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TNT's resident travel expert, Laura Lindsay from Lonely Planet, answers readers' travel questions. If you have a question, email traveltips@tntmagazine.com. If your question is published, you'll win a Lonely Planet guide of your choice

Question

My girlfriend and I will be travelling to Borneo Island in May/ June. As we’re both keen on diving, snorkeling, hiking and canoeing, we’re thinking it would be best to spend most of our time in the Sabah area. Could you suggest the spots that would be most suitable for tackling these activities?
Garyth, via email

Answer

Sabah is packed with incredible locations for travellers seeking an active holiday. First off, start with the Semporna archipelago, which you are visiting at the best time for diving, as 
the waters are calmest between May and July.

Sipadan is just one of the many islands that make up the Semporna archipelago, and what an island it is. Incredible marine life makes it a must-visit for divers; turtles and reef sharks are commonly seen on dives and you are also likely to spot whale sharks, octopus, barracudas and manta rays. Booking dive trips in advance is essential here. There is a complicated permit process that means unless you book in advance, you could be left disappointed.

Next up, Mount Kinabulu (Malaysia’s highest mountain) for great hiking and great views. Be warned, it’s no easy feat – the mountain is 4095m high. You will need a park permit, which is about £3, a climbing permit and insurance for a further £22, and a guide for the trek will set you back about £20. It is worth noting that the popularity of Sabah means planning ahead will reap rewards – permits for national parks and accommodation are best arranged in advance.

Question

My partner and I would like to do an Africa Overland trip in July. We want to do the Kenya to Cape Town route, and include gorilla trekking in the itinerary. Can you recommend any good tour operators, and other sights that I should make sure 
are included? Michael, via email

Answer

Firstly, you should be aware of the political situation in the countries that you plan on travelling to. Kenya carries multiple travel warnings from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Political situations change in Africa quickly, so you should monitor the situation with the FCO and local news services (fco.gov.uk).

For unmissable experiences en route, there are too many to list, but must-sees include a trip to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, which you will be visiting at the best time of year (July-September). It’s a great time for spotting wildlife, including elephants, buffalos and rhino. Also, the sheer size of Victoria Falls will blow you away. Head to the visitors centre near the Zambian border post as there are a number of routes from here to view the falls. Entrance is about £6.50.

Acacia tours (acacia-africa.com) offers the “Ultimate African Adventure”, which includes gorilla trekking and the Victoria Falls. The tour is 46 days and costs £1349. Dragoman (dragoman.com) offers a 60-day tour for about £1900, including a chimpanzee trek as well as gorillas in Uganda. If this is way out of your budget, consider doing the trip yourself and only using organised tours for small elements.

Readers' tips

Send your tips to traveltips@tntmagazine.com. If your tip is published, you'll win vouchers (worth up to £60) for entry into one of No.1 Traveller's airport lounges at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted. (no1traveller.com)

Google Gadgets

With most people travelling with a smartphone these days, there are two really good – and free – apps 
I like to use. Google Maps: cache maps before you go and avoid expensive roaming charges. Google Goggles: take a picture of a street sign or menu in a foreign language and it will translate it for you. Never inadvertently order horse meat in France again!
Vanessa Vantol, via email

On Broadway

If you’re going to New York on 
a budget and want to see Broadway shows, be prepared. Sign up to broadwaybox.com or playbill.com/club, where prices for top shows are cheaper than the TKTS booth. You even avoid expensive booking fees.
Zoe Bown, via email


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Travel advice: Adventure sports in Borneo
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