares, insurance and fees, accommodation and meals as stated, beverages (alcoholic/carbonate/juice)
Recommended Personal Gear:
Insect repellent, raincoat (umbrella not recommended), hat, binocular and sun screen (sweat proof). Wear good walking shoes and comfortable cotton T-shirt with long or short pants.
NOTES FROM SABAH PARKS:
Unique Tour Operator - Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia 2016
Best M.I.C.E. Agents 2015/16
Customer Favourite Awards 2015 Europcar Kota Kinabalu Airport
Best Local Tour Operator (Domestic) 2014/15
Best Inbound Tour Operator 2011/12