The days of headhunting are long past, but an overnight stay with members of the Iban tribe — renowned for their blowpipe prowess and headhunting traditions — offers an enlightening look at their ancient customs and ceremonies.
Adventure Center’s 11-day Headhunters of Borneo, suitable for travelers ages 7 to 70 (and up), offers a peek into the old ways of this once-feared tribe — learning how to best behave with the Iban so as not to offend, visiting with the Headman (an honor and a courtesy), enjoying traditional dances, and dining on traditional foods (no heads) while sitting on the longhouse floor.
Other highlights include the bustling city of Kuching, the coral islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, guided treks through rainforests and nature preserves filled with exotic wildlife, and a cruise down the Kinabatangan River.
Prices for the nine departures beginning July 24 and running through 2012, range from $2,973 to $3,061 per person double (children are slightly less), and cover entrance fees, activities, accommodations, most meals, services of a group leader, and transportation, including domestic flights; optional extensions and international air are extra.
An optional five-day post-trip in Mount Kinabalu challenges guests to ascend Southeast Asia’s highest mountain before spending a day in Kota Kinabalu.
After a day spent exploring the scenic waterfront and cityscape of Kuching, Borneo’s largest city, guests travel to Bako National Park for a trek along jungle trails that are home to proboscis monkeys, long tail macaques, wild boars and monitor lizards.
A stop at the farmers market in Serian is followed by a longboat ride on the Lemanak River to the longhouse of the welcoming Iban tribe.
Travelers have the opportunity to navigate the waterfalls and rolling hills of the Damai Rainforest by sea kayak or on foot before arriving in Sepilok, where visits to the Sukau Rainforest and Orangutan Reserve — one of only three of its kind in the world — offer close-up views of the endangered species.
After the Kinabatangan River cruise guests fly to Kota Kinabalu for a final day of snorkeling around the coral islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, visiting the Sabah State Museum or taking a trip to the colorful local markets.
Adventurers on the optional post-trip Mount Kinabalu Trek Extension continue to the summit of Southeast Asia’s highest mountain and descend into Kota Kinabalu for a final night of exploration. The five-day trip is priced at $768 per person double. Adventure Center has provided adventure travel experiences with one-on-one advice for more than 35 years.
For more information, call 800-228-8747 or visit www.adventurecenter.com
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