Brighton Grammar Borneo Community Service Journey 2019

Brighton Grammar Borneo Community Service Journey 2019

Trip Highlights

  • Join the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation program
  • Experience the Sunbear Conservation Centre service program
  • Participate in the Coral for life and AWARE marine conservation programs- WINNER of the Project AWARE Conservation Award- Asia Pacific & Green Award for Environmental Practices
  • Canopy walk at Rainforest Discovery Centre
  • Trek and safari on Kinabatangan River
  • Service program and immersion at Kampung Bilit community school
  • Learn about the the unique local indigenous communities of Borneo
  • Explore the vibrant landmarks of Kota Kinabalu and surrounds
  • Visit Australian Memorial Park in Sandakan

Trip Summary

This unique and exclusive, activity based itinerary has been created especially for the students of Brighton Grammar to highlight conservation service learning. From Australia we fly to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, which offers the ideal base for exploration of the incredible bio diversity present in Borneo. Our adventure begins with a day in Kota Kinabalu for our trip briefing and acclimatisation to Borneo. We will have the opportunity to explore this interesting city and vibrant markets. We then take a short flight to Sandakan and visit Australian Memorial Park before our drive to Sepilok Jungle Resort. Here we ascend high above the jungle canopy on a guided canopy walk at the Rainforest Discovery Centre to gain a greater understanding of this fragile environment. We continue our journey by boat down the Kinabatangan River, one of the best spots in South East Asia to witness wildlife in their natural habitat including Proboscis Monkeys and Pygmy Elephants. Over the next 2 days we visit the local Bilit village and participate in a conservation service project with the local school and immerse ourselves in cultural activities with the locals. The following day we join a behind the scenes programs at the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre & the Borneo Sunbear Conservation Centre. Here we work alongside the carers and local authorities to lend a hand to support the important conservation work these organisations provide. After our flight back to Kota Kinabalu, we will take part in an activity based 3-day Coral for Life and AWARE marine conservation service program and beach clean up. We finish our journey visiting Kota Kinabalu's main landmarks and the Mari Mari Cultural Village, where we will meet several local indigenous communities from different ethnic tribes living in the longhouses of the region and learn about their traditions. It is unlikely that you could find an experience with more diversity and adventure.

Itinerary

After the months of planning and preparation the wait is finally over! You will need to check in at the International Airport at least 2 hours prior to your flight.

Meals:  Nil

This morning we arrive in Kota Kinabalu Airport at around 11:55am where you will be met by your guide and transferred to Down-below Adventure Lodge. Here we will have a full trip briefing and orientation with our guide before getting our bearings and exploring this interesting city. We head out on a walk to the central markets as well as visiting the cities cultural and historical highlights. Tonight dinner will be at a local restaurant. Overnight: Down-below Adventure Lodge *Our adventure lodge offers air conditioned comfortable dormitory style rooms. Toilet and bathrooms are communal. Rooms do not include towels, all travelers will be required to bring their own travel towel.

Meals:  D

Today we catch an early flight to Sandakan departing at approximately 07:05am (45 minutes). On arrival at Sandakan we visit the Australian Memorial Park. The park includes a small museum that serves as a memorial to the thousands of Australians and British who lost their lives during WWII. We then start our drive towards Sepilok, stopping at Put Jih Shi Temple, located on a steep hill top where we will have a magnificent view overlooking Sandakan Bay and the Town Center. We continue further stopping at Central Market to spot local produce and fresh seafood being sold before arriving at Sepilok Jungle Resort for check in and lunch. After a short rest, we visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre to learn about the fascinating fauna & flora of Borneo, including a stunning walk along a suspension bridge followed by a unique canopy walk (147 metres long!) at tree top level. After this activity filled day, we will return to the resort for dinner. Overnight: Sepilok Jungle Resort

