...Trip idea

A World of Adventure: Borneo for Families

Away from the distractions of screen time, this trip to Malaysian Borneo is an opportunity to inspire children with stories of the forests, encounter orangutans and other intriguing creatures and have eye-opening experiences in steamy jungles, rivers and waterfalls.


  • Be introduced to the sights and sounds of one of the world’s most wildlife-rich equatorial rainforests
  • Educate yourselves and the kids: learn how orphaned orangutans are rehabilitated back into the wild and the conservation issues faced by the ‘people of the forest’ who share 97 percent of our DNA
  • Stay in some of Borneo’s most luxurious jungle lodges where the rainforest and its inhabitants are mere steps away.
  • Explore the pristine forests by way of river safaris, guided walks and 4×4 drives to view a variety of wildlife ranging from pigmy elephant, proboscis monkey, orangutan, macaque, creepy crawlies and a wide range of bird species in addition to the jungle flora.
  • Relax and unwind at Gaya Island Resort, one of Malaysian Borneo’s most impressive resorts – explore the beaches and the clear waters surrounding the reefs


This is an adventurous holiday to see unique creatures and rare birdlife in some of the world’s most pristine rainforest. From the Sepilok conservation area to Kinabatabgan River, Danum Valley rainforest to Gaya Island, Borneo will thrill you with its dizzying array of wildlife and incredible landscapes.


This intrepid, two-week trip to the wilds of Malaysian Borneo is perfect for animal-loving, adventurous families looking to bond over wildlife encounters

Who with:

We’d recommend children over the age of eight for this trip, as there are some longer treks and the jungle can be deceptively energy-sapping for younger visitors.

When to go:

Visiting between March and October means seeing Borneo at its driest and one of its best times to see orangutans, plus on the beach you may spot turtles

Young Orangutan on the tree
Rainforest wiew from the Canopy Walk Tower In Sepilok, Borneo
The boat sails along the Kinabatangan River surrounded by tropical forests, Sabah, Borneo. Malaysia.

Day 1-3 Welcome to The Jungle

Via Kuala Lumpur, you will connect to Sandakan, in the Malaysian Borneo state of Sabah. Your first night will be at the MY Nature Lodge, and come morning you will come face-to-face with orangutans at a rehabilitation centre. Seeing these creatures at close range is extraordinarily special and at the centre you’ll learn about the important conservation work taking place to protect these distinctive primates.

Your next lodge is accessible only by boat – travel up-river to Kinabatang and the Sakau Rainforest Lodge, which sits on the flowing riverside. Enter the rainforest with a guide on a specially designed boardwalk which takes you into the heart of the jungle. Hear tales of head-hunters and pick up tips about jungle survival and explore more impenetrable parts of the forest by small boat along the narrow riverways.

Premium Villa

Day 4-7 The Heart of Darkness

Travel to the Borneo Rainforest Lodge by road in around six hours, and be welcomed into this off-the-beaten track location surrounded by miles of primary rainforest. Your room will overlook the misty Danum River with the dense jungle rising atmospherically behind. This absorbing ever-changing view means plenty of animal spotting such as deer and blue-throated bee-eaters from the comfort of your own terrace.

Here you will also enter the tangle of ancient jungle on foot with a guided trek to Coffin Cliff, a burial site with 500-year-old bones still visible. Spot orangutans swinging in the trees and look out for snakes crossing your path. Cool off in the refreshing spray from Fairy Falls or spend an afternoon lazily tubing down the Danum River. Don’t miss the night drives where the jungle comes alive in darkness and you may even see a clouded leopard.

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Your journey via road, air and speedboat will be well worth it when you reach the tropical and stunningly beautiful surrounds of Gaya Island, where white, jungle-fringed beaches are lapped by aquamarine water. Stay at a stylish yet relaxed forest retreat where its private beach and views of Mount Kinabula will be just the tonic for a laid-back beach break after your busy wilderness itinerary.

Located within the Tunku Adbul Rahman Marine Park – a group of five small islands, each with fringing coral reefs, Gaya is a great spot to enjoy kayaking, snorkelling and stand-up paddle-boarding and the island’s jungly interior is ideal for nature hikes. Soak up the barefoot sophistication of this all-natural resort before you begin your journey home, via Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala lumpur skyline, Malaysia
Chinese temple, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Extend Your Trip - The Magic of Malaysia

As you stopover in Kuala Lumpur on your way out, you could extend your time here before Borneo, exploring the sights of the city from the Petronus Towers or investigating the revered Batu Caves, a Hindu shrine found in a lofty cave. Stay at a luxury boutique hotel inspired by Malay heritage, located in an upscale, leafy suburb with a fabulous lagoon-shaped swimming pool at its centre.


For a further look at Malaysia’s culture, take a day trip to Malacca, two hours south of KL and admire its fascinating hybrid culture which fuses Indian, Chinese and Malay, wrapped around by colonial Dutch and Portuguese architecture.


Not many two-week trips can contain such huge diversity of landscape and experience. Starting with the city thrills of Kuala Lumpur you will be transported into a primeval forest, seeing animals you’ve only ever seen on a David Attenborough documentary. Throw in some tropical beach time on a totally unspoilt island and this will make one truly unforgettable family adventure.

“There’s few places like Borneo for such incredible wildlife viewing - the proboscis monkey, the pygmy elephant as well as the green and hawksbill turtle to name a few, but for me it’s Borneo’s ancient way-of-life that is equally intriguing.”

Have questions? Our knowledgeable team of experts are on-hand to take your call or if you prefer by Zoom. Talk to us about your holiday dreams or challenge us with your travel conundrums.

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