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BALI AND BORNEO TOUR

17 – 26 September 2024

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TOUR DESCRIPTION

Orangutans in Borneo’s Jungle to Beautiful Bali

Not many people venture to Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of Borneo – the world’s third largest island. But we start our tour here for a very special reason, to visit an Orangutan sanctuary in a rejuvenated rainforest. We’ll also see some rescued sun bears and travel up river in search of wild proboscis monkeys.

With hearts full from endangered animal encounters, we fly south to the little tropical paradise of Bali. We come here to balance the mind, body and spirit with a journey through lush landscapes for a captivating glimpse into Bali’s spiritual, cultural and artistic heritage. The gentleness of the people, respectfulness of society, sacred sites and lush landscapes have the effect to lift the soul.

Throughout our adventure with a small group of like-minded ladies, we’ll indulge in deliciously spiced Indonesian cuisine, with a cooking class to enrich the culinary experience. A Bali trip wouldn’t be complete without a few days beside the beach, some coastal villages and markets.

WOMEN ONLY

R10 000 non-refundable deposit to book your place

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Our Tour

ITINERARY

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DAY 1

Borneo - Orangutan Sanctuary

Upon arrival at a small airport in the far east of Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of Borneo, our driver will take us an hour or so north to Samboja Eco Lodge. The lodge is surrounded by a methodically restored tropical rainforest, with mixed planting to provide local people with a sustainable living and providing wildlife with a refuge.

This jungle was revived specifically to create the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and offer a safe haven for rescued orangutans and sun bears. But there are many more animals and birds who have made this their home. There’s a no-touch policy, but we’ll see and learn about these incredible animals during our stay.

Accommodation: 3* Samboja Eco Lodge
Meals: Dinner

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DAY 2

Borneo Jungle

Before the day heats up to a humid 29-31°C, we’ll walk along nature trails in this regenerated tropical forest and listen to the sounds of the jungle, which went from 5 species of birds to over 137 species. Hornbills are often the loudest and the largest hopping about the canopy, considered by many tribes in Borneo to be a sacred messenger of the spirits.

You will notice how often they are depicted in carvings. We contribute to the continued revival of this incredible conservation project by planting trees. After lunch, a local fisherman will take us quietly on a boat along what is known as the Black River, in search of sightings of proboscis monkey and other wildlife like macaque monkeys. The arboreal proboscis monkey has an unfeasibly long nose, and may appear on branches overhanging the river, chattering loudly in annoyance at those who dare pass by.

Accommodation: Samboja Eco Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

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DAY 3

Borneo Orangutans & Sun Bears

This morning we visit the man-made islands where rescued orangutans who cannot be released into the wild, now live comfortably, as well as the sun bear enclosure. Once you’ve looked into the eyes of an orangutan, you’ll wonder who is more human, you or the primate?

They are incredibly intelligent and their liquid eyes seem to speak to your very soul. You’ll never forget your encounter with these endangered creatures.

We say goodbye to the orangutans and leave Borneo on a flight to Bali, to explore this island of great beauty, gentle people and perpetual rituals.

Accommodation: 4* Boutique Hotel, Ubud
Meals: Breakfast

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DAY 4

Exploring Bali

Our first stop will be the holy spring of Tirta Empul, surrounded by a large shrine to honour the God Indra. Featuring a blend of Balinese and Chinese architecture, there are intricately designed water features and bathing pools, believed to have strong curative powers. On the hill behind this temple is a presidential guest house built by the late President Sukarno. The site suffered from the eruption of Mount Agung in 1963, but today epitomises tranquillity and peace.

We then follow the road to Kintamani where you will see the UNESCO-acclaimed cascading rice terraces of Tegalalang, as well as imposing Mount Agung. The tour highlight is the astounding panoramic views from Mount Batur looking over Mount Batur volcano and Lake Batur, which fills the ancient caldera below.

We’ll enjoy lunch at the Lakeview Restaurant, then continue on to the Aloha Ubud Swing. There are five different swings here that make you feel like you can soar like a bird, but are perfectly safe and very photogenic (expect some queues). There’s also a butterfly park and the chance to see  the resident civet cat, whose undigested coffee beans produce Luwak Coffee, the strangest and most expensive shot of caffeine in the world!

The last stop of the day will be Ubud Art Market, where fine arts and crafts are found in this bustling town known for being the centre of Balinese creativity. There’s sure to be something you want to take home, from the paintings, carvings, jewellery and fabrics.

Accommodation: Boutique Hotel, Ubud
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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DAY 5

Bali Temples, Palaces and Villages

A must-see for every visitor to Bali is the ‘mother temple’ Besakih, the most important, largest, and holiest temple of Balinese Hinduism, perched nearly 1,000 meters up the slope of Mount Agung.

We then explore Taman Tirta Gangga (Water Palace), which gives an insight into the days of the Balinese Rajahs. This is a former royal palace and it is named after the sacred River Ganges. It is noted for the Karangasem Royal Water Palace, bathing pools, and a temple. You can enjoy a swim in the natural pools before lunch.

We will then drive to Tenganan Village, an original Balinese village whose inhabitants preserve ancient traditions. At this location we will see women weave the famous ‘flaming cloth’ (kamben geringsing), which is said to immunize the wearer. ​

Accommodation: Beautiful Boutique Hotel, Ubud
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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DAY 6

Ubud – Cooking Class and Spa Time

We get hands-on and find out the culinary secrets of authentic Balinese cooking. Starting at 7am, we’ll go to Ubud’s traditional market to barter for ingredients to make an Indonesian meal. We’ll do this in a fully equipped community kitchen, with traditional ingredients and preparation methods to make a local dish, under step-by-step instruction from a Balinese chef.

