Perhaps the true highlight of a trip to Borneo is travelling deep into the Borneo rainforest and staying there with traditional tribes. Of the options available, Batang Ai, east of Kuching, is one of the best. This area is home to the Iban tribe, the largest and most vibrant of Sarawak's 22 tribal groups, who live with extended family groups in traditional longhouses by rivers on the edge of the jungle. In times past the Iban used to be known as head-hunters but today they live through fishing and ecotourism. Trekking through the jungle can be strenuous and humid but is a perfect opportunity to experience unspoilt wilderness and search elusive orangutans and or their nests. Bathing in the rivers or at Enseluai Waterfall offers ideal relaxation after trekking, in addition to learning about Iban customs and trying their rice wine.
The Kinabatangan River is the longest in Borneo and as it meanders through the Sukau Rainforest it creates a flood plain that makes it an excellent environment for wildlife viewing. River cruises along the Kinabatangan enable spotting of proboscis and leaf monkeys, orangutans, Bornean gibbon, Asian pygmy elephants, long tailed macaques, sun bears, clouded leopards and barking deer, as well as over 200 bird species including frogmouth, hornbill, egret and oriole.
The Danum Valley is the largest protected lowland rainforest area in Asia, measuring some 430 km². It is home to 274 bird species and 110 mammal species, many of which are rare and endangered. From a base at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, there are many trails through the jungle that allow you to look for orangutans, giant flying squirrels, gibbons, bearded wild boars, flying frogs, Asian elephant and the extremely endangered Sumatran rhinoceros. Night drives may enable spotting of nocturnal species such as civet, sambar deer, leopard cat, slow loris or clouded leopard.
Travel to Borneo Rainforest
Organised group tours: Click here to see 4 tours to Borneo which may include Borneo Rainforest.
Sep 2010 (3rd ed.), 392 pages
Borneo: Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei
Mar 2012 (2nd ed.), 320 pages
Jun 2013 (3rd ed.)