Penan Tribe

Adventure Alternative runs several trips to the Penan tribe in northern Sarawak and promotes it as a responsible tourism destination, while helping to fund their reforestation program. Adventure Alternative supports the Moving Mountains Trust through the fundraising and volunteers it sends to Borneo. Although not all of our itineraries visit the region, it is possible to add on a trip to the Penan communities to any booking.

Borneo Penan Tribe Map

History of the Penan Tribe

The indigenous Penan people from the upper Ulu Baram River have experienced significant changes in their physical and cultural landscapes over the past thirty years. In less than one generation, this once remote area has undergone high levels of logging which has threatened sustainable levels of wildlife and has made it increasingly difficult for the Penan to gather food, materials and valuable medicinal products from their land. Climate change, deforestation and land conversion has also increased vulnerability to forest fires, placing these valuable forests under incredible risk, they remain among the poorest, under-served and under-represented people in Malaysia.

Over the past 15 years, the lack of job opportunities in these villages has led to the migration of men and young people to cities, leaving women, children and the elderly behind without viable incomes, resources, or the training needed to promote economic growth in the area.