The Best Time to Visit Borneo

Orangutans, Borneo

Borneo by season

Due to its close proximity to the equator, Borneo is hot year-round, with temperatures usually exceeding 30°C and rarely dropping below 27°C. The dry season is the best time to travel, and although there is a higher chance of rain during the wet season, Borneo’s notoriously unpredictable rain can fall at any time of year, so don’t let the possibility of showers stop you from travelling. To help you decide when to go, we’ve split the year into its wet and dry seasons.

For more advice on when to go, or to visit Borneo as part of a larger trip, talk to a Travel Expert today on 0800 707 6010.

Turtle, Lankayan Island, Malaysia
Dry Season

April – November

The warm and generally rain-free weather in the dry season makes it the perfect time to visit, although showers are still possible. The calm seas between April and December are ideal for diving, with visibility reaching up to 40m in July and August. Head to the beaches of Lankayan Island to watch the turtles hatch between June and September, or look for orangutans in Sepilok; they also enjoy the dry weather.

Go for:

Whale sharks: between March and May look out for the enormous whale sharks swimming in the seas around Lankayan Island on Borneo’s north east coast.

Climbing Mount Kinabalu: the dry season is your best bet if you fancy tackling the slopes of Mount Kinabalu, with the paths at their best between April and October.

Orangutan sheltering from rain
Wet Season

December – March

There’s a fair chance of rain in the wet season, which does put off some people. It’s their loss though, as Borneo maybe wet, but it’s still visitable at this time. The beaches around Gaya Island and Kota Kinabalu are blissfully empty, and the monkeys and orangutans look adorable when soggy with rain, although they are harder to spot hiding under the leaves

Go for:

Migratory birds: birdwatchers should head into the jungles October to April to look for migratory birds such as Japanese sparrowhawk and peregrine falcons.

Chinese New Year: in late January or early February try Kuching for citywide fireworks, celebrations and eating to celebrate the beginning of the new Chinese year.

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Travel to Malaysian Borneo with the Experts

Whatever you're looking for, from an orangutan-spotting jungle adventure to a Kinabalu mountain climb and everything in between, our Borneo Experts can help create your ideal itinerary, whatever your budget. For more itinerary ideas or for a specific quote, talk to our team today.

Nicola Kennedy

When I travel to Borneo I like to combine my trip with a group tour followed by a luxury beach break so I get the best of both worlds. 

- Nicola Kennedy, Expert
An orangutan in Sepilok Nature Reserve
An Orangutan captured by our Expert Nicola at Sepilok Nature Reserve in Borneo #expertfinds #borneo #malaysia
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