Borneo Birding Tours
Borneo, known as “Pulau Borneo” in Malay, and as “Kalimantan” in Indonesian is the world’s third-largest island and is the largest island in Asia. The island is comprised of three countries, Malaysia (East Malaysia) and the Sultanate of Brunei in the north, and Indonesia (the states of East, South, West, North, and Central Kalimantan) in the south. East Malaysia (i.e. Bornean Malaysia) is further divided into the states of Sabah and Sarawak – where our birding tours focus, and the federal territory of Labuan (nearshore islands). East Malaysia is separated from West Malaysia, where we run our Peninsula Malaysia birdwatching tours, by the South China Sea. Borneo, along with the neighboring islands of Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi are part of the Greater Sunda Islands. There are a great many other islands that form part of the immense Indonesian island chain. It was announced in late 2019 that Indonesia plans to move its capital city from Jakarta (in Java) to a new location in East Kalimantan near to the existing cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda. We have lots of new Indonesia tours coming soon, look out for them here.
Borneo should be firmly planted on every traveler’s and world birder’s dream destination wish list. According to the International Ornithological Congress (IOC) the island of Borneo is home to over 700 bird species, including over 50 Bornean endemic birds, the vast majority of which are possible in just a short trip. BirdLife International recognizes seven Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs) in Malaysia, and 38 EBAs in Indonesia. Six of these EBAs occur in Borneo, four occur in both Malaysian- and Indonesian-controlled Borneo (e.g. Bornean Coastal Zone, Bornean Mountains, Northeast Bornean Islands, and Natuna Islands), with the two others in individually controlled regions e.g. Sabah Lowlands in Malaysian Borneo and Kalimantan Lowlands in Indonesian Borneo. The Bornean Mountains EBA also partially occurs in Brunei.