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Borneo Holidays

Why Borneo Holidays and Safaris have that unique touch...

Indigenous tribes, playful orangutans and ancient emerald rainforests; the third largest island on earth is a veritable treasure trove of resource-rich natural attractions. Borneo holidays tease and tantalise the curious traveller’s taste buds; Borneo’s topography ranges from the oldest rainforest on earth to craggy mountains, swamps and valleys where wide rivers wind lazily toward the crystal waters of the South China Sea. Magical settings combined with Borneo's tropical animals and pristine beach retreats make Borneo a must on any wildlife lovers list.

Borneo Holiday Highlights

  • Orangutans – See them in the wild or get up-close and take some amazing photographs during feeding times in rehabilitation centres.
  • Weird wildlife – Marvel at the honk-nose proboscis monkeys or the small pygmy elephants in Borneo’s pristine rainforest.
  • Sun Bears – Visit the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre to meet these small bears with a golden sun on their chest.
  • Marine life – Dive or snorkel with turtles and whale sharks.
  • Rainforest lodges – Get close to the wildlife and immerse yourself in the jungle in these incredible lodges.
  • Desert island beaches – White sand and turquoise sea backed by tropical jungle.
  • Mountain sun rise – Climb Mount Kinabalu and watch the sun rise from the highest peak in South East Asia.

Borneo Defined

Borneo Defined - Borneo Holidays

Occupying a large archipelago between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Borneo is partly in Malaysia (Sarawak and Sabah - northern Borneo), and partly in Indonesia (Kalimantan - southern Borneo).  Nowadays it is more of a geographical term rather than political, yet it conjures in the imagination vast rainforests, extravagant nature and colourful, friendly people who are sure to extend a gracious welcome to anyone travelling on Borneo holidays.

The dramatic peak of Southeast Asia’s highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu (4,101 metres), rises above swirling cloud to loom majestically over the Sabah region, which along with Sarawak is the most popular area of Borneo to visit due to its ease of connection from the mainland Malaysian Peninsula. Starting from the bustle of Kota Kinabalu you can visit the popular Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre which is home to many an orphaned or rescued ‘man of the forest’. The traditional fishing village and port of Sandakan, protected lowland forest of Danum Valley Conservation Centre and thriving wildlife hotspot of Kinabatangan River all thrill before the coral islands and dive resorts of Sipadan, Lankayan and Mataking entice with their white-sand brilliance.

Where to go in Borneo

  • Sepilok – Visit sun bear and orangutan sanctuaries
  • Kinabatangan River -  Best place to see oranautans in the wild
  • Danum Valley – Pristine virgin rainforest and plenty of wildlife
  • Kota Kinabalu – Bustling city and good base to start your trip from
  • Gaya Island –  Great beaches in Tunku Rahman Marine Park
  • Kinabalu National Park – Highest mountain in SE Asia, waterfalls & hot springs
  • Kudat – Stay with tribes at the northern tip of Borneo

Wild Encounters and What to Expect

Borneo Holidays - what to expect - orangutans

Borneo holidays are a firm favourite for wildlife enthusiasts. The island plays host to an enormous assortment of uniquely endangered wildlife, such as the charming and gentle Orangutan, noisy Proboscis monkey and diminutive pygmy elephant. Flora and fauna abound on this Eden-like sanctuary, with a staggering 15,000 species of flowing plants and 3,000 tree types, in addition to rare orchid, 12 species of rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) and in excess of 600 bird species all adding to what is an incredible area of biodiversity and ideal for the ultimate Borneo safari.

When travelling the interior, there may be times when the experienced boatmen will hold the journey for an hour or two for the roaring river to subside, travellers may have to oblige with the local customs and join in the wedding celebrations or respect taboos following a death in the village. All these contribute to the unique experience of Borneo and the magic she brings to any family, lone traveller or honeymooner on a wide variety of trips.

Did you know...

A great way to explore the coast and jungle is by bicycle. Travel along the coast from Kota Kinabalu to Kudat by bike, passing through little villages. We can arrange a support van to follow and provide all safety equipment such as approved cycle helmets. You can also hire bicycles to explore the jungle covered banks of the Kinabatangan River; there are well signposted cycle trails.

Great for family holidays

At the Jungle Survival Camp in the Kinabalu National Park learn basic survival skills with local eco-hero Miki who has a real passion for showing people his way of life.

Take a break from the beach on Gaya Island with an organised treasure hunt and let the children be pirates for the day. Other family favourites here are handicrafts and cooking courses.

Planning your Borneo Holiday

For further information on when is the best time to visit Borneo, where is the best place to see orang-utans, what the accommodation is like, etc, please visit our Borneo Frequently Asked Questions page. Alternatively get in touch with our Borneo specialist Jessica Tiffin who is happy to chat about your visit to this incredible destination.

Our Borneo holidays have been widely featured in the national press including Departures Magazine, The Independent and Sunday Times.


