WOW Borneo – Kalimantan Tour Destinations


Wow Borneo runs jungle river journeys in beautiful traditional boats, built in local boatyards by traditional methods, to enjoy the natural environment and the vibrant culture of the people of Kalimantan (Borneo). WOW also offers overland trips, which include longhouse and cultural trips, jungle trekking, trips to the Tanjung Puting National Park to see orangutans, and the Derawan archipelago for divers, through our partner agents.

Wow Borneo Kalimantan Tour Destinations (KTD) is pioneering ecotourism in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, as a way of protecting the environment and creating alternative livelihoods.

Social Responsibility: Our locally built boats provide trips to visit riverside villages where the local community engages directly with our guests as guides and homestay hosts, whilst educating our guests about the environment, local traditions and culture. We train the local communities as hosts and facilitate the local communities in creating and implementing their own tourism development plans and market their services. We have a policy of hiring canoes, speedboats directly from the local community to ensure that they are gaining direct benefits from the tourists that we attract. We support the traditional culture of Sangars (village musicians and dance groups) by direct payments from our guests. We developed the capacity of local boat builders to re-model traditional boats.

Climate: It rains here normally from September to May, and the remainder of the year is dry. Temperature is usually 32 – 35 deg during the rains, normally hotter in the dry season, and dropping to 23 deg in the early morning. Humidity is 70-80%.

Health: Malaria does occur here, however there are not many mosquitoes on the river, in the running water. Cures for malaria are now effective and fast acting. Check for information. Talk to your doctor. Wearing long sleeve shirts and trousers in the evenings, and using mosquito repellent, is advised. The sun is very strong here, we are only 4 deg off the equator. Sun stroke is common, so wearing a sun hat is advised, as is drinking plenty of water. Stomach upsets do occur sometimes, especially when eating off the boat. Best food is freshly cooked. All drinking water supplied on the boat is bottled mineral water.

Money change: Indonesian currency is the Rupiah. It is not possible to change money in Palangkaraya, so change all currencies in the Jakarta airport before you arrive in Palangkaraya or use ATM’s to withdraw cash. This is a small city, and some of our guests have had problems using their international ATM cards here.

What to bring with you: Throw in your sun hat, mossie repellent, long sleeve shirt, long trousers, walking shoes and any specific drugs or cosmetics you need (the range is very limited in this small city). Dress is modest, with shirts having sleeves, no mini skirts, short shorts or tank tops.

We are willing to offer a 10% discount to Tourism Concern Members, along with additional exclusive benefit to Tourism Concern Members. One of our founding directors will come to personally meet a Tourism Concern Member at the beginning and end of the trip to share our guest’s experience.

Wow Borneo pioneered participative planning and decision making in terms of tourism development in Central Kalimantan and encouraged the government departments to respond and support the community plans. We work with and respect the existing social structures and educate our guests about local traditions and customs and appropriate behaviour so that they are sensitive to the lives of the local people. Both the villagers and our guests enjoy the interaction of sharing their different cultures. 

