Cross Borneo From West To East

Duration: 17 Days/16 Nights

Grade: Challenging

cborne, Mahakam River Tour, Borneo River TourExperience the ultimate challenge by traversing one of the most rugged islands in the world from the west to east crossing jungles, hills, mountain, rivers, rapids, and wilderness. We will be trekking to the lush of Borneo jungle with diversity of vegetation and animal wildlife. This challenging expedition is retracing a historical expedition of a Dutch botanist, DR. Anton W. Niewenhius in 1894, as well as exploring the site where first expedition of European Major George Muller in 1825 with his troop were attacked by the headhunters of Iban Dayak. We will use land transportation, public houseboat and chartered motorized canoe to access the jungle for roughed days trekking. We will sleep in the jungle and simple houses of the villagers with basic facilities, we will be trekking in tough and mostly wet trails, those are the only way to appreciate the primary jungle of Borneo with the most traditional Dayak tribe settlements as well as the exotic wildlife of the jungle itself. However, the reward of the trip are the romance of the journey itself, combination of river travel with long stretches of rapids, the experience of jungle trekking, wildlife exploration, as well as interacting with the Dayak people who accept visitors with their friendly attitude and hospitality that tend to make visitors immediately feel at home in their midst. Therefore, good level of fitness, strong sense of determination, and of course the spirit of adventure are the conditions for accomplishing this challenging trip.


Meet at airport and directly transfer to hotel. In the afternoon, we can visit the monument of equator. Free at your own leisure. Pontianak is the capital of West Kalimantan, located precisely on the equator and lies on the delta of Kapuas River, the longest river in Indonesia.


After breakfast, we will leave to Sintang by private land transportation for about 8 hours. Lunch will be served en route, dinner and overnight on local hotel. (B,L,D)


Proceed to Putussibau by private land transportation for about 8 hours passing the beautiful view of Mount Kelam on the roadside. Arrive at Putussibau and directly transfer to a local hotel for overnight. (B,L,D)


Proceed to the headwater of the Kapuas River to reach Bongan River by long boat with all necessary supplies. The boat is about 1 ½ – 2 meters wide and 6-8 meters long occupies for 4-5 passengers with no roof, so it will be hot and noisy. On the way, we may stop at the Dayak village to see the longhouse. In certain places, we have to go down the river to pull and push the boat as the level of the water in the dry season is too shallow. Here you will experience how amazing the boatman and what we call “the Stone Man” knows exactly where the rock is and how to get away from the rapids. If the rapid is too extreme, we have to walk along the rock or villager farmlands at riverside and the boat will pick us up in certain places. It’s tough here. Lunch will be served en route, dinner and overnight on bivouac/tent. (B,L,D)


After breakfast, we will continue our journey with more challenging. Go down, pull and push the boat, walk on the rock or villager farmlands at riverside while the boat passing the rapids, those all can give you an unforgettable experience. On the way, you will see the tropical rainforest of Kalimantan, villager farmlands, hills, and temporary huts till you reach Tanjung Lokang. It is a remote village, inhabited by Punan Bongan Dayak people, located on the area of Betung Kerihun National Park. If you are a handicraft collector you may find some rattan basket weaving, traditional Dayak machete, blow pipe gun, palm leaves rounded hat, and many more. Lunch will be served en route, dinner and overnight on local house. (B,L,D)


We start the day by trekking across villager farmland and secondary rainforest. The first 2 hours we will hike the hill then another about 2 ½ hours passing the jungle and dry small river. After lunch en route close to the riverside, the trek will be up and down again, crossing a small shallow river, and Nyinyit Cave where the local people collect the swift nest that cost so expensive and very good to support their life inside the cave. Before dark, we will set a campsite for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)


After breakfast, we will cross rivers, up and down passing the jungle while exploring exotic flora and fauna of Borneo. After lunch at riverside, we will then cross jungle, rivers, cave and temporary huts used by villagers when having cultivation or hunting deer, wild pig, birds, and even sometimes clouded leopard. Lunch will be served en route, dinner and overnight on bivouac/tent. (B,L,D)


