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.

Magical settings combined with Borneo's tropical animals and pristine beach retreats make Borneo a must on any wildlife lover's list.

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.

BORNEO DEFINED

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.

Brimming with cultural and wildlife experiences, as well as beautiful beaches.

borneo safari reviews

  • It was excellent. After all the warnings about not seeing orangutans in the wild, our first sighting was before we made it to the first camp!

    TAILORMADE BORNEO SAFARI

    5 out of 5
  • Amazing. Everything ran smoothly. Collected at airports by the guides all travel ran smoothly with the least amount of hassle possible. I can not fault it. Guides were perfect. Accommodation was perfect. Food was perfect. We had the best time and can't wait to do another one. I would use your company again and again.

    TAILORMADE BORNEO SAFARI

    5 out of 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.

    TAILORMADE BORNEO SAFARI

    4 out of 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!

    BORNEO SMALL GROUP SAFARI

    5 out of 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.

    TAILORMADE BORNEO SAFARI

    5 out of 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.

    TAILORMADE BORNEO SAFARI

    5 out of 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.

    TAILORMADE BORNEO SAFARI

    5 out of 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.

    TAILORMADE BORNEO SAFARI

    5 out of 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.

    TAILORMADE BORNEO SAFARI

    5 out of 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. We loved Borneo Rainforest Lodge and being able to walk in the rainforest. We loved Lankayan and were lucky enough to see a turtle laying eggs both nights and witness the release of some hatchlings.

    TAILORMADE BORNEO SAFARI

    4 out of 5
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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. 

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