Borneo is a tropical rainforest with year round warmth and humidity (temperatures average 27 - 32°C). It is a large island and there can be many different weather pockets at one given time, meaning that if you are prepared to see a little rain you can enjoy Borneo at any time of year. 

watercolour map of Borneo

When to visit (Quick Summary)

Best Time

May - October


Monsoon Season

December - February


Beach Season

March - October (Sabah)


Wildlife

All Year


January - February

During this monsoon season, there is a high chance of heavy rainfall. Whilst this makes the scenery lush and tourist numbers low, some lodges will be closed. At this time the weather is generally fantastic in Peninsular Malaysia so consider a short visit to Borneo combined with, for example, Langkawi.

March - April

The rains generally start to subside in Sabah by March and Sarawak by April. Rainforests attract rain most of the year, so don’t be put off at this time: low visitor numbers, lush scenery following the monsoon and sunny days at the beach make this an excellent time to visit.

May - June

For a tropical island, these are two of the driest months of the year. Do note that there can be some rain in the eastern state of Borneo, including Kota Kinabalu and Gaya Island. In the rainforest, tropical storms can come at any time (as they can all year) but, on the whole, conditions for jungle walks and trekking are brilliant.

July - August

The temperature edges up in July and August to 30-31°C, which in turn increases the humidity count. Whilst thunderstorms are a possibility in Sarawak as they are year round, there are typically many hours of sunshine each day and over in Sabah the weather is ideal for beach time and trekking.

September - October

The dry season draws to a close during September and October, though it remains a good time for travel. The clear sky's make September a particularly good time to tackle Mount Kinabalu and the slightly lower temperatures make travel comfortable. Visitor numbers will have fallen sharply by this time.

November - December

A mixed bag for Borneo, as rainfall starts to climb again. Afternoon thunderstorms in Sarawak are more common. However, there will still be dry days and the rainforest will start to thicken out as nature reacts to the increased moisture. It’s a good time to combine Borneo with Peninsular Malaysia too.

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SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE HOLIDAYS TO BORNEO

Family Essential Borneo

This fantastic family holiday covers a variety of wildlife, tribal cultures and beaches in Borneo.

Essential Borneo

Discover Sarawak and Sabah, the two distinct regions of Malaysian Borneo.

Sabah in Focus

An in-depth discovery of Malaysian Borneo with local tribes, beaches and wildlife.

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