Not only do we have the satisfaction of learning how to use a variety of spices, but we sit down together to enjoy the delicious food we’ve just created. It’s one of many memorable activities while we stay in Bali’s cultural centre of Ubud.

The afternoon is devoted to ‘me-time’ with a Kaveri Spa Pampering Package. Begin with a full-body Traditional Balinese Body Scrub, Body Mask and Massage, to freshen up your skin with nourishing natural goodness. End the pampering ritual with a soak in the Celebration of Flowers bath.

Accommodation: Boutique Hotel, Ubud
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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DAY 7
From Culture to Beach

Today, we visit a village community and learn about the Balinese lifestyle, philosophy and a culture full of rituals. We will learn to make the daily spiritual offering (canang), natural woven handcrafts, traditional coconut wine and coconut oil and Balinese wood carving. We will also experience the age-old way of ploughing and planting rice paddies out in the fields. Lunch is delicious Balinese cuisine in the village.

A scenic drive leads to the Indian Ocean and the Tanah Lot Temple. It’s one of the holiest temples in Bali, built atop a huge coral rock surrounded by water, only accessed via a rocky causeway. The complex of wooden structures originated in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and we soak in the mystical atmosphere and watch as the setting sun silhouettes the tiered pagodas of this sacred edifice.

Our day of new experiences with newfound friends is not quite finished and as dusk turns to evening we watch traditional Kecak Dance in a nearby venue. After dinner we seek out our stylish beach resort hotel in Sanur.

Accommodation: 4* Beach Resort in Sanur
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

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DAY 8

Wines and Waterfalls

Today we head to Sababay Winery and take up their suggestion for a ‘Sip of Happiness’ from their range of still and sparkling wines, vodka and grappa. We’ll tour the winery and get an insider’s look at the magic that goes into each bottle. Wine will be perfectly paired with a picnic and a basket full of delectable surprises, like crispy fried cassava and tropical fruits.

Afterwards, we visit Tegenungan waterfall with a 25-meter drop into a crystal-clear water pool, which will tempt us into taking a refreshing dip. According to Balinese Hindu belief, this water acts as a purifier against bad influences, worth the 100 steps down to the pool. The scenery here is stupendous.

Accommodation: 4* Beach Resort in Sanur
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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DAY 9

Sanur; beach, shopping and feasting

Today we have an open schedule for relaxing, shopping, strolling the promenade adorned with vibrant local shops and beach time.

Our special farewell dinner will be held at the renowned Kaum Restaurant. Their small-plates are designed to allow us to taste a variety of different regional dishes with locally-sourced ingredients from small family producers.

Accommodation: 4* Beach Resort in Sanur
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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DAY 10

Final Day in Sanur - Departure

We check out from the hotel at noon and since we don’t fly out until the evening, we head off to Celuk Village to join a silver jewellery class. Handcrafted jewellery is a rarity and Bali is one of the few places in the world where these methods are still practiced.

We learn traditional techniques, such as intricate shaping, filling, decorating and finishing a piece of jewellery. We leave with a feeling of satisfaction and a beautiful piece of Bali art.

If time allows, we will make a short stop for some last-minute shopping in the nearby art market before transferring to Azure Beach Restaurant to enjoy sunset on the beach.

We savour our last dinner in Bali before commencing the journey home, with a 10-minute transfer to the airport. Our Borneo-Bali adventure is at an end, with great memories and new friends.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR
  • Flights
  • Airport transfers – this can be arranged on request
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Some meals – see itinerary
  • All personal drinks including any alcoholic beverages
  • Optional activities not part of the itinerary
  • Tips – guide, drivers, hotel staff, restaurants
TRAVELLER'S TIPS
  • Download the App Airalo for affordable local SIM cards www.airalo.com
WEATHER

In September, Bali experiences the tail end of the dry season, transitioning into the wet season. Overall, the weather is generally favourable. The temperatures remain warm and pleasant, with daytime temperatures ranging from around 25 to 31 degrees Celsius. The humidity levels are moderate.

While September typically sees less rainfall compared to the peak of the wet season (which starts around November), there is still a chance of occasional rain showers. These showers are usually short-lived and sporadic.

MONEY

Bali – Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
1 ZAR = 825.933999 IDR
1 USD = 15,716.806 IDR

Borneo – Malaysian ringgit MYR
1 USD = 4.74 MYR

  • Tipping isn’t generally expected. However if you’re really happy with the service a 10% tip is appropriate.
  • Cash is still a preferred payment option, especially when getting around smaller markets and local attractions. Although cards may be accepted in larger Bali cities such as Denpasar, cash may be preferable in surrounding villages such as Ubud.
DRESS CODE

September in Bali and Borneo is warm and sunny, so wear light, airy summer clothes.

  • Although there’s less of a chance of rain in September, showers are common, so make sure you have a rain jacket or poncho.
  • Lightweight, floaty cotton dresses – You will need one dress a day plus additional frocks if you’re heading out at night. You’ll get hot and sweaty as it’s so hot and humid, so you’ll need some options.
  • Bali’s dress code at night is casual to smart casual.
  • At some temples, you’re required to cover your legs.
  • Scarf
  • Sarong
  • Swimming costume
OTHER ITEMS TO REMEMBER
  • Forex in cash to exchange at the airport and bank card
  • Pen and notebook
  • Cell phone chargers and powerbank
  • Bali uses Type C and Type F Power Plugs, which are two-pin plugs, like those found in Europe.
  • Universal plug converter
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Earplugs
  • Fan
  • Water bottle
  • Medication
  • Sunscreen
  • Wide brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses and/or reading glasses
  • Handbag/backpack/shoulder sling bag
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