Following the success of Camp Endeavour Borneo in 2020, we are excited to be back for 2023. The camp is first and foremost a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. However, it also provides a superb opportunity to familiarise and acclimatise to the jungle trails for anyone wishing to take part in the Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon (BUTM). In 2020 all our Maverick runners finished in the top 10 of their category with 6 taking podium positions.
Maverick Camp Endeavour Borneo takes you into the depths of the Malaysian state of Sabah on the northeastern side of the island of Borneo through paddy fields, jungle rainforest, ancient trading trails, pineapple plantations, mountain ridges, islands and beaches.
Our well-earned rest days from running mid-trip will see us getting up close and personal with the Wild Man of the Jungle - the Orangutan - found only in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra and the Bornean Sun Bear, the smallest bear in the world.
Continue reading below to find out how our Camp works.
Limited to 20 spaces.
Our Borneo adventure begins at sea level on Sabah’s west coast in the small city of Kota Kinabalu where we head out to the tropical islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman State Marine Park. We can’t visit this region without taking a look at what’s below the surface so we’ve added the opportunity to snorkel and scuba dive to help acclimatize after a long flight. A 10km trail run to Gaya Islands' highest point at 300m will help prepare you for the humidity & jungle terrain to follow. We then exchange the ocean for rivers & waterfalls at the foothills of Mt Kinabalu (4,093m).
We have added an Epic point-to-point. Trailblazing 34km with a 2.4km vertical ascent we will be the only group to run this route passing through remote villages, paddy fields and pineapple plantations. Criss-crossing iconic routes that form parts of the Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon (BUTM) this experience is something not to be missed.
Our final destination takes us to the Salt Trails in the Crocker Range Mountains. These jungle trekking routes were traditionally followed by village traders that journeyed to the markets of towns on Sabah’s west coast to barter with their fresh produce for salt, as well as other goods. Although some of the easier accessible villages are connected by roads, the Salt Trails are still the only access route to some of the more remote villages in the area.
Leading our trail runs are strong local mountain runners. Themselves the winners of the famously brutal 50K & 100K Borneo Ultra Trail Marathons BUTM. Enjoy chatting with them, learning about their culture and the rich traditional tapestry of the communities we run through, steeped in mystery & belief.
Our Yogi is a traditional practitioner of Hatha, Vinyasa & Yin Yoga and her classes will focus on flexibility, strength, breathing, aromatherapy & wellbeing.
Putting this trip together for us is Joanne & Richard from Adventures In Borneo, an award-winning adventure travel company and provider of Adventurous Training for the British Ministry of Defence.
This trip is designed to be fully inclusive so you only need to add on the cost of flights, a couple of evening meals and alcohol.
• All Sabah land/boat transfers & logistics
• Full board meals as mentioned (10 breakfast, 8 lunch, 8 dinner)
• All entrance, permit & entry fees
• Accommodation as described
• Activities as stated for runners (2 snorkel safari or scuba diving sessions, 6 yoga sessions, 7 trail run sessions)
• Activities as stated for non-runners (1 snorkel safari/ scuba diving or sea kayaking session, 6 yoga sessions, white water rafting, hiking & local cooking skills)
• Visit to Sepilok Orang-utan & Sun Bear Rehabilitation Centres
• Downbelow Expedition Leader & Running Guides
• Specialised guides as required
• Fully Risk Assessed (documents provided).
• International/domestic flights
• Carbonated & Alcoholic Beverages
• Personal travel insurance
Our tour partners will be in touch with you regarding optional extras shortly after you've booked your entry. You can book your private room during entry but the rest can be booked post-entry.
• Private Room (book early as limited availability): £470 per person
• 1 Night Kinabatangan River Safari, full board with transfers & guided river safari: £250 per person (twin share)
• Flight (45mins) from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu instead of road transfer (6-7 hours) which is already included: Approx £30, price TBC on booking.
• BUTM Race Entrance Fee Approx MYR 240.00 (£45) - You must enter the BUTM yourself. More details are below.
• Additional nights in the lodge for BUTM: £25 per person per night
• BUTM Transfers: £40 per person per way.
Please note the camp does not include flights or additional drinks.
Arrive at Kota Kinabalu International Airport and transfer 20 minutes by coastal road to Downbelow Adventure Lodge (DAL) for an overnight stay. Free at leisure in the afternoon with an evening get-together and briefing over dinner. Overnight Downbelow Adventure Lodge, dormitory shared rooms with communal bathroom. (D)
Transfer to Gaya Island (10 minutes road & 15 minutes speedboat). The day starts with a 10KM run to the highest point of Gaya Island (300M) to stretch out those legs and help you acclimatise to the jungle trails. Non-runners can enjoy a snorkel safari, go scuba diving or sea kayak to isolated bays. After lunch, we will take a 10-minute speedboat ride to Manukan Island Resort. Afternoon at leisure followed by sunset yoga on the beach. Overnight Beach Suite Chalet (Twin/Double/Tripple) with en-suite bathroom. (B,L)
After breakfast, meet at 9 am pool-side for a morning of snorkelling safaris or scuba diving (anyone scuba diving can not run in the afternoon due to the increased risk of decompression sickness). After lunch, head back to the mainland and enjoy an afternoon run (1-2 hours) at the local beach / non-runners can relax or visit the local shops, bars & cafes. Overnight Downbelow Adventure Lodge, dormitory share room with communal bathroom. (B)
After breakfast embark on an adventurous journey to the Kiulu Valley for a trip back to nature. We’ll be taking on a 9KM trail run (2-3 hours) through jungle tracks, rivers & plantations. Non-runners can stroll along the river & suspension bridges, learn about the traditional rice wine, blow pipes & headhunting tribal ancestry. Post run Yoga at 5-6 pm. Tucked away in the countryside far from the bright city lights be enchanted by the wonder of the dark skies & bright stars, a clear milky way is often visible. Overnight camping, equipment provided & good facilities on-site (B,L,D)
Today is our epic point-to-point. Trailblazing 34km with a 2.4km vertical ascent we will be the only group to run this route passing through remote villages, paddy fields and pineapple plantations. Local villages will play host to our rest stops. Criss-crossing iconic routes that form parts of the Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon (BUTM) this experience is something not to be missed. Non-runners can enjoy white water rafting or take a leisurely land transfer to meet the runners at the end-point. Overnight with local families in mountain village homestay twin/ double rooms (B,L,D).
