This large Island made up of 3 countries offers some of the best wildlife watching anywhere in the world and should be high on the list for your next wildlife holiday.
Borneo is the third largest Island in the world and the largest in Asia. It’s at the geographical centre of maritime southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian Islands, it’s located north of Java,west of Sulawesi and east of Sumatra. The Island is politically divided into three countries: Malaysia and Brunei in the north and Indonesia to the south. Approximately 73% of the Island is Indonesian territory. In the north the east Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak make up 26% of the Island. The sovereign state of Brunei occupies just 1% of the Island. The Island is famous for its wildlife, with around 600 species of bird with 37 endemics, almost 300 species of mammal, including the Sunda Clouded Leopard, Bornean Orangutan, Bornean Pygmy Elephant and the strange looking Proboscis Monkey, 105 species of reptile and more than 100 species of amphibian. With all this and the incredible culture, food and history, Borneo really is a tropical paradise.
Hotspots & Wildlife:
Tabin Wildlife Reserve: The Tabin Wildlife Reserve is a nature reserve in Sabah, Malaysia. It was created in 1984 to preserve Sabah’s Wildlife that was disappearing. Occupying a large part of the peninsula forming the headland of Darvel Bay, it is located just 48 km away from Lahad Datu. The land is under government ownership and has reserve status. In 1998 the government privatised ecotourism programs for Tabin and over the last few years increasing numbers of tourists have been visiting the reserve. Among the activities permitted in the reserve include jungle hiking, Birdwatching, Photography, Wildlife watching and filming. Tabin has been declared a wildlife reserve based on the large amount of fauna inhabiting the forests. The three largest mammals in Sabah all occur here, the Bornean Pygmy Elephant, Bornean Rhino and Tempbadau. The Elephant population has been estimated at between 120-300 individuals. Other iconic species here include the Proboscis Monkey, Orangutan and the rare Sunda Clouded Leopard. For Birdwatchers there are a host of interesting species to see. Over 300 species have been recorded in the reserve, including all 8 species of Hornbill you can see in Sabah, Blue-headed Pitta, Temminck’s Sunbird, Yellow-rumped Flowerprcker and the rarely seen Storm’s Stork.
Mount Kinabalu: is a mountain located on the west coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Kinabalu is the highest peak in Borneo’s Crocker range and is the highest mountain in the Malay Archipelago. Mount Kinabulu includes the Kinabalu montane alpine meadows ecoregion in the montane grasslands and shrub lands biome. The mountains and surrounding areas are some of the most important biological sites in the world, with around 6,000 species of plant, 320 species of bird and more than 100 species of mammal. Mount Kinabalu is one of the top birding sites in Borneo, some of the top species that can be seen include the Rhinoceros Hornbill, Dulit Frogmouth, Eyebrowed Jungle Flycatcher and the Bare-headed Laughingthrush. Some of the top mammals include the Orangutan, Oriental Small-clawed Otter and Leopard Cat.
Deramakot: is a natural reserve in Sandakan, Borneo, Malaysia. It spans an area of 55, 507 hectares and is in its 5th certification period of good forestry practices, awarded by forest stewardship council, thus becoming the longest certified tropical rainforest in the world. Deramakot is one of the best wildlife watching destinations on the Island of Borneo and is most famous for its mammal watching. It’s particularly good for seeing the numerous species of cats that can be seen on the Island. All 5 species of Bornean cat can be seen here including the Sunda Clouded Leopard, Flat Headed Cat, Leopard Cat, Marbled cat and the incredibly rare Borneo Bay Cat. Night driving has been proven to be very popular in Deramakot and there are a host of other mammals to be seen other than the cats. Different species of Flying Squirrel, Civet Cat, Bornean Pygmy Elephant and Slow Loris are just a few species you could encounter on a night drive in Deramakot. There are also a number of birds to be seen in the Deramakot area, around 250 species have been recorded including some of the most sort after species in the country like the Bornean Ground Cuckoo, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Bornean Bristlehead and the Gould’s Frogmouth.
SPECIES of interest
Bulwer’s Pheasant (Endemic)
|Blue-banded Pitta (Endemic)
Cream-eyed Bulbul (Endemic)
Rajah Scops Owl
Black Oriole (Endemic)
Whitehead’s Spiderhunter (Endemic)
Black-sided Flowerpecker (Endemic)
Eyebrowed Jungle-flycatcher (Endemic)
Golden-naped Barbet (Endemic)
Crimson-headed Partridge (Endemic)
Red-breasted Partridge (Endemic)
Borneo Thrush (Endemic
Black-browed Babbler (Endemic)
White-fronted Falconet (Endemic)
|Full Bird list|