Expert guided birding tours

Kota Kinabalu / KK
2970 USD
(2295 GBP)

single room supplement
325 USD

Same itinerary as a
private guided trip;
5-6 people; cost as main tour
4 participants; 3100 USD pp
group of 3; 3370 USD pp
couple; 3800 USD pp

The cost includes
all accommodation
  1 internal flight
all ground transport
boat trips
all meals and snacks
guiding fees
entrance fees

The cost excludes
international flights

e-mail for bookings

Whitehead's Trogon
Whitehead's Trogon, Mt. Kinabalu

Join us on a tour and you'll get
Top-quality holidays
Friendly & experienced leaders
Excellent itineraries & trip logistics
Comfortable high quality accommodations
All inclusive competitive tour prices
Small groups - size limit=6
Finest birding in Asia

Kinabatangan Storm's Stork
Storm's Stork, Kinabatangan River

Birders in Borneo Rainforest
Forests on Borneo make birders look tiny.

Fruithunter at Rafflesia Center
The endemic Fruithunter, here a female,
is a prime birding target at the
Rafflesia Forest Reserve in
the Crocker Range NP.

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Canopy walkway in Danum Valley
Stijn on the canopy walkway at BRL

Bornean Orangutan
Bornean Orangutan mother & baby

Red-naped Trogon at Sepilok
Red-naped Trogon at the Rainforest
Discovery Center, Sepilok

Rufous Piculet at Gomantong
Rufous Piculet at Gomantong Caves

Red-bearded Bee-eater at Danum Valley
Red-bearded Bee-eater, Poring

Wrinkled Hornbill at Danum Valley
Wrinkled Hornbill, Kinabatangan

All photographs are opportunity
shots taken on previous trips by Stijn.

Photo gallery from Oct. 2016 trip.

Sabah, Borneo.
Mt. Kinabalu, Kinabatangan River, Sepilok, Poring, Rafflesia Forest Reserve, Gomantong

Tour leader; Stijn De Win

1 - 10 May 2017 (Custom tour 3 guests; report due to upload)Group size ; max. 6

18 - 27 June 2017 (Custom tour for a couple ; report due to upload)

August 2017 (Custom tour group of 5 ; full.)

11 - 21 June 2018 (Custom tour; confirmed with guaranteed departure. A few participants may join Gill, Michael, Ian and Walter, extra eyes and company welcome! Interested? Please email

Borneo Green Magpie
It could well be that only 2 kinds of birders exist…
Those that have been to Borneo and those who still need to go.
It’s a must. Essential.
We shall go. And you’re welcome…

The endemic White-fronted Falconet

  We are under the impression that, on this page, it may not be necessary to describe Borneo’s nature in superlatives. It simply is great and birders interested in a trip would probably know already. So you may well find yourself with those that still need to go… And we’d like to help make things easier. It works simple. We would wish you to be able to experience Sabah for real, in the field on Borneo, not just on our tour page. We worked hard to be able to offer a solid holiday at a price as affordable as possible without compromising the birding experience. The result may well be a competitively priced tour that we would like to feature exceptional value, experienced guides, and a friendly atmosphere all amongst some of the finest birding in Asia. Our tour should be accessible to people with all levels of birding skills as in the end the bird and wildlife will just be as diverse as the people watching it. Let us go and enjoy the temperate climate on Mt. Kinabalu, the lush rainforests of Sepilok and the wonders along the Kinabatangan River… We are highly committed to make our next tours a great success again.

Broadbill -Birding in SabahKingfisher -Birdwatching on Borneo
Endemics and rarities you may find in the photo gallery below!
Borneo is all about enjoying loads of fantastic bird species. These might include some common birds to start with. We photographed this rather impressive looking Black-and-Yellow Broadbill at Sepilok. The Rufous-collared Kingfisher is a little harder to find but still isn't too scarce. Psst, remember, top quality on Borneo is not something reserved for the main target birds only... -are you ready to discover Sabah's secret?!

Day 1
International arrivals into Kota Kinabalu which is a surprisingly modern city. Those with early arrivals have the opportunity to visit the nearby park and waterfront for some fun introductory birding. In September 2012 we notched up 36 species with just an hour of daylight left on an easy stroll from the hotel. Birds like Long-tailed Parakeet, Pied Hornbill and White-bellied See-eagle may make for a good start. Night in Kota Kinabalu.