See what our clients think

Borneo Holidays - tailor-made safari 4.5 out of 5,
based on 8 reviews. Natural World Safaris tailor-make holidays to Borneo to meet your requirements. This gives you complete flexibility and allows you to choose your preferred travel dates, areas you wish to visit and the standard of accommodation that suits your style and budget. Please see below reviews from clients who have returned from their trips.
The trip exceeded expecations...
Borneo Holidays - tailor-made safari Reviewed by Hilary B. Rating: 4.5 / 5 The trip exceeded expectations. We saw nine of the ten primate species, all of the hornbills, and some extraordinary invertebrates: indeed I would count it as the most rewarding rainforest experience I’ve ever had. Wonderful!
Rasa Ria was a luxurious, beautiful hotel
Borneo Holidays - tailor-made safari Reviewed by Joanna H. Rating: 5 / 5 Rasa Ria was a luxurious and simply beautiful hotel. The Danum Vally Lodge was an oasis of calm in a rainforest haven. Our guide was absolutely wonderful and helped my elderly mother throughout the trip. She was knowledgeable and made every effort to ensure our comfort and enjoyment during our visit to Borneo
Best holiday of my life!
Borneo Holidays - tailor-made safari Reviewed by Laura C. Rating: 5 / 5 Arrived back Friday morning. What a fantastic holiday. Thank you so much for putting the itinerary together for us. It was perfect. The guide "Beverley" in Borneo was fabulous, my daughter felt like she had two mums. The co ordination of the transfers and connections to the 4 wheel vehicles was amazing, we really didn't want for anything. Beverley and the guides in Danum Valley were very knowledgeable and tailored the walks to interest my daughter. I really couldn't have asked for more. I would not hesitate in using your company again. I'm thinking Madagascar or Costa Rica next year.
We have just had the most amazing family holiday...
Borneo Holidays - tailor-made safari Reviewed by Louise R. Rating: 5 / 5 We have just had the most amazing family holiday in Borneo. We visited the region of Sabah and looked for orangutans in the rainforest. We were lucky to see several of the old man of the forest and Gibbons. The birds were truly stunning as we walked through the tree top canopy. The birds on the river were equally beautiful, with a wide range of Hornbills .We moved north near the coast and witnessed the strange and amusing Proboscis Monkeys, only found on this island. Although we did swim in the South China Sea, next time we will take in some diving and hopefully see the sea turtles in their natural habitat
The pre-trip service was excellent from start to finish
Borneo Holidays - tailor-made safari Reviewed by Chris and Morag. Rating: 4 / 5 The pre-trip service was excellent from start to finish. Many thanks for your attention to detail and for organising the holiday of a lifetime for our family
Thanks for doing a great job
Borneo Holidays - tailor-made safari Reviewed by Rick H. Rating: 5 / 5 The recommendations for time of year to visit, destinations and choices of accommodation were all excellent. With the benefit of hindsight, I can see I was well advised. My guide at Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley was outstanding for his enthusiasm for local wildlife and conservation, great communication, his tireless efforts and his unflagging sense of humour. All aspects of Borneo Rainforest Lodge deserve a rating of excellent Thanks for doing a great job. It's hard to say how things might have been improved. All the transfers and connections were seamless, and the whole trip was much as I'd been dreaming of - only even better
The wildlife experiences exceeded our expectations
Borneo Holidays - tailor-made safari Reviewed by Sue J.M. Rating: 4.5 / 5 we had a fantastic time and the wildlife experiences certainly did exceed our expectations.  I was particularly pleased that while at Abai we came across a large herd of pygmy elephants that then proceeded to swim across the river in front of our boat. i was really hoping to see the elephants but knew that they could be elusive so this was an unexpected bonus. We loved Borneo Rainforest Lodge and being able to walk in the rainforest. Our guide was incredible at spotting the Orang Utan and we saw 10 different ones during our stay. They were also very good in that they let us keep our room until we left to catch the later plane and we had our guide for the last morning too and so were able to get in an extra trek.  I also have to say that I was really pleased that you persuaded me to go to Lankayan Island. We loved it there and were lucky enough to see a turtle laying eggs both nights and witness the release of some hatchlings. Thank you for organising everything
We were thrilled with every detail
Borneo Holidays - tailor-made safari Reviewed by Sharon T. Rating: 5 / 5 We were thrilled with every detail of our Borneo adventure--hotels, food, flights and ground transportation. Our guide, Ben, was excellent as were Mesius and Farah at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge! We had a wonderful time. We saw everything we had hoped to see and more-- the exception was Pygmy Elephants...but Ben tried so hard to find them for us that we are confident that had he been able to make one materialize...he would have made that happen. Our only regret is the lack of blue skies for our photographic memories...but if there is one thing that we are confident that mankind can't change...it's the weather. We had rain but it neither stopped us from our daily adventures nor did it "dampen" our trip. We won't hesitate to book our next adventure with Natural World Safaris

Enquire now

Speak to one of our consultants now:

Call from UK +44(0)1273 691 642
Toll Free from US 1866 357 6569
Call from Australia 1800 66 8890

Tell us about your holiday requirements to receive an itinerary tailored to your needs and interests:

Free Orangutan Safari Guide

Free Orangutan Guide

Travel Facts: Borneo

Flight Time from UK

16h (to Kota Kinabalu)

Time Difference


Best Time to Go

April - Nov


Malaysian, English


Malaysian Ringgit (RM)

Main Airline Carrier

Malaysia Airlines

Capital City

Kota Kinabalu

Orangutan Video

Photo Gallery

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