The Secret Retreats Borneo river cruises and eco tours are a nature lover’s paradise. The third largest island in the world Borneo is covered in ancient rainforest, some of the oldest in the world, and a biodiversity of flora and fauna that is one of the richest in the world. The island is divided between the Malaysian states of Sabah, Labuan and Sarawak, the Sultanate of Brunei in the north, and in the south the largest part of the island, almost 75% of the total area, is the Indonesian state of Kalimantan. The ancient rainforests of Kalimantan are home to ‘the old man of the woods’, the Orangutan. Long a symbol of conservation, these fascinating animals are best seen in the wild, in their forest home, from the comfort of one of the Secret Retreats river cruises. Kalimantan’s dense rain forest is criss-crossed with rivers making access by boat onboard a Secret Retreats Borneo river cruise the ideal way to discover the wildlife and see the Borneo orangutans in their natural and unspoilt habitat.

Discover our journeys in Borneo River Cruises






Rahai’i Pangun


Spirit of Kalimantan

The Secret Retreats luxury river cruises to the Borneo Rainforest

With a choice of boats offering both full private charter and cabin cruises there is a Borneo river cruise with Secret Retreats to suit every budget and every occasion. From joiner cabin cruises to private charter of either our 3 cabin or 5 cabin boats, each boat is a traditional wooden river boat refitted to provide luxurious and secure river cruises to visit the Borneo forest interior and enjoy spotting and watching the wildlife along the way. There is no better way to get close to the Borneo orangutan and other wildlife than onboard one of our luxury river cruises.

The stars of Borneo’s wildlife are without doubt the orangutans, but the survival of these animals has long been under threat due to loss of habitat. But thanks to the tireless efforts of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, supported by (amongst many others) travel businesses like Secret Retreats promoting responsible tourism, there is hope for the orangutans’ survival and the protection of their remaining habitats. The BOS provide for both rehabilitation and the reintroduction back into the wild of misplaced or abused orangutans with these programs managed on the BOS islands within the Rangun river. The islands create a natural sanctuary for the orangutans while undergoing rehabilitation and can be visited, and supported, as part of a cruise itinerary within the Sebangau National Park.

A Borneo River Cruise for every occasion

The Rahai’i Pangun 2 provides luxury river cruises along the Rangun and the Kahayan rivers, with itineraries taking in visits to the orangutan sanctuary and cruising within the Sebangau National Park, which has the biggest population of wild orangutans in Borneo. With 5 cabins capable of accommodating up to 12people, this comfortable river boat offers both private charter and joiner cabin cruises providing the height of luxury for a Kalimantan river cruise. For a more adventurous itinerary combining an overnight in a jungle lodge, the Spirit of Kalimantan also cruises the rivers of the Sebangau National Park. A 3 cabin river boat, perfect for families, this Borneo river cruise also includes an overnight in a jungle lodge, a guided jungle trek, canoeing on the black water lakes off the Katingan river and a visit to ethnic villages of the local Dayak people who call Borneo’s forests home. One of the most popular of Borneo’s national parks is Tanjung Puting National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1977 the park’s primary forest is home to a great variety of wildlife including orangutans, sun bears, wild boar and clouded leopards. Of all the Asian river cruises, Wildlife sightings are guaranteed on a jungle river cruise within this national park. The Sekonyer, a 3cabin air-conditioned river boat cruises the rivers of Tanjung Puting National Park offering both joiner cabin cruises and private charter river cruises. All our cruises are accompanied by expert guides to help you spot and identify the wildlife.

Borneo Eco Tours help to protect these threatened habitats

Borneo’s primary forests are a rich and valuable resource, both from what we know is there and what we are yet to discover. The protection of these ancient forests and the animals within is so very important, to us all. Of the known, 25% of our prescription medicines originated from plants discovered within the rainforest but it is also estimated that we have discovered and understood barely 25% of the plant species within these forests. Add to this that only 1% of the forest plants have been studied for their medicinal properties, the importance of these primary forests to the human race is immediately apparent. And yet it also has to be balanced with the fact that in just the last 50years more than 40% of the world’s primary forest has been destroyed – quite an achievement when you consider the time frame, that the forests have been growing, unmolested, for nearly 60million years. The Borneo rainforest needs our protection.

Responsible tourism can help to make a difference and encourage governments to take steps to protect their forest reserves. Thanks to the much needed work of foundations like the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, supported by Borneo eco tours from various tour operators and tourism businesses, protection of the forest ecosystem, home to wildlife and people, is possible. Responsible tourism helps by bringing visitors to these areas and raising awareness of the problems therein, helping to raise much needed funds for the foundations working in each area and also taking the stories home to share with others and adding to the political pressure required to effect sustainable changes.