Orou Sapulot – Experience Sabah off the Beaten Track
A visit to Sapulot is a must-have for any traveller to Sabah, Borneo, wanting to experience an adventure off the beaten track. Sapulot is located in the southern interior of Sabah and is home to the Murut tribe. The Murut tribe were once famous for headhunting but don’t worry, they stopped doing this many years ago and are now known for the warmth of their hospitality. Sapulot is home to some beautiful nature like forests, rivers, waterfalls and more. Alongside having the chance to experience the richness of the Murut culture, it’s no wonder a visit to Orou Sapulot is seen as one of Sabah’s best-kept secrets.
This tailored four-day tour to Orou Sapulot includes a range of wonderful activities such as caving, swimming in the pools near a hidden waterfall, fishing the local way and rapid shooting along a river. You’ll also join a cultural evening hosted by the Orou Sapulot team, during which you’ll have the chance to learn a Murut Traditional Dance, feast on tasty home-cooked Murut dishes and learn about the traditions and ways of living of the Murut tribe. You will be staying in comfortable, basic accommodation during the trip with transfers from Kota Kinabalu to Sapulot by public bus and 4WD vehicles (your transfers will be door-to-door from your hotel in central Kota Kinabalu to Orou Sapulot). This Orou Sapulot tour helps you experience the real Sabah.
Adventure, Culture and Nature – Orou Sapulot has it all!
An added bonus of this Orou Sapulot 4-Day trip is that it includes an element of you ‘giving back. We partner with the Orou Sapulot initiative to deliver this trip. Orou Sapulot is a family-run and community-operated eco-tourism initiative which aims to support the conservation of flora and fauna in Sapulot, as well as the Murut Culture. Your trip cost goes directly into the local economy and helps create an alternative livelihood for the villagers. By going on this trip, you also help to make a positive difference.
So what are you waiting for? If you are looking for an amazing once-in-a-lifetime adventure and are happy to stay in basic accommodation, then the 4-day Orou Sapulot tour is a great choice. Visiting Orou Sapulot is suitable for couples, families and groups interested in discovering off-the-beaten-track places.
Trip Itinerary – Orou Sapulot 4-Day Tour
Day 1 (Meals: L & D)
You will be picked up early from your hotel in central Kota Kinabalu and transferred to the bus station in Kota Kinabalu to catch the public bus to Keningau. Your driver will escort you to the bus and wave you off on the 7:30 am – 8:00 am bus departing to Keningau. You will arrive at the Keningau bus station around 10:30 am, where a member of the Orou Sapulot team will meet you. You’ll board 4WD vehicles and start your transfer to Labang. Once you arrive at Labang, you’ll board a traditional wooden boat for a ride up the river to Pungiton Eco Camp. On arrival at the camp, lunch will be served. After lunch, you will trek to the Pungiton Caves. The Pungiton Caves at Orou Sapulot are known as sacred caves by the Villagers. You’ll be taken on a guided tour of Pungiton Cave and will get to see some pretty cool rock formations. It’s then back to Pungiton Camp to chill out for the rest of the late afternoon and evening – a perfect opportunity to enjoy the views over the river below. Pungiton Camp is a basic but very comfortable camp perched high up on the riverbank. It offers facilities including a western toilet & showers, an eating area and a sleeping area. You will sleep on stretcher hammocks with full bedding and mosquito netting provided.
Day 2 (Meals: B, L & D)
After breakfast, you will join a ~ 1-hour visit to Tinahas cave, followed by a spot of fishing along the river whilst enjoying views of the impressive Batu Punggul pinnacle rising out of the forest. You’ll be fishing the traditional way using a bamboo or rotan fishing rod, and if you catch a fish (or two), it will be cooked for you for a meal later today. For lunch, you’ll enjoy a picnic by the riverbank. After lunch, you’ll visit another gem at Orou Sapulot – the Hidden Waterfalls located in the forest. At the Hidden Waterfalls, you’ll have the opportunity to take a dip in one of the pools near the foot of the Waterfall. Chill out whilst making the most of this beautiful, tranquil location. You will spend the rest of the afternoon at the Hidden Waterfalls and enjoy dinner overlooking the waterfall. Overnight at Vangkaakon camp at the Hidden Waterfalls. The camp offers a western toilet and showers, an eating area and a sleeping area. You will sleep in tents (sleeping mat, pillow and blanket provided).
