• Experience the Sun Bear Conservation Centre Service Program
  • Join the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation program
  • Service program and immersion at a community school
  • Trek and safari on Kinabatangan River
  • Visit Australian Memorial Park in Sandakan
  • Learn about the the unique local indigenous communities of Borneo
  • Explore the vibrant landmarks of Kota Kinabalu and surrounds
  • 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

This activity based itinerary has been created to highlight conservation service learning. Fly to Sandakan, Sabah, which offers the ideal base for exploration of the incredible bio diversity present in Borneo. Our adventure begins with a visit to the Rainforest Discovery Centre to acclimatise to Borneo and gain a greater understanding of this fragile environment. The following day we join a behind the scenes programs at the Borneo Sunbear Conservation Centre & the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and we work alongside the carers and local authorities to lend a hand to support the important conservation work these organisations provide. We will have the opportunity to cruise 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. We then travel overland to Sandakan, enroute we visit the Australian Memorial Park before continuing our drive to Sepilok Jungle Resort. We take a short flight to Kota Kinabalu where we will have the opportunity to explore this interesting city and vibrant markets. We will take part in an activity based 3-day Coral for Life and AWARE marine conservation service program and beach clean up. Over the course of this days we will learn about our incredible marine ecosystem and the importance of preserving coral reefs. 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.


Start and Finishing Point:

Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu


Grading:Introductory to Moderate   


After all the planning and preparation the wait is finally over! On arrival our team will be waiting and transfer you to your hotel for check in. We have a full safety and trip briefing. Tonight we will enjoy our first Malaysian meal at a welcome dinner. Overnight hotel

Meals:  D

We will be greeted by our guide and driver on arrival at Sandakan Airport. We will make our way to the Sepilok Jungle Resort and check in. After getting settled, we will have lunch and take some time to recover from our flight. In the afternoon, we will get our legs moving and go for a walk to the Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC). The RDC is a centre of environmental education and one of the most accessible outdoor classrooms to learn the rich biodiversity of the rain forest's ecosystem. It sits by a lake at the edge of the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve in Sandakan and has been in operation since 1996 for environmental education purposes. Overnight: Sepilok Jungle Resort

Meals:  L,D

After breakfast, we make our way to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC). Founded in Sabah, Malaysia in 2008, it is 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. We will spend the morning learning about the world's smallest bear species and assisting the staff at the centre. After lunch, we will visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, which is surrounded by virgin tropical lowland Dipterocarp forest. A short nature walk through the forest will lead us to the viewing platform where we will be able to witness wild Orangutans swinging from branch to branch for their morning feedings. We will have the chance to watch a short documentary about the orphaned Orangutans brought in for rehabilitation until they are ready to be return to the wild. Tonight we have dinner at the resort. Overnight: Sepilok Jungle Resort

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we head into the jungle to Kinabatangan River, one of the very best places in South East Asia to view wildlife in the wild. We will have the opportunity to stop at a local village along the way and help make a traditional lunch that we can enjoy with the local community. After saying goodbye to our lunch friends we continue to check in at Bilit Adventure Lodge. This afternoon we will experience a river safari to search for wildlife and birdlife along Sabah’s longest river- pygmy elephants, orangutans, crocodiles, proboscis monkeys, macaques, hornbills and myriad of birds live in the region. After dinner, immerse yourself in the lodge's surroundings and relax while listening to the forest’s sounds as they come alive at night. Overnight: Bilit Adventure Lodg

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we rise early to the calls of gibbons and hornbills to catch an early cruise down the river in search of waking wildlife and birds which are most active in the mornings. We return to the lodge for breakfast and get ready to visit the local community and school and spend the morning assisting with a new tree planting initiative. Our work will directly contribute to the reforestation efforts along the Kinabatangan River by planting trees reconnecting fragmented forest of the Lower Kinabatangan area. This provides continuous corridors for the diverse flora and fauna of this unique rainforest. After lunch and a break, we will spend some time with the local village and play a game of football with the local students. Football is a worldwide loved sport that helps people connect with each other so in the evening, put on your football shoes and have a serious but friendly match with the locals. Return to the lodge for dinner followed by lessons in local traditional dance and party like a local! Overnight: Bilit Adventure Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

