Wildlife,Borneo Expedition, Sabah, Borneo

Borneo holidays

Dive into coastal waters to find an underwater world, relax on the beach, trek through rainforest in search of orangutan or gear up to catch the sunrise from the highest peak in South East Asia.

Occupying the northern slice of the world’s third largest island, Malaysian Borneo is a wonderful destination for honeymooners, families or those in search of adventure.

Made up of two states, Sabah and Sarawak, a holiday to Malaysian Borneo can include beach time, wildlife, rivers, mountains and culture.

Rope Bridge, Borneo
Canopy walkway, Borneo
Jetty, Ocean, Sabah, Borneo
Sabah, Borneo
Adult Male Orangutan in the wild nature, Borneo, Indonesia
Adult male orangutan

Why visit Sabah

Sabah occupies the northern tip of Borneo and is dominated by the majestic peak of Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South East Asia. Wildlife viewing and in particular the chance to see orangutan is a huge draw to this part of the world.

Limestone pinnacle formations at Gunung Mulu National Park
Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak

Why visit Sarawak

Sarawak is wonderfully exotic; home to the world’s largest flower, flying squirrels, insect eating plants and quantities of yet unnamed flora and fauna. Furthermore, the ancient virgin rainforest is home to 27 ethnic people, each with their own distinct language, culture and lifestyle. National parks offer some excellent trekking and Semenggoh orangutan sanctuary the chance to see these wonderful apes.

Orangutan, Tajung Puting National Park, Kalimantan Island, Borneo, Indonesia
Orangutan in Tajung Puting National Park, Borneo

Indonesian Borneo

The remaining 73% of Borneo belongs to Indonesia, a wild, exotic part of Asia. This jungle-covered part of the island is for travellers seeking an authentic wildlife experience and for many a highlight is spending time on an orangutan safari in Tanjung Puting National Park on our unique orangutan conservation group tour.

Explore

  • Malaysian Borneo - Sabah
  • Malaysian Borneo - Sarawak
  • Indonesian Borneo - Tanjung Puting NP

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Borneo Rainforest Lodge £££££

  • Borneo
  • Wilderness

Situated within the tropical lowland rainforest of the Danum Valley Conservation Area, Borneo Rainforest Lodge offers 31 timber chalets and a true jungle experience. Deluxe chalets have a balcony with river or jungle views plus some have their own outdoor hot tub or even a private plunge pool. The communal dining area and bar offer a great spot to relax with a drink at the end of the day, immersed in the sounds of the night.

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Bunga Raya Island Resort & Spa £££££

  • Malaysia
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Located a short boat ride off the coast of Malaysian Borneo, Bunga Raya Island Resort and Spa is an island hideaway fringed by a white sandy beach on one side and tropical rainforest on the other. The 48 stilted villas are nestled into the hillside and have all been hand-crafted by local tradesmen. Each has a private balcony offering beautiful views of the beach and the South China Sea beyond and eight of the villas have a private plunge pool. A hilltop spa and infinity pool are the cherries on top.

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Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort £££££

  • Malaysia
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort sits between forested hills and a beautiful two-mile sandy beach on the shores of the South China Sea. Although large, the resort is spacious and rambling with over 400 rooms which are split over two separate wings. Fabulous facilities range from swimming pools to a spa, 64-acre nature reserve, canopy walkway and kids club.

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Gaya Island Resort £££££

  • Malaysia
  • Beach and Island Escapes

A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Gaya Island Resort has a beautiful setting, fringed by golden sandy beaches, mangroves and coral reefs. Inland is lush tropical rainforest and in the distance, on a clear day, Mount Kinabalu can be seen. The accommodation has been designed in a traditional style typical of the state of Sabah and uses local materials in all of the 120 villas.

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Experiences

A selection of activities and experiences you could consider including in your holiday to Malaysian Borneo.

Orangutan mother with baby

Orangutan Experience

Come face to face with orangutan in the rainforests of Malaysian Borneo and learn about conservation efforts to save the species. Spend time observing them at Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah or Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Sarawak.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Climb Mount Kinabalu

For the fit, but novice mountaineer, climb Mount Kinabalu, which stands at 4,093 metres, and watch the sunrise from the summit.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Kinabatangan River Sabah,Borneo, Malaysia

Kinabatangan River Safari

Spot proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants and orangutans on a boat safari along the Kinabatangan River in Malaysian Borneo.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Canopy Walkway, Danum Valley, Malaysia

Jungle Trekking

Rise early to the sound of the jungle at Borneo Rainforest Lodge – walk to their spectacular viewpoint, head to the treetop canopy walkway or go tubing on the river.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Proboscis Monkey, Borneo

Bako National Park

Explore the mangroves, beaches and trails of Bako National Park in the Malaysain Borneo state of Sarawak, home to primates including the proboscis monkey.

Underwater Landscape, Borneo

Diving

Head below water to a host of excellent dive sites along the east coast of Malaysia as well as the waters off Malaysian Borneo.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Western or Horsfield's Tarsier, Borneo

Danum Valley Night Safari

Join a night safari in Danum Valley and silently search for amphibians like flying frogs as well as the elusive slow loris and the extremely cute western tarsier.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Aerial, Gaya Island Resort, Sabah, Malaysia

Island Experience

Stay on one of the five islands just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu – kayak, paddle board and dive as well as engaging in various conservation programmes.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Limestone pinnacle formations at Gunung Mulu National Park

Gunung Mulu National Park

Explore Gunung Mulu National Park, home to a spectacular cave system in the far north of the Malaysian Borneo state of Sarawak.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list.

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