• Orangutans, Borneo |© Sticky Rice

Why Borneo holidays and safaris have that unique touch

Indigenous tribes, playful orangutans and ancient emerald rainforests; the third largest island in the world is a veritable treasure trove of natural attractions offering a little bit of something for everyone. From family holidays to honeymooners, from beach lovers to wildlife fans, Borneo holidays are all encompassing. This treasure trove of an island is home to some of the oldest rainforests on earth, ancient craggy mountains and lazy winding rivers making their way slowly towards the crystal waters of the South China Sea.



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 throughout the island.

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 and thriving wildlife hotspot of Kinabatangan River all deliver, before the coral islands and dive resorts of Sipadan, Lankayan and Mataking entice with their white-sand brilliance.

Sunset, Borneo

Wildlife encounters & what to expect

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 flowering 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 of this contributes to what is an incredibly diverse area and makes for the ultimate Borneo holiday.

When travelling the interior, be prepared for the unexpected. 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, solo traveller, or honeymooner, on your journey through this tropical island paradise.

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

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Why book with us

We are destination specialists

Our team of specialists have extensive on-the-ground knowledge and have all lived, guided or explored in great detail the destinations that they sell. They will design your journey around you, at the right place at the right time.

We are wildlife specialists

As a leading specialist operator we have excellent partnerships with naturalists and conservationists. We know our wildlife and do what we can to preserve its natural habitat.

We really care about our destinations

At Natural World Safaris we frequently monitor the social, economic and environmental impact of our travel operations to ensure we are at the forefront of a sustainable and ethical tourism industry. 

Clouded leopard, Borneo

Your Next Steps

Talk to one of our specialists for further details on travelling to Borneo.