Malaysian Borneo stretches out to cover the northern half of the world's third largest island, laying claim to a dramatic coastline and a vast expanse of thick rainforest. A vibrant cultural melting pot, Borneo is home to charismatic people with a unique blend of traditional native forest communities, romantic Asian roots and European Colonial ties. Here the irresistible lure of the majestic paradise beaches and an exotic jungle heaving with exotic wildlife - including some of the last remaining wild orangutan families - entices visitors from all four corners of the globe.
Borneo is covered by some of the oldest rainforest in the world. From trekking the muddy jungle trails of the remote Danum Valley Conservation Area to snorkelling the turquoise seas along the pristine white sand beach of Gaya Island, this country of contrasts is a real wildlife hotspot - perfect for travellers looking to experience nature at it's best. But there's also fantastic cultures to be unearthed; explore the longhouse homes of the Iban people in Sarawak and maybe try a spot of traditional Iban-style fishing before gently cruising down the Kinabatangan River, home to proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants and wild orangutan.
If you're keen for a challenge and in good health, we recommend you add a truly spectacular hike to your Borneo holiday: embark on a true wilderness adventure with a trek to the summit of Mount Kinabalu for sunrise, where you'll be rewarded with the best panoramic views in the country and a dip in the soothing mineral pools of the nearby hot springs.
Trek the Danum Valley Conservation Area
The Danum Valley Conservation Area covers 43,800 hectares of protected lowland rainforest and is home to an astonishing variety of plants and wildlife. Rare and endangered species such as the Sumatran rhino, Borneo Pygmy elephant, clouded leopard, orangutan and proboscis monkeys can be found in the area. Here we recommend staying at the unique Borneo Rainforest Lodge and hiking the jungle trails with your experienced local guide, following the treetop canopy walkway and taking a dip in the jacuzzi pools.
Cruise the Kinabatangan River
The 560-kilometre Kinabatangan River is Sabah’s longest river and passes through dipterocarp forest, seasonally flooded riparian forest, oxbow lakes and mangroves. Board a small river cruiser to gently discover small tributaries which are home to proboscis monkeys, macaques, birdlife (including the magnificent hornbill), pygmy elephants and orangutan.
Meet the orangutan, the ‘old man of the forest’
Set up in 1964, Sepilok is the best known of the four orangutan rehabilitation centres in the world. In the sanctuary injured, orphaned or rescued orangutans are taught how to survive life in the forest. Rehabilitated orangutan are released into the surrounding forest but may return to the centre at the twice daily feeding times, giving visitors the opportunity to see them tuck into a meal.
Climb Mt Kinabalu to a spectacular sunrise
UNESCO World Heritage Site Kinabalu Park was the first national park in Sabah and is dominated by Mount Kinabalu, one of the highest peaks in Southeast Asia. The slopes are home to an incredible variety of plants and animal species and different elevations of the park and their micro climates support distinct habitats. Conquer the peak at sunrise for incredible views.
Orangutan Appeal UK
We are proud to work with Orangutan Appeal UK, a charity associated with Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Borneo which rehabilitates and provides medical care to orphaned orangutans. Orangutan Appeal UK endeavours to protect the remaining wild population of orangutans in Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo by providing support and funding for localised projects. Sepilok is considered a useful educational tool where locals and visitors can be educated about the importance of protecting this keystone species.
Travel to Borneo with Regent Holidays and we will sponsor our chosen Sepilok orangutan, Gelison, in your name for a year.