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Amanda Statham

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Borneo with kids

Our verdict:

Borneo is an exotic choice of destination for families but worth it for the lifelong memories it will create. There's the chance to see orang-utans in the wild while the world's longest inter-island zip wire, river rafting, caving and snorkelling will tick most adventurous family boxes. The dry season makes it the perfect summer long-haul trip.

Recommended tour operator: Cox & Kings

Cox & Kings says

Each of our family adventure holidays is crafted just for you – our experts have created suggested itineraries but we love to tailor-make each one to suit your available time, special interests and budget. Accommodation is always in comfortable four and five star hotels or wildlife lodges and we include exciting activities throughout to suit all ages, with seamless travel arrangements.

  • wildlife encounters
  • beach options
  • luxury hotels
  • wildlife lodges

Few islands on earth can deliver such an intoxicating mix of experiences as the Malaysian island of Borneo – wildlife, rainforest, tribal culture, hiking, caves, beaches and more to delight, enlighten and inspire all the family.

Budding biologists will love the ancient jungles, the natural habitats for clouded leopards, pygmy elephants, macaques and countless other species – even the Bornean bearded pig.

Of course, for most of us, the chance to encounter orang utans is a bucket-list goal and, as you would expect, our family adventure in Borneo includes a day at the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and a cruise on the Sukau river in search of wild orang utans. We also include time at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and a cycle ride around the Lipad ‘mud volcano’, home to a wide range of wildlife.

Adrenaline junkies will love the Coral Flyer – at 250m, it’s the world’s longest inter-island zip wire – and there is plenty of time to enjoy some river rafting, snorkelling and swimming too.  A hands-on cookery class in Kota Kinabalu and lunch in a local village on Sepilok are also included.

The best way to finish your Borneo holiday is to relax on the paradise beaches off the coast of Kinabalu. We recommend the Shangri La Rasa Ria, a deluxe beach hotel complete with Spa and resident Orangutan sanctuary. For more of an escape, stay at one of the beachfront hotels on Gaya Island where you’ll find luxury villa-style accommodation between rainforest and beach.

The best time to travel to Borneo, the world’s third largest island, is between May and September – the dry season – making it a great choice for a summer holiday. Easter holidays fit in with the country’s green season – the forests are particularly lush at this point. Read more about the weather in Borneo.

Discover more about our family adventure holiday in Borneo and check out our other family itineraries worldwide. We’ve tried and tested them all.

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