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Female orangutan at Semenggok

When is the best time to visit Borneo?

The best time to visit Borneo is between March and October, when the island is hot, humid, and at its driest. This makes it one of Southeast Asia’s few summer destinations. It is also the best time to see orangutans in the wild, while turtles can be seen on Lankayan Island between June and September.

During the rest of the year, Borneo experiences a tropical climate, and the rains come to water the forest below. It’s hot and humid, with temperatures averaging 27°C to 32°C, and humidity usually at around 80%.

However, there’s always somewhere to break up the trip. Trek up Mount Kinabablu to be rewarded by stunning views and a cooling breeze, or head to the beaches for some swimming and world-class snorkeling.

Speak to someone
who's been there
Audley Travel specialist Ashley

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Borneo specialists at 617-223-4130

We recommend traveling during May-June or September-October to avoid the peak season hotel charges and crowds. These are great times to see wildlife without too many other people around and the weather is favorable if you wish to combine your trip with some time on a beach.

Robert, Malaysia, Borneo & Thailand Specialist

Borneo Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Brunei 30°C 306mm 30°C 161mm 31°C 150mm 31°C 195mm 32°C 243mm 31°C 211mm 31°C 230mm 31°C 212mm 31°C 298mm 31°C 324mm 31°C 367mm 31°C 348mm
Danum Valley 27°C 221mm 27°C 165mm 28°C 179mm 28°C 162mm 29°C 211mm 29°C 170mm 28°C 168mm 29°C 168mm 29°C 178mm 28°C 194mm 28°C 197mm 28°C 210mm
Gaya Island 30°C 160mm 30°C 80mm 31°C 88mm 32°C 143mm 32°C 257mm 31°C 289mm 31°C 262mm 31°C 264mm 31°C 301mm 31°C 344mm 30°C 307mm 30°C 250mm
Kota Kinabalu 30°C 162mm 30°C 85mm 31°C 93mm 31°C 151mm 32°C 264mm 31°C 293mm 31°C 264mm 31°C 269mm 31°C 302mm 31°C 347mm 30°C 307mm 30°C 253mm
Kuching 30°C 681mm 30°C 532mm 31°C 339mm 32°C 277mm 32°C 245mm 32°C 199mm 32°C 194mm 32°C 228mm 32°C 255mm 32°C 317mm 31°C 345mm 30°C 509mm
Mulu National Park 28°C 283mm 28°C 237mm 28°C 274mm 28°C 288mm 28°C 330mm 28°C 253mm 28°C 228mm 28°C 250mm 28°C 317mm 28°C 321mm 28°C 321mm 28°C 351mm
Sepilok 29°C 449mm 29°C 279mm 30°C 199mm 31°C 120mm 32°C 158mm 32°C 207mm 32°C 198mm 32°C 248mm 32°C 248mm 31°C 243mm 30°C 310mm 30°C 439mm

Month-by-month guide to traveling in Borneo

Turtle, Sipadan-Mabul, Malaysian Borneo

Visiting Borneo in February

You should still expect to see some rainfall in Sarawak over this time, but it shouldn't impact your exploration too much. Lower visitor numbers and drier weather in Sabah - particularly in the north - make February an appealing month to visit if you are looking to take advantage of low season promotional offers; with Kota Kinabalu and the northern coast, including Gaya Island, being warm and relatively dry at this time. However, southern areas such as Danum Valley and the Sipadan Islands are still likely to receive heavy rainfall.

Events & Festivals

  • Chinese New Year (date varies): Chinese New Year is celebrated throughout Borneo with the usual festivities of singing, dancing and merrymaking.

Why travel with Audley?

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring Borneo