erins borneo highlights

Why you’ll love Borneo: Erin’s highlights

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Picture Borneo: The lush rainforests, orangutans swinging through the towering trees and raging rivers rushing through wild forests. Our Borneo specialist, Erin, loves nothing more than returning to the island (that’s the third biggest on earth!) and uncovering more of what it has to offer. Below, she shares her best bits…

“Above all, I really just LOVE how much the people of Borneo LOVE Borneo. They have so much genuine care and respect for their endemic wildlife and unique ecosystems. The guide services are unrivalled and I’m always in awe of how they can spot creatures so well camouflaged that they are hidden in plain sight to me! The guides never touch or provoke the animals either, they simply point them out and marvel at them in the very same way I do even though they see them every day. There are so many highlights in this incredible country, but below are a few of my favourites.”


Kuching might be the biggest city in Borneo, but that doesn’t mean it’s short on charm. Its got pristine streets, a lovely, tranquil waterfront, the buzz of local cafes and trendy bars, plus lots of new boutique hotels popping up all over the town. It’s a wonderful place to begin your Borneo adventure.


When you picture Borneo, we’d hazard a guess that these orange, hairy fellas (and ladies!) are the first things that come to mind. Sepilok is the place to go for an orangutan encounter! Renowned as one of the best spots on earth to come face-to-face with these cheeky primates, after a couple of nights here, you’ll know you’ve arrived in Borneo.

“I just love the unpredictability of what you’ll see every day in Borneo. And that’s never more true than it is in Sepilok. Of course you’ll want to see the orangutan and are guaranteed to encounter them at the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre. But, what’s fabulous about the lodges that we love to work with is that they are set in the very same area of rainforest, so the wild orangutan that visit the centre for daily feeding are just as likely to be seen from the lodges when you are eating your breakfast!”

Kinabatangan River

stunning beauty of the Kinabatangan river

The majestic Kinabatangan River is Borneo‘s longest waterway and one of the top wildlife watching destinations in Southeast Asia. You’ll pass through such a huge range of habitats including forest, lakes and mangroves. The sheer diversity of the wildlife here is staggering. Keep your eyes pealed for proboscis monkeys, orangutan, gibbons, Bornean pygmy elephants, tarsiers, slow loris, macaque monkeys, crocodiles, freshwater sharks, Irrawaddy dolphins, hornbills and a variety of other birds.

“Even if you go river cruising three times in one day when staying on the Kinabatangan River – you are sure to have 3 completely different experiences. Perhaps early in the morning, you’ll be cruising to the morning chorus of distant gibbons. In the afternoon you could be greeted by a band of Proboscis monkey making their way over the makeshift river crossings overhead. And, in the evening you could be surrounded by magical fireflies as the sun sets. Every moment is different.”

Gaya Island

Dense jungle, white-sand beaches, crystal clear, turquoise waters and gorgeous sunshine. Whether you want to laze on the beach, or snorkel beneath the waves, Gaya Island is a gorgeous addition to any Borneo itinerary that’s as convenient as it is remote. 

Gaya Island is a piece of pure paradise. I usually include it at the end of my itineraries as it’s the perfect place to unwind and reflect on your action-packed adventure through the jungle. You can snorkel directly from the private beaches of the resorts here. The water is clear & calm with a beautiful turquoise hue which is so inviting. You really get the sense that you have escaped to a true tropical island… you’d never guess you were just 20 minutes’ speedboat ride away from Kota Kinabalu.”

Think Borneo could be for you? Get in touch with Erin today to start planning your very own orangutan-filled adventure. Give her a call on 01242 253 073 or email her on [email protected].

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