Day 2
We’ll be out and birding in no time for a good start near Tambunan at the Rafflesia Forest Reserve in the Crocker Range where we spend at least the best part of the morning or more if needed to connect with the birds special to the area. These include some mid-altitude species rarely recorded at other sites on the regular Sabah birding circuit. We’ll focus on finding both Bornean and Mountain Barbet, Bornean Bulbul, Bornean Leafbird and the enigmatic Fruithunter. Later we continue to majestic Mount Kinabalu for an exciting introduction to Kinabalu National Park.

Day 3 - 5
We have 3 full birding days on the mountain. That this will be, besides the pleasant cool temperatures and beautiful montane forest, full of endemic birds need no say. The Whitehead’s trio, 2 Partridges, a Stubtail, a Wren Babbler, ‘the’ Trogon, 2 Laughingthrushes, a ‘Green’ Magpie, Eyebrowed Jungle-Flycatcher, Kinabalu Serpent Eagle, Bornean Treepie and Flowerpecker…lots more. The birding is done along the road towards the summit and on a network of wonderful trails. We'll also visit Mesilau station at a slightly higher elevation than the HQ area. It features a few extra species like Mountain Black-eye and 'Pale-faced' Bulbul while Bornean Whistling Thrush is common and confiding at this site. On 1 morning we will make a serious attempt to scale the summit as it’s only a little over 4000m above sea level…kidding. The fact is that the Kinabalu Friendly Warber has its home just that little higher than most of the other birds all found in areas reached on short walks from the car. We may need to climb part way up the summit trail but this is still on the lower levels and shouldn’t be much of a problem for most of us at a birding pace.

Day 6
A day trip to the nearby Poring Hot Springs which is on the lower Kinabalu slopes. This may well offer some different birds. Poring is most famous for being one of the only accessible sites where the spectacular but ultra-rare and sought-after Hose’s Broadbill can be found. No kidding, Stijn found a pair here straight away on his first visit back in 2003! It’s certainly possible but we would need some good luck to repeat this. Anyhow, the area has some other good stuff on offer; White-fronted Falconet, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Yellow-crowned Barbet, Buff-rumped, Maroon and Crimson-winged Woodpeckers, Black-and-Red Broadbill, Bornean Spiderhunter and with some more luck even a Blue-banded Pitta would be possible.

Day 7 - 8
After a final morning on Mt. Kinabalu we depart for Sepilok. The Rainforest Discovery Center here makes for the perfect introduction to the lowland forest birding on Borneo. The superb canopy walkway will be of great help for spotting plenty bird species. Of course we also need to explore the forest edge and the many trails available. Even the resort grounds have good birds and this included the rare Large Green Pigeon on our last trip.
The birds available at the Rainforest Discovery Center go far beyond an 'intro' to Sabah's birds .
To notch up close to, if not a 100 species during our 2 days here would be well possible. A number of excellent birds call Sepilok home; Rhinoceros Hornbill, Raffle’s Malkoha, Red-naped Trogon, Diard's Trogon, Black Hornbill, Buff-necked Woodpecker, Orange-backed Woodpecker, Black-crowned Pitta, Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, Banded Kingfisher, Crested Jay, Bornean Black Magpie, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Wallace’s Hawk Eagle,… and a host of Babblers, Spiderhunters, Sunbirds and Flowerpeckers.
We need some luck with Bornean Bristlehead which has been reliable for a season in the recent past but proves irregular most of time. This unique bird is the only member of its own monotypic family, it's endemic, incomparable, and it certainly looks exotic. Luckily there are also other Bristlehead chances at Kinabatangan and Danum Valley.
Many bird tours seem to visit Sepilok only briefly. However one could happily spend a week there. This is very pleasant birding with good accommodation just 5 min. from the forest. For the tour, our two days and a morning is the minimum to do the place justice.Besides, we thought that in order to enjoy an introduction to the lowland rainforest, it is best done in a relaxed way.

Day 9
A last morning at the Sepilok RDC before our transfer to the Kinabatangan River. En-route we visit Gomantong Caves for the swiftlet colonies and after arrival in our attractive lodge on the banks of the river, we set off on a first cruise in search of this celebrated wildlife experience the Kinabatangan is so renowned for. It’s not going to disappoint. Proboscis Monkeys, Orangutan, Silvered Langur, Smooth Otters, 8 species of Hornbill, Storm’s Stork, numerous raptors, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Long-tailed Parakeet…with some more luck even a Bornean Pygmy Elephant or Bornean Ground-Cuckoo.

