When to go to Borneo

When to go to Borneo

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Are you looking for the best time to go to Borneo? Exploring this wild and wonderful island should be on everyone’s wishlist, so below we’ve got the inside scoop on what the weather is like in Borneo month by month to help you figure out when might be best for your visit.

As always, our Borneo Destination Manager, Erin, is on hand if you want to chat more in depth about what time of year might be best for you. But, we hope that the below gives you a good overview to get your plans off the ground…  

In a nutshell:

Great months to visit: April, May, June and September

Great months (but can get very busy): July and August

Shoulder months (can be wet, but still worth a visit): February – March and October – November

Months to avoid: December and January

  When to go to Borneo Orangutan spotting

January in Borneo

Let’s start with January. It’s peak season for Borneo, so expect crowds and higher prices.

A note from Erin: I wouldn’t recommend visiting Borneo in January. The high rainfall pushes wildlife deep into the rainforest, making all of those wish-list sightings really tricky to spot. Plus, the water off beautiful Gaya Island can get very choppy. I’d recommend avoiding January and aiming for later in the year.

February in Borneo

February is the month of love, but also the month of rain in Borneo. So, unless you’re into getting drenched and stuck in the muddy trails, we can do better than that.

March in Borneo

March is a transition month in Borneo, where the rainy season slowly fades away and the dry season creeps in. You might catch some showers, but overall it’s a good time for exploring the lush rainforests and spotting orangutans.

When to go to Borneo - Best time for sunsets

April in Borneo

April is a great month to visit Borneo. The good weather brings with it a fair amount of heat and humidity, but if you can endure the sweat you’ll be rewarded with clear skies and stunning sunsets. It’s a great time for diving and snorkelling, but beware of jellyfish and strong currents off the coastline.

May in Borneo

May is the start of the dry season in Borneo, which means less rain and more sunshine. It’s also the month of the Sabah Fest, a colourful celebration of Borneo’s culture and heritage and a great opportunity to immerse yourself in authentic interactions and local experiences.

June in Borneo

June is when the temperature really hikes up in Borneo. The sunshine is lovely, but do make sure you stay hydrated, pack plenty of suncream and make time to refresh and refuel in the shady spots.

A note from Erin: Between April and June is a brilliant time to book a holiday to Borneo. You’ll get wonderful weather, some unforgettable opportunities for wildlife spotting, and you’ll be visiting before the busiest period of the high season – it’s a win-win. 

Elephant on the Kinabatangan River

July in Borneo

July is slap bang in the middle of peak travel season and is extremely busy in Borneo. The weather is great, but do make sure you book well in advance and prepare for things to not be quite as tranquil as they are at other times of the year. You need to book even earlier if you’re travelling over Sabah, too.

August in Borneo

August is still high season in Borneo – and is a bit of a mixed bag weather-wise. Some areas experiencing occasional showers while others remain bone dry. Similar story to July with visitor numbers, so do make sure you’re planning ahead as things can get busy!

September in Borneo

September is another transition month, with the rainy season starting to ramp back up again. But don’t let that deter you from visiting Borneo’s hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path destinations, September is still month with a lot to offer.

A note from Erin: I love Borneo in September. It’s a brilliant month to travel with fab opportunities for wildlife sightings and sunny times on the beach. There can be some rainfall, but this shouldn’t impact any activities or plans at all. 

October in Borneo

October marks the start of the rainy season in Borneo, but that also means the waterfalls and rivers are at their fullest and most impressive. Just remember to pack your rain mac and waterproof bags for cameras etc. There’s no harm in getting a bit soggy if you come prepared! Plus, Borneo is beautifully quiet in October, so tranquil rainforests await!

Danum Valley Borneo When to go to Borneo

November in Borneo

November is low season in Borneo. There can be lots of tropical storms in Sabah and Sarawak, plus it’s not a great time of year to relax on the beaches or snorkel off the coast. If you’re a keen diver though, the conditions are fairly good and November can be a great time to explore beneath the waves.

December in Borneo

Finally, December brings a lot of rain and questionable weather. Borneo really isn’t the best option if you’re specifically looking for a Christmas holiday.

A note from Erin: I always try to dissuade my clients from booking festive holidays to Borneo – I’d be too worried that the weather would ruin their trips. If you’re definitely set on visiting Borneo (and why wouldn’t you be?), I’d definitely recommend looking at a different time of year. 

So there you have it, you can head to Borneo on holiday at any time of year, but certain months will be wetter (or busier) than others! Give Erin a call on 01242 253 073 or email here at [email protected] if you want to find out more.


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