Borneo HikingChallenge


Borneo Hiking Challenge

Join us

Join Team Macmillan on an unforgettable jungle adventure and summit South East Asia’s highest mountain, Mt Kinabalu

Registration fee: £450

Minimum sponsorship required: £3,950

Be amazed by one of the most unique and biodiverse islands in the world. Trek through dense ancient rainforest, wake up to the dawn chorus, and climb the mesmerising Mt Kinabalu on this unforgettable Indonesian adventure.

After 9 incredible days in the jungle our challenge culminates in a tough but magical ascent of Mt Kinabalu. Standing at a majestic 4095m, you’ll feel an incredible sense of achievement as you watch the sunrise over the stunning scenery below.

By taking part you’ll make a big difference to the lives of people affected by cancer.

This event is available of the Team Macmillan App!

If you have signed up to hike your way to victory, the Team Macmillan app brings together everything you need to make the most out of your event. Features include:

  • Find the key information for your event
  • Countdown to the event day
  • Interactive map to help you plan your event day
  • Add the date to your calendar
  • Contact the Macmillan event team
  • Social media updates
  • Training calculators
  • Personal trainer advice
  • Strava group links
  • Download your training guides
  • Track and promote your JustGiving page with custom messages

Available for iOS and Android.

When does the trip take place?

The trip will take place between 19 – 27 November 2016. Close

What do I have to do to take part?

Sign up online by clicking the 'Sign up today' button above.

You’ll need to pay a £450 registration fee, raise a minimum of £3,950 for this event and have at least £1,600 of this raised four months prior to the trek. Your total sponsorship amount must be with us within one month of your return from Borneo.


How much will it cost Macmillan?

The total cost of the trip is £2050 made up of your £450 registration fee and the first £1,600 of your sponsorship we will pay to Discover Adventure. Close

How does Macmillan benefit?

At least 60% of the £3,950 minimum sponsorship will be treated as a donation to Macmillan. 100% of anything you raise over £3,950 will benefit Macmillan.

Macmillan is proud to have one of the best cost to income ratios in the charity sector, meaning more of the money you raise is spent on our vital services and not on trip costs.


What if I can't raise the minimum sponsorship?

We’ll provide you with a fundraising pack full of ideas on how to reach your target. You’ll also have the support of the Hiking Team as well as our extensive network of fundraisers throughout the UK.

If you don’t manage to raise £1,600 four months prior to departure, you’ll either have to forfeit your place on the challenge, make up the shortfall yourself or transfer to a later event to give yourself more time to raise enough funds.

If by one month after the event you have not raised the full £3,950 we will work with you to ensure you do raise this minimum amount. Whether that’s by advising on collections, providing ideas and materials for fundraising events, or by setting up a standing order for you to make a monthly contribution to pay off the outstanding amount.

It is imperative that everyone who takes part reaches the minimum amount of £3,950 to ensure that 60% of what you raise goes on funding Macmillan’s vital services.


Who organises the trip?

This trip is conceived and operated by Discover Adventure Ltd, ATOL 5636, whose booking conditions apply. Close

What’s included?

• Return flight: London-Kota Kinabalu-London.
• All accommodation.
• All food except for two meals.
• Full support with local guides, cooks, Discover Adventure leaders and doctors.
• Macmillan Cancer Support representative. Close

What’s not included?

• Insurance: our tour operator, Discover Adventure, offers insurance specifically created to cover you for the challenge you’ll be taking on.
• Two meals.
• A discretionary tip for the local crew who look after us.
• We also recommend around £150 - £200 for personal expenses. Close

What sort of person takes part?

The group will be made up of around 40 people - men and women - from all backgrounds, abilities and ages, although you must be over 18 to take part.

Though some people sign up with friends, most come on their own, so it's a great way to meet new people and form friendships as the group quickly bond and support each other throughout the challenge.


What is the hiking like?

Trekking time varies from five to eight hours per day. We hike through lush rainforest and traditional villages in the Crocker Range National Park before tackling the highest mountain in Borneo, Mt. Kinabalu at 4,096m.

In the jungle the trails can be narrow and overgrown, and can get slippery. There will be numerous water crossings s; some have bridges, varying from planks to well-constructed rope bridges.

On the mountain the  trek is on constructed stepped dirt paths through forest and moorland, to bare rock, with more steps. There is some scrambling involved, and a rope to assist with the steep gradient. Lower down it can be wet, muddy and humid; higher up barren and windy, and cooler. This is a challenging trek due to the varied terrain, long day and high altitude on the mountain. However our experienced leaders will be there to support you every step of the way on the challenge.


Do I have to carry my own kit?

Throughout the trek we’ll be accompanied by porters who will carry all our equipment and supplies and will take your kit ahead to camp each day. However, you will need to carry a day pack for items needed during the day: water, sunscreen, camera, waterproofs etc. On the Kinabalu summit you will need to carry your usual day pack plus a small amount of overnight kit. Close

Do I have to meet any medical requirements?

Everyone on the challenge is required to complete a medical form, which will be provided in your fundraising pack. If you are over 65, answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions or have a BMI of 35+ the form must also be signed by your GP. Individual surgeries may charge for this service. It is also essential for you to consult your doctor about necessary vaccinations. Close

Where will we stay while hiking?

While trekking we will stay in a mixture of hotels, mountain huts and home stays with traditional Malaysian families, which make this a varied and fascinating trek. We will stay in simple hotels on our days in the city. Close

What will the weather be like?

Borneo has a tropical climate; it will be hot and humid at lower elevations and as we reach the mountain you can expect wind, rain and cooler conditions. Temperatures at the summit of Kinabalu could reach -3°C. Close

Am I fit enough?

