Borneo facts

Before our trip to Borneo we didn’t really have much idea about the island. The word “Borneo” used to remind me of orang-utans, rainforests and logging. Of course after the trip everything was different. We had learned a lot.

Here’s a few interesting facts about the island of Borneo!

(Unfortunately I still haven’t found the time to start uploading my images, but I’ll do my best to squeeze some in my next blog post.)

1. Borneo is the third largest island on earth, only behind Greenland and New Guinea.

2. The rainforest of Borneo is actually the world’s oldest one. According to the researchers it’s 130 million years old!

3. The island is administrated by three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

4. The highest mountain of Southeast Asia is on the island of Borneo:  Mount Kinabalu.

5. Borneo has one of the world’s richest biodiversities. The rainforest is home to about 15,000 species of flowering plants, 3,000 species of trees, 221 species of mammals and 420 species of resident birds. During the last ten years, over 360 new species have been discovered on the island!

6. The Borneo rainforest is one of the only remaining natural habitats for the endangered Orang-utans. Other endangered animals of Borneo are for example the pygmy elephants, the clouded leopard and the sumatran rhino.

7. The indigenous people of Borneo are most commonly known as the Dayaks, but the Dayaks actually have over 200 ethnic subgroups! Each group has its own raditions.

8. Half of the annual global acquisition of tropical timber wood comes from Borneo. Along with palm-oil plantations this is rapidly destroying the Borneo rainforests.

9. In the 1970’s Borneo was still 73% covered in rainforests whereas now it’s less than 50%.

10. Borneo is the only place in Southeast Asia where the tropical rainforests can still be conserved on a grand scale.


Quite a place, eh?


6 thoughts on “Borneo facts

    • This is actually a really good question. I’ve been wondering the same thing myself.

      If I guess, it could be because Borneo is close to the centre of the equador and because of that the ice age didn’t manage to interrupt the growth of the forests as much as elsewhere. I also remember hearing that there’s a huge underground river which has helped the forests for a long time.. Hmm!

      • Yes you can, and even swimming there is possible! The river runs inside one of Asia’s longest caves. It’s called the Clearwater cave and it’s located in Mulu Park, Sarawak (Malaysian side).

        I was in Sabah so I didn’t get to visit that place. I’ve only heard of it.

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