Boasting eco-treasures dipping from the depths of its oceans, soaring up to its mountain peaks, Borneo’s northern most state, Sabah, is fast becoming the new travel hot spot for the adventure-hungry traveller.
Lying on the edge of a reef in the Celebes Sea, Sipidan is an internationally acclaimed island, where sheer coral walls drop 600m to the ocean floor. Positioned right at the centre of the richest marine habitat on the planet, this well-conserved marine park is the ultimate diver’s cocktail – where its waters are abundant with a plethora of fish, corals, reef sharks, turtles and barracudas.
Sabah is also perfect for kids to spot wild animals. The lovable orangutan, the big-nosed, port-bellied proboscis monkey and the tiny mouse deer, are just a few of the state’s 40 mammals. Spend a few days cruising the Kinabatagan River with binoculars at the ready and you can spy wild Orangutans sitting atop fig trees having dinner, baby macaques scampering around playfully by the river and if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the roving pygmy elephants. The Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary is also worth a visit if you want to see Sabah’s favourite residents rehabilitated back into the wild.
Lightfoot’s favourite places to stay in Kota Kinabalu include the boutique eco-resorts of Bunga Raya Island Resort and Gayana Eco Resort. Set serenely on Pulau Gaya, the rustic, tree-top bungalows of the Bunga Raya Island Resort offer luxurious accommodation straddling the South China Sea and lush tropical jungle. On the other side of this coral reef island, the over-water villas of Gayana’s Eco Resort are the perfect base for indulging in a spate of water sports such as snorkeling and diving at the house reef. On Kota Kinabalu itself, Shangri-la Rasa Ria is great for families who want to blissfully beach comb days away, lounging around on the miles of pure white sand.
As the region is just entering its sunny season, this is the best time to go tramping through the hills or just lie on the beach, with minimal chance of rain. So, drop us a line to lock in your own Borneo holiday now.
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