Top Adventures in Borneo to Explore the Outdoors
Borneo is a land of adventure waiting to be explored, with a wealth of natural beauty and cultural diversity. From stunning tropical rainforests to crystal-clear waters, Borneo offers a host of outdoor activities for adventure seekers. Here are some of the top adventures in Borneo to explore the outdoors.
- Hike Mount Kinabalu.
Show up for that 6am sunrise.
….from the tallest peak in all of Borneo.
With an elevation of 4,095m above sea level, the bald-top granite massif of Mount Kinabalu is a fine way to shake the dust. Not only is the crack of dawn from Low’s Peak summit mind-blowing, the journey there takes you through 4 distinct vegetation zones showcasing all that is gigantically strange and weirdly wonderful about Borneo’s 140 million old rainforest.
Thread along the oak-chestnut Lower Montane forest laced with chestnuts, myrtles, eucalyptus and also some conifers. As you trek further, big broad-leafed ferns unfurl and the “living fossil” known as the Celery Pine beckons your gaze. Thick mists swirl and wander with the winds of the montane forest as you hike further along the path passing giant fig trees and carnivorous pitcher plants, both small and big. Once you get properly acquainted with diversity of plant species here, it is no wonder why it is deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You even get a certificate to flaunt!
We suggest going for the Two Days One Night climb, in which the first day boils down to a night’s stay in a cabin 11,000 feet above sea level before taking on the summit at 2:30am the next day, hopefully reaching the summit right before sunrise if your fitness levels allows you to do so.
Another option would be a Three Day Two Night climb which allows you to properly acclimatize and spend some leisurely time at Kinabalu Park where you can go for short hikes as a little prep-up.
If you feel like taking adventure to whole new level, you can also experience the world’s highest and Asia’s first Via Ferrata or ‘iron road’ at 3,200m to 3,800m above sea level. Upon your decent, get up close and personal with the hidden plateaus of Mt. Kinabalu through the various routes on the northern rock faces consisting of a ‘trail’ that is made up of iron rungs, palettes, cables and rails.
Click here to find out how on how you can book your climb with us!
Wander deep down under Gunung Mulu National Park, home to one of the largest limestone cave system in the world.
The four show caves that make up Gunung Mulu National Park– a highly significant UNESCO World Heritage Site—breaks records with the world’s largest cave passage (Deer Cave), the world’s largest natural chamber (Sarawak Chamber), and the longest cave in Southeast Asia (Clearwater Cave) all under its belt.
Besides the tantalizing clues of Borneo’s past showcased throughout the cave systems, the stalactite and stalagmite formations are truly master pieces of Mother Nature herself. Our particular favourite is Langs cave, what a feast for the eyes you’d have to experience yourself. Pictures don’t do justice when it comes to caves and all the fascinating formations within it.
All of the show caves can be visited as day trips from the Park HQ and are pleasantly accessible by raised plank-walks and well-lit paths, whilst Clearwater Cave and Wind Cave are only accessible by longboat up the Melinau River.
Book your trip here for the best deals on group tours.
….but if you’d like to balance out the lower ground action with some steep ascents, the Mulu Pinnacles is an adventure of its own.
Carved simply by rainfall, the Mulu Pinnacles is a tantalizing tale of how centuries of water erosion dissolved rocks into razor-sharp ridges. Hike above the tree line to the peak for a grand view of the canopies below, high enough to put things in perspective for you. The route to the Pinnacles involves a longboat ride along Melinau River, a 9KM trek to Camp 5 for an overnight stay and a steep 2.4KM hike up the Pinnacle Summit Trek the following day.
- Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sabah.
Danum Valley is a prime spot to experience Borneo’s wild side. This 438 square kilometre tract of relatively undisturbed lowland dipterocarp forest throbs with a tremendous concentration of wildlife– over 340 bird species,200 species of trees per hectare, 72 species of reptiles, 124 mammal species, 56 species of amphibians.
Throbbing with birdlife, Pygmy Elephants, Orangutans, Gibbons, Sambar Deers, Clouded Leopards, Palm-sized spiders… a visit to Danum Valley offers you a great chance to see Borneo’s most endemic and endangered wildlife. With excellent guides, well-carved trails and well chalked out itineraries, this wildlife sanctuary is ideal for any nature enthusiast seeking a more satisfying wildlife experience. Spend your days exploring nature trails and when night falls, go on a wildlife safari to spy on the secretive world of Borneo’s nocturnal creatures. Tarantulas, spiders and elephants galore but do keep in mind nothing is ever guaranteed for.
- The Lost World of Sabah : Maliau Basin
Long ago in the South Central part of Sabah, a pilot almost crashed into the walls of a saucer-shaped basin of rainforest hemmed in by mountains and surrounded on all sides by steep forbidding slopes, foreign to civilization and unnoticed by the world. Today it is known as MALIAU BASIN…. Sabah’s Lost World.
Maliau Basin is an unusual assemblage of 12 forest types, comprising mainly of lower montane forest dominated by majestic Agathis trees, rare montane heath forest, and lowland/hill dipterocarp forest. Also, for all you mythology buffs, a Lake shrouded in myth and legends of a dragon. Being surrounded by steep ridge walls rising over 1, 675 Meters above sea level, much of its region is left completely wild and unexplored. Only one third of Maliau is open to visitors, with 70km of marked trails.
Getting there is no simple task, getting there by land is an exciting venture, one that takes you on a 4×4 cruiser for a taste of the off-road thrill. A 5-Day trip offers you the unforgettable opportunity to experience the raw beauty of this place through activities such as night drives, jungle trekking, bird watching and waterfall swimming.
- Kinabatangan River, Sabah.
Keen bird watches and nature-geeks, there is a seat on a river boat heading down the Kinabatangan with your name on it. Get those binoculars on the ready because the Kinabatangan River is a well-known haven for wildlife, with over 600 species of birds found here. But there’s more! Visitors will also stand a chance to encounter wild primates such as Bornean Gibbons, pot-bellied Proboscis Monkeys, eight different kinds of hornbills, as well as families of dwarf elephants with Dumbo ears–also known as Pygmy Elephants.
Kinabatangan is family-friendly with activities such as dusk and dawn boat cruises, light trekking and night walks. It offers a variety of accommodation options ranging from luxury chalets to off-the beaten track jungle camp to fit the different needs of travelling styles.