Staying Safe in Borneo: Essential Tips for Travellers

Borneo, known for its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, is a must-visit destination for many travellers. However, like any travel experience, it is important to keep safety in mind. Below are crucial tips to ensure you have a safe and memorable trip to this exotic island. If you would like to go diving during your visit, check out ”luxury diving holidays Malaysia”.

Health Precautions


Before travelling to Borneo, check with your doctor to update your vaccinations. Recommended immunisations often include Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever. Also, consider getting vaccinated for Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors or with animals.

Malaria Prevention

Malaria is present in Borneo, so precautions are necessary. Use an effective insect repellent, sleep under a mosquito net, and talk to your healthcare provider about malaria prophylaxis medication.

Avoid Drinking Tap Water

The tap water in Borneo is not considered safe to drink. Stick to bottled water, and avoid ice in drinks unless you are certain it has been made with bottled or disinfected water.

Personal Safety

Be Cautious with Wildlife

Borneo’s forests are home to an array of wildlife. Always observe animals from a distance and follow local guidelines, especially regarding orangutans and other primates, as they can be unpredictable and aggressive if threatened.

Respect Local Customs

Borneo has a multitude of indigenous groups, each with unique traditions. Dress modestly, especially when visiting rural areas, religious sites, and during local festivals. Learn the basic customs and etiquette to avoid unintentional disrespect.

Secure Your Belongings

Petty theft and pickpocketing can happen anywhere, especially in tourist-heavy areas. Always keep valuables out of sight and use hotel safes when available. When venturing out, carry only what you need, and be particular about securing your backpack or purse.

Road Safety

Road conditions and driving standards can drastically differ from what you may be used to. If renting a car or bike, ensure you’re comfortable with the local driving laws. Otherwise, opt for reputable taxis or public transport.

Environmental Awareness

Jungle Treks

If you’re planning to go on jungle treks, hire an experienced guide. Never stray from marked paths, and be prepared with essentials like water, food, and a first-aid kit.

Hydration and Heatstroke

With Borneo’s tropical climate, dehydration and heatstroke are risks. Drink plenty of fluids and take breaks in the shade during the hottest parts of the day.

Water Activities

For those looking forward to enjoying Borneo’s beautiful waters, always follow local safety advice, use life jackets when necessary, and be cautious of strong currents and rip tides.

Emergency Contacts

Have a list of emergency contacts such as local emergency services, the nearest embassy or consulate office, and a reliable local contact. It’s also wise to share your travel itinerary with someone back home.

By following these safety tips, your visit to Borneo should be a thrilling and secure adventure. Be sure to prioritise your safety to ensure a trip that is both enjoyable and worry-free.