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Whitehead's Broadbill © Endemic Guides

Malaysian Borneo

Rainforest Endemics of Sabah

A 12-day, small group birding tour of Sabah, the northeast corner of the rainforest-cloaked island of Borneo, in search of endemic birds, an array of tropical Asian species, and spectacular selection of large mammals.

Borneo, the world’s third largest island, is shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Our tour takes us to the Malaysian state of Sabah in the northeast corner of this rainforest-cloaked island, in search of most of the island’s 50+ endemic birds among a rich diversity of more widespread tropical Asian species, accompanied throughout by a selection of endemic and iconic Asian large mammals. We make our way up into the Crocker Mountain Range and into the montane forests of Mount Kinabalu before descending into the lush riverine forest and mangroves that flank the Kinabatangan River, and finally to two superb areas of lowland rainforest at Sepilok and the famed Danum Valley. Among others, we’ll look for Bornean Bristlehead, Whitehead’s Broadbill, Whitehead’s, Red-naped, Scarlet-rumped and Diard’s Trogons, Bornean Stubtail, Bornean and Mountain Wren-babblers, Everett’s Thrush, Blue-headed and Black-crowned Pittas, Wrinkled and Helmeted Hornbills, Great Argus, Crested Fireback, Storm’s Stork, Bat Hawk Sunda and Gould’s Frogmouths, Barred Eagle-Owl, plus Bornean Orangutan, Proboscis Monkey and Bornean Pygmy Elephant. 

Tuesday 5 December - Saturday 16 December 2023 (Blue Whale post-tour extension to Monday 18 December)

with Dulan Vidanapathiranga

Sunday 21 January - Thursday 1 February 2024 (Blue Whale post-tour extension to Saturday 3 February)

with Dulan Vidanapathiranga

Monday 2 December - Friday 13 December 2024 (Blue Whale post-tour extension to Sunday 15 December)

with Dulan Vidanapathiranga

2024: $ tba / £ / € (Kota Kinabalu/Lahad Datu)

Duration: 11 nights/12 days

Group size: min. 6 / max. 8 with 1 leader

Single room supplement: $ tba / £ / €

Deposit: $ tba / £ / € (20% of the tour price)


The tour is priced in US Dollars ($). Amounts shown in other currencies are indicative.

The tour price includes:

  • Accommodation

  • All meals and drinking water

  • Ground transportation

  • Services of a guide throughout

  • All birding and wildlife activities

  • Reserve entry fees

  • Tour info, pre-travel notes and checklists

Estimated flight costs: $ tba / £ / € (to Kota Kinabalu/from Lahad Datu)

Estimated visa costs: $ tba / £ / €

*Estimated visa costs shown here are for a 30-day e-visa (ETA) for Sri Lanka.

More information on what's included

Read about our small group surcharges

tba 2021

with tba

tba 2022

with tba

Duration: 12 days

Maximum group size: 8 with 1 leader

2021: £ tba (Kota Kinabalu/Lahad Datu)

2022: £ tba* (Kota Kinabalu/Lahad Datu)

Single room supplement 2021: £ tba

Single room supplement 2022: £ tba*

Deposit: £ 500

Estimated flight costs: £ 700

Estimated visa costs: £ 0

Custom tours

Best time: March to November

2021: from £ tba per person

2022: from £ tba per person*

[prices are per person based on 2 people travelling together; costs for other group sizes  on request]

Information on what's included

read about our small group surcharges

*2022 costs provisional

Tour grading: Easy to moderate. 

Most birding will be on foot along quiet, paved roads or well-marked trails that can be moderately steep in places at Mount Kinabalu and muddy after rainfall; the tour is intensive in terms of time spent in the field, often in hot, humid conditions, with some night activities.

Accommodation: Comfortable good to medium standard hotels and wildlife lodges throughout, all with private facilities. 

Birds: 250+

Mammals: 20-30


Photography: Good to excellent

Key species: Bornean Bristlehead, Blue-headed, Blue-banded, Bornean Banded and Black-crowned Pittas, Bornean Stubtail, Whitehead’s, Hose’s, Dusky, Banded and Green Broadbills, Whitehead’s, Diard’s Red-naped and Scarlet-rumped Trogons, Black-throated, Mountain and Bornean Wren-Babblers, Bare-headed and Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrushes, Fruithunter, Bornean, Mountain and Golden-naped Barbets, Bornean Leafbird, Blue-naped Parrot, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Bornean and Pale-faced Bulbuls, Chestnut-crested Yuhina, Bornean Ground-Cuckoo, Friendly Bush Warbler, Everett’s Thrush, Bornean Whistling-Thrush, Bornean Treepie, Bornean Green-Magpie, Bornean Black Magpie, White-crowned Shama, Eyebrowed Jungle-Flycatcher, Bornean Blue Flycatcher, Indigo and Snowy-browed Flycatchers, Bornean Whistler, Pygmy White-eye, Black-sided and Yellow-rumped Flowerpeckers, Whitehead’s and Bornean Spiderhunters, Mountain Black-eye, Dusky Munia, Bornean Forktail, Red-breasted, Crimson-headed and Chestnut-necklaced Partridges, Great Argus, Crested Fireback, Black, White-crowned, Bushy-crested, Wrinkled, Rhinoceros and Helmeted Hornbills, Banded Kingfisher, Storm’s Stork, Bornean Swiftlet, White-fronted Falconet, Mountain Serpent-Eagle, Wallace’s and Blyth’s Hawk-Eagles, Bat Hawk, Gould’s, Sunda and Large Frogmouths, Oriental Bay-Owl, Sunda and Reddish Scops Owls, Barred Eagle Owl, Bornean Orangutan, Müller’s Bornean Gibbon, Proboscis Monkey, Bornean Tarsier, Bornean Slow Loris, Bornean Pygmy Elephant.

more tropical bird tours...

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Sri Lanka

Endemic Birds and Mammals

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India - south

Endemics of the Western Ghats

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