Borneo family vacations guide

If you want to get the kids hooked on conservation, Borneo is an excellent place to start. They can learn how orphaned orangutans are rehabilitated or how turtle hatchlings are protected from predators at nature reserves. And there are opportunities to work alongside indigenous communities, reforesting land and monitoring wildlife. This might sound a bit worthy, but family vacations in Borneo are anything but dull.
Borneo is heaven for curious kids. Jungle hikes and river cruises are perfect for wildlife spotting. Add in beaches, hot springs and nights spent in a traditional longhouse and you have a true family adventure.
Once the kids have glimpsed an orangutan swinging through the jungle canopy, spent the night in a longhouse community or sampled the delights of smoky city street food stalls, they’ll be clamouring for more. Sabah is the easiest region to travel around, while Sarawak has cultural experiences to inspire small minds. Indonesian Borneo is for more courageous families only; those traveling with small children may have a hard time due to its inaccessibility and rustic accommodation.
Keep reading our Borneo family vacations travel guide for more.

What are Borneo family vacations like?

Who are these trips suitable for?

This is definitely one for more adventurous families – but having said that, it’s easier than you think. Yes, the flight is long and there’s jetlag and pre-departure vaccinations to contend with. But once you get there, it’s easy and safe to get around, with options for everyone from pre-schoolers to teenagers, so you can enjoy the rainforests and beaches with no worries.
Those with older kids can get stuck into action-packed activities, while those who want to take things a little easier can soak up the atmosphere, scenery and local culture, with time spent relaxing on the beach built in too. Some of our trips will have a suggested minimum age depending on the type of activities involved and how far off the beaten track you’re going.

Small group or tailor made?

Our family vacations to Borneo are a mix of both tailor made and small group vacations. A tailor made trip means that you and your family will be going it alone. This means you get greater flexibility with your dates and can choose which activities to do and when, but you’ll have the comfort of an organised itinerary and local guides to help you get the most of your trip. On a small group trip, you will typically follow a set itinerary and be accompanied by a tour leader, along with one or two other families with children of similar ages, often sharing activities and mealtimes.

Our top Borneo family Vacation

Borneo family volunteering holiday

Borneo family volunteering vacation

Encounter orangutans and meet local tribes in magical Borneo

From £795 7 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2022: 11 Jan, 11 Feb, 11 Mar, 11 Apr, 11 May, 11 Jun, 11 Jul, 11 Aug, 11 Sep, 11 Oct, 11 Nov
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Borneo family or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

What activities will we be doing?

Vacations to Borneo are all about getting outdoors, getting active and viewing wildlife. Your itinerary will take you to national parks, nature reserves and beaches, and you’ll have anything from a week to two weeks to explore, depending on which itinerary you go for. Younger children will love river cruises and spotting monkeys and other animals, while older children and teens can traverse the jungle via ropeways or rush down rivers on a white water rafting or tubing experience.
My daughter’s favourite was the sun bear sanctuary – it made such an impression that she wants to return as a volunteer when she’s old enough
– Delia MacKechnie on our Borneo family tour
You’ll stay in locally owned and often family-run accommodations where your hosts are immersed in their communities, meaning they can rely on personal connections built over years to provide you with top tips on what to do, from the best city museums, to where to get a mean laksa. A highlight for many is the chance to stay in a traditional longhouse in an Iban community in Sarawak, where you cook and share food with your hosts and bed down in a communal sleeping area under mosquito nets.

On our dedicated volunteering vacations, you’ll live and work alongside other volunteers and members of the Orang Sungai tribe as you monitor wildlife and plant trees to regenerate the jungle.

Best time to go on a Borneo family vacation

Head to Borneo between April and September, when it’s dry and warm and there’s a better chance of seeing orangutans in the wild.
Borneo hovers between 27-32°C year-round, with frequent rains replenishing its green jungles. If the kids are in school, the best time for a family vacation to Borneo is over the Easter or summer break, both of which fall under the April to September dry season. The dry season is also the best time for viewing orangutans in the wild, while June to September is peak turtle watching time on Lankayan Island. Bear in mind that July and August are the country’s busiest periods, so you’ll have to plan accordingly and book flights and accommodation well in advance.

Sepilok Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
23
29
443
FEB
23
30
278
MAR
24
31
188
APR
24
32
120
MAY
24
32
154
JUN
23
32
190
JUL
23
32
184
AUG
23
32
241
SEP
23
32
231
OCT
23
32
230
NOV
23
31
300
DEC
23
30
435
Written by Nana Luckham
Photo credits: [Page banner: Fish Ho Hong Yun] [Who are they suitable for?: Fabio Achilli] [Activities: NH53] [Best time to go: Christopher Michel]