The jungle island of Borneo is a cradle for the world's strangest and most vulnerable wildlife.
The East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak contain some of Borneo’s greatest wonders. Covered in thick jungle, the region is known as a sanctuary for endangered wildlife. Float up the Kinabatangan River on the look out for crocodiles, macaques and hornbills, and watch as families of rather comic-looking probiscus monkeys feed at a local sanctuary. Borneo also offers the rare opportunity to get close to the much loved – yet sadly disappearing – orangutan, an experience that stays with many travellers for the rest of their lives.
What people say
Borneo contains an amazing array of exotic wildlife seen nowhere else. We were privileged to see orangutans, rhinoceros hornbills and a herd of pygmy elephants in the wild. Thanks to our all of our guides for this fantastic experience.
What people say
This trip was a great way to see Borneo - we experienced various activities from history at Sandakan War Memorial to exploring underwater at the beautiful Manukan Island. I highly recommend if you just want to try a bit of everything - this is the trip for you!
Borneo travel highlights
Walk through tree tops at Kinabalu National Park
Kinabalu is brimming with lush native flora and home to many exotic birds. Slip into a natural hot spring and walk in trails suspended high up in the canopy.
Spy the wildlife at Kinabatangan River Reserve
At this incredible national park, the wildlife spotting opportunities are endless. Lucky travellers see crocodiles, cheeky monkeys and tropical birds in their natural habitats.
Rehabilitate orangutan at Sepilok
The orangutan rehabilitation centre’s enormous enclosure is one you can walk through to see these disappearing creatures trying to make their come-back.
Our Borneo trips
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Articles on Borneo
Borneo holiday information
Capital city Kota Kinabalu (Sabah), Kuching (Sarawa...
Local culture of Borneo
Borneo’s East Malaysian states are ethnically diverse, comprised of various indigenous ...
Geography & environment
The lush island of Borneo is divided between three countries: Malaysia, Indonesia and B...
Shopping guide to Borneo
Shopping is not the greatest attraction this country has to offer, but you can still fi...
Borneo festival calendar
Kaamatan Sabah’s harvest festival is celebrated by the indigenous peoples of th...
Food & drink in Borneo
Borneo’s cuisine draws mostly from Chinese and Malay influences. Night markets and stre...
Into the Heart of Borneo by Redmond O'Hanlon All Elevations Unknown by Sam Lightne...
Borneo travel FAQs
- Australia: No - not required
- Belgium: No - not required
- Canada: No - not required
- Germany No - not required
- Ireland: No - not required
- Netherlands: No - not required
- New Zealand: No - not required
- South Africa: No - not required
- Switzerland: No - not required
- United Kingdom: No - not required
- USA: No - not required
Most nationalities have visa-free access for up to three months. Other nationalities should check with their local Malaysian embassy or consulate.
Tipping isn’t common practice in Borneo, however feel free to express your gratitude with a few extra ringgit for good services.
Internet access is available in large cities and tourist areas, but it unavailable or unreliable in remote and rural areas.
You’ll have mobile coverage in major cities but access is unreliable outside of these areas. There is little or no coverage in the mountains, on the islands or in remote areas. Activate global roaming with your service provider if you wish to use your mobile phone while travelling.
Some hotels and tourist destinations in Borneo have western-style toilets but most places have only squat toilets. Soap and toilet paper may not be provided so you may like to carry some with you.
- Can of soft drink = 2 MYR
- Basic meal from street stall or market = 3-5
- MYR Bottle of beer in a bar or cafe = 10 MYR
- Seafood dinner = 20-25 MYR
Tap water in Borneo is not considered safe to drink. For environmental reasons, avoid buying bottled water and bring a bottle or canteen with you. Ask your leader where you can access filters to refill your supply, or carry your own purification tablets with you.
You may be able to use your credit card at large hotels, shops and restaurants in tourist areas. However, many places rely on cash, especially small local businesses.
You’ll find ATMS in Borneo’s large cities and urban areas, however they are far less common in rural or remote areas. Arrange for alternative payment options when travelling outside of these areas.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their Borneo tours. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/malaysia/public-holidays