Camp Borneo Community & Marine 2 Weeks
Arrive by boat on to your paradise island home in the South China Sea, Camp Mantanani. Blue skies, towering palm trees, crystal waters and piles of ancient drift wood decorate the white sands. Behind the idyllic surface lies an array of environmental and socioeconomic challenges facing the isolated island community. You'll make a difference to the community that our camp is based alongside by working on projects that combat waste management, poor schooling and over-fishing using unsustainable fishing methods. Teach english to the local children, arrange games and sports sessions to keep them active and engaged in their education. During your two weeks you'll have time to relax and soak in island life on Mantanani. Snorkel, kayak, swim and get yourself up early to walk to the tip of the island for the most beautiful sunrise you've ever seen. After two weeks you won't want to leave your island home.
The impact you will make
Developing Community Amenities (Mantanani)
The small isolated community of Mantanani remains one of the poorest in the region with high levels of unemployment. Many families have set up homestay initiatives to generate income for their families. You’ll help by continuing the development of a purpose built office & reception to welcome guests and expand this initiative.
- Digging foundations & laying bricks
- Plastering, painting and decorating buildings
- Installing bathroom facilities for visitor toilets
- Making furniture
What people say
For those who love white sand beaches, crystal blue waters and their own remote tropical island (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), Mantanani might just be the perfect location.
The island lies about 80km north of Kota Kinabalu and is home to around 800 permanent residents. The surrounding coral reef and lagoon are home to juvenile turtles, rays, a variety of tropical fish and even the occasional dolphin passes by.
The camp itself is set right on the beach a little way from the main village where many of our community projects are based, allowing you to feel part of this amazing community for the time that you’re here.
Location: 80 km north of Kota Kinabalu. (around 1.5 hrs drive from KK to Kuala Abai Jetty, then 1 hr boat ride to Mantanani Island)
Accommodation: Beautiful open sided driftwood bunk houses with comfy mattresses & bedding including mosquito net. Asian style toilets, cold water showers & sinks
Power: Generator (between 18:00 – 06:00). British 3 pin power sockets
Phone Signal: Intermittent
Meals: Three healthy, well balanced and tasty meals a day e.g. bread, pancakes, oats for breakfast; rice, beef stew/fish with veg for lunch/dinner & fruit
Signature dish: Stewed beef in soy sauce & pumpkin in coconut milk
If you’re feeling brave: Try Sambal Bellman (shrimp paste) or Kuih Tahai
Social: Beach, campfire, snorkelling, kayak, volleyball
Welcome to Borneo
Arrive in Kota Kinabalu, where you will be met at the airport by a member of our Camp Borneo team and transferred to your accommodation in the city. Here you will meet our Country Manager who will run an arrival briefing for you and your group before your welcome dinner.
PACOS Trust Day
Today will be spent with PACOS Trust, a local community-based organisation dedicated towards supporting indigenous communities in Sabah. Here we’ll have a cultural orientation and get involved in some volunteering at the Kivatu Nature Farm, before transferring back to KK for the night.
Welcome to Camp Mantanani
After a much-needed sleep and a good breakfast, you will be transferred to the paradise island of Mantanani by boat. Meet the Camp Mantanani team, including your Camp Manager, who will give you a tour of the island. You will also have an overview of what your time here will involve. Then it’s time to choose your bed in your new beach style longhouse home.
Project work begins
Enjoy waking up in your new island home before we get stuck into a project orientation where we will explain the work you will be getting involved with at Mantanani.
What better place to spend a relaxing weekend. Kayak, snorkel, sunbathe, watch the most amazing sunrise and sunsets you’ve ever seen.
Spend the next few days volunteering alongside the island communities. This is your chance to get stuck in to some valuable initiatives such as helping to build community ablutions, teaching basic English to primary age children, working on our marine conservation & awareness programme and running fun activities and sports sessions with the local children.
Back to Kota Kinabalu
Say your goodbyes to the community in the morning then depart by boat back to the main land and on to the vibrant city of Kota Kinabalu (Known locally as KK). You’ll spend 2 nights in a hostel here, so you have a plenty of time to check out the souvenir shops and restaurants.
We’ll say our goodbyes and get you to the airport for your flight.
This itinerary is for example purposes only and is subject to change.
Top up your trip
Add some extra adventure to your time in Borneo. All of our top ups are bookable through our friendly travel advisers.
PADI Scuba Borneo
Borneo is surrounded by beautiful beaches, blue tropical ocean and abundant coral reefs, so why not take the opportunity to explore this underwater paradise! Whether you are a complete novice or an experienced diver, there...Find Out More
Don’t forget… flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations. Please note, you must be over 18 years old at time of departure.