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we will drive overland to Kampung Bilit village located on the Kinabatangan River, one of the best spots in South East Asia to see wildlife in its natural habitat and the only place in Sabah where you can find a concentration of 10 primate species including the Proboscis Monkey, Langur Monkey, Macaques, Orang utan, Slow loris, Western Tarsier, Bornean Gibbon and three kinds of leaf monkeys. Add to this many species of Hornbills such as Rhinoceros Hornbill, Pied Hornbill, Black Hornbill, Helmeted Hornbill (50kg, 120cm), Kingfishers, Bubuls, Trogons, Flycatchers, Sunbirds, Broadbills, Herons, Mangrove Snakes, Vipers, Estuarine Crocodile, Asian Elephants and the wildlife list continues! We will arrive at Kampung Bilit around 11:00am and go for a village walk, followed by a cooking session with the local community that we end up eating for lunch! By 3:00pm, we will check in and enjoy an afternoon tea break followed by a briefing with our nature guide. At 4:00pm we will head out for a 2 hour afternoon river cruise to spot some wildlife and return to the lodge for dinner. Depending on the weather, we will have the chance to head out on a 1 hour night walk through the forest. Overnight: Bilit Adventure Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we rise early to catch a 6:00am cruise down the river. The forest is alive at this time in the morning an it is a perfect time to spot wildlife. We return to the lodge for breakfast and to get ready for our jungle walk. We will visit the local community and school and spend the morning assisting with a new tree planting initiative. After lunch and a break, we will spend some time with the local village and play a game of football with the local students. Tonight we will have dinner in our lodge. Overnight: Bilit Adventure Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we make our way to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, surrounded by virgin tropical lowland Dipterocarp forest. A short nature walk through the lowland forest will lead us to the viewing platform where we will be able to witness wild Orang utans swinging from branch to branch for their morning feedings. We will have the chance to watch a short documentary about the orphaned Orang Utans brought in for rehabilitation until they are ready to be return to the wild. We will then meet the ranger team for a service briefing before getting started. After learning all about Orang Utan behavior, we will form small groups to learn how to setup Orang Utan nests. After lunch back in the resort, we will drive to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) founded in Sabah, Malaysia in 2008 as a two-stage effort to provide care, rehabilitation and eventually the release of orphaned and captive sun bears, as well as address the lack of knowledge and awareness of this little-known bear, both in Malaysia and internationally. The Malayan Sun Bear (Helarctos Malayanus) found only in south-east Asia, is the world's smallest bear species.The centre is equipped with key facilities including an observation platform, boardwalk and a visitor centre. Tonight we have dinner at the resort. Overnight: Sepilok Jungle Resort

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we will say goodbye to Bilit and make our way to the Sandakan Airport for our flight to Kota Kinabalu. Later in the evening, we will get active with an evening walk or light jog fitness session to Tanjung Aru Beach for sunset and dinner. We visit Perdana Park, a leisure park featuring running track, activity areas and a spectacular musical water fountain that lights up in a stunning display each night. Overnight: Downbelow Adventure Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

Coral for Life is an initiative created to form appreciation & awareness for life under the sea. During the next three days, the students will learn about coral mapping and the important role coral reefs play within the environment, as well as learning about marine life and fish sizing techniques. Students will experience coral in its natural environment while snorkeling. Participants that can not swim can join this program as buoyancy devices are used. Our qualified and trained guide will show the differences between healthy & damaged coral and collect broken coral for re- planting! The students will learn how to re-plant broken coral that would otherwise perish. The treated corals are then placed in their new homes on our artificial house reef located in the bay just out front in the dive center when environmental conditions are most suitable. We compliment this three day educational program with a beach clean up program, AWARE - discussing and analyzing plastic use and its damaging effects on our marine ecosystems and environment and what we can do to help keep our planets & oceans clean, every single action counts! Overnight: Downbelow Adventure Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

This full day program is a fun and exciting day exploring in and around the beautiful city of Kota Kinabalu. Affectionately known as KK, we explore the main landmarks including gaining a bird’s eye view of the city at Signal Hill, the local markets and Sabah Foundation Building. After our exploring the city, we make our way to Mari Mari Cultural village, located in the countryside about 25 minutes drive from Kota Kinabalu city centre. The Mari Mari Cultural Village aims to share the knowledge, history, culture, and tradition of 5 different main ethnic tribes: the Kadazan-Dusun, Rungus, Lundayeh, Bajau and Murut. The students will have the chance to interact with each village tribe and get an insight on their rich culture and daily life through various perspectives including living off the land. Highlights include a chance to see blowpipe-making, fire-starting and bamboo cooking. Tonight we return to our lodge and prepare for our departure flight early tomorrow morning. Overnight: Downbelow Adventure Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we leave very early and head to Kota Kinabalu Airport for our flight back to Melbourne arriving late this afternoon.

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • International & domestic airfares ex Melbourne
  • All meals
  • Expert guide (English speaking) throughout plus additional expert local guides for specialist commentary
  • All land transfers required within the program in private air conditioned vehicles
  • All activities included entrance fees to sites as listed in itinerary
  • All accommodation as listed in itinerary
  • Planning of the Borneo Sunbear & Sepilok Orangutan service projects.
  • Two teachers from Brighton Grammar traveling with the group
  • All snorkeling equipment
  • 3 Day Coral Reef Conservation Program- Coral for Life
  • Tourism Tax and govt tax
  • Travel Insurance (covered by Brighton Grammar policy)

What's Not Included

  • Bottled water and aerated drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, email, laundry, etc.
  • Tips
  • Visa Fees
  • Your group are required to raise a minimum of AUD$2,400 total for the various service projects

Upcoming Travel Dates

 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:12 Days
Countries:Malaysia
Starting Point:Melbourne
Activities:Service Learning
Wildlife Safari
Snorkeling
Grade:Introductory to Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG5581