Straddling the equator, Borneo is the third largest island in the world and a wildlife wonderland, home to half of all known plant and animal species including some of the rarest and most endangered. It is not one country but shared by the states of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. By far the largest portion of the island is Kalimantan which is part of the island nation of Indonesia, and to the north the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah reside with their tiny neighbour of Brunei. There are distinct differences between the more developed northern states and the larger region of Kalimantan and such differences make our voyage all the more interesting.
In order to get the measure of this extraordinary island with its vast rainforests, endemic wildlife and diverse culture something longer than a few days is required and as with most islands, the best way to explore is by sea. Borneo may be larger than most, but we feel the same rule applies and for this unique small ship adventure we have chartered the Heritage Adventurer at an ideal time of year for our exploration.
Marvellous experiences are to be had as we explore remote jungle and rainforest on foot or by boat, observe the diverse range of plants, trees and wildlife including the ‘wild man of Borneo’ – the orangutan, snorkel over coral reefs and visit remote offshore islands, returning each evening to the comforts of the Heritage Adventurer to sail on to our next adventure. If you enjoy immersing yourself in the culture and wildlife you will find our days in Kalimantan endlessly fascinating. By way of contrast the well-run order of the Malaysian States and the riches of Brunei all combine to create an intoxicating mix of cultures rarely found on one island.
Never far from our minds are the writings of Conrad and the adventures of James Brooke and the White Rajahs as we journey around the islands, rivers and jungles of Borneo. The privilege of exploring this remarkable land from a small ship and in the company of knowledgeable speakers, expedition team members and local guides is an opportunity not to be missed. Our voyage will be so much more than a holiday, it promises to be an adventure shared with like-minded travellers.
Exploring Ashore: This voyage will appeal to those who enjoy the natural world. We will be exploring some remote regions in Borneo and Indonesia and will utilise a range of modes of transport ashore including minibuses, rickshaws and local boats. We also expect to be at anchor in four ports of call where we will make use of the vessel’s Zodiacs. Many of the excursions include guided walks through rainforests and nature reserves in humid conditions and there will also be opportunities to snorkel. Our expedition team will endeavour to arrange a selection of walks to include longer and shorter options to cater for different abilities and interests. To best enjoy this itinerary, we do recommend a good level of mobility and if you would like to discuss the level of fitness required, please contact us.