“Borneo’s rainforest dates back 130 million years and is home to 15,000 species of flowering plants and 3,000 types of trees. Trust us – we’ve counted them.”
Lush tropical jungle, mountains shrouded in mist, mysterious tribes and some of the rarest creatures on the planet – Borneo offers all the ingredients of an exotic luxury vacation beyond the usual. Sailing on your own yacht among coastal islands ringed by white beaches, you can enjoy a leisurely and comfortable journey while feeling like an explorer in a kids’ adventure story.
Start by dropping in on the family: the orangutans of Sabah, where the world-renowned Sepilok Centre protects this critically endangered species. When you see that first flash of orange fur through the dense vegetation, it truly is a heart-stopping moment. And then clasping hands with these gentle animals, returning their thoughtful looks, you feel as though you’re reconnecting with long-lost relatives…
The Sabah region boasts some of the most unspoiled habitats in Asia, with birds ranging from fish eagles to rhinoceros hornbills, plus wildlife of every description, including leopards, pygmy elephants and the very rare Borneo rhino. You could spend weeks travelling on foot and by boat down the Kinabatangan River, spotting creatures such as the weird and wonderful proboscis monkey. We can arrange an expert-guided safari through the Danum Valley or a hike up to catch the sunrise from Southeast Asia’s highest peak. Or maybe a night at the Iban Longhouse, learning the culture from people who’ll tell you their forebears were headhunters – and they don’t mean HR recruiters.
When you’ve had enough jungle adventure, steer your private yacht toward Borneo’s outer islands, which offer some of the best diving and snorkelling anywhere. Indeed, the late Jacques Cousteau declared the island of Sipadan to be his favourite site for undersea exploration, comparing it to an undiscovered piece of art. You’ll often see 20 or more green and hawksbill turtles in a single dive, along with schools of barracuda offering photo ops usually reserved for the pros. If you’re lucky, you may even encounter scalloped hammerheads, mantas or whale sharks emerging from the deep.
For snorkellers, the reefs just off the beaches are home to an incredible variety of fish in what may be the ultimate tropical aquarium. And you can watch turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs – or, depending on the season, see the hatchlings make their way back down the beach into the azure waters. It’s an unforgettable sight – one of countless such moments that create just another day in paradise.
Create your own story
We'll help craft a bespoke travel experience tailored to your unique needs and tastes.
To discuss what interests you about this or any other destination, call us: +44 203 358 0110