Experience Borneo – Wildlife, Landscapes & More

Borneo: A land of diversity and wonder

For Aussies looking for an overseas adventure, look no further than Borneo!  Experience Borneo as a place of beauty, with a wide range of wildlife, stunning landscapes, and plenty of activities to keep travelers delighted.  Prepare to be impressed by this diverse island offering something for everyone. 

Borneo serves as the world’s third largest island, after Greenland and New Guinea.  It’s in Southeast Asia, just north of Java and Sumatra.  Borneo is divided between three countries: Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia. 

The island is a land of great geographical diversity.  It’s a home to towering mountains, dense rainforests, vast mangrove swamps, and beautiful pristine beaches.  The highest mountain in Borneo is Mount Kinabalu, which stands at 4,095 metres above sea level. 

Borneo is also home to a diverse range of peoples. Over 200 different ethnic groups live on the island, each with their own unique culture and language.  The largest ethnic groups in Borneo are the Dayaks, Malays, and the Chinese. 

Borneo’s Culture

Borneo’s culture is a rich tapestry of influences from all over the globe.  The island’s indigenous people have a long history, and their culture is still very much alive today.  As the the home to such a large groups of  Malay, Chinese, and Indian communities, it’s influenced by their cultures to create somewhat of a ‘Bornean culture’. 

Some of the most notable aspects of Bornean culture include:

  • Borneo has a rich tradition of music and dance.  The island’s indigenous people have a wide variety of musical instruments, and their dances are often elaborate and definitely very colourful. 
  • Bornean food is a fusion of Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences.  Some of the most popular dishes include satay, nasi goreng, and laksa. 
  • Borneo is known for its beautiful artisan crafts, such as wood carvings, textiles, and basketry creations. 

What Borneo is famous for

Borneo is notable for its diverse wildlife, rich culture, and stunning natural beauty.  It offers some of the most captivating scenery you can find.   The island’s rainforests are home to different plant and animal varieties, and the mountains and beaches are also breathtaking.   This country is also one of the most biodiverse places on Earth.  The water at the beaches is the clearest and cleanest you’ll find almost anywhere.  The island is home to a wide variety of animals, including orangutans (which it’s famous for), elephants, rhinos, proboscis monkeys, clouded leopards, sun bears, elephants, crocodiles and snakes. 


Some interesting facts about Borneo

Here are a few rather interesting facts about Borneo:

  • Borneo is home to the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia arnoldii.  This flower can grow up to one metre in diameter and weighs a whopping 10 kilograms.
  • Borneo is also home to the world’s smallest elephant, the Bornean pygmy elephant.  These elephants stand just about 2.5 metres tall at the shoulder, but do weigh a fair bit still.     
  • Borneo is also home to several unique cave systems.  The Mulu Caves National Park in Sarawak is home to some of the largest and most impressive caves in the world.
  • Borneo is a great place to see orangutans in the wild – it’s actually got a reputation for being the best place to see these distant cousins of ours.  There are two species of orangutans found on Borneo: the Bornean orangutan and the Sumatran orangutan.  In fact, if you ask Google where to find orangutans, the answer is Borneo (and some northern parts of Sumatra).    

So, why visit Borneo?

As covered above, Borneo has varied landscapes, from the lush rainforests of Gunung Mulu National Park to the towering mountains of Kinabalu National Park to the pristine beaches of Sipadan Island.   This country boasts so much wildlife, with orangutans being the most famous and sought after to view.   Besides the rich culture, there is lots of adventures to be had – including trekking, white-water rafting, and diving.     


Things to do and see in Borneo:

  • Trek to the summit of Mount Kinabalu: This challenging trek is one of the most popular activities in Borneo, and it’s worth the effort for the stunning views from the top.   It you’re active and want a bit of a challenge, the views at the end will make it all worthwhile. 
  • Visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre: This centre is a great place to learn about orangutans and see them up close, in somewhat of their natural environment.  The facility is designed for the care and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned orangutans.  They have a number of babies and youth, you’ll get within a few metres of – or closer.  
  • Sipadan Island is a world-renowned diving destination, with crystal-clear waters and a diverse range of marine life. 
  • Visit Gunung Mulu National Park.  This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to some of the most impressive limestone caves in the world, plus a variety of other natural attractions, including the world’s largest cave passage. 
  • Go diving or snorkelling in Sipadan Island.  This island is known as a great snorkeling destination and, of course diving too, with crystal-clear waters and a diverse range of marine life. 
  • Bako National Park is a great place to spot wildlife, including proboscis monkeys, bearded pigs, and crocodiles.  It’s also home to several interesting geological formations, such as sea stacks and blowholes. 
  • Take a trip on a boat through the Kinabatangan River: In this river, you’ll find various wildlife such as proboscis crocodiles, snakes, and monkeys. 
  • Visit a traditional village: Borneo is home to a variety of indigenous cultures, each with its unique traditions and languages. Visitors can learn about these cultures by visiting traditional villages. 


Some relevant travel reminders:

Borneo is home to a variety of ethnic groups, each with its own unique culture and traditions.  It’s important to be respectful of these cultures when you’re visiting, especially when it comes to religious beliefs.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Dress modestly.  This is especially important when visiting temples or mosques.  Avoid wearing revealing clothing, such as shorts, tank tops, or short skirts. 
  • Be mindful of your body language.  Avoid pointing at people or things, as this is considered rude in some cultures. 
  • Don’t touch people without their permission.  This is especially important when greeting people of the opposite sex. 
  • Be respectful of religious symbols and objects.  Don’t take photos of people or religious sites without their permission. 

Now, if you are lucky enough to be visiting, here are a few things you’ll want to pack:

  • Hiking boots or shoes  
  • A raincoat or umbrella – it rains often
  • Cool, loose fitting and breathable clothing; it tends to be hot and humid    
  • A headlamp or flashlight for night walks/camps   
  • A camera, or tonnes of space on your mobile device.     
  • A light scarf if you’re visiting religious sites; often a good consideration to cover your head. 

Borneo is a wonderful island with a lot to offer visitors and at Luxury Womens Tours, we are delighted to be sharing this one with our ladies in the very near future Wild Borneo Womens tour.   As always, we manage and organise everything (well, except your packing) so that you will have a full-filled, relaxing and safe trip.   We include the best of the best for you – borne of years of experience in organising overseas trips and adventures.   If you’ve any questions about this trip, or any of our other fantastic trips, reach out to us via our contact page Contact Us and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.    Remember, our Borneo trip is happening soon, so register your interest now to not miss out.     

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