7D6N Sabah Adventure
The ultimate adventure & nature lovers trip! Start by stretching your legs in Kinabalu Park before making your ascent to the summit of Mount Kinabalu (weather permitting!). After your climb, relax in the warm waters of Poring Hot Springs before continuing East to Sepilok where you will visit the orangutan & sunbear sanctuaries. Finish your adventure with 2 nights at the wildlife rich Kinabatangan River in search of proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, orang-utans and more.
This tour departs from Kota Kinabalu each Thursday & Sunday with a maximum of 8 people per tour (private tours available upon request). If you would like to fly in 1 or 2 days earlier to spend some extra time around Kota Kinabalu or extend your stay to include nights in Danum Valley or a trip to Turtle Island then just let us know and we can help arrange airport transfers, accommodation and itinerary add-ons for you.
B = Breakfast
L = Lunch
D = Dinner
Day 1: Depart Kota Kinabalu city or airport early afternoon to Kinabalu Park (D)
Day 2: Hike up to Laban Rata (B, L, D)
Day 3: Mount Kinabalu summit attempt, descent and transfer to Poring hot springs (B, L, D
Day 4: Visit Poring hot springs, transfer to Sepilok overland (B)
Day 5: Vist Sepilok, transfer to Kinabatangan river (B, L, D)
Day 6: Full day at Kinabatangan river (B, L, D)
Day 7: Transfer to Sandakan city or airport after morning river cruise (for flights departing 1.30pm or later) (B)
DAY 1: KOTA KINABALU - KINABALU PARK
The adventure will normally begin with a pick-up between 12 - 1pm in Kota Kinabalu (depending on accommodation and other guests) and proceed to Kinabalu Park traversing the Crocker Range. We recommend you have lunch before pick up as it can take 2 - 2.5 hours to reach Kinabalu Park. Upon arrival at Kinabalu Park (1,520m), we will register you for the climb the following day; you are then free to spend the late afternoon exploring Kinabalu park at your own leisure (unguided) before having dinner at Balsam Cafe and getting an early night before your climb. (D)
DAY 2: KINABALU PARK HQ - LABAN RATA RESTHOUSE
Wake-up for a buffet breakfast at Balsam Café, meet your mountain guide and our driver around 8:30am, collect your packed lunch for the day and wait for your transfer to Timpohon Gate (1,829m). From here you will begin your climb to Laban Rata (3,353 m), your accommodation for the evening. Along the route to your accommodation you will pass through four different elevation zones with notable vegetation and mammals. Keep your eye out for the famous pitcher-plants or the cheeky Kinabalu Mountain shrews, endemic to Mount Kinabalu. The average time to get to Laban Rata (Panar Laban) will take about 5 hours, this may vary depending on stops and your fitness level. Upon arrival you will check into your accommodation for the evening and rest before your buffet dinner where you can enjoy the sunset from above the clouds. Once finished, head to bed for an early night’s sleep after a long day of climbing. (B, L, D)
DAY 3: LABAN RATA - MOUNT KINABALU SUMMIT - PORING HOT SPRINGS
Depending on the time your guide has told you, wake-up around 2:00 am to have a quick supper at Laban Rata before continuing the climb to the summit of Mount Kinabalu (4095m). Your head torch will guide you through the dark as you make your way before sunrise. Reach Low’s Peak around the time the sun begins to make an appearance (weather dependent). Congratulations! You’ve successfully reached the highest point between the Himalayas and New Guinea, also the most prominent peak in S.E. Asia. With your guide, begin your descent back to Laban Rata as you enjoy the views of the Crocker Range plateaus, valleys and nearby villages. Upon arrival to Laban rata, enjoy a well-deserved breakfast before checking out and meeting with your guide to begin the descent back to Timpohon gate to meet your River Junkie driver. Bid farewell to your mountain guide and have lunch at Balsam Café while waiting for the transfer from Park Headquarters to Poring Hotsprings, transfers are available at 2.30pm & 6pm. Upon arrival, you can check into your accommodation, depending on the time, enjoy a soak in the hot and cold Japanese tub style baths (open until 5pm, RM10 per tub). Enjoy dinner at Rainforest Restaurant before heading for a well-deserved rest. (Early Supper, B, L, D)
Day 4: poring hot springs - sepilok
