Borneo is the third-largest island in the world and is divided between Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. The Indonesian part of the island makes up around 73% of the island, the Malaysian part is about 26%, and Brunei is about 1% of the island.
Much of the vast island remains covered with primary rainforest and so the best way to explore it is by riverboat. Exploring Borneo is a bit like exploring the Amazon Rainforest by riverboat. One will see how these rainforests are portrayed in movies like the 1997 adventure horror film Anaconda, which have nothing to do with reality.
Why Borneo Is A Priceless Biodiversity Hotspot
Borneo is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world - although they are fast being cut down. Another of the world's oldest rainforests is the Daintree rainforest in Australia that is also home to incredible biodiversity and is very much a must for anyone visiting the country.
Borneo's rainforest by some estimates is thought to be around 140 million years old - for reference, the dinosaurs only when extinct around 66 million years ago. The coastlines of Borneo are made up of peat swamp forests and the island is tropical sitting on the equator.
- Age: Borneo's Rainforests are Thought to be Around 140 Million Years Old
Its rainforests are the center of the evolution and distribution of many endemic species. It is an important refuge for endangered animals like the Bornean orangutan, the Borneo elephant, the eastern Sumatran rhino, the Bornean clouded leopard, and the hose's plan civet.
- Trees: 3,000 Species of Trees
- Flowering Plants: 15,000 Species of Flowering Plants
- Birds: 420 Species of Birds
- Mammals: 221 Species of Mammals
- Fish: 440 Species of Freshwater Fish
- River Shark: The Borneo River Shark is Only Found In The Kinabatangan River
To really discover this incredible island, consider going on a multi-day expedition deep into its tropical rainforests.
Upriver Borneo 8 Days, 7 Nights Tour
This extended Borneo tour covers the Kuching, Batang Ai & Nanga Sumpa, Sepilok and Kinabatangan Abai & Sukau parts of Malaysian Borneo.
- English Speaking Tour Guide
- All Accommodation and Transfers
- Many (but Not All) Breakfasts, Lunches, and Dinners
The itinerary starts with meeting up in Kuching and then transferring to the Waterfront Hotel. The first day is a leisurely free day. The next day at 8.00 am, the drive to the Batang Ai reservoir, board a longboat, and travel up the river to Nanga Sumpa arriving at around 3.30 pm happens. Settle in at the Nanga Sumpa longhouse for the night.
On day three hike through the jungle trails along the river and continue upriver by longboat. See the stunning Enseluai waterfall and relax and swim. The next day travel down the river to the Batang Ai Lake jetty and get back to Kuching.
On day 5 go to the airport to depart for Sandakan and transfer to MY Nature Resort at Sepilok. Explore the Rainforest Discovery Centre and experience the canopy walkway.
The next day it is time to see the iconic Orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary. See who captive orangutans are reintroduced back into the wild. See them feeding and even spot the sun bears in the rehabilitation center.
- See: The Iconic Orangutans
After this, cruise up the Lower Kinabatangan River past pristine mangrove forests and search for wildlife to see proboscis monkeys, exotic birds, and other wildlife. Spend overnight at the Abai Jungle Lodge and watch as the glittering fireflies emerge from the mangrove trees at nightfall. After dinner, go on a guided night walk around the lodge's nature boardwalk and see the jungle come alive at night.
Early in the morning on day 7, go for a boat trip for bird watching and wildlife viewing at the nearby Pitas Lake. After breakfast go to the Abai village and participate in a tree-planting project. Interact with the local villagers and then go for a cruise upriver into the jungle. Return back to the city the next day.
- Minimum: 2 Adults Per Tour
- Duration: 8 Days, 7 Nights
- Cost: From MYR4560 Per Person ($1,089)
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Other Tours By Borneo Adventure
Their other tours follow a similar format to the tour listed above, so they not be broken down in detail here.
Borneo Adventure offers a range of other tours offering much the same attractions as the Malaysian Borneo tour listed above. Most will cover Kuching Semenggoh, Bako, Nanga Sumpa longhouse, KK, Kinabalu Park, Sepilok and Kinabatangan River. One can choose to have a longer trip and squeeze even more in so that one can really get to discover the many wonders of Borneo.
Borneo Rivers, Rainforest & Wildlife Tour:
- Duration: 10 Days / 9 Nights
- Cost: From MYR5,300 Per Person ($1,266)
- Duration: 11 Days / 10 Nights
- Cost: From MYR5,560 Per Person ($1,330)
Borneo Culture & Wildlife:
- Duration: 12 Days / 11 Nights
- Cost: From MYR8,350 Per Person ($2,000)