Before you Leave for Borneo
Before you buy your flights please do check with us that the trip is definately going ahead. Please also carefully check where the trip commences. There are a number of regional airports that you can either fly to direct or with a connecting flight. In some instances you may choose to fly to one airport and travel overland independently to the start location. However, please do ensure that you speak to us to agree a rendezvous point.
For trips commencing or exclusively based in the North Eastern areas of Borneo (Sabah, Mt Kinabalu etc) the most convenient point of entry is Kota Kinabalu International airport (BKI), as it is only 8 kms from the town of Kota Kinabalu.
Some of our trips will commence in Sandakan on the North East coast of Borneo. You can fly to Sandakan airport (SDK) direct from some overseas locations or via a short internal connecting flight.
For trips commencing or exclusively based in the central or Western areas of Malaysian Borneo (Sarawak) it is easier to fly into Miri International Airport (IATA: MYY, ICAO: WBGR),
There are a few possible routes to airports in Malaysian Borneo including:-
- Singapore Airlines fly via Singapore. Flight times 13hrs + 2.5hrs
- Malaysia Airlines fly via Kuala Lumpur. Flight times 12.5hrs + 2.5hrs
- Royal Brunei Airlines fly via Dubai then Brunei. Flight times 7hrs + 8hrs + 1hr
We can give you advice and help reserve the seats for group flight bookings but we cannot sell them to you because we are not a ticketing agency. Note however that you are more likely to benefit from cheaper deals on the flights by boking as individuals. If you are travelling as a small group is is worth getting together and all booking tickets at the same time to ensure that you are all on the same flight.
We operate a key account with STA Travel for all flights and you can call our contact Chris Sidebottom on 0871 230 8579 or +44 161 830 8759, mentioning Adventure Alternative, or email him on email@example.com . STA is fully ATOL bonded.
Do check the baggage allowance for you particular airline and flight. Also, be sure to mark your bags clearly with your own name and address and the contacts for Adventure Alternative Borneo (which will be advised prior to departure).
Vaccinations and Travel Health
You will need to visit your GP well in advance of your trip to discuss vaccinations; we recommend asking about Diptheria & Tetanus, Hepatitis A & B, Rabies and Japanese encephalitis as a minimum. You do not need a yellow fever certificate to enter Borneo unless you are entering from another country where yellow fever is prevalent. You are also advised to enquire about anti-malarial medication. Anyone known to have allergic reactions to insect bites should carry their own EpiPen.
We have a contract with Interhealth in London which can provide expert travel advice and guidance on travel in any country. Benefits include:
- Free travel consultations and health advice with a medical team to discuss pre-travel requirements such as malaria prevention and vaccination requirements. Tel: 020 7902 9033- 2-3pm Mon-Fri or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Access to our own Online Travel Health Advice Centre
- Urgent medical advice – for serious health issues, available 24 hours a day. emergency phone line: 079 7325 0026
You will need a policy that covers trekking in the rainforest and to moderate altitude if your trip includes a climb of Mt Kinabalu. There are plenty of companies to choose from, such as DogTag, Campbell Irvine, Snowcard, the British Mountaineering Council or STA Travel.
We encourage people to buy insurance as soon as you have booked your flight and trip, in case there is a need for cancellation. Do also take your papers with you and make sure your team mates and group leader know where it is, in case somebody else needs to make a phone call for you.
Please see our specific Insurance information page for more guidance.
The local currency in Borneo is the Malaysian Ringit. You can obtain Ringit in the UK before you travel but we can also help you to obtain money on arrival. There are ATMs in Kota Kinabalu which take Visa and Mastercard, and there are banks with forex facilities. Be aware that the exchange rate offered at the airport is likely to be unfavourable. Do also remember to have small denomination notes whenever possible because many local places will not be able to offer change for large notes. You can take sterling, euro or dollars, and change it easily.
You will inevitably get more from your trip if you are somewhat 'primed' beforehand. Do look through the information on our website and get to know a little about Malaysia, Borneo, the rainforests etc. If you come across interesting information that you think other travellers would be interested in then please do contact us so that we can share it. Equally, if there are any issues to which you cannot find an answer please do contact us for further advice.