If there was a destination award for wilderness travel, Borneo would be a top contender.
Borneo has almost 10% of the world's tropical forest and an extraordinary biodiversity that constantly multiplies with three new species being discovered there on average every month. It is the only home of some of the world's most endangered mammals: the pygmy elephant, the clouded leopard, the sun bear and the orangutan. All of them face extinction if the ancient forest is destroyed.
The forests are still populated by the Dayak tribe, who live in traditional long houses built on stilts where 30 or more families live in one building.
Straddling the equator, Borneo is the third largest island in the world, its territory apportioned unevenly between the countries of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
Indonesian Kalimantan is the largest chunk. Brunei and Malaysia occupy the top third.
The island largely consists of dense jungle and mountains, reaching its highest point at Mt Kinabalu (4095 m) in Sabah. Much of the terrain is virtually impenetrable, and large areas are unexplored.
One of the easiest ways to see Borneo is by boat. Many of the rivers are navigable and provide access to several places of interest within a few days.
The coastal area is generally swampy and fringed with mangrove forests.
Borneo has a typical tropical climate - generally hot and humid throughout the year. Temperatures are fairly uniform, averaging 25-33 degrees Celsius during the day and rarely dropping below 20 degrees Celsius at night, except in the mountains where they can drop to below 20 degrees Celsius. As in most tropical areas the rain falls in short heavy bursts with sunshine following. In theory, the wet season runs from November through to February, but in reality we find little difference in the seasons.
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What to Bring on a Trip to Borneo?