Borneo: The Weather And When To Go

Borneo experiences wetter months between November and February. The temperature remains somewhat consistent throughout the year with averages of 27°C to 32°C, with an approximate 80% relative humidity. The high season in Borneo is between May and September. This is when most days are warm and dry. Available Accommodation over these months can be limited but you can learn more via professional organisations such as Borneo Dream.

An Overview Of The Weather

Even though there happen to be peak months when it comes to tourism (May to September), it is recommended to not use the weather prospects as a guiding factor when you plan your trip to Borneo.

Weather conditions are complicated and localised all over Borneo. For example, one region may be receiving high amounts of rain, while others may be extremely dry at the same time. Similar to other tropical islands, the climates are often unpredictable, which means rainfall often occurs on any day of the year, and the weather conditions will often change rapidly with sunshine turning into showers or vice-versa within minutes.

Borneo does benefit from a year-round temperature that averages between 27°C and 32°C, along with an 80% relative humidity.

In certain areas of Borneo, the rainfall is known to exceed 4,000mm per year, while the majority of other destinations will typically receive around 220mm per month. In general, the rainfall peaks between November and March, even though the rainfall is also sporadic over these months, which makes it impossible to pre-determine which weeks will be dry or wet.

Besides, there are other advantages to visitor numbers that are lower that can also be enjoyed over months that are traditionally wetter. Wildlife sanctuaries, National Parks, caves, dive sites, and jungle lodges are often more appealing when there are fewer visitors around to share these experiences with.

Sarawak

The difference between dry and wet seasons is a lot more prevalent in Sarawak when compared to Sabah with rainfall at its highest in January and its lowest in June and July. Temperatures seem to remain consistent over the year with an average between 23°C and 32°C which will depend on the month of the year and the location.

Beaches close to Kuching on the Sarawak coast also experience a distinctly drier season between April and Septemeber, while the rain is virtually guaranteed over December and January.

Sarawak’s inland areas typically experience fairly high rainfall levels all the time, with a subtle dip between June and August.

Sabah

Gaya Island, Kota Kinabalu, Danum Valley, Kinabalu NP, Sepilok, Kinabatangan River, Mabul and Sipadan Islands, and Lankayan and Selingan Islands, generally experience 2 different seasons in Sabah. The dry season runs from February to August, while the wet season runs from Septemeber to January. Yet it is important to understand that the differences between these seasons aren’t very marked, as rainfall levels and weather patterns are unpredictable. Sabah usually experienced less rain when compared to Sarawak, and has a consistent temperature with annual variations that are less than 2°C.

In southern Sabah, rainfall is lower when compared to the north, while the rain seems to fall relatively evenly through each season of the year. There is usually a subtle dip in the millimetres between the months of February and April.

Kinabalu National Park is always a lot cooler when compared to the nearby lowland regions, due to the altitude.