This morning you can wake up in your own time, enjoy breakfast in the Rainforest restaurant and then explore Poring hot springs at your own leisure (unguided) until 12.30pm. Our West to East shuttle will meet you at reception at 12.30pm for onward transfer to Sepilok, stopping off at Sabah Tea Plantation along the way for lunch (own expense). On arrival settle into your accommodation and have dinner at the in-house restaurant or take a stroll down the road to explore other options (dinner at own expense) (B)
day 5: sepilok - kinabatangan river
Pick up from your hotel in Sepilok at 8.45am. Your guide will first take you to the orangutan sanctuary to watch the younger, playful orangutans in the nursery before catching the 10am feeding. Around 11am, head over to the sunbear sanctuary to watch the sunbears (the world’s smallest species of bear!) from raised walkways. After a lunch stop at a local restaurant, start your journey to the Kinabatangan river around 1pm, After check-in, welcome drinks and an orientation to the lodge you’ll join your first boat cruise in search of wildlife and bird-like along the banks of the Kinabatangan River into your river. Return to the lodge for dinner and then choose to either relax at the lodge or join the night walk in search of nocturnal animals. (B, L, D)
day 6: kinabatangan river
As day dawns, join the early morning boat cruise in search of pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, hornbills, orangutans and more before returning to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast join a trek along the river banks looking for wildlife before returning to the lodge for lunch and the chance to relax surrounded by nature. Once the afternoon sun cools down, join the cruise boat for more wildlife spotting opportunities. After a buffet dinner there will be another chance for a night walk looking for tarsiers, frogs, insects, flying squirrels and other nocturnal wildlife. (B, L, D)
day 7: kinabatangan river - sandakan
Wake up to the sounds of hornbills & gibbons and take your last chance to join our boat for a final wildlife spotting dawn river cruise or enjoy a well deserved lie-in before breakfast. After breakfast, depart from the lodge at 8.30am back to Sandakan city or airport, estimated arrival time 11am. (B)
If you would like a transfer to Lahad Datu, Semporna or to add on 2 nights in Danum Valley after this tour please just let us know.
Pricing & trip info
7D6N Mount Kinabalu, Sepilok & Kinabatangan river (departs Thursday & Sunday)
Dormitory: RM4050 per person
Twin share private room*: From RM4370 per person
Single private room*: From RM4790 per person
* Accommodation at Laban Rata (night 2) is dormitory basis only, private room upgrades are additional RM275 per person (twin share only)
Pricing valid for join-in trips starting before 31st March 2023, please enquire for private tour rates.
All room types subject to availability, in case of partial availability for a certain room type we will inform you at the time of booking and provide relevant pricing.
Notes for solo travellers:
Twin share is only available for 2 pax bookings, solo travellers please choose dorm or single occupancy
Tours depart with a minimum of 2 people - solo travellers please enquire for available tours and/or alternatives
Who is this trip suitable for? Climbing Mount Kinabalu requires a good level of fitness as you will be climbing up to an altitude of 4095m. The Kinabatangan river portion involves some moderate exercise (walking on flat ground) but it suitable for all levels of fitness.
Families with children: children below 16 are welcome to join the climb if they are mentally and physically ready, an additional Mount Kinabalu guide may be required depending on your group size and children's ages and additional guide fees may apply.
What to bring?
Mount Kinabalu: Please refer to packing list here
Kinabatangan river: Binoculars, insect repellent, sunscreen, long sleeve shirts & long pants, raincoat, sun hat, swimwear, comfortable trekking shoes, torch light, water bottle, personal toiletries and leech socks.
Group size: 2 to 8 people
Medical advice Please consult your physician for up to date advice on vaccinations & anti-malarials and any pre-existing medical conditions that may affect your ability to join the trip.
Accommodation may vary according to availability, photos provided are examples of the types of accommodation used.
At River Junkie, we like to keep our pricing as fair, honest and transparent as possible. If you find the exact trip that we are offering for a lower price, we will either match it or beat it - this is our guarantee in providing you with honest pricing.
*Our price guarantee is for published rates only and not applicable to flash deals or last-minute promotions