Whether you have older teenagers ready to change the world or wide-eyed toddlers taking it all in for the first time, family holidays in Borneo are guaranteed to be full of new experiences for everyone.
Starting with a wish-list-topping orangutan encounter at Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre, or spotting them from a Kinabatangan riverboat, is a magical and awe-inspiring way to begin your Borneo adventure.
For the intrepid family with slightly older kids we recommend a stay deep in the jungle at Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Providing comfortable lodge accommodation with fantastic views of the forest, and nature walks through the jungle to spot snakes, wild cats, tropical birds and even pygmy elephants, this will certainly give the kids lots to talk about!
If your little explorers need some down-time then a stay on the enchanting Gaya Island is ideal. Here you can combine the best of Borneo’s world-famous snorkelling with trails through the rainforest and relaxing on pristine beaches. Young children can marvel at the abundant sea-life in the shallow waters, and budding scientists will love discovering the marine conservation projects.
For pure luxury, head for the superb Shangri La’s Risa Resort near Kota Kinabalu – sandy beaches, spa pools, and lots of r&r. There is onsite childcare, and the kids’ club offers activities from batik painting to pony-riding and traditional dancing. Children aged 5-12 can even shadow a Ranger for a morning!
Kids love a gory story, so spending a few days with the descendants of a head-hunting tribe will certainly get their undivided attention! A homestay in a traditional longhouse with the Iban tribe lets teenagers experience a traditional way of life, prepare and share meals together and enjoy the warm hospitality of your local hosts. This is a great way to get back to the basics of spending peaceful, maybe even ‘screen-less’, time together as a family.
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