Malaysia is a very modern and efficient Asian country that makes a perfect birding destination. First class facilities exist within the extensive network of national parks and nature reserves, throughout the Malaysian Peninsula and the two Malaysian provinces of Borneo. Habitats range from vast lowland and montane rainforests to rich mangrove swamps and extensive coastal mudflats.
On this fantastic Malaysia and Borneo birdwatching and wildlife tour we visit some of the world’s most famous birding sites including Fraser’s Hill, venue of the legendary annual Bird Race, the grand Taman Negara National Park, Danum Valley, which protects the largest pristine lowland rainforests in South East Asia and fabled Mt Kinabalu. A rich mix of typical South East Asian birds, peninsular Malaysian specialties and Bornean endemics combine to create superb birding. We expect to see several species of fabulous pittas, trogons, kingfishers, woodpeckers and broadbills, as well as leafbirds, ioras, pheasants and a plethora of babblers and bulbuls among many others.
The mammal-watching opportunities are surprisingly good and we have never failed to find the old man of the forest, the Orangutan, as well as the anomalous Proboscis Monkey and numerous species of gibbons and leaf-monkeys. Other animals we are likely to encounter include several civet species, Leopard Cat, the bizarre Colugo and some very impressive squirrels, including the nocturnal Giant Flying Squirrels. Chances exist for Asian Elephant and Clouded Leopard. Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sun Bear and Malaysian Tapir also occur but are seldom observed.
Some of the star birds of this tour include the impressive Great Argus, huge Helmeted & Rhinoceros Hornbills, Malayan Whistling Thrush, Rail-babbler, Long-tailed & Green Broadbill, Sultan Tit, Garnet, Malayan Banded, Blue-headed and seven other possible species of pitta, the Whitehead’s trio consisting of a Bornean endemic broadbill, trogon and spiderhunter, Fruithunter, Everett’s Thrush, Crested Fireback, Black Baza, Storm’s Stork, Blue Nuthatch, Blyth’s & Gould’s Frogmouth, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Bornean & Black-throated Wren-Babbler, the highly sought-after Bornean Bristlehead (the latter is usually placed in its own monotypic family) and even the mythical Bornean Ground Cuckoo!
We will bird along forest trails, from rainforest canopy walkways, boardwalks through mangrove forests and from boats as we cruise along jungle rivers. Join us for this memorable experience as we explore the fantastic riches of tropical Southeast Asia.
Please note that a Rockjumper leader may not accompany this tour unless a minimum of 5 participants are signed up. In the case of insufficient sign-ups, a professional and very experienced local guide will lead the tour instead.
Bornean Bristlehead, Mountain and Malayan Peacock-Pheasants, Crested Fireback, Malaysian, Crimson-headed and Red-breasted Partridges, Storm’s Stork, Helmeted, White-crowned, Wrinkled and Rhinoceros Hornbills, Wallace’s & Blyth’s Hawk-Eagles, Large Green Pigeon, Chestnut-bellied Malkoha, Buffy Fish Owl, Blyth’s & Gould’s Frogmouths, Malaysian Eared Nightjar, Whitehead’s, Diard’s, Red-naped & Orange-breasted Trogons, Garnet, Malayan Banded, Bornean Banded, Giant, Blue-headed and Black-crowned Pittas, Whitehead’s, Long-tailed, Silver-breasted, Dusky, Green and Banded Broadbills, Banded Kingfisher, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Fire-tufted, Brown, Golden-naped, Mountain, Bornean and Black-browed Barbets, Great Slaty, White-bellied, Olive-backed & Orange-backed Woodpeckers, White-fronted & Black-thighed Falconets, Mangrove & Bornean Whistlers, Crested Jay, Rail-babbler, Straw-headed, Bornean and Finsch’s Bulbuls, Pygmy Wren-babbler (Cupwing), Bornean Stubtail, Large & Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babblers, Bornean & Black-throated Wren-Babblers, Chestnut-hooded, Chestnut-capped, Malayan, Bare-faced, Black and Sunda Laughingthrushes, Chestnut-crested Yuhina, Pygmy White-eye (Ibon), Mountain Blackeye, Everett’s Thrush, Fruithunter, Malayan and Bornean Whistling Thrushes, Rufous-browed, Sunda Blue and Bornean Blue Flycatchers, Eyebrowed Jungle Flycatcher, Bornean Forktail, Bornean Leafbird, Yellow-rumped and Black-sided Flowerpeckers, Bornean and Whitehead’s Spiderhunters, White-headed and Dusky Munias, Bornean Treepie, Sultan Tit, Collared Babbler, Bornean Green Magpie & Whiskered Treeswift
Orangutan, Proboscis Monkey, Sunda Colugo, Red (Maroon) Leaf Monkey, Siamang, Greater Slow Loris, Borneo and Lar Gibbons, Leopard Cat, Bearded Pig, Asian (Bornean Pygmy) Elephant, Red and Thomas’s Giant Flying Squirrels, distinct chances of Clouded Leopard, Flat-headed & Marbled Cat, Malayan Tapir, Binturong & Horsfield’s Tarsier
lowland and montane rainforests, mangroves, rivers, wetlands, coastal mudflats
generally hot and humid, cooler in highlands, some rain expected
moderate pace, walking on forest trails mostly undemanding but some longer hikes
Giant Rafflesia (world’s largest flower), canopy walkways, river boat cruises, Mt. Kinabalu, pristine lowland forest
What our clients say about tours to Malaysia & Borneo
The ability of our guide, Rich Lindie, to locate the birds from the faintest movement or call under difficult and trying conditions was outstanding.
We felt that the trip was very well organised and efficient so we could spend as much time in the field as possible. Glen was a terrific guide – excellent birder as well as his concern that everyone was seeing the birds. Glen was very even in his manner at all times and with everyone.
Dennis Yong was certainly knowledgeable on his birds and all other wildlife. I have to hand it to him, he has YEARS of experience and it shows.
Glen and Dennis did a fantastic job on this tour. Birding in the lowland rainforest looking for Pittas was certainly a challenge! Glen was informative, patient and persistent, and did his best in making sure that the entire group saw these fascinating birds. The itinerary was comprehensive, the accommodations were great and the food was…
Dennis’s knowledge & ability to imitate bird calls is phenomenal. He is also an interesting person to travel with. I enjoyed Eric’s humour and felt he handled the group well.
Our tour was really exceptional, and our guide, Glen Valentine, was fabulous!!! Being in the jungle meant our views were narrowed, but Glen went out of his way to make sure everyone had a chance to see these exceptional birds.