Trekking path here is varied but tougher. We will have lot of deal with water about ½ – 1 meter deep and walking on rock at riverside. Afterwards, we will continue our journey by trekking up and down along the riverside, while sighting flora and fauna as well as the fascinating landscape along the trek. Before dark, we will set a campsite for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)


This is the longest and the toughest all of the trails, since we will be trekking up and down by crossing rivers, rocks, and hills. After lunch at riverside, we will continue the trek with almost the same characteristic. The trek is so challenging and need more power and spirit of adventure. Before dark, we will set a campsite at riverside.Lunch will be served en route, dinner and overnight on bivouac/tent. (B,L,D)


After breakfast, we walk about two hours up and down river till reaching the foot of Muller Range. It started from the altitude of 500 M above sea level to reach the border of West and East Kalimantan at 1000 M above sea level. The path is not so difficult only high up hill passing the jungle. It takes about 1 – 2 hours, depends on your ability. No need to rush as the jungle view is fantastic. After lunch en route, we will be trekking downhill to find a good place for setting a campsite. (B,L,D)


The trek here is almost the same with before day but never boring, we will cross rivers and jungle. On the way, our Dayak porters will show us how to survive on the jungle, collecting the rattan, animal hunting, fish catching, and setting animal trap that involve you. Before dark, we will set a campsite for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)


After breakfast, we will proceed to trek about 3 hours to reach Saite, this time you will have plenty of time for relaxing, swimming, take a break or anything else after hard trekking. The trek will pass the jungle and rivers. Lunch will be served en route, dinner and overnight on bivouac/tent. (B,L,D)


After breakfast, proceed to trek by crossing the river and jungle to reach the mouth of the Mahakam River for about 3 hours. We will pass villager farmlands before reaching the riverside. Upon arrival, the longboat will take us to Tiong Ohang village for about 2 hours boating. You will pass some temporary hut as well as villager farmlands and jungle, lunch will be served en route, dinner on simple restaurant and overnight on local house at Tiong Ohang village. This is the first village you encounter after long days in the jungle. (B,L,D)


Get a full day trip by public boat to cruise the headwaters of Mahakam River through some challenged rapids while sightseeing beautiful view of rainforest as well as people unique activities at riverside. Lunch will be served en route, dinner and overnight on local house. (B,L,D)


Breakfast at local house, then downward to Samarinda by public houseboat, here you can explore the local people way of life, the riverside civilization that certainly different with our normal life on the land. The houseboat is a public traditional wooden boat with two decks, the first deck for carrying goods and economy class with capacity about 100 passengers and the second deck is for executive class with capacity of 75 passengers. The economy room is more open both sides and no mattress while the executive served mattress, with communal room, no cabin and no AC. At the back side, there are some Borneo style toilets and simple restaurant providing Indonesian food, tea, coffee, and snacks on the first deck. The boat will stop sometimes to pick and drop passengers or loading some supplies. Lunch, dinner and overnight on houseboat. (B,L,D)


At the second day on the houseboat, we will cruise the lower Mahakam River while sightseeing people unique activities at riverside. Arrive at Samarinda and directly transfer to hotel for overnight. Free at your own leisure. (B,L,D)


Breakfast at hotel and free at own leisure till the proper time for transferring to airport for your flight to next destination. (B)


  • AC land transportation
  • Public speed boat
  • Public houseboat in Mahakam River
  • Motorized boats
  • Accommodation based on twin share:
    01 Night at 3 stars hotel in Pontianak
    01 Night at local hotel in Sintang
    01 Night at local hotel in Putussibau
    01 Night at public houseboat in Mahakam River
    01 Night at 3 stars hotel in Samarinda
    11 Nights at bivouac/tent/local house
  • Entrance fee, donation & refreshments
  • English speaking guide
  • Meals as stated on program, indicated as (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: dinner)
  • Tent/bivouac
  • Porters on trekking (only carrying supply)


  • Airfares
  • Airport taxes and extra baggage fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Expenses incurred due to Force Majeure
  • Personal expenses