available in Borneo
Reserves and Wildlife
Home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world, spectacular coastline, high mountain ranges, an abundance of incredible wildlife and extensive biodiversity, Borneo sets the perfect scene for a memorable adventure.
The geographic center of Southeast Asia, the third largest island in the world and the largest in Asia, Borneo is politically divided into three countries, in the north Brunei and Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak and Lauan) and in the south Indonesia (Kalimantan). Known for the beauty of its natural environment and range of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, Borneo offers visitors a wealth of nature-based activities such as trekking, hiking and wildlife watching.
Located along the equator, the island enjoys a thick cover of warm, wet rainforests, its tropical climate ideal for a diverse range of flora and fauna. There are many unique and endangered species, including proboscis monkey, Borneo rhino, pygmy elephant and hawsbill turtles as well as organutans which are only found in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. Many research and conservation projects are conducted in the national parks, rainforests, mountains and remote regions on the island.
In Batang Ai National Park the Iban tribe are the custodians of the lush forest and its inhabitants and play a central role in the wildlife conservation projects. Situated in Sarawak, visitors can reach the park on steamers and authentic Iban boathouses. This local community-driven national reserve is home to a number of rare and protected species; vibrant birds, gibbons, slow loris, clouded leopard, bearded pigs and giant squirrels. It also has the highest orangutan population density in central Borneo so there is a good chance of seeing wild orangutan.
Also in Sarawak, Gunung Mulu National Park, famous for its limestone karst formations, is teeming with flora and fauna – eight species of hornbill, including the rhinoceros hornbill, 27 species of bat, bearded pig, moonrat, Borneon tarsier, long-tailed macaque, gibbons, squirrels, deer and the small Malaysian sun bear, the only bear known in south-east Asia.
Some of Borneo’s rarest mammals can be found in Sabah’s Deramakot Forest Reserve. It’s a key habitat for the threatened orangutan, Borneon pygmy elephant, tembadau (banteng), proboscis monkey and clouded leopard, as well as marbled cat, slow loris and Malaysian sun bear.
- There is no particularly good or bad season to visit – the lowland areas are always hot and humid and all year there is a possibility of rain.
- Oct – Feb – Wet Season – boat links to offshore islands can be affected as well as visibility for divers. Dirt roads in Kalimantan can be impassable, Oct to Apr especially.
- Jul – Sep – High Season – in some areas accommodation and trekking guides often get booked up.
- Currency – Brunei dollar, Ringgit (Malaysia), Indonesian rupiah
- Languages – Malay, Indonesian
- Size – 743,330 km2
- Population – Brunei (417,200), Sarawak (2,770,000), Sabah (3,870,000), Kalimantan (14,944,742)
Health & Safety
- Travel insurance is essential for all international travel. Click below to find out more:
- The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for Borneo: hepatitis A and typhoid. Check with your doctor which other vaccinations you might need and make sure your routine vaccinations are all up-to-date.
- Malaria is present in Borneo – get medical advice on which prophylaxis to take.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in Borneo, but proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever (this does not include the US).
- It’s best to stick to bottled drinking water.
- Amazing equatorial jungle – some areas easily accessible from modern cities
- Unique and remarkable flora and fauna, including the critically endangered orangutan
- One of only two places (the other is Sumatra) where you can see orangutan in the wild
- Conservation projects protecting the rainforest and wildlife, which rely on inome in part from tourists
- Fascinating lifestyle of the tribes who still live in jungle longhouses
- Rain is a risk every day all year round
- Deforestation in some places
Arriving in Borneo
- Borneo is well connected and has several international airports – Brunei (Brunei International Airport), Sabah (Kota Kinabalu International Airport), Sarawak (Kuching International Airport), Balikpapan (Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Airport) and Banjarmasin (Syamsudin Noor Airport).
- Ferries link Sabah with the Philippine island of Mindanao and Kalimantan with Java and Sulawesi.
- There are reasonable flights across the country. Air travel is the only practical way to reach some places such as Gunung Mulu National Park.
- British and other Commonwealth nationals don’t require a visa for Malaysia. Check all details before travel – Malaysia visas >>
- When entering Brunei, free visas are available on arrival for some nationalities including USA, European Union, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia, others may have to pay a visa fee. Check all details before travel – Brunei visas >>
- Tourists from 34 countries can obtain a visa (USD35) when entering Indonesia at three entry points into Kalimantan: the Tebedu–Entikong land crossing, between Kuching (Sarawak) and Pontianak (West Kalimantan); Balikpapan (Sepinggan Airport); and Pontianak (Supadio Airport). Other nationalities will need to get a visa in advance. Check all details before travel – Indonesia visas >>
- 12 Days
Discover the landscapes and culture, as well as the amazing flora and fauna, of the exotic and evocative...
Start/end:Start in Kuching, end in Kota Kinabalu
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