Borneo tours are the best way to discover one of the least explored areas on the planet. The island of Borneo is shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and tiny Brunei and encompasses spectacular rainforest, indigenous tribes and rare, exotic species. Borneo's wildlife is its main attraction for visitors as it is home to endangered orangutans, pygmy elephants and the endemic proboscis monkey.
Featured Borneo ToursFilter Tours:
- 12 Nights - Kota Kinabalu and Back
- Fly Tour from £2749pp
Fly in style and comfort with Singapore Airlines, to join an adventure to the rivers and rainforests of Borneo. We’ll discover the cultures that have influenced two of the island’s cities, breathe in the thick, humid forests and spy a variety of wildlife.
Borneo is renowned for its steamy jungles, smoking volcanoes, remote tribes and diverse wildlife. The island has played an important role in the theory of evolution, and is home to thousands of endemic animal and plant species. Borneo touring holidays focus on the island’s wildlife with the chance to catch sight of an orangutan or proboscis monkey swinging through the jungle, see an Irrawaddy dolphin swimming in the South China Sea, or spot a pygmy elephant splashing in a river.
Other rare species found within the tropical rainforests on the island include clouded leopards, Sumatran rhinoceroses, giant flying red squirrels and around 15,000 incredible plant species making this a truly rewarding destination for nature lovers. The dramatic scenery ranges from the pristine beaches along the coast to the soaring peak of Mount Kinabalu, the vast cave underground network in Mulu National Park and the dense jungles that shelter tribal people.
There is an amazing array of cultures in Borneo, with over 200 local languages and dialects. The infamous headhunting tribes are now a thing of the past and today the people of Borneo live peacefully and offer a warm welcome to visitors to their island. Many people still live in rural kampongs (villages) and it is possible to visit local longhouse communities to see ancient ceremonies and customs that still thrive today. Borneo’s varied cultures mean the cuisine on the island is wide-ranging, with fresh seafood from the South China Sea, satay stalls at Malay night markets, spicy Indonesian fare and delicious indigenous food made using ingredients found in the rainforest.
Highlights of Borneo
The lively city of Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Salah and lies on the northwest coast of Borneo. Attractions include the magnificent city mosque which can hold 12,000 worshippers, and the Sabah State Museum which tells the story of the region’s rich history and culture. The city has many opportunities for shopping, from Chinese shophouses and traditional marketplaces to the fabulous Filipino night market set along the waterfront
Kinabalu National Park
UNESCO-protected Kinabalu National Park is an area of tropical lowland and rainforest dominated by Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia. Its exceptionally rich variety of plants includes over a thousand species of orchid, and the majority of Borneo’s native wildlife can be found here including hundreds of species that are only found in the park itself. Poring Hot Springs is a great place to take a dip in the soothing sulphuric waters, known for their therapeutic properties.
Sandakan is one of Borneo’s hubs for wildlife, nature and history. Once the capital of British North Borneo in colonial times, Sandakan was also the site of a POW camp in WWII, as well as the starting point for the infamous Death Marches, which are commemorated in Sandakan Memorial Park. Nearby in Sepilok is the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre which protects orphaned and rescued orangutans and introduces them back into the wild, as well as the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre which rescues sun bears before releasing them back into the forest.
Comprising over 400 sq km of protected lowland rainforest, Danum Valley is the largest remaining habitat for Borneo’s most endangered species including the Sumatran rhino, clouded leopard and Borneo pygmy elephant, and offers one of the best chances to see orangutans in the wild. The area is also known for its red-leafed monkeys, gibbons, flying squirrels, bearded pigs, soft-shelled turtles and the rare Wallace flying frog.
Gaya Island is covered in dense jungle and home to a number of lively water villages built on stilts. The island is well-known for the crystal-clear sea surrounding it, making it ideal for swimming, snorkelling and diving, with over 60 magnificent dive spots offering the chance to see sea turtles, blue-ringed octopus and majestic whale sharks. The Island is fringed with palm tree-lined beaches and small hidden coves, making it the perfect base to wind down and relax.
Kuching is the quirky capital of Sarawak with strong Malay, Chinese, colonial and tribal influences. Batang Ai National Park is well known for its verdant jungle, diverse wildlife and indigenous tribal culture. The Iban tribe, Sarawak’s largest ethnic group, live in traditional longhouses in remote villages in the jungle. The park is a great place for primate-spotting, with the highest orangutan population in central Borneo. Also found in Sarawak are the legendary Mulu Caves which are among the world’s most spectacular and Bako National Park, home to the rare proboscis monkey.