Veterinary Study Tour to Borneo and the Malay Peninsula - Jon Baines Tours

Veterinary Study Tour to Borneo and the Malay Peninsula

7 - 19 Jul 2020
  • Medical & Professional Tours

About the tour

Travel with Campbell Costello through Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo to Kuala Lumpur and up the Malay Peninsula. Borneo is known as being the home of the orang utan, but it also contains a huge range of animal, marine and bird life. In both Sabah and Sarawak there are a wide range of visits examining wildlife conservation as well as a visit to a cattle farm on the slopes of Mount Kinabalu.Visit Bako National Park and explore the trails where nineteenth century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace did much of his work on evolutionary biology, alongside a spectacular coastline dotted with small bays, coves and beaches. It is common to see the local proboscis monkeys, silvered langurs (monkeys), long-tailed macaques, wild boar, monitor lizards and many species of birds.

In Kuala Lumpur meet with local vets, visit the beautiful historic city of Malacca and immerse yourself in the spectacular hot springs at Banjaran. In Ipoh visit the horse hospital and in Penang visit the Jockey Club to meet with equine vets. In Penang visit the Turf Club and explore George Town, which grew wealthy on the Indochina trade and the export of tin and rubber, with Malay, Chinese, Indian and British influences and connections. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage city due to its well-preserved colonial architecture. It is also a dynamic, creative city known for its delicious cuisine and street art.

Throughout the tour enjoy the wonderful local cuisine of Malaysia.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, Dr Campbell Costello BVSc

Dr Campbell Costello BVSc

Campbell Costello, or “Cozzy” as he is more usually known, was born and raised on his family’s isolated beef cattle stations in the outback of North Queensland, Australia. Growing up on a few hundred thousand acres of bush with plenty of animals and not many people made choosing a career in veterinary science an easy one, especially if it involved cattle, horses and the frontier. Campbell graduated from James Cook University’s inaugural year of undergraduate Veterinary Science in 2010, and traded the tropical North of Australia for the cold Southern States of Australia for a few years of mixed-animal practice, with a predominant focus on large animals.

In 2012, Campbell decided to ride one thousand kilometers across Mongolia in the world’s longest horse race, the “Mongol Derby”. Cozzy was not only the year’s youngest rider but was just one of 16 out of 34 that finished the race. Cozzy returned to mixed practice in Australia but the banality of life post-derby was too much, so he packed his bags and trekked across the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan in 2013 before relocated to the Highveldt of South Africa as a Large African Game & Wildlife veterinarian. Cozzy returned to Australia to work as a veterinary contractor in the livestock sector that dealt with several overseas governments that were importing breeding animals to establish or improve their pre-existing livestock ventures. This took Cozy to coutnries such as Russia, China, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Kuwait, Oman, Israel, the UAE, and Sri Lanka to name a few. Cozy has also returned to Mongolia annually several times as one of the senior veterinarians and crew for the “Mongol Derby” race, and several weeks prior to select thousands of Mongolian horses for the event. During these deployments, Campbell ventured to Northern Mongolia twice to spend time with the Nomadic Tsaatan Reindeer herders in the Khövsgöl province on the Russian border. Campbell also started working annually as an Airborne Veterinarian for the Iditarod Dog Sled Race in Alaska. In 2016 Campbell was stationed in South-Eastern Kazakhstan as the head veterinarian and farm manager of a Angus Beef Cattle farm and help establish one of the country’s first ever cattle ventures since the demise of the Soviet Union. During that time, Campbell was also one of the only English speaking veterinarians to attend the “World Nomad Games” in Kyrgyzstan and offer veterinary assistance to the local animals and training to local veterinarians and para-veterinarians. During March of 2019 Campbell was very fortunate to be the mounted veterinarian for the “Gaucho Derby” recce mission, which involved riding across the Argentine area of Patagonia for several days, monitoring the local Criollo horses’ physiological parameters as a response to the terrain and conditions, and mapping a basic route for the inaugural “Gaucho Derby” race in 2020.

Campbell was based as a large animal veterinarian in the Kimberley region of Australia for eighteen months but left at the beginning of 2019 after contracting leptospirosis. Campbell has returned to his home state of Queensland and is currently locuming around Australia and the world.

Need more information?

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  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • 7 July (Tues) Kota Kinabalu: Arrive in Kota Kinabalu. Dinner at the hotel
  • 8 July (Wed) Kota Kinabalu: Visit the Desa Cattle Dairy Farm on the slopes of Mount Kinabalu, followed by a visit to Kundasang WWII Memorial. In the afternoon meet with Dr Cheryl Cheah from the World Wildlife Fund veterinary department in Sabah and hear about Borneo elephant conservation and elephant corridors
  • 9 July (Thurs) Kota Kinabalu: Take a boat trip out to Gaya Island and visit the Marine Ecology Research Centre (MERC).
  • 10 July (Fri) Kota Kinabalu / Kuching, Sarawak: Fly to Kuching, the 'City of Cats'. Take an orientation of Kuching. Learn about the history of the peoples of north Borneo and of the history of Sarawak at the excellent ethnological museum. Visit Fort Margherita and hear about the ‘White Rajahs’ of Borneo
  • 11 July (Sat) Kuching: Visit the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre to view semi-wild orangutans in a natural setting. Learn about their care from local vets. Visit Anah Rais longhouse in Bidayuh village and learn about the culture of the Land Dayaks. Take a short walk with a specialist guide to see medicinal plants
  • 12 July (Sun) Kuching: Drive and take a boat to Bako National Park. Explore the park with its many species of wildlife and meet with local rangers
  • 13 July (Mon) Kuching / Kuala Lumpur: Fly to Kuala Lumpur and check into the hotel. Visit Kuala Lumpur local clinic and learn about their veterinary work
  • 14 July (Tues) Kuala Lumpur: Full day tour of historic Malacca. Walking tour to St. Paul's Hill for a panoramic view of Malacca, the straits and the old town. See the Portuguese Fort de Santiago, the ruins of St. Paul's Church and Dutch Square. Walk down Harmony Street to 'Antique Row'. Traditional Peranakan lunch. Boat ride on the Malacca River
  • 15 July (Wed) Kuala Lumpur / Banjaran: Drive to Ipoh. En route visit the Turtle Conservation Project, Pantai Pasir Panjang. Continue Banjaran Hot springs and at leisure at the spectacular hot springs
  • 16 July (Thurs) Ipoh / Penang: Visit the Equine Hospital in Ipoh. Lunch in Concubine Lane, renowned for its vibrant street art. Drive to Penang via the Tortoise Temple
  • 17 July (Fri) Penang: Explore George Town on a heritage tour on foot and by trishaw. See Fort Cornwallis, St John’s Church and visit Cheong Fatt Tze mansion. Walk along Little India and onto the Khoo Kongsi, one of the most distinctive Chinese clan associations in Malaysia, and the Chew Chetty. Drinks at the Eastern and Oriental Hotel
  • 18 July (Sat) Penang: Visit the Turf Club and meet with their equine vets. Visit the Penang Races. Farewell Dinner
  • 19 July (Sun) Penang: Depart Penang for flight home or take extension in Langkawi or east coast resorts

Tour cost


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