Our Borneo holidays
Borneo remains a road less travelled, but Sarawak and Sabah are well set up for adventurous visitors, including families, while Indonesian Kalimantan is still less explored. Whether you travel on a budget or with a little more luxury, Borneo holidays invariably have one thing in common... and it’s orange. Some of the world’s last remaining orangutans survive here, and many travellers volunteer with wildlife conservation projects, helping with food prep and habitat restoration. Whatever you end up doing, our Borneo holidays see you exploring the island’s diverse culture, staying in locally run accommodations, visiting Iban villages and using guides drawn from local communities.
Our top Borneo holidays
Borneo orangutan holiday
From £395014 days inc UK flights
Trekking, wildlife and beach adventure holiday to Borneo
Borneo tour, Great Apes and Beach escapes
From £18459 days ex flights
Explore bustling cities, lush jungles and paradise beaches.
Borneo tailor made holidays, wildlife & beaches
From £296515 days ex flights
A luxury tour of the best wildlife & beaches of Sabah
Borneo Mount Kinabalu climb holiday
From £363514 days inc UK flights
Adventure holiday to see wildlife and climb Mt Kinabalu
Family holiday in Sabah
From £238510 days ex flights
Discover the best of Borneo in just under 2 weeks
Luxury beach holiday in Borneo & Orangutans
From £275013 days inc UK flights
Relaxation in one of nature's most picturesque settings
Tanjung Puting orangutan holiday, Borneo
From £16507 days ex flights
Orangutan Adventure Holiday, Tanjung Puting, Borneo
Borneo tailor made tour on a shoestring
From £139510 days ex flights
The Best of Borneo at a great value price!
Sarawak wildlife & beach holiday
From £1313 to £162010 days ex flights
Encounter orangutans and hike through virgin rainforest
Small group2023: 15 Jun, 22 Jun, 29 Jun, 6 Jul, 13 Jul, 20 Jul, 27 Jul, 3 Aug, 10 Aug, 17 Aug, 24 Aug, 31 Aug, 7 Sep, 14 Sep, 21 Sep, 5 Oct, 19 Oct, 26 Oct, 16 Nov, 2024: 29 Feb, 14 Mar, 21 Mar, 28 Mar, 4 Apr, 11 Apr, 18 Apr, 25 Apr, 2 May, 16 May, 30 May, 6 Jun, 13 Jun, 20 Jun, 27 Jun, 4 Jul, 7 Jul, 11 Jul, 18 Jul, 25 Jul, 1 Aug, 15 Aug, 22 Aug, 29 Aug, 5 Sep, 19 Sep, 26 Sep, 10 Oct, 17 Oct, 31 Oct, 14 Nov, 28 Nov
About our Borneo holidays
Where to go on holiday in Borneo
Most travellers make a beeline straight for Malaysian Borneo. Orangutans live in the northern jungles of Sabah, where you can spend your pennies on sanctuaries instead of the palm oil industry levelling their rainforest. Mount Kinabalu is a peak for serious hikers; wanderers can follow the pristine nature trails at its foot. Sarawak, the largest state in Borneo, rolls together some of the world’s most diverse and ancient rainforests in its 30 national parks. Kalimantan sits over the border in Indonesian Borneo. Despite taking up most of the island, its longboat markets, jungle treks and orangutan sanctuaries haven’t yet hit the well-trod tourist trail.
Track orangutans in Borneo
Orangutans are native to just two places in the world – and one of them is Borneo. The biggest sanctuary is Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, although it often has the visitor numbers to match. You can also see Matang Wildlife Centre or Nyaru Menteng as a volunteer or visitor. It’s a lucky traveller who gets to see orangutans in the wild in Borneo. Your best chance is to travel with a local guide who knows the orangutans’ haunts – and who’ll encourage you to widen your focus to the pygmy elephants, sun bears and monkeys that share the forest. Read more about orangutan watching holidays.
Culture on a Borneo holiday
Borneo’s cities offer a snapshot of the many cultures that have wound up on the island. Explore the spice markets and snack stalls on a food tour in Kuching, where Malay, Indonesian, Chinese and Indian dishes are scratched onto whiteboards. Kota Kinabalu (or KK), the capital of Sabah, is a jumble of museums, Filipino markets and British colonial architecture. To really get to know the people who live in Borneo, stay in a floating wooden klotok in Kalimantan or a longhouse with the Iban in Sarawak. They’re usually homestays run by hosts who’ll take you to the market and show you how to cook using bamboo.
Travelling to Borneo with children
A family holiday to Borneo is smooth sailing – especially if you head for Sabah, in Malaysian Borneo, with its kid-friendly hotels and reliable infrastructure. Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is your chance for near-guaranteed orangutan sightings, especially at feeding time. English is also spoken more widely in Sabah, making everything that little bit more accessible. Sarawak, meanwhile, is an adventure for older children happy to tackle more challenging jungle hikes and sleep in no-frills accommodation. Either way, you’ll need to be a family with an adventurous spirit – and a rucksack full of insect repellent.
Types of tours & holidays in Borneo
Despite its struggles with uncontrolled deforestation, Borneo remains a pocket of incredible biodiversity. Wildlife holidays headed up by incomparable guides show you how to look for the orangutans, proboscis monkeys, pangolins, sun bears and clouded leopards that live within the jungle. Borneo is vast and its activities are many, so most travellers opt for a tailor made holiday designed by experts who factor in your individual needs. Small group holidays are great if you'd like to explore with a group (often no bigger than 12) of fellow adventurers; especially tempting if you're going solo.
Read our top Borneo travel guidesWe dig deeper into the whats, wheres and hows of seeing Borneo’s old man of the forest in our orangutan watching guide. Discover why Sabah is one of the best places in the world to see primates, and learn about its mountain treks and top-notch scuba diving. We explore more family-friendly routes in our Sarawak guide – an introduction to Malaysia’s biggest state. Meanwhile, our Borneo volunteering guide is for travellers who’d like to use their time to support the wildlife sanctuaries that splatter the island.
If you'd like to chat about Borneo or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
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[Track orangutans : Jorge Franganillo] [Culture in Borneo : sunriseOdyssey] [Travelling to Borneo with kids : wugolicious] [Types of holidays : VanZonneveld] [Where to go : CEphoto, Uwe Aranas]