School trips to Kota Kinabalu

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School trips to Kota Kinabalu offer students the unforgettable opportunity to explore Malaysian Borneo and take part in volunteer work!

School trips to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo are most popular as school expeditions, but whatever your reason for choosing to visit, our school travel experts will work closely with you to ensure your school trip to Kota Kinabalu is an unforgettable educational experience for your students.

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Why visit Kota Kinabalu?

Discover the delights of Borneo

On your school expedition to Borneo, you will be based around Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the state of Sabah on the northwest coast of Borneo. However, you’ll also travel to Sepilok on the Sandankan Peninsula to visit an orangutan rehabilitation centre.

Often referred to as KK, Kota Kinabalu is the ideal base for a school expedition exploring all that Borneo has to offer. All the exciting attractions of the state of Sabah are within easy reach, from the jungles and beaches to the impressive Mount Kinabalu.

Kota Kinabalu is incredibly multicultural, and so is a fantastic representation of Malaysia as a whole, in that regard. You’ll be able to spend time with local rural tribes, while also experiencing the cultural melting pot of the city.

On your school expedition to Borneo, your students will love exploring the sights of Kota Kinabalu, including Signal Hill, which offers spectacular views of the city and nearby islands. You’ll also see some spectacular mosques and don’t miss the opportunity to capture the magical sunset from the KK Waterfront or Tanjung Aru beach.

Explore wildlife conservation

Borneo is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world and is home to many endemic species. This ancient rainforest is also one of the few remaining natural habitats of the Bornean orangutan.

On your school trip to Kota Kinabalu, your students will visit an orangutan rehabilitation centre. They’ll learn more about these charismatic creatures and what the centre is trying to achieve in terms of their conservation. Your students will even be able to take a boardwalk through the lowland forest, to see them feeding.

You’ll also be able to visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Here, your students will find out about the threats facing these beautiful bears, including illegal hunting, deforestation and the wildlife trade. Many of these bears end up in captivity, often in terribly poor conditions. This centre rescues such bears and aims to rehabilitate them so that they can be released back into the wild.

Learn about British colonialism

Kota Kinabalu also offers some insight into British colonialism and its effects on Borneo. The city was once known as Jesseltown, after Sir Charles Jessel who was the Vice Chairman of the British North Borneo Company who had established a colony there to exploit the island’s impressive natural resources.

The town became a major trading post in the region and dealt with rubber, rattan, honey and wax. The city was almost destroyed during WW2, as the British razed it in retreat from the Japanese who had taken over the island and later due to Allied bombing campaigns. The British North Borneo Company couldn’t afford to rebuild Jesseltown and so handed control over to the British Crown in 1946. It was renamed Kota Kinabalu in 1967, four years after the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.

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Why Halsbury Education trips?

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Our Education specialists

Laura Lucas

Tour Consultant

Tom Moorhouse

Tour Consultant

Gaynor Mayor

Education Sales & Product Manager

Laura Martin

Language Sales & Product Manager

Emma Gray da Silva

Tour Consultant

Lou Della Rocca

Tour Consultant

Gail Biggins

Tour Consultant

Judit Eleod

Tour Consultant

Paul Hudson

Tour Consultant

Michelle Hallam

Tour Consultant

Caroline Hill

Tour Consultant

Gayle Flude

Tour Consultant

Jodi Swift

Tour Consultant

Will Jehu

Tour Consultant

Vanessa Barbosa

Tour Consultant

Meet our education specialists and get to know more about the people committed to making your school trip the best it can be. 

Meet the education team


How long should we spend in Kota Kinabalu on a school trip?
To really make the most of everything that Kota Kinabalu and Malaysia have to offer, we would really recommend planning to spend around 11 days on your school trip here.
When is the best time of year to visit Kota Kinabalu on a school trip?
The best time to visit Kota Kinabalu on a school trip is March through to October, when it's hot and dry.
What's the best way to get around on a school trip to Kota Kinabalu?
Kota Kinabalu will be your base from which to explore the rest of Malaysian Borneo and so coach is really the best way to get around on this school trip. We will, of course, provide you with a comfortable coach that you can use throughout your time here.
Which visits are a must on a school trip to Kota Kinabalu?
A visit to the Kiau Taburi Village offers your students the opportunity to explore traditional tribal village life and take part in community activities. And you'll definitely want to visit the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and Sun Bear Conservation centre to learn more about what's being to done to help these endangered and vulnerable species.
Can I arrange a cross-curricular school trip to Kota Kinabalu?
Yes, you can! While most groups who choose to visit Kota Kinabalu do so on a Helping Hands expedition, which includes the opportunity to take part in volunteer work, there are also great opportunities for geography students here.

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