Day 10
A full day on the Kinabatangan with several boat trips scheduled. In between those comfortable cruises and back in the lodge grounds, we may want to stretch our legs and explore the trails. Black-crowned and Hooded Pitta, Black-capped Babbler, Red-naped Trogon, Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, Bushy-crested Hornbill and Black-and-Yellow Broadbill are all there to be found.

Day 11
We will go for a last morning cruise along the river. Before we drive back to Sandakan (or proceed to Lahad Datu for BRL) we may have time for some forest birding along the quiet entrance road to Gomantong Caves. The drive back to Sandakan takes a few hours to connect with our flight back to Kota Kinabalu which marks the end of our tour.

Danum Valley extension; A 4 day/3 night birding package at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge (or Tabin Wildlife Resort). After Kinabatangan drive to Lahad Datu and on to the Danum Valley Conservation Area. Here the excellent Borneo Rainforest Lodge will become your home for the next 3 nights. This place has been called the single most exciting tropical rainforest experience on our planet... What is sure is that you’ll be staying amidst some of the best birding on Borneo with impressive views of real superb primary rainforest. An extensive trail network and a nice canopy walkway will help to reveal the riches of the ancient rainforest. Specialities found at BRL include Great Argus, Blue-headed Pitta, Giant Pitta, Bornean Banded Pitta, Black-throated and Striped Wren Babbler, Crested Fireback, Great-billed Heron, Bristlehead… too many to name. This is the home of an impressive host of Hornbills, Malkohas, Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, Spiderhunters, Babblers, Tailorbirds, Barbets, Sunbirds, Broadbills, Bulbuls, Pittas, Flycatchers and we should not forget the mammals. Night drives from the lodge may well produce a Leopard Cat, Civet or Loris while by day there is always a good chance to find Bornean Gibbons, Red Leaf Monkeys or a Bornean Orangutan. The lodge doesn’t come exactly cheap at about $ 400 pp for a shared room or $ 500 single a night on a full board deal. In our opinion it’s worth it every cent though. The lodge mostly caters for tourists with some interest in nature (less than 10% are birders) and must be regarded as a smart business model. We may want to conclude that the money certainly helps the conservation of the surrounding forest! Who wouldn’t want to support that?

General info;
Comfortable accommodation in high standard hotels or lodges with private facilities. Transport by air-conditioned minibus. Food hygiene is of high standard with both tasty Malaysian or Western choices available at all birding sites. Walks are easy to moderate throughout. The weather is cool and pleasant on Mt. Kinabalu and rather hot and humid in the lowlands. Some rain is always a possibility. Photographic opportunities are worthwhile on Mount Kinabalu while they may appear excellent at Sepilok and on the Kinabatangan River cruises.
B2A Borneo Tour Map

Kinabatangan Orang Utan

Peter’s experience with Sabah starts back in 2005 whereas Stijn arrived first in 2003. We love it, every trip, time after time. But please try not to walk behind us,
we may not lead. Neither walk in front of us, we may not follow.
Just walk beside us and be our best birding friends. Cheers!

We hope you may enjoy the photos on this page. All are opportunity shots taken on previous B2A trips.

Borneo Blue-headed PittaBlack-crowned Pitta at Kinabatangan
Blue-headed Pitta, Danum ValleyBlack-crowned Pitta, Kinabatangan

Mt Kinabalu Black-sided FlowerpeckerBare-headed Laughingthrush
Bornean Flowerpecker, Mt. KinabaluBare-headed Laughingthrush, Mt. Kinabalu

Kinabalu Mountain Black-eyeMount Kinabalu view
Mountain Black-eye, MesilauView on Mount Kinabalu from the HQ road

Kinabatangan Proboscis MonkeyWhite-crowned Hornbill at Kinabatangan
Proboscis Monkey, KinabatanganWhite-crowned Hornbills, Kinabatangan

Bornean BristleheadYellow-rumped Flowerpecker at Sepilok
Bornean Bristlehead, Danum ValleyYellow-rumped Flowerpecker, Sepilok

Bornean Green MagpieBornean Whistling Thrush, Mesilau
Bornean Green Magpie, Mt. KinabaluBornean Whistling Thrush, Mesilau

Bornean Pygmy Elephant
Our 2013 trip was blessed with a 30+ herd of Bornean Pygmy Elephants at the Kinabatangan River.