Day 3 (Meals: B, L & D)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Salung Jetty, a ~ 1-hour 40-minute journey, for your next adventure – a Rapid Shooting ride to the Kalimantan border. This boat ride in a traditional long wooden boat is a lot of fun and offers the opportunity to see more of Orou Sapulot during the ride. You will depart from Salung Jetty and Rapid Shoot through rapids all the way to the Kalimantan Border on a motorised wooden longboat navigated by a skilful village boatman. The boat journey will take ~ 5 hours to return (depending on the water level) and is a real highlight during your time at Orou Sapulot. You will get to see the different Murut Villages and their livelihood along the rivers, both downstream and upstream. You’ll stop for lunch down a little tributary river at a peaceful spot on the riverbank – another highlight of the rapid shooting experience. After the Rapid Shooting ride, you will be transferred to a modern Murut Long House. This evening after a very tasty Murut feast, the villagers from Orou Sapulot will provide you with a Cultural Performance during which you’ll have the chance to join in with Murut traditional dances and play traditional musical instruments. A night to remember and a perfect way to end your last full day with the Orou Sapulot team. Tonight you will sleep MunorAulai Guesthouse. The Longhouse is equipped with a western toilet and showers, and sleeping is in a dorm or twin-share room with full bedding provided.
Day 4 (Meals: B)
It’s time to say goodbye to the Orou Sapulot team. After an early breakfast (served at 7.30 am) you will be transferred to Keningau in 4WD vehicles. At Keningau, you will be escorted to your public bus and catch the 10 am bus departure back to Kota Kinabalu, arriving in Kota Kinabalu at ~ 12:30 pm. You’ll be met by another member of the Orou Sapulot team at the Kota Kinabalu bus station, who will transfer you back to your hotel in central Kota Kinabalu. We hope you have had many new, amazing experiences during your four-day Orou Sapulot adventure.
Trip Inclusions – Orou Sapulot | Adventure & Culture
- All meals as tasted above (freshly cooked Murut dishes prepared by the Villagers from Orou Sapulot)
- Accommodation for the three-night as outlined above (basic and comfortable)
- All activities as mentioned in the outline itinerary: visits to Pungiton Caves, Tinahas Cave, the Hidden Waterfalls, fishing, rapid shooting along a river and Cultural Performance
- Safety equipment during activities: helmet for the cave tours, personal buoyancy aid for the swim in the waterfall pools and rapid shooting.
- All transfers during the itinerary: transfer from a Kota Kinabalu city centre hotel, return public bus transfers Kota Kinabalu – Keningau, return 4×4 transfers Keningau – Sapulot, transfers with the villages.
- Guiding by an English-speaking qualified Guide.
- At the accommodation – coffee, tea and drinking water in the eating area and overnight necessities such as towels, bedding & blankets
- Community fee
- 0% Sales & Service Tax on the tour price.
Trip Exclusions – Orou Sapulot | Adventure & Culture
The following are excluded from your Orou Sapulot tour – personal spend, tips, alcoholic or soft drinks, personal travel insurance and any activities not mentioned.
Recommended Packing List – Orou Sapulot
To get the most from your time at Orou Sapulot, we recommend you take the following on your trip – casual clothes suitable for a tropical climate (e.g. long trousers, long shorts, t-shirts, long sleep top), sunscreen, insect repellent, raincoat, toiletries, cash (no ATM), hat, good walking/trekking shoes – your footwear will get wet during the cave tour, leech socks, swimwear, sandals or flip flops, headlamp (essential for the cave tours), refillable water bottle, your favourite snacks, sunglasses, waterproof camera, binoculars, dry bag, personal toiletries including towel, personal medication, basic first aid kit and a sense of adventure! We recommend you travel light.
Notes – Orou Sapulot
A minimum of two persons is required per booking, and the price is valid for tours up to 31st December 2023. The accommodation is clean and well maintained – however, it is very basic. Food is good quality, and simple dietary requirements can be catered for. The activities included as part of your Orou Sapulot tour are subject to weather conditions, and the itinerary may need to be adapted based on current situations.