Several vaccinations are advised
before travelling to Sarawak; consult your GP or travel clinic six to eight weeks before departure to ensure you have time to complete all the series of injections.
Malaria is also present, so you will need to bring anti-malarial medication. Wearing long sleeves and trousers is also advised, as well as insect repellent. This also protects against dengue fever. Remember, malaria can develop up to a year after exposure, so keep an eye out for any symptoms.
Citronella is the favoured repellent for many travellers. However, this should be avoided as it attracts hornets – giant wasps with an extraordinarily painful sting.
Tap water is unsafe to drink also be wary of ice in drinks and unpeeled fruit and vegetables.
Avoid eating bushmeat such as monkeys or bats as these are often carriers of diseases – as well as often being inadvisable for environmental reasons.
Leeches are present in the lowland jungles. These are more unpleasant than dangerous, but you can buy ‘leech socks’, which are effective at stopping them, and keep your trousers tucked into your socks or boots.
Sarawak is hot and humid, especially in the jungle, so keep well hydrated at all times.
It’s advisable to bring a basic first aid kit and medication for sickness and diarrhea.
If you need to be hospitalised, travel to the mainland may be necessary, so be sure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical evacuation.
Forest fires in neighbouring Indonesian Borneo cause serious air pollution which is getting more and more dangerous each year; 2015's fires have been described as a "crime against humanity". Travellers with respiratory problems should exercise precautions, and all travellers are advised to check with their holiday company on the severity of the smog in Sarawak - and ask if face masks are available when in the worst affected areas.
Visit the CDC website for up to date health information on Malaysia