Borneo

The third largest island in the world, Borneo ranks as one of the planet’s top wildlife destinations. The prospect of thrilling orang-utan encounters is incentive enough to visit, yet the island has so much more to entice you. That includes vast tracts of pristine rainforest, countless coral islands, mighty mountains, remote tribes, jungle-fringed rivers and extensive cave systems.

The human-like orang-utans (the name means man of the forest in Malay) head an impressive assortment of 10 primate species including gibbons, proboscis monkeys, the bizarre-looking western tarsier and the aptly named slow loris. Among the 40 other mammal species, diminutive Borneo pygmy elephants roam the forest trails together with sun bears, clouded leopards and the elusive Sumatran rhinoceros. There are over 600 species of birds, many rare orchids, various carnivorous pitcher plants and an amazing twelve species of Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower. Underwater, Borneo has some of the tropics’ most diverse coral reefs, and large numbers of marine turtles nest on its numerous sandy beaches.

Borneo is divided politically between the small sultanate of Brunei, the Indonesian state of Kalimantan and the two East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak: it is these latter two states on which we focus our tours here. (If you are interested in visiting Kalimantan, please see our Indonesia section.)

Borneo Wildlife Holiday Ideas

# Tailor-Made Tour

Borneo’s Diverse Reefs and Rainforests in Comfort and Style

Borneo
17 Days from £3932
Experience some of the most diverse rainforests and coral reefs on Earth...
# Tailor-Made Tour

The Best of Borneo’s Wonderful Wildlife

Borneo
14 Days from £4125
South East Asian wildlife viewing at its very best...
# Tailor-Made Tour

A Borneo Wilderness and Cultural Adventure

Borneo
15 Days from £3549
Climb Mt Kinabalu, trek in Mulu, see wild rainforests and visit Iban tribes...
# Family Holiday

A Family Wildlife Adventure In Beautiful Borneo

Borneo
14 Days from £3654
Borneo’s exotic reefs and rainforests for families with older children...
# Family Holiday

A Gentle Family tour of Borneo’s Beaches and Rainforests

Borneo
14 Days from £2987
Gentle pace, wildlife and comfortable hotels – for families of all ages...
# Tailor-Made Tour

Borneo’s Forest Wildlife on a Budget

Borneo
13 Days from £2394
A great variety of Borneo wildlife and landscapes at a reasonable a price...

Featured Accommodation

Rasa Ria Resort

Borneo
Sabah
Upmarket resort overlooking Dalit Bay near Kota Kinabalu...

Bunga Raya Resort

Borneo
Sabah
A beautiful island retreat situated on Gaya Island not far off the coast from Ko...

Borneo Rainforest Lodge

Borneo
Sabah
Widely regarded as one of the best wildlife lodges in Asia, set within Sabah’s...

Sukau Rainforest Lodge

Borneo
Sabah
An ideal base from which to explore the wildlife of the Kinabtangan River....

Sepilok Nature Resort

Borneo
Sabah
Beautifully set in lush grounds within walking distance of Sepilok's renowned or...

Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa

Borneo
Sarawak
Luxury five-star hotel with beautiful gardens and elevated position overlooking ...

Destination Map

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Borneo: 3.864255, 114.971924

Best Time To Visit Borneo

Borneo has a tropical climate and is typically hot and humid throughout the year. Expect a mix of sunshine and thundery downpours at any time. The north east monsoon brings heavy rains to the whole island during November, December and January. This is usually followed by a dry spell in March, April and May. The west coast of Sabah can also be affected by the south west monsoon blowing in heavy showers any time from May to October. Borneo is located far enough south to avoid the worst of the Pacific’s typhoons, gaining Sabah the title of “Land Beneath The Wind”.

Travel Info

Flight Time
17 hours (including connections) London to Kota Kinabalu

Time Zone
GMT +8

Best visited
September to March

Language Spoken
Malay

Population
18.59 million

Area Specialist

Jonathan Morris
specialist_jon-morris

Jonathan has been visiting South East Asia for over twenty-five years and has travelled extensively in Borneo since first visiting in 2001. His favourite area is the Danum Valley: “The Danum Valley is really such a special place and is huge in all respects with impossibly tall dipterocarp trees stretching upwards as far as the eye can see. This is best appreciated by visiting the canopy walkway at dawn: being 90 feet up in the forest canopy watching the rainforest wake around you is an unforgettable experience: hornbills fly from tree to tree and orang-utans emerge bleary-eyed from their overnight nests. It is incredible to think that the whole island was once forested in this way.”

If you have any questions regarding travel to Borneo please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

I would like to express my thanks to you for preparing the splendid itinerary, covering my recent trip to Borneo. I achieved every objective set, from reaching the summit of Mount Kinabalu to photographing wild orang-utans, proboscis monkeys and crocodiles, not to mention watching turtles laying their eggs and the hatchlings returning to the sea, plus all the other fascinating wildlife that was observed. The organisation on the ground was seamless and every connection and transfer in a somewhat complex itinerary went like clockwork. Accommodation and cuisine in the various lodges was excellent…superb diving at both Mabul and Sipadan. Once again, thank you – we shall be back.

Mr N S - Reading