Best time to visit Borneo

By Amy Donegan

Borneo is the world’s third largest island and is planted firmly across the equator, ensuring a hot and humid tropical climate. Temperatures average around 27˚C-32˚C throughout the year and rarely drop below 20˚C at night.

Like most countries with tropical climates, Borneo is described as having a ‘wet’ season and a ‘dry’ season. These vary with location, and it is still possible to witness drier periods in the wetter months.

The ‘wet’ season falls sometime between November and February, although afternoon rain showers can be expected at anytime of the year. Don’t be put off by the rain – the showers provide a cooling effect and quickly clear away to reveal spectacular skies, even in the rainy season.

Located in the north-east of the island, the Malaysian State of Sabah is a very popular tourist destination. It tends to be busiest with tourists between May and September, but offers a host of different activities suitable for anytime of the year.

To experience some of the most beautiful views of Borneo and a variety of rare fauna, why not try climbing Mount Kinabalu in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinabalu Park?

The best time to trek up to the mountain top is between February and April, when it is drier and the views are clearest. At these higher altitudes, temperatures are cooler and can dip below freezing at the summit. Attempting to climb during the north-east monsoon months (October-January) can prove risky, and is best avoided.

No trip to Borneo would be complete without visiting Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary in Sabah. The park is open all year round – you are most likely to see an orangutan during their daily feeding times (10am and 2.30pm).

A short boat trip to Turtle Island National Park, just off the Sabah shore will provide you with a unique opportunity to witness sea turtles in their natural habitat. The best time to go is between July and October, when the seas are calmer.

Other activities including caving and diving are best experienced during drier weather. Rain can disrupt wildlife and reduce visibility.

Ultimately, Borneo is a great destination for anytime of the year and should not be missed.

Holiday ideas

Find our recommended holidays in Borneo and honeymoons in Borneo.

Before you book

Travel guidelines and advice are changing constantly amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Check the latest travel restrictions for UK residents.