Wake up to amazing mountain views and let's stretch out those aching legs with yoga practice. Today we have a slow 14KM run/hike to help recover. Stopping for lunch at Kg. Kiau, home of the mountain guides. We return to our remote village homestay for dinner with only our own conversation & each other for entertainment. Non-runners can hike the same trail with our guides, we can reduce the hike to 6KM. Or stay in the village to learn local cooking skills and swim in the river. Overnight with local families in mountain village homestay twin/ double rooms (B,L,D).
We start the day with Yoga before bidding our newfound village friends goodbye. Today we land transfer 5 hours to Sepilok with a lunch stop en route. Spend the evening surrounded by the sounds of primates, cool off in the resort swimming pool and enjoy some well-earned fizz! Overnight Sepilok Jungle Resort, twin/double share room with en-suite bathroom. (B,L,D)
Wake up in nature's paradise at Sepilok Jungle Resort. Take a 10-minute walk to the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre and Sun Bear Conservation Centre. What you see there are the last stages of rehabilitation before the orangutans and sun bears get released to the wild. In the afternoon we’ll take you to see the city of Sandakan where time has stood still. A tiny city of only 200K population and the previous administration centre for colonial North Borneo. We’ll visit the Sandakan Death March Memorial, temples and markets. Overnight Sepilok Jungle Resort, twin/double share room with en-suite bathroom. (B,L,D)
Early morning breakfast followed by an 8-hour overland transfer to Penampang district for your next adventure. Enjoy the scenic views as you pass through the rolling hills, lush green trees and small villages, and lunch en-route before checking in at your next accommodation. After a short rest, enjoy a short evening run (1 hour) followed by a sunset yoga session overlooking the ocean & mountain. Massage & aromatherapy healing sessions are available (additional cost). Overnight Sinurambi, twin/triple/quad share room with en-suite bathroom. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, enjoy the challenging stretches of the Salt Trail approx 14KM (4-6 hours) historical “Head Hunter” territory where ancient trails were made by villagers descending the hills to the beach to trade their homemade weaving produce for salt. Non-runners can enjoy a day relaxing at the swimming pool and taking some short hikes in the area. End the day with an evening yoga and meditation practice. Overnight Sinurambi, twin/triple/quad share room with en-suite bathroom. (B,L,D)
On your last morning it's time to share a delicious breakfast together before your transfer to Kota Kinabalu International Airport. After which it is time to bid farewell to your new friends - until next time! (B)
11th & 12th March 2023
We have chosen to run this trip right before the 2023 Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon (BUTM) so that anyone wanting to be fully acclimatised can stick around to join either the 9KM, 30KM, 50KM or 100KM mountain run, IRTA points are awarded. Borneo Ultra Race Director Claus Pedersen is working together with Adventures in Borneo to include some of the highlights of both the BUTM routes including Pineapple Ridge, Kiulu River & Bukit Dallas.
You will need to sign up for the BUTM yourself.
Accommodation approximately per person per night £45
Transfers to Race approximately £40 per person
100km - £100
50km - £70
30km - £40
9km - £30
Prices are approximate and were correct at the time of publication. These may vary depending on the exchange rate between MYR to GBP.
Flights home will depend on if you are doing the BUTM and what distance. We will be more than happy to advise.
Booking your flights
You need to book your own flights. In order to meet us at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport on the 28th February, you will need to depart the UK on the 27th February.
Ideally, you need to arrive at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) by 3 pm at the latest so you can rest and join the evening meal and get-together. Malaysian Airlines have flights leaving London Heathrow at 10:25 am (approx) so you could book the flight departing London on 27th February. This will give you a 2-hour layover in Kuala Lumpur before getting the flight to Kota Kinabalu, which should arrive around 12 noon on the 28th.
Suggested flight info
London (Heathrow LHR or Gatwick LGW ) - Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) | Approx. 13 Hours
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) - Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) | Approx. 2 Hours 40 Mins
Please make sure your insurance policy covers Covid-related flight cancellations. Your camp place is 100% refundable or transferable if we cancel due to covid, but this doesn't include your flights.
During our traverse of Sabah, Borneo we will be staying in a range of accommodations from smart hotels to mountain homestays, full-service camping and a luxury retreat. Accommodation is based on twin share, if you require a double room please let us know. Single rooms are available upon request and subject to availability and a small additional cost.
In an effort to keep our trails clean and preserve the nature around us, we’re aiming to keep out outposts cup free. Please bring a cup or bottle to re-fill.Get a Maverick Speedcup