Fly To Kota Kinabalu, Borneo
Kota Kinabalu, affectionately known as KK, is an increasingly popular destination on the island of Borneo. It’s the capital and largest city of the region, and an important gateway into Sabah and East Malaysia.
Kota Kinabalu’s appeal lies in its seaside location, and proximity to the tropical islands and lush rainforests of Borneo. It’s a favoured destination for diving, wetland adventures, and eco-tourism, and the year-round warm weather makes outdoor activities pleasurable, no matter the season.
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Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South African Passport holders do not require a visa to visit Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, for up to 90 days. You do need to ensure your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that you have 2 blank pages available for entry stamps.
- The South African High Commission to Malaysia is in Kuala Lumpur. Suite 22, 01 Level 22 No. 3 Jalan Kia Peng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur. Phone: + 60 3 2170 2400 or + 60 3 2161 7629. Website: sahighcomkl.com.my.
See and do
Kota Kinabalu’s outdoor attractions are the biggest draw to this sunny region, and there are more than enough activities to keep the most energetic visitor busy.
Diving is one of the most popular experiences here, as the World War II wrecks, coral reefs and underwater rock features make for fascinating viewing for divers of varying levels. If you’re new to scuba, you can even get certified here, as several dive centres run training courses in Kota Kinabalu.
If you prefer to stay above water, the deep sea fishing in KK is world-renowned. It’s one of the cheapest places in Malaysia to take a deep-sea boating trip, and you can do anything from an afternoon on the water to several days.
Don’t limit your activities to the ocean, however – there are plenty of on-shore attractions to visit as well. There are some fascinating cultural villages to see, a short distance outside of town. Mosopiad and Mari Mari are both excellent choices. If you’re heading out of town for the day, swing past Lok Kawi Wildlife Park as well, for its plethora of exotic jungle creatures.
When you’re looking for souvenirs make sure you visit the Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Market. The pearls, hand-worked crystals, batiks and sarongs may not always be made locally, but they’re still a colourful reminder of this Malaysian city, and the wonderful mix of people who have made it their home.
While Kota Kinabalu’s centre is small enough to walk, a lot of the attractions are situated a little further out, and you’ll need to arrange transport to get around. Public transport consists of train, bus and minibus, running mostly from the city centre to the suburbs outside of town. Taxis are usually a lot more convenient, and affordable if you remember to haggle for a fair price. Alternatively, consider hiring your own car or motorbike. It’s a fun way to see the area, and the roads are well marked and safe to drive.
Kota Kinabalu International Airport – BKI
Food and beverage: There are several restaurants and cafés in KKIA.
Currency Exchange: There are Maybank ATMs in both terminals as well as a currency exchange desk operating during office hours.
Lost Luggage: Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. Report items lost or found within the airport terminal to airport security, who will direct you appropriately.
Airport Hotels: None on site. Nearby: Casuarina Hotel, Megah D-Aru Hotel, The Crown Borneo, and Goldenhill Hotel.
Car Hire: Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.
Airport Hub: Kota Kinabalu International Airport (code BKI) is a hub for AirAsia and MASWings.