This challenge is designed to be challenging for those with a good level of health and fitness due to the climate, terrain and climbs and altitude. The final climb up Mt. Kinabalu reaches 4,096m above sea level. You should commit to training during the preceding months to prepare yourself for the long days, the ascents and descents; however we will provide you with a full training programme. Close

Can I extend my stay in Borneo?

Yes. If you’d like to stay out in Borneo after the challenge, our tour operator, Discover Adventure, will be happy to organise this for you. A £75 administrative fee, payable to Discover Adventure, applies. A 3/4 day extension to the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre is also available at the end of your challenge. Please contact Discover Adventure on 01722 718 444 or email for more information. Close

How do I convince my friends that this is not a holiday?

While you are sure to have an incredible time on the challenge, our challenges can never be described as holidays. You will need to spend months training and fundraising, before undertaking a demanding physical challenge. The days on the challenge will be long, facilities will be basic and the conditions tough. All of this takes time, effort, dedication and commitment and is far from just a holiday. Of course, if you would prefer to cover the costs of the challenge in order to ensure that 100% of your sponsorship goes towards the work of the charity we would be delighted to discuss this option with you. Close

Further questions

If you have any further questions please get in touch with the Hiking Team on 020 7840 7887 or e-mail Close

Here's what you'll be getting up to on this incredible Challenge...

Day 1: Depart London

Day 2: Arrive Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

We arrive in this bustling city, known widely as KK, and transfer to our hotel for dinner and a full trip briefing to find out what lies ahead.

Accommodation: Hotel(lunch not included)

Day 3: KK – Crocker Range National Park

We begin with an hour’s drive to the Crocker Range National Park – a stunning landscape of jungle-covered mountains teeming with fascinating wildlife. Our trek takes us downhill on jungle paths, passing native villages into primary rainforest with rushing streams and lush vegetation tangled with creepers. The atmosphere here is incredible, with insects buzzing and melodic bird-calls high up in the canopy. After a great first day of trekking we eventually reach our host village and enjoy a wonderful insight into the local people’s everyday lives.

Accommodation: Community Hall

Trek approx 5 hours

Day 4: Crocker Range National Park Trek

Today’s route takes us through more dense jungle, allowing us to experience this incredible and remote habitat close-up. We trek along old trading paths used by villagers to reach markets to sell goods.

We cross fast-flowing streams and climb jungle ridges as our route takes us up and down through the jungle.The paths get muddy and overgrown and, although the paths are not too steep, it’s hard work and a great warm-up for our Kinabalu summit climb.

Accommodation: Village house beside the river

Trek approx 6-8 hours

Day 5: Crocker Range National Park – Kota Kinabalu

Our last day of jungle trekking takes us through more dense vegetation into secondary rainforest wherewe experience more breathtaking scenery, small villages and photogenic rice-paddies. We have lunch at the end of the trail, and then transfer back to our hotel in Kota Kinabalu for a well-deserved shower and comfy bed for the night.

Accommodation: Hotel. (Dinner not included)

Trek approx 6-8 hours

Day 6: Kota Kinabalu – Kinabalu Park – Laban Rata

After an early breakfast we drive foraround 2 hours to Kinabalu Park, the gateway to the famous mountain. We complete Park formalities and begin our ascent from 1866m, initially on easy terrain. We continue trekking steadily up through lush vegetation, which provides welcome shelter from the hot sun.

The landscapegradually changes becoming sparser, steeper and more demanding. Kinabalu is one of the most biologically diverse spots on the planet and has World Heritage Site status. Incredible ferns and orchids and the rare parasitic Rafflesia provide a welcome distraction from weary legs.

We emerge from the the vegetation onto a clear rocky plateau at around 2500m wherewe can see the mountaintop.above us,it’s an impressive sight with waterfalls cascading down the bare slopes. We continue up to Laban Rata Laban Rata, where we will have time to relax before getting an early night.

Accommodation: Mountain Hut (3270m).

Trek approx 5-6 hours

Day 7: Laban Rata – Summit – Kinabalu Park

Today we make the final push to the summit of Mt Kinabalu. We start in the early hours and ascend in the dark, using our head-torches to light the way. A series of steps cut into the rock takes us through low shrub, and out onto bare granite rock. It’s hard-going, especially if you are feeling the effects the altitude, so we trek slowly and steadily. Some parts are very steep but we can use the permanent rope bolted into the rock to help us along.

We cross a number of ridges and finally see the distinctive marker of the summit of Low’s Peak (4095m.) As we approach our goal a magnificent sunrise awaits us, and in clear conditions we can enjoy views which stretch for miles .Awell-earned reward for our efforts. We via the same route feeling triumphant, stopping for breakfast on the way back to Laban Rata and returning to the Park Gate and Kinabalu Park.

Accommodation: Cabins

Day 8: Kinabalu Park – Kota Kinabalu via Poring Hot Springs

After the exhausting achievement of climbing Mt Kinabalu, we leave the park and drive to Poring Hot Spring. Here we can take a dip in one of the soothing, hot mineral springs set in beautifully landscaped gardens and take in the beauty of the rainforest canopy on a walkway 100ft above the forest floor. It’s a relaxing end to an incredible trek.

We then return to Kota Kinabalu for a celebratory meal to toast the end of the challenge and our wonderful achievements.

Accommodation: Hotel (Drive Approx 2 hours)

Day 9:Fly Kota Kinabalu – UK

Today we say our goodbyes to Borneo with a huge sense of achievement and make the transfer to the airport for our early morning flight home via Kuala Lumpur.

Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.

"It was a crazy, hard, emotional and amazing experience"

Zoe - Team Macmillan Hiker 2015

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