Borneo is a magnet for adventurers; easily accessible and truly diverse, a visit here is about getting to know the locals, exploring some of the most unspoilt rainforests on the planet and going toe-to-toe with rare species of wildlife. Much of its wild heart is reachable from modern cities like Kuala Lumpur, and Borneo is fringed with islands that offer desert paradise-style beaches.
Whether it’s your first time in Borneo or you want to explore in more depth, we’ve put together some ready-made itineraries to inspire you. Let’s get going…
8 and 10 day Borneo itineraries – For first timers
First time in Borneo? You want Great Apes & Beach Escapes. This 10-day itinerary dips into a little of everything, so it’s a brilliant way to get started. You’ll get to grips with the city of Kota Kinabalu, catch a jungle cruise boat along Borneo’s longest river and make some new friends at the Sepilok Orangutan sanctuary. Finally, round things off with a blissful couple of days on the unspoilt, white-sand beaches of Lankayan Island.
For many, seeing the chilled-out swing of orangutans in the treetops above them is the ultimate Borneo experience. Explore the Wild Heart of Borneo takes you straight into the heart of the jungle, for 8 days of trekking through the Bako National Park and getting up-close-and-personal with the rare monkey population. On your last few days, you’ll meet and stay with a native headhunter tribe to fully immerse yourself in the local culture.
8 and 10 day – Family-friendly Borneo holidays
Borneo does family holidays a little differently. Kids will get to meet animals they’ve only seen on TV, have a real adventure in the jungle and get the chance to experience a whole new culture. Sabah with the Family: Sun, Sand and Orangutans has been put together with school holidays in mind so that you can get the best weather, and it’s packed with kid-friendly activities. Private transfers are taken care of too, so getting from place to place is easy and hassle-free.
On this 10 day trip, you’ll see elephants and orangutans at Tabin National Park and even sleep in a wooden lodge by the river. This itinerary comes with a side order of beaches, so there’s a chance for parents to relax and some bucket-and-spade time for the clan.
Alternatively, if you have less time to play with, try the 8-day Sarawak with the Family itinerary. It’s a brilliant budget option, but still with plenty of action packed in, including a visit to Sarawak’s wildlife sanctuary and a ‘Frog Tour’ through Kubah National Park. Did we mention staying in a treehouse and meeting orangutans? Kids will love it.
Off the beaten track: 3 week Borneo itinerary
24 days of wildlife-watching, jungle-trekking and the beach life – our Brilliantly Borneo itinerary offers the lot. It’s perfect if you’ve been to Borneo before, and now you’re dying to see more (or, you just like to throw yourself in at the deep end!).
With a little more time to play with, you’ll get to venture off the beaten track and see more than the average visitor, including a stay with a local Iban tribe, travelling deep into the Mulu National Park and take a pinch-me-now canopy walk along the treetops of Mount Kinabalu’s tropical rainforest.
Romance in the Rainforest: 2 week honeymoon itinerary in Borneo
Looking for an alternative to the usual fly-and-flop honeymoon? There’s nothing like an adventure to bring you closer together. Try our City Lights to Jungle Nights itinerary if you’re curious about the Malaysian side of things; in a little over two weeks, you can experience vastly different sides to the island.
You’ll explore Kuala Lumpur on your own time, so there will be a chance to scale the hyper-modern skyscrapers and check out its foodie scene before taking a walk to the wild side. Then, it’s jungle boat touring and orangutan-spotting before spending a few days on Lankayan Island, settling in a seafront bungalow for some much-needed relaxation by the beach.