Holidays to Batang Ai National Park, Borneo
Batang Ai National Park is an area of rainforest in Sarawak. It’s a four-hour drive from Kuching to Batang Ai Jetty, after which you take a two hour boat ride to the heart of the park. Once you get there, another world awaits you. It’s reputed to have the highest density of wild orangutans in central Borneo, but you’ll also find gibbons, langurs and hornbills here.
The remote villages within the jungle are home to local Iban families, living in longhouses. You’ll witness their culture and lifestyle, and could have the opportunity to have lunch with them to learn more about their way of life. They use the trees to build their homes and eat about 150 varieties of wild fruit and vegetables found in the rainforest.
There are marked trails you can follow with a guide to explore Batang Ai National Park. Some are trickier and longer than others, so know what you’re letting yourself in for before you set off. The Padalai trail is the simplest (and shortest). You’ll hike for a little under two kilometres, passing by an Iban burial ground before following the path of the Batang River and descending to the top of the Wong Padalai rapids. All the while you’ll hear the jungle animals whooping, calling, rustling and croaking around you. The terrain sustains an abundance of wildlife, from those incredible orangutans to gibbons, rare clouded leopards and all manner of exotic birds and frogs.
Home to wild orangutans
See how Iban families live
Adventurous jungle trails
Map of Batang Ai National Park
When to go to Batang Ai National Park
Batang Ai National Park has a tropical rainforest climate, with high levels of humidity year round. Rainfall is lower than in the rest of Sarawak but visiting in the rainy season between September-February can be difficult due to high water levels.
This is the wettest month of the year, reaching up to 26 inches of rainfall.
The heavy rain has usually eased off by now and temperatures reach 30°C.
You might experience occasional showers, but it's a great time to get into the jungle and explore.
Temperatures continue to increase with overnight temperatures in the mid 20s, and high humidity. Explore the rainforest but leave your waterproofs at home.
Expect average daily highs of 32°C and a welcome drop in humidity.
Temperatures remain consistent and it's a great time to visit the nearby orangutan sanctuaries.
Rainfall is at its lowest in July so make the most of the sun and head for the beaches.
This is a peak time for visitors thanks to the great weather.
The rainy season returns, but temperatures remain around 30°C.
Rainy periods are more prolonged with heavier showers.
Rainy season is at a peak in November with the heaviest showers. Prepare to get wet wherever you go!
The rains will continue and the wildlife will disappear, but you can benefit from fewer visitors and better prices.