Best time to travel to Borneo

Sunrise on Mount Kinabalu in Borneo

You can start your lazy morning in bed with a cup of coffee, or enjoy your hot drink from a thermos on top of a mountain!

Best time: February–April

Sunrise on Mount Kinabalu
Sunrise on Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu is the highest of the Malay archipelago and ascent towards its summit is challenging but doable for many climbers, especially if they are assisted by local guides. Standing on top of it is already a reward, but embracing the first light of the morning sun will carve an unforgettable mark in your memory.

Mount Kinabalu is 4,095 meters high and you can manage the climb in one day. But this means that you may miss observing the unique nature of this area. The biological diversity of Kinabalu is astonishing as there are more than 5,000 species of plants, 326 species of birds, and about 100 various kinds of mammals. Also if you rush to the top in one single day, you won't have a chance to see the sunrise.

For this reason, many hikers prefer to take an overnight stay in a Laban Rata Resthouse, located at 3,272 metres. By leaving it in the middle of the night you can reach the summit together with the sun.

The best months for climbing Mount Kinabalu are February, March, and April, as it is a dry season and the sky is clear for the most of the time. Besides, October through January is a monsoon season with worst conditions in November–December.

Practical info

When is the ideal time to hike Borneo's Mount Kinabalu?

The dry months of February, March, and April are the recommendable time to climb Borneo's Mount Kinabalu. It is risky to hike during the monsoon season, which is from October to January, due to poor weather conditions that can cause landslides. Climbers must avoid attempting the hike in November and December, as weather conditions are more extreme than any other time during the monsoon season. Show more

What are the accommodation options available for those who want to climb Mount Kinabalu?

Depending on the hiking preference, climbers can take an overnight stay at the Laban Rata Resthouse found at 3,272 meters, giving hikers the opportunity to witness the sunrise. The Laban Rata Resthouse is the only accommodation available for climbers; therefore, one must book it in advance. Starting climbing at midnight to arrive at the summit just in time for the sunrise is preferred by many climbers. Show more

What is the elevation of Borneo's Mount Kinabalu?

Mount Kinabalu, located in Borneo, Malaysia, is one of the tallest peaks in South East Asia and reaches a height of 4,095 meters. Despite the high altitude and challenging climb, the mountain is doable for many people who are physically fit; numerous climbers who often obtain assistance from local guides attain the summit. Show more

What is the biodiversity like on Mount Kinabalu?

Borneo's Mount Kinabalu boasts abundant flora and fauna. With more than 5,000 plant species, about 100 various mammal species, and over 326 bird species, among others, some of these species are exclusive to the mountain. The isolated indigenous, diverse habitats, and age have given rise to Mount Kinabalu's unique species ecosystems. These ecosystems have survived geological shifts and changes for millions of years. Show more

When is it best to avoid climbing Mount Kinabalu due to weather conditions?

The most unfavorable time for climbing Mount Kinabalu in Borneo is November and December. This is the peak season for monsoons, which extends from October through January. The period comes with harsh weather ranging from heavy rains to strong winds, making it challenging and dangerous to climb the mountain. Climbers risk dangerous conditions like landslides, and their physical and health safety is compromised. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin