Getting Around Borneo

Getting around Borneo is efficient, easy, and affordable if you know how to navigate the options.

Flights are inexpensive and we’ll recommend the best ones for your schedule. Generally, we recommend MA Swings and Malaysia Airlines over Air Asia. Fares are nearly identical although you’ll pay extra for luggage with Air Asia and we find their airport queues can be longer and move more slowly. While we can book certain fares for you with a fee, we understand that you may wish to do so yourselves. Either way, we’ll give you our top picks for your flights.

Between certain areas such as the Kinabatangan River and Danum Valley where there are no sensible flight connections, ground transportation is the best option. When you book your holiday with us, transfers will be in safe, well-maintained, air-conditioned vehicles. In some instances, you may share your ride with others who are transferring between the same two lodges. For example, guests traveling between Sukau Rainforest Lodge and Borneo Rainforest Lodge at the same time may share a van in order to be kind to the environment. If you prefer, we can arrange a private transfer at additional cost.

Given the extra time it takes to drive instead of fly and the sad reality that palm oil plantations make for a not-so-scenic drive, we don’t recommend self-driving for most holidays in Borneo. The primary exception is for those renting a villa near the Tip of Borneo. Much of the three-hour drive is quite pleasant and there are interesting stops to make along the way. It can also be handy to have a car at your disposal in this region although it isn’t necessary.

Roads throughout Borneo are well-maintained and driving is on the left. Not all road signage is in English so navigation can be a tad tricky without good maps. If your home driving license is printed in English, you most likely will not need an International Driver’s Permit. Some rental agencies impose minimum and maximum age limits upon drivers so please ask us if you need assistance with car hire as part of your holiday.

Boat transfers to islands and along rivers are typically shared with other guests checking in or or out of the same lodging. In some instances, private transfers can be arranged for an extra fee.

Borneo’s cities are all easily explored on foot. For trips further afield, we’ll arrange comfortable transportation with an English-speaking driver and guide.