An exotic travel destination, Borneo is the third largest island in the world, and it’s located north of Java, Indonesia. The island is divided among three countries: Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Approximately 73% of the island is Indonesian territory. The Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak in the north occupy about 26% of the island. The sovereign state of Brunei, located on the north coast, comprises about 1% of Borneo’s land area.
Borneo is surrounded by the South China Sea to the north and northwest, the Sulu Sea to the northeast, the Celebes Sea and the Makassar Strait to the east, and the Java Sea and Karimata Strait to the south.
The Borneo jungles contain some of the oldest undisturbed areas of rainforest in the world. Some of the best and most spectacular areas of rainforest have been incorporated into National Parks, which are enough reason to make the effort to visit Borneo.
Abundant wildlife is found on Borneo – including orangutans, hornbills, egrets, macaques, elephants, wild gibbon, leaf monkeys, Sumatran rhinoceros, sea eagles, and proboscis monkeys, which are found only in the coastal mangroves of Borneo.
Experience a late afternoon jungle river cruise and watch whole families of these monkeys crash through the trees and dive into the water. Visitors to the area have seen them diving 20 metres into rivers, then swimming strongly across with their webbed feet, trying to avoid crocodiles!
Visitors can also see various tribal areas. Borneo was the home of some of the last of the world’ s headhunters. It is now only about 50 years since the last heads were taken by some members of the Iban tribes of Sarawak. Some of the older tribesmen have a head or two to their names. Relics of the head-hunting days can still be seen in some of the villages.
If you are feeling energetic, climb South-East Asia’s highest mountain – Mt. Kinabalu. It is a two-day climb that most people with a reasonable level of fitness can undertake and enjoy. No special skills or equipment are required – other than warm clothing as it can get very cold on the mountain. From the summit on a clear morning, it is possible to see to the Philippines and beyond!