The prospect of thrilling orang-utan encounters is incentive enough to visit, yet the world’s third largest island has so much more to entice you
The third largest island in the world, Borneo ranks as one of the planet’s top wildlife destinations. The prospect of thrilling orang-utan encounters is incentive enough to visit, yet the island has so much more to entice you. That includes vast tracts of pristine rainforest, countless coral islands, mighty mountains, remote tribes, jungle-fringed rivers and extensive cave systems.
The human-like orang-utans (the name means man of the forest in Malay) head an impressive assortment of 10 primate species including gibbons, proboscis monkeys, the bizarre-looking western tarsier and the aptly named slow loris. Among the 40 other mammal species, diminutive Borneo pygmy elephants roam the forest trails together with sun bears, clouded leopards and the elusive Sumatran rhinoceros. There are over 600 species of birds, many rare orchids, various carnivorous pitcher plants and an amazing twelve species of Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower. Underwater, Borneo has some of the tropics’ most diverse coral reefs, and large numbers of marine turtles nest on its numerous sandy beaches.
Borneo is divided politically between the small sultanate of Brunei, the Indonesian state of Kalimantan and the two East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak: it is these latter two states on which we focus our tours here. (If you are interested in visiting Kalimantan, please see our Indonesia section.)