A Unique Experience – Visiting The Borneo Rainforest

There are not many places left on Earth where one can enjoy the spectacle of unspoiled diversity – however, the Borneo Rainforest is one of these. This extensive Rainforest covers a total of 400,000sq km and is shared by the governments of Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia. In this wonderful destination, one can enjoy the sights and sounds of still uncounted numbers of mammals, reptiles, birds, trees, and plants, as well as insects. This ecosystem has been around since time immemorial – however, it is today under increasing threat from a rapidly growing human population and growing demand for unique raw materials that are found beneath its rainforest canopy. The threats of deforestation, poaching and habitat destruction caused by burning for farmland and the effects of logging continue to threaten this unique island ecosystem – but it is still possible to experience the Rainforest in a sustainable setting.

The Flora and Fauna

Probably the most iconic of the Rainforest’s inhabitants is the Orangutan. This enormous and intelligent ape shares much of its genetic makeup with human beings – although their habits are dominated by building their nests high in the forest canopy. Those visiting the Rainforest will also be able to view other primates such as Gibbons, Macaques, Langurs, the striking long-nosed Probosci’s Monkey, as well as the Tarsier with its enormous eyes, ideal for exploring the habitat when it is active at night.

However, there are other Rainforest inhabitants that will reward the patient visitor, including the Bornean Sun Bear, and the Bornean Elephant, as well as what is, unfortunately, the most endangered of the Rhinoceros species, the Sumatran Rhino. For lovers of those fascinating flying mammals, the bats, a visit to the Rainforest is a delight, there are over 90 species that will reward nocturnal viewing. There are tropical birds in numbers almost too numerous to count and a sighting of the magnificent Red Flying Squirrel is always possible. reptile lovers will be thrilled by Saltwater crocodiles, hundreds of species of snakes and lizards, as well as many other reptiles.

When it comes to the Floral Kingdom, the Rainforest provides sights that are just as diverse, perhaps even more so, than the number of animal inhabitants. Here one can marvel at the tropical hardwoods and other trees that are among the tallest in the world – as well as a myriad of other types of trees – at least 3,000 have been counted and many more await classification.

The Rainforest Discovery Centre

The island of Borneo is enormous and reaching the interior of the Rainforest presents a real challenge for those who want to enjoy unspoiled nature at its very best. However, there is an alternative – the Rainforest Discovery Centre. For those with limited time and Rainforest experience this centre, in Sabah, provides the perfect opportunity to learn more about the Rainforest, its various intertwined ecosystems, as well as its flora and fauna. It is in close proximity to the Sun Bear and Orangutan conservation centres and there are a number of trails and elevated walkways, and rope bridges that feature information boards and trail markers. This is the perfect way to immerse oneself in the sights and sounds of the Rainforest as it might have been thousands of years ago.

This centre is also the gateway to a larger area of protected Rainforest – the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. Here one can take advantage of accommodation in jungle lodges and retreats – and enjoy access to even more trails that will reveal new and exciting vistas of Rainforest biodiversity. The availability of local guides also adds to the attraction of the exploration – and provides the visitor with some unique insights into what makes the rainforest so special. Start your adventure with Borneo Dream today.

What is the best time of Year to Visit?

The island of Borneo is on the equator, so it is going to be hot and humid no matter when you visit. You are going to get a bit (a lot actually) sticky and sweaty. The average temperature is about the same whether it is night or day. You can expect highs of about 32ºC – and lows that very rarely dip under the 27ºC mark.

However, try and schedule your trip for the time between April and September. These are the driest months and this will mean that rain is not as persistent. It’s about as perfect as you can imagine for hikes into the Rainforest and allows for the best opportunity to spot wildlife. Remember, the drier part of the year doesn’t mean any rain – so pack that raincoat. It is called the Rainforest for a reason.

Preparing for your Visit

The Rainforest is an unspoiled destination – and requires a bit of thought before venturing into its embrace. Always remember to pack insect repellant, and ensure that you have lightweight, long-sleeved, and breathable hiking gear. Don’t wear shorts. Invest in some quality, breathable hiking boots, and socks. make sure to check with your medical advisor regarding vaccines and shots (and antimalarials) well prior to embarking on this adventure of a lifetime.