Borneo travel advice
Before you buy your flights please do check with us that the trip is definately going ahead. Please also carefully check when and 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 booking as individuals. For independent bookings it is worth trying flight comparison sites such as ebookers, Sky-Scanner and Kayak. Though do check terms and conditions if you fly with combinations of airlines.
It is essential that you have personal travel insurance to cover all the locations and activities on the trip. When getting quotes, you need to check the wording of the policy carefully and it is worth sending the company a copy of your itinerary and getting them to confirm in writing that a particular policy will cover it all.
You need to take out the insurance policy as soon as you have made any bookings with us or have bought any flights. Then the money you have spent is covered. If you had to pull out of the trip before you have insurance then anything you had spent on flights would be lost. More detailed information can be found on our Insurance page.
Vaccinations & Medications (min 8 weeks before leaving)
You need to make an appointment to speak to your family doctor and/or a travel health centre at least 8 weeks prior to leaving. You can then ask them to advise you on what vaccinations you will need. You will also need to speak to them about the type of anti-malarials that are most suitable for you personally. The NHS publish guidance on their Fit For Travel website. There is also further information on Vaccinations and Malaria medications on our relevant web pages.
The local currency in Borneo is the Malaysian Ringit and there are about 5.5 Ringit to the GB Pound - you can check the current rate of exchange at xe.com. 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.
Passport & Visas
UK passport holders do not need a visa for stays of less than 3 months for tourist purposes. If you are a citizen of any other country you should check requirements with the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and your own foreign office. You need to make sure that your passport will not run out sooner than 6 months after your trip date, Do check this early as it can take a long time to process a new one.
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.