facts about Borneo

10 Beautiful Facts about Borneo

Borneo is a genuine slice of paradise that so many of us don’t get to see. While you may have seen the stunning shorelines in photos and on TV, how much do you actually know about this island nation? Here are some fun facts about Borneo that might just inspire your next big vacation.

1. Where is Borneo?

Borneo is located in Southeast Asia. The island is actually shared by three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. Each country brings its own culture and touches to the island, making it one of the most unique island nations in the world!

2. It’s pretty big!

Believe it or not, Borneo is the third-largest island in the world! It covers an area of 743,330 square km or around 287,000 square miles. So, there is plenty of room for the three countries mentioned above to argue over. Only Greenland and New Guinea are larger – and it’s far larger than Great Britain, Iceland, and Madagascar!

3. There are ecosystems galore here.

Borneo is super-popular for its incredibly diverse and unique ecosystems. These include ancient rainforests, mangroves, coral reefs, and more! In fact, it is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world, estimated to be around 130 million years old.

Facts about Borneo

Mount Kinabalu, Borneo

4. And let’s not forget about the wildlife!

Borneo is also renowned for its rich biodiversity! The island hosts thousands of species of plants, mammals, birds, and insects, including the endangered Bornean orangutan, pygmy elephant, and proboscis monkey! All of these incredible animals deserve to be respected and well-treated – however, thanks to palm oil, habitats are under threat for some species. More on why a little further down.

5. Scale the peaks!

If you’d like to get a good view of the island below, then head over to Mount Kinabalu! Located in Sabah, Kinabalu is the tallest peak in Borneo and provides many of Southeast Asia’s best-loved climbing adventures.

6. Fancy some cave diving?

Or, perhaps you rather go into the mountains rather than having to climb them! Borneo is famous for its extensive caves, including Sarawak’s mysterious Mulu caverns, which together form a UNESCO World Heritage site.

7. What is the Rafflesia Arnoldii?

If it rains while you’re vacationing in Borneo, you can always look for one of the island’s indigenous flowers for cover – seriously! The Rafflesia Arnoldii is one of the largest flowers in the world and can measure up to one meter (3.2 feet) in diameter!

8. There’s lots of indigenous culture on the island.

Borneo is also known for its diverse indigenous cultures. The island is home to over 200 different ethnic groups, including the Dayak and Kadazan-Dusun tribes.

Fun Facts about Borneo

The Proboscis monkey

9. Palm oil is a problem.

Borneo is one of the world’s largest producers of palm oil. However, the expansion of palm oil plantations has led to deforestation and threats to the island’s unique ecosystems. That is one of the reasons many people refuse to use products that contain palm oil – as it’s potentially putting creatures such as orangutans at risk of extinction.

10. It’s a balmy one!

Borneo has a tropical climate that’s highly humid, with temperatures frequently ranging from 23 to 32 degrees Celsius (73 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year. That means that it’s pretty much perfect to visit at any time – book a vacation with your boss and go trekking!

Interesting facts about Borneo

Tun Sakaron Marine Park, Semporna, Borneo, Malaysia

FAQs about Borneo

Is Borneo its own country?

Although Borneo is a standalone island, it is not, in fact, its own country. As mentioned in our fact guide, it is actually shared between three other countries; Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.

Why is Borneo famous?

Borneo is mostly known for its incredible ecosystems, biodiversity, and stunning landscapes! People come from all over the world to witness the island in all of its natural beauty!

What is Borneo called today?

Since Borneo is divided between multiple countries, different parts of the island have different names. The Indonesian part of Borneo is known as Kalimantan. The Malaysian part of Borneo is simply known as East Malaysia! However, many call the island Borneo for simplicity, and it is also more of a Western reference to the area.

Further reading:

Do you know any fun facts about Borneo? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on September 3, 2023. Suggest an edit

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