We are the other trekking company that our competition talk about and try and emulate.
We have taken numerous groups across the track including relatives of the POWs.
We pay tribute to our soldiers and walk in their footsteps.
The Sandakan Death March is acknowledged as the worst military tragedy for Australia in World War II.
Tragic though it is, the story of the Sandakan Death March is an important chapter in the shared wartime history of Australia and Sabah Borneo.
We offer treks exploring sections of the Sandakan Death March Route by vehicle and on foot. We visit the haunting 8 mile Prisoner of war camp at Sandakan; explore the Sandakan town including the Catholic Church where the prisoners first stayed on arrival in the area.
Our trek across the Sandakan Death March Track takes us too many of the historical and heroic areas along the track, where our Australian Soldiers lost their lives in tragic and barbaric fashion.
Wayne Wetherall, Managing Director of trekking company Kokoda Spirit, Wild Spirit Adventures and Sandakan Spirit has walked the Sandakan Death March Track since 2006 crossing over a dozen times and has been very fortunate to meet a number of the old local people from Borneo and hear first hand and record their experiences of the Sandakan Death Marches.
Over the past few years Wetherall, Jerome Robles and his team of local Dusun’s, who are direct descendents of the carriers and villagers along the track have meticulously, using the latest in GPS mapping technology and old fashion hard work and intense research, have been able to faithfully piece together as close as possible the original Sandakan Death March route.
Our treks are based on research from the premier and respected authorities on the Sandakan Death March,
Don Wall, Paul Ham and Kevin Smith.
We avoid using “short cut”,“eco” or alternative tracks that are logistically easier to ensure you see the real Borneo, the real Sandakan Death March Route.
We use a variety of accommodation on our treks including camping next to Rainforest Rivers and staying in traditional Dusun Villages along the way, this gives you a great chance to embrace the traditional culture and mix with the locals and hear firsthand the stories of their forefathers.
One of the most acclaimed authority on the Sandakan Death March and Sandakan POW camp is Don Wall.
Don Wall is a Veteran of WW11, volunteering for service with the AIF, serving with the 2/20 Battalion 8 Division. After the fall of Singapore Don then became a POW.
Don had the full co-operation during his research of Sandakan Death March survivors Keith Botterill, Owen Campbell and Nelson Short. These in-depth discussions covered all aspects of the events of prisoner of war life in Sandakan.
Don wrote his first book Kill the Prisoners way back in 1988 and his revised fourth edition in 1995.
Don also had full access and permission to use the private records of Lt. Col. H.W.S Jackson, MBE (Ret.) in particular records of the recovery of remains, his first hand knowledge of the people of Borneo, those that witnessed the prisoners on the marches and those who saved the lives of the six survivors.
Kevin Smith and Paul Ham are other prominent authorities and authors on Sandakan and the Sandakan Death March.
Do not be deceived in believing that there has only been one book written about Sandakan and the Sandakan Death March.
Don, Paul and Kevin have researched and written excellent books.
We also base our treks on the reports compiled by Veterans of Borneo, Major R.E. Steele, WO W. Wallace and SGT R.J. Kennedy.
Trekking the Sandakan Death March route with us is an experience not just a holiday. We see things as an explorer, historian and adventurer.
When you trek the Sandakan Death March with Sandakan Spirit, you’re participating in a personal discovery experience; you are truly living and participating in an historic and monumental Borneo adventure.
It is important that you ask your trekking company important questions regarding the Sandakan Death March route that they walk and the itineraries and accommodation that they use. Make sure any operator you use is covered under Australian and Malaysian law.
Our Sandakan adventures ensure that our impact is minimal by adhering to a self imposed code of conduct.
This not only involves adhering to the laws, guidelines and regulations of the countries we visit, but also operating in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. It is our own backyard and we need to look after it.
Our staff are passionate about people and about providing people with everlasting memories of the places we visit. They live and have families in the beautiful areas we operate.
Sandakan Spirit encourages and assists our guests in learning about the country, its culture, religion and its customs, resulting in a much more informed experience.
Sabah Borneo has some of the World’s greatest adventures including the infamous Sandakan Death March. Immerse yourself in an ecological treasure that is breathtaking, serene and thrilling. Whatever your mood, you have paradise in the palm of your hand in Sabah, the adventure land of eco-treasures.
So whatever excites or fascinates you, your children or friends, from mountain climbing, jungle trekking, wildlife safaris, white water rafting, mountain biking, kayaking, diving, fishing, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, tennis or golf, Sabah promises excitement to fulfil every adventurers and sporting persons wishes and dreams.
Sabah Borneo is also the place to experience the culture of this wonderful place, with traditional longhouses and village stays, exotic cuisine, traditional festive celebrations and the incredible “tamu” or local market place shopping experience.
Sabah is also home to some amazing, unique and fascinating animals, including the incredible Borneo Elephants, Orang-utans, and Proboscis monkeys.
Why go to Africa when you can have your very own wildlife safari in Borneo? Come trek with us through the pristine Jungle of the lower Kinabatangan River in search of colourful tropical birds, crocodiles, huge monitor lizards, wild pigs, elephants, otters, several species of monkeys, tree snakes.
It is also a haven for the Proboscis Monkey, Orang Utan, hornbills and kingfishers.
Sandakan Spirit is dedicated to delivering to you some of the World’s greatest adventure. We are specialist in delivering the ultimate in Adventure Sports, Adventure Culture and Adventure Education.
We specialise in tailoring adventure itineraries to suit individual and group requirements. Our itineraries and adventures can be swapped and modified to maximize your adventure.
For those that wish to indulge in the finer things of life, before, during or after their adventures, Sabah has a wealth of 3, 4 and 5 star resorts and hotels to choose from.
All of our adventures can be designed to suit the elite athlete with harder and more challenging adventures or modified to suit school groups, groups or individuals.
Our trekking groups are small and personal, with most group sizes only around 8 people allowing for greater flexibility in the itinerary. We can also cater for 1 or 25 travellers.
We carry a full $10 million dollar Public Liability Insurance, you are also protected by the Travel Compensation Fund which confirms the ability of the operator to be financially viable.
Make sure if you are dealing with overseas companies that they cover insurance in Australia and Malaysia and that you are covered under the TCF.
Our travel arrangements are by Spirit Holidays – Travel Agents License TAG1611. Make sure your tour company complies with both Australian and Malaysian laws.