Located north of Java island (Indonesia), at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, sits the third largest island in the world, Borneo. Surrounded by the South China Sea to the north and northwest, the Sulu Sea to the northeast, the Celebes Sea and the Makassar Strait to the east, and the Java Sea and Karimata Strait to the south, it is the largest island in the Malay archipelago. Located to the west of Borneo are the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, to the south Java, to the east Sulawesi, and to the northeast, the Philippines.
The island of Borneo is divided among three countries: The Sultanate of Brunei, Indonesia (Kalimantan) and Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak). It’s vast land area is home to one of the oldest rain forests in the world - 130 million years old - which is 70 million years older than the Amazon rain forest. The jungles of Borneo contain some of the oldest undisturbed areas of rainforest in the world. Rich in biodiversity, there are about 15,000 species of flowering plants, with 3,000 species of trees, 221 species of terrestrial mammals and 420 species of resident birds. Subject to mass deforestation, the remaining Borneo rain forest is one of the only remaining natural habitats for the endangered Bornean orangutan. It is one of the last remaining areas on earth where development for the sake of tourism has not destroyed the potential wonders of the area.
Here are some of the fascinating sites that await you in Borneo:
• The Bornean Orangutan - Known as the "wild man from Borneo", visit the Orangutans either in the wild or in one
of the rehabilitation centers in Sabah, Sarawak or Kalimantan.
• Sukau in the East of Sabah - Here, you will find hornbills, egrets, macaques, elephants and sea eagles, as well
as wild orangutans and the Proboscis monkeys which are found only in the coastal mangroves of Borneo.
Experience a jungle river cruise, where you can watch monkeys dive into the water from the trees.
• Danum Valley and Borneo Rainforest Lodge - Experience an abundance of wildlife in the immediate vicinity of
the lodge, including wild gibbon, leaf monkeys, Sumatran rhinoceros, orang-utan, and diverse bird life, with
over 270 species so far being identified.
• Sabah - Known for its sandy white beaches, clear water, beautiful corals and magnificent mountain peaks.
• Sarawak - While Sabah is dominated by the mountains, Sarawak is riddled with rivers. Travel up river by boat
and watch the changing panorama of longhouses, forests, towns and farms.
• Various tribal areas - Borneo was the home of some of the last of the world's headhunters, with the last heads
taken by some members of the Iban tribes of Sarawak only 50 years ago. Relics of the head-hunting days can
still be seen in some of the villages. You can participate in a visit to a Longhouse, where the entire population
of a village lives together in one long building that has separate living, eating and sleeping quarters.
• Mt Kinabulu - If you have the energy to spare, spend two days climbing South-East Asia's highest mountain,
Mt Kinabulu. It is a spectacular two day climb that most people with a reasonable level of fitness can easily
undertake. No special skills or equipment are required, other than warm clothing for when the temperature
drops as the altitude climbs.
• Mulu - Here, you’ll find the world's largest caves.
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