Borneo is the world’s third largest island.
27 - 32° C
Borneo is your quintessential tropical island. A lush paradise with the ecological diversity of an entire country and then some. Up north in Malaysian-owned Sabah is where you’ll find one of the world’s oldest and most untouched equatorial rainforests. This 130 million year-old landscape is home to animals like turtles, orangutans, proboscis monkeys and hornbills, along with 210 other species of mammals and 15,000 different flora. This makes Borneo’s jungle the most biodiverse environment on earth.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, Northern Borneo also boasts the highest mountain in Southeast Asia. At 4095m above the ground, Mount Kinabalu serves as the perfect vantage point for admiring the island’s remote beauty. Plus, its serenity also allows you a chance to plan your next adventure—whether it be a visit to the historic ANZAC memorials or relaxing on the islands surrounding Kota Kinabalu’s National Park.
“Schoolies Unearthed Borneo is perfect if you’re looking for an experience that allows you to grow. It was the absolute best way to celebrate finishing school.”
During your visit you’ll find the culture in Borneo to be as diverse as the wildlife. This tropical paradise is home to people of nearly every creed and colour, making it difficult to describe a typical “local”. You’ll find this even amongst the island’s orang asli (original people), known collectively as the Dayak people. Living mostly inland, their population is made up of 200 different ethnicities and subgroups, each with their own dialect and customs. The cultural diversity is a result of the island being split across three countries: Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia. Borneo is a fantastic example of what a truly multicultural society looks like, thanks to widespread religious and political tolerance.
Naturally, you can expect a smorgasbord of culinary treats. Eating out is an adventure in itself: during the day you’ll have your pick of Indonesian, Chinese, Indian, Singaporean and Western cuisines, with food stalls and restaurants on every corner; and when night time falls, the buzzing pasar tamu (markets) are a must-try.
Make a lasting impact as you work directly with the indigenous jungle villages around Kuching, Miri or Kota Kinabalu. Here, children who speak their own dialect struggle with the Malaysian language and need support with transitioning to the Malaysian speaking education system.
Although dependent on your program and the community’s respective needs, Antips projects in Borneo may involve helping to repair schools, churches, community halls and outdoor play areas, as well as assisting in replanting mangrove areas and new vegetable gardens. Your help will assist in the children's education as it means they don't need to worry about helping with these tasks and instead can focus on studying for their transition to the new education system.
For every Expedition or Schoolies Unearthed trip, you and your team will be assigned one of our expert leaders to help guide your adventure. Each with enough Frequent Flyer points to fund a family trip around the world, they’re seasoned pros when it comes to adventure travel. The leaders below may not be the same ones you get on your trip—but you get the idea.
This is Greta. She’s completing her Masters whilst working with a not-for-profit. She’s also an Antips leader.
Ready to start your adventure? Get in touch. Want more inspiration? Explore below.
We go to a heap of countries, we just haven't written about all of them yet—check out the full list here.