Trip reference number: The Great Iban Longhouse Experience

Trip Operator: The Great Projects

The Great Iban Longhouse Experience

From: £595.00

This action-packed three day tour will take you right into the heart of Borneo and give you the once in a lifetime chance to experience being a part of the Iban, the former head hunters of Borneo! Fortunately these days the Iban have adopted a peaceful agrarian lifestyle so this is a great chance to experience their tradition of warm hospitality to all visitors. You will be welcomed in the longhouse which is the traditional dwelling of the Iban and an amazing experience in itself.

Before you get arrive at the Iban's home you will have the chance to purchase some mementoes of your trip from the Lachau Bazaar which is home to shops and a small native market so you'll definitely be able to find something to spend your money on!

Walking boots will be necessary as you will have the chance to trek up the jungle trails alongside the river, taking in all of the sights and sounds of the immense quantity of nature all around you. Hiking completed and you'll be heading off up the river to see the scenic Enseluai Waterfall, maybe even witnessing your boatman stop and demonstrate the traditional Iban method of net fishing if the weather permits.

You will become further immersed in the local culture when you visit the Jambu community. Jambu is a collection of 8 families who will welcome you into their home with open arms and hopefully you can teach each other a thing or two about your two very different cultures!

Whether it be wildlife or a cultural experience you are looking for this three day trip packs it all in. You'll be travelling up and down the river watching the abundance of life on the riverbanks before meeting up with two different groups and hopefully making some friends. You'll be so busy you won't have a chance to catch a breath!

Please Note: This tour is for a minimum of 2 people


This trip really throws you into the culture of the indigenous people of the island. Over 3 days you will learn about new beliefs and ways of life that you would never have experienced otherwise so it is the perfect way to learn about the history of the island from those who have inhabited it for a very long time. If you have ever wanted to experience a culture very different to your own and get a hands-on experience of how tribal life in Borneo truly is then this is a tour that cannot be missed. Having the chance to interact with the former headhunters of Borneo in their famous longhouse is certainly an opportunity which won't come around often.

Day 1: Kuching - Nanga Sumpa 

An early morning pickup from your hotel in Kuching at 8.00am to meet your team leader and begin the journey to Batang Ai Reservoir. On your way, you will stop at the Lachau Bazaar to look around the local shops and market stalls, grabbing lunch at one of the coffee houses. After this pit stop you will continue your journey going through rural Sarawak, passing pepper gardens and rubber & cocoa plantations.
Upon arrival at the Batang Ai Reservoir, you will enjoy a 1.5-hour longboat ride upriver to Nanga Sumpa which is home to the original inhabitants of the Borneo Island, the Iban. The former headhunters will welcome you with open arms and show you how they live, including their famous longhouse accommodation.
The Iban will be your hosts until you check into the Nanga Sumpa lodge across from the Longhouse and enjoy a relaxing evening which is free for you to do as you please. 

Day 2: Nanga Sumpa - Enseluai Waterfall - Jabua Longhouse 

After breakfast, you will begin a trek through the jungle, following the path of the river. Once the tiredness starts to set in a longboat will come to your rescue and take you upriver to the Enseluai waterfall. Before you reach the waterfall you will have the chance to see your boatman (weather permitting) demonstrate the traditional Iban method of fishing, using a Jala or net casting and he will then introduce you to the Jambu Longhouse Community. The Jambu are an isolated community consisting of 8 families living on the Delok River. Once you have said your goodbyes to the families of the Jambu you will make your way up to the Enseluai waterfall where you will have the chance to cool off and splash around! Lunch will be served BBQ style at the riverside by your Iban hosts and after this you can make your way back to the lodge for dinner and some much-needed sleep.           

Day 3: Nanga Sumpa - Kuching

The final day of your trip starts as the previous one ended with the chance to have more fun in the river and explore the surrounding area of Nunga Sumpa. After an early lunch, you will depart by longboat to the Batang Ai Lake jetty and then head overland by shuttle to Kuching. The estimated arrival time to arrive in the city is 18.30 and after this you will be dropped off at your hotel or Kuching airport for your onward flight.           

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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The Great Projects