• 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.

Proboscis monkey, Borneo

Borneo Highlights

Desert Island Beaches: White sand and turquoise seas to relax and enjoy.

Marine Life: Dive or snorkel with turtles and whale sharks. 

Mountain Sunrise: Climb Mount Kinabalu and watch the sunrise from the highest peak in South East Asia. 

Orangutans: See them in the wild or get up-close for some stunning images

Rainforest Lodges: Get close to the wildlife and immerse yourself in the jungle in these incredible lodges

Wildlife Sanctuaries: See orangutans and sun bears where they are being rehabilitated for release back into the wild. 

Weird Wildlife: Marvel at the honk-nose proboscis monkeys or the small pygmy elephants in Borneo’s pristine rainforest. 

Orangutan in Borneo

Why we like Borneo

Borneo is a paradise for anyone looking to combine wildlife, jungles and beaches. As diverse as it is beautiful, it is one of our favourite destinations and works for families, honeymooners, solo travellers and small groups alike.

Stunning wildlife: From wild jungles to conservation-based sanctuaries, your Borneo safari will involve plenty of wildlife. With hundreds of birds, reptiles, and mammals, even the keenest wildlife enthusiasts will be happy.

Beautiful beaches and wild jungle: Borneo's beautiful beaches and turquoise waters, backed by dense tropical jungles, play host to some incredible marine life. Sea turtles and whale sharks, coral reefs and whale sharks, coral reefs and barracudas, combine to make this the ultimate island safari destination.

Eco-lodges and Boutique beach retreats: Luxury eco-lodges and boutique island retreats, combine with jungle exploration for the ultimate island getaway.

Sun Bears Borneo | ©Shutterstock Sabrina Herrmann

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.

Sunset, Borneo

Wildlife Encounters and 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.