Divided among three countries - Indonesia, Malaysia, and the tiny nation of Brunei - Borneo is one the largest islands in the world. The rainforest of Borneo, said to be over 140 million years old, is the center of the evolution and distribution of the most extraordinary plant and animal species around the globe. Asia's largest island also happens to be an important refuge to several endemic species such as the Borneo Elephant and the Eastern Sumatran Rhinoceros.
Popular among adventurers, wildlife enthusiasts, and scuba diving aficionados, Borneo is a great destination throughout the year. An acre of the Borneo rainforest includes over 300 varieties of plants and animal species. Keep your binoculars ready and keep an alerted lookout for these rare animal species that roam the lush green grounds of Borneo.
Recognized among the locals as the "Pride of Borneo", the Proboscis Monkeys are one of many unusual species of animals you should be keen to observe on the island. Their reddish-brown nose, which can reach upto 18 centimeters, are key to attracting mates and amplifying warning calls. Strictly protected, the monkeys are an endangered species with its population dwindling at an appalling speed due to logging and oil palm plantations causing a momentous loss of its habitat.
Co-existing with the Proboscis Monkeys, the Bornean Orangutans represent the only orangutan population in Asia. Thriving in the lively vegetation of the Borneo rain forests, they are particularly intelligent species displaying highly complex ability to use tools and distinct cultural patterns in the wild. Critically endangered, the arms of these enormous apes can reach upto 1.5 meters in length.
Yes, you heard it right. Not Grizzly bear or Polar bears, the Sun bears are native to the tri-nation island. Known for its large craving of honey, they inhabit the lowlands of the rainforest. The nocturnal species are quite shy and often extremely challenging to spot in the wild. Keep an eye out while it hunts as its long tongue can extend to nearly 25 centimeters.
Borneo Pygmy Elephant
Nowhere near as big as their cousins - the African and Indian Elephants - the Borneo Pygmy Elephants are absolutely cuties. With their gigantic ears that don't match their baby-like faces and plump bellies, you are to fall in love at first sight with these little fur-balls. The friendliest of all elephants, these Borneo native are truly a gift of nature.
Barely a foot tall, they give the Pygmy Elephants a tough competition for the cutest creatures of Borneo. While its hooves might make it look a deer and its face a mouse, it is surprisingly not related to either. The smallest hoofed species in the world, they have remarkable reproduction. Females are known to conceive two hours after birth.
Google Slow Loris and if you don't go "awww", then I really can't help you. These primates, might look harmless but are venomous. Possessing a toxic bite, they can also lick their fur to coat it with venom to protect their young. Mainly venturing out in the night, these lovely creatures can be a task to spot in the wild so, it's imperative to be attentive at all times.
Ruling the skies of the diverse land are the Rhinoceros Hornbills. These large birds are a sheer delight for bird lovers wanting to bless their Instagram feed with exotic species. Feeding on anything from fruits to small rodents, their orange beaks make them standouts in Borneo.
Getting There Daily flights from Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur will take you to several cities in Borneo such as Kota Kinabalu, Sindakan, and Sibu. Travelers planning for a trip here should protect themselves against malaria and dengue fever.