Borneo is a great destination for animal lovers, writes Eli Orzessek.
Borneo appeals to us, satisfying a long time goal of being with orangutans, turtles, and animals. The plant life is so different from what we have here in New Zealand, not to mention the food. Then there is cost, and I am told that this is an affordable destination.

What are the experiences of others, of must dos, recommended agents, accommodation and I guess, avoids. We are casual travellers looking forward to being among nature at its best.

Cheers, Ann and Jamie

I just spent a few days with a group of Malaysian journalists and one of them highly recommended Borneo as a destination - particularly if you're keen to get up close and personal with orangutans.

As far as cost goes, Air Asia X offers some really cheap deals on flights to Kuala Lumpur and they offer flights on to Kuching. Having recently visited KL, I can also recommend it as a great spot to spend a few days before you head to Borneo - the shopping is great - and as an animal lover, I really enjoyed the Bird Park, which is right in the city.

Louise Levesque at Adventure World has also passed on some Borneo tips for you.

Seeing as you're an animal lover, you must visit Semenggoh Wildlife Orangutan Conservation centre near Kuching. It was established in 1975 to care for animals that have been injured, orphaned or handicapped by captivity.

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The world's largest Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is located in Sepilok in the North. The site is 43sq km of protected land at the edge of the Sepilok Forest Reserve, with 80 orangutans living free in the reserve and 25 young, orphaned orangutans in the nurseries.

With these sanctuaries, you can also rest assured you'll be getting an ethical animal experience.

Be sure to visit the Bidayuh Longhouse to observe the lifestyle of the tribal communities. In the Kinabalu Park, head to the Poring Hot Springs, visit the nearby Kipungit Waterfall or trek on a nature trail that leads to a canopy walk.

If you visit Sandakan, you must take a trip to Selingan Turtle Island. Spend the day relaxing on the beach or snorkelling and in the evening watch turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.

You can see all of the above and more on Adventure World's 11-day Handpicked Borneo adventure, priced from $3185 per person, including all transport, accommodation, internal flights, sightseeing and many meals.

If you would like to send in your experiences and recommendations for Borneo, I will be sure to publish them in the next issue, so Ann and Jamie can benefit.

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