When to visit Borneo
May - October
December - February
March - October (Sabah)
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 spring an excellent time to visit Borneo.
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 Sabah, 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 skies make September one of the best times to climb Mount Kinabalu. Weather in Borneo in October is slightly cooler, which makes travel comfortable, and 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 an excellent time to combine Borneo with Peninsular Malaysia too.
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Meet the Borneo experts
James didn’t leave Europe until he was 19, first venturing to California for three months and then four months in South America. But it was his first trip to South East Asia, travelling from Hanoi to Bangkok overland, which really captured his imagination. A few years later he embarked on an epic eight-month tour of India which saw him, among other things, working in the holy city of Varanasi and volunteering in a rural development commune in southern Kerala. James has since been back to India over ten times, and travelled to Malaysia and Borneo, becoming obsessed with the street food of Penang in the process. More recently he's been to Bali and Lombok where he particularly enjoyed climbing Mount Rinjani, Sri Lanka where he fell in love with the Mudhouse and back to off-the-beaten track Sikkim in India.
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Holly’s first job in travel was in a marketing role. However, it didn’t take her long to decide to exchange inspecting photographs of amazing destinations for being in them herself.
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Becky joined the Experience Travel Group team in July 2012, but was an explorer from a young age, thanks to her globe-trotting parents. Southeast Asia was where her young journeys began and later, combining her passion for history with travel, she delved into the culture, religions and traditions of Asia and the Middle East. Becky also spent a year studying at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, as part of her History degree.
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