After a morning river safari and hearty breakfast, we will depart Kinabatangan River and travel overland to Sandakan. En-route, we will visit the Australian Memorial Park, Put Jih Shi Temple and Central Market before checking-in at Sepilok Jungle Resort. The rest of the day is free for you to take a dip at the swimming pool within the resort to cool off and relax. Overnight: Sepilok Jungle Resort

Meals:  B,L,D

Last day to wake up to the sounds of the jungle! After breakfast, we make our way to the Sandakan Airport for our flight to Kota Kinabalu. On arrival, we will check in our lodge for the night and have some time to relax before visiting the local handicraft market and explore the city's streets and landmarks with a mix of old and modern buildings. We will have lunch in the city and dinner back at the lodge. Overnight: Downbelow Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we will transfer to Gaya Island were we will be participating in the Coral for Life Conservation Service Program. It is an initiative created to form appreciation & awareness for life under the sea and understand the benefits and importance of coral conservation. 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

After a fun filled trip, say goodbye to newfound friends and make your way to the airport for your flight home.

Meals:  B

Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

No Poverty:  Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.

Quality Education:  Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development.

Sustainable Cities And Communities:  There needs to be a future in which cities provide opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.

Climate Action:  Climate change is a global challenge that affects everyone, everywhere.

Life Below Water:  Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.

Life On Land:  Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Partnerships For The Goals:  Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Learning outcomes for students

World Expeditions Schools journeys are designed to encourage positive personal development and the learning of life skills, while leaving the communities and environments we travel to, in a better condition than when we arrived.
The programs are designed to:
• build strong friendships and bonds with their peers, their teachers, and the local people they meet.
• increase the confidence to engage with new people, and collaboratively make informed decisions.
• discover the benefits of working cooperatively together as a cohesive team, to achieve a common objective.
• Increase the ability to face, and cope with, mental and physical challenges and therefore increase resilience.
• give students a chance to appreciate and care for the natural world. The environments we travel through are beautiful and often pristine, invariably the students will gain a deeper appreciation and understanding about how their individual actions impact on the environment.
• Learn personal skills i.e., time management, personal hygiene, responsibility for personal gear, patience, tolerance, and public speaking.
We help encourage students to learn what it means to be a true global citizen.


  • 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 your school traveling with the group
  • All snorkeling equipment
  • 3 Day Coral Reef Conservation Program- Coral for Life
  • Tourism Tax and govt tax

  • 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


Introductory to Moderate

Customise your program

We can fully customise a School Travel Program to suit your students' learning objectives and budget. Whether you require a Service Learning program, physical challenge, cultural immersion or certain curriculum targets - talk to one of our educational travel experts about the elements you need in your itinerary. We pride ourselves on developing unique itineraries to meet the learning requirements for schools.

World Expeditions Schools is a division of one of the world's leading adventure travel companies, World Expeditions. We can develop itineraries in any destination that is offered by World Expeditions, which is to every continent on earth.

Use our simple Expedition Design Form to contact us with your requirements and an educational travel expert will be in touch to assist.

Why travel with us

Why travel with us

Assisted over
14,000 Students Worldwide

Since the 1980's, we have helped students from around the globe to experience the world's most exciting destinations, allowing them to travel, give, grow.

400+ Service Learning

Together with students, we have completed over 400 Service Learning programs in developing countries. We will always continue to support causes including social justice, animal welfare, the environment and more.

Fully Customised
School Travel Programs

Want to include service learning, your school curriculum and a physical challenge, or any of the above? Contact us and we can design a program fully catered for your students and budget.

Safety and
Support - Our #1 Priority

Every school receives a detailed risk management plan that is guided by government advisories and the local partners we work with. We never compromise on the safety of your students to reduce the price of the program.


Want to find out more?

Our educational travel experts are ready to help you tailor an itinerary or service learning project to suit your school’s needs and budget. Contact us today to receive a free consultation.

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