Explore two of Sabah’s hidden treasures, Orou Sapulot and Maliau Basin! In Sapulot, you will experience Murut hospitality, where people drink bottomless rice wine from huge ceramic jars and have endless chats about their headhunting ancestors. Challenge yourself to scaling the 800-foot limestone pinnacle known as Batu Punggul, explore mysterious caves, and sleep on stretcher hammocks in a jungle camp perched high on a riverbank. Enjoy traditional Murut food and navigate rivers that run through pristine rainforest in traditional longboats.
The second half of the trip will be in Maliau Basin, often referred to as “Sabah’s Lost World”. Situated in a remote Southern area of the state, Maliau Basin is almost completely encircled by insurmountable cliffs that have separated it from the rest of the world for centuries. Although some locals have known of the area, no archaeological record has been found establishing any permanent residency in this zone. A Maliau Basin expedition is for the truly geeky at heart when it comes to nature, and you also have to be prepared to walk five to eight hours daily with some extended, strenuous uphill sections throughout your time there.
• Maliau Basin
Dormitory and satellite camps with shared bathroom & shower. At the satellite camps, you will be sleeping on stretcher hammock style beds and dormitory (no private options).
• Pungiton Camp
Basic camp with stretched hammocks perched high up on the riverbank. Equipped with western toilet & showers, eating area, and sleeping area.
• Kabulungou Waterfall Cabin
Basic wooden hut with sleeping mats and blankets located right next to the waterfall. Equipped with western toilet and showers, eating area and sleeping area.
• Romol Modern Longhouse
Family home, equipped with western toilet and showers. Sleeping is in communal room with mattresses on the floor with full bedding.
• Maliau Basin
Buffet style; simple and basic meals
• Orou Sapulot
Delicious local food cooked by host family
*Vegetarians and special diets catered for
• Maliau Basin
Eating lounge (set time for meals, no additional order), electricity via generator 6pm-midnight.
• Orou Sapulot
Comfortable jungle and village accommodation.
*information available upon request
Pick-up at your Kota Kinabalu hotel at 8am and transfer to Keningau town (2 hours). Upon arrival at Keningau, switch to a 4×4 vehicle for your onward journey to Labang village in the interior for a short boat transfer to Pungiton Camp. Settle in and enjoy lunch at the camp. After lunch, embark on a short walk to discover the unexplored Tinahas Caves. Walk through a cave with an underground stream and wonder at the formation of stalactite and stalagmite. Continue trekking to explore more of the cave system if you want. Return to camp for a refreshing swim by the river. Enjoy dinner and watch the night sky from the eating area before falling asleep to the sounds of the jungle.
Early wake for breakfast. Check out of the camp and transfer to Tataluan village by 4×4 vehicle for your excursion to Batu Punggul, an 800 feet limestone pinnacle, rising out of the jungle. For the adventurous, scramble and climb up to the top (45 min – 1 hour) for a magnificent view of the jungle canopy below. Upon your descent, enjoy picnic lunch by the riverbank before continuing your journey by boat and 4×4 to the waterfall. Afternoon is spent exploring the waterfall area and swimming. Sleep by a hut overlooking the waterfall.
Spend first half of the day relaxing at the waterfall before transferring to the village for check-in, where you will sleep in a modern longhouse. The day is spent learning about their traditions and customs. The longhouse sits above a valley, overlooking the forest and surrounding areas. Evening is spent feasting on Murut food, wine and local dancing.
Early wake for breakfast and bid goodbye to your lovely host at 8am for your transfer out to Maliau Basin. Upon arrival, stretch your legs, register and enjoy lunch. Check-in and relax before embarking on an introductory walk surrounding the centre. Along the way, learn about the biodiversity of this amazing area and proceed on a longer walk if you wish. Return to centre before dark and enjoy dinner at 7pm. After dinner, go on 4×4 night drive to spot nocturnal wildlife.
Wake up early for breakfast at 7am and at 8am, depart for an hour drive to Agathis Camp on 4×4. From here, you will embark on your 9km journey to Ginseng Camp (average duration 5-6hours), stopping for lunch along the way. Expected arrival around 2-3pm, settle in and proceed to Ginseng Falls that is about 15 minutes walk away. Return to camp before dark and enjoy dinner at 7pm. Lights out at 8pm after a long day.
Wake up early for breakfast and at 8am, depart to Maliau Falls on a 4.8km hike per way (average duration 2-3hours). Spend the entire afternoon at Maliau Falls, the most famed and undispupted jewel of all the waterfalls in the Maliau Basin – swim, eat lunch and take in the beautiful surroundings. At about 2pm, return to Ginseng Camp on the same trail, arriving back before dark. Relax and enjoy dinner before lights out.
Early breakfast at 7am before hiking 9km (average duration 6hours) back to Agathis Camp, enjoying pack lunch along the way. Upon arrival at Agathis Camp at about 1-2pm, hop onto 4×4 for the 1 hour transfer back to the centre before switching vehicle for the remainder of the drive to Kota Kinabalu. Expected arrival in Kota Kinabalu is at about 8pm.
Transfer: Kota Kinabalu – Sapulot – Maliau Basin – Kota Kinabalu.
OROU Sapulot: Return land transfers from Kota Kinabalu, meals, accommodation, local guide, drinking water, coffee & tea, snacks, activities and all land and boat connection within Sapulot, community fee.
Maliau Basin: Accommodation in dorm at study center and stretcher hammocks at satellite camps, fullboard meals and snacks, coffee, tea & drinking water, entrance fees, return transfers from Kota Kinabalu, Sticky Rice Travel Nature guide, and Maliau Basin forest ranger with VHF radio.
OROU Sapulot: Tips and gratitude
Maliau Basin: Personal porter
OROU Sapulot: Head lamp, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, hat, your favorite trekking snacks, raincoat, sunglasses, binocular, leech socks, dry-bag, good walking/trekking shoes, personal toiletries including towel, personal medication, basic first aid kit, swimwear, and cash (no ATM).
Maliau Basin: Head lamp, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, hat, high-energy snacks, water purification tablets, sunglasses, binocular, dry bag, swimwear, walking shoes, money (no ATM), comfortable trekking pack, water bottle, toiletries including towel, sleep sheet if you like, sweater for overnight use at some of the satellite camps – Nepenthes Camp 1005metre / Ginseng Camp 566metre or sleeping bag, light and quick-dry clothing for hiking, basic first aid kit.
Daily based on a minimum booking of 2pax per departure.
Be aware that you will be in a reserve area and a sensitive environment. Consider your actions:
• Cut out plastic – remove and recycle plastic packaging before coming into the area
• Bring rechargeable batteries as disposable batteries leach toxic chemicals as they degrade in landfill, and recycling facilities are scarce in areas like the Malaysian Borneo
• Bring your own metal water bottle – you can fill up at the eating area instead of purchasing bottled water
• If you smoke, never throw your cigarette butts on the ground or in the forest – dispose of them in ashtrays or bins.
• During outdoor and nature activities, take your cues from the expert local guides. Follow their instructions when observing wildlife. Be aware that you may need to take extra care in these areas to respect the natural environment.