• Menu
  • Menu
Pulau Bohey Dulang, die Insel gehört zum malaysischen Teil Borneos, Bild: Nokuro / shutterstock

Mysterious Borneo

A trip to Borneo is the realization of an absolute vacation dream for every nature lover with a little thirst for adventure. Dense, tropical rainforests, colorful plants and rare animal species such as orangutans, macaques, proboscis monkeys and Irawadi dolphins await travelers.

Borneo – Geographical location and climate

Borneo is more than twice the size of Germany and is located in the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by the South China Sea, the Java Sea and the Strait of Makassar, it is the third largest island in the world and covers a length of about 1366 km and a width of 1026 km.

Geographically, it belongs to the large Sunda Islands and is politically divided into three states: Indonesia in the south and Malaysia with the Sultanate of Brunei in the north. A mountain range, in which the highest elevation in Borneo is located, the 4095 m high Kinabalu, stretches from the northeast to the southwest.

Borneo is crossed by the equator approximately in the middle and thus belongs to the tropical climate zone with high humidity and relatively constant temperatures between an average of 27.7° C in May and 26.7° C in December. The rainiest months are March and October. However, since it rains frequently during the rest of the year, there is no so-called “best time to travel”. Borneo is a year-round destination and precipitation is part of a stay here.

The National Parks

Those who travel to Borneo usually want to get as big an impression as possible of the indescribable flora and fauna of the region. There are numerous national parks on the island, which correspond to the idea of untouched nature with exotic animals, colorful birds and flowering orchids to a great extent.

Bako National Park

The city of Kuching in the state of Sarawak is a very good starting point for trips to several of the region’s fantastic national parks. The Bako National Park is only about 40 km away. However, the trip to this peninsula is only possible by boat. It is recommended to stay there for at least two days in order to hike through the pure rainforest wilderness on different routes. A night safari with a good guide is a unique experience. There are some simple lodges in the park for overnight stays, but they should be reserved in good time.

See also  Koh Phangan – the pearl in the Gulf of Thailand
Semenggoh National Park
Orangutans in Semenggoh National Park khamkhor / Pixabay

National park

Semenggoh National Park is also easily accessible from Kuching. One of the attractions here is the orangutan rehabilitation station, where animals found injured and freed from captivity are prepared for their life in the wild. For the once-daily feeding, they come close to the visitor center and can thus be observed up close.

Gungung Mulu National Park

The Gungung Mulu National Park should not be missing on any excursion program of a Borneo vacation. The most impressive sights here are the gigantic caves of a huge, partly unexplored system.

Deer Cave

One of the most beautiful caves open to visitors is the “Deer Cave”. Here, with the help of a local guide, you can spot millions of bats. If you choose the “Clearwater Cave”, which is believed to be more than 60 km long, you can refresh yourself before or after the tour in the natural swimming pool with crystal clear water, which is located in front of the entrance to the cave.

The Gungung Mulu National Park offers such a variety of natural wonders that tourists should definitely take part in a multi-day trekking tour. So you can experience the fascinating rainforest with all its images, sounds and smells “around the clock”. One of the most popular activities is climbing the pointed limestone cliffs, the so-called Pinnacles. However, you should already have a good level of fitness to master this challenge without any problems.

Kinabalu, Borneo
Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia, Image: KBaucherel / Pixabay

If you decide to climb the 4095 m high Kinabalus, you should plan 2 to 3 days, depending on your physical condition. This activity is particularly worthwhile for plant, bird and butterfly lovers to experience the flora and fauna of the mountains in this region up close. If you are lucky, you will get to see the largest flower in the world here – the Rafflesia.

Since the weather on Kinabalu is often unpredictable, hikers should inform themselves well in advance about the prevailing conditions. On a clear day, a fantastic view from above compensates for the efforts of the ascent. You can also get a spectacular impression of the rainforest on the Conopy Skywalk. Here you walk at a height of 41 m over swaying suspension bridges through the treetops of the national park.

The Danum Valley

This very remote area in the state of Sabah is one of the few areas in Borneo where the primeval, dense forest still prevails. This is also where the last specimens of the extremely rare Borneo pygmy elephants and Borneo rhinos are hidden. The probability of seeing the shy animals is very low, but since the valley is also one of the regions with a very high plant and animal diversity, it is of great interest to zoologists and botanists.

See also  Uzbekistan – foreign culture & spectacular natural wonders

In the Crocker Range Mountains in the north of Sabah, the legendary cloud forests are located at an altitude of 2000 m. In certain weather conditions, when clouds cover the mountain peaks, the observer is presented with a fairytale sight. In these extremely humid conditions, the legendary carnivorous pitcher plants also thrive very well.

Connecting stays in Borneo

Many travellers relax after the eventful but also strenuous tours through the national parks on one of Borneo’s magnificent dream coasts.

On the islands off Kota Kinabalu, wonderful sandy beaches await the beach vacationers. The 50-hectare Tunuk Abdul Rahman Marine Park and Sipadan Island are among the best diving areas on earth with their fascinating and diverse underwater world.

If you feel like going to a real city again after several weeks in untouched nature, you can visit the lively port town of Sandakan, for example. Here, it’s worth taking a leisurely shopping spree at the colourful markets or stopping off at local or western restaurants. Not far from the city, in Sepilok, are the last almost untouched primary rainforests in northern Borneo.

Less strenuous than a trekking tour, but at least as interesting is a river safari. For example, the Kinabatangan River, which is over 600 km long, offers boat trips with local guides that offer a completely different perspective on the tropical landscape.

Food and Drink in Borneo

The cuisine in Borneo is influenced by numerous different countries and cultures and is therefore extremely diverse. Freshly caught fish in many variations is on the menu in most restaurants here. Another speciality are the small satay meat skewers, which are served with sweet-spicy peanut sauce.

THE national dish in Indonesia“>Indonesia and Malaysia is, of course, nasi goreng (fried rice). Rice in combination with vegetables and meat is eaten by the locals at any time of the day, even for breakfast, and is available everywhere.

A vegetarian dish is roti canai, which consists of a flat flatbread with several different curry sauces. When it comes to the ubiquitous curry dishes, Europeans should rather try the milder variants first, because the spicy versions are almost impossible to enjoy even for people who like to eat well-seasoned dishes.

For nature lovers and adventurous travelers, there is hardly a more interesting and diverse destination in Asia than Borneo. Untouched nature, friendly locals and exciting activities await them.