Untamed nature

Tamara Thiessen

Orangutans in Borneo

A guide to responsible orangutan tourism

Orangutans are magical creatures. Whether gracefully swinging through the trees, staring at you soulfully from their deep black eyes or watching a mother carefully groom a grizzling baby, seeing your first orangutan up close is a moment you never forget.

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Borneo is 'one great wild, untidy, luxuriant hothouse, made by nature for herself', wrote Charles Darwin in the 1800s. He was fascinated by this immense island's unique wildlife and despite the impact of logging and mining, it remains a rainforested trove of birds, plants and animals. Exotic orchids, orangutans, sun bears, pygmy elephants, Irrawaddy dolphins, clouded leopards: there is much to see, but some, like the orangutan, are under threat.

Away from a number of very worthy sanctuaries, it's not easy to spot these rare creatures. So take a paddle up river deep into the jungle to stay with tribespeople in a traditional longhouse. Here, you can get a local to show you around.

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Specialist advice from Borneo experts

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Orangutans and Tanjung Puting

Kumai | Tanjung Puting National Park | Sekonyer River | Camp Leakey | Pesalat Reforestation Camp
Approx. 4 days
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Orangutans, rainforests, beaches

Kuching | Bako National Park | Batang Ai | Sandakan | Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary | Kinabatangan river | Kinabalu
Approx. 14 days
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Sarawak’s national parks

Kuching | Gunung Gading National Park | Semenggoh Nature Reserve | Bako National Park | Kuching Wetlands National Park
Approx. 7 days
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Expert travel guide

Expert travel guides

Our guides are written by the leading experts in their destinations. We never take payment for positive coverage so you can count on us for reliable and impartial travel advice.

Authentic experiences

Authentic experiences

We curate exceptional trips in underrated places, organised by the very best tour operators who live and breathe their destinations and are passionate about authentic, responsible tourism.

Give back to mother nature

Give back to mother nature

We'll plant 50 trees for every trip booked via the Horizon Guides site in partnership with the International Tree Foundation, who carry out sustainable community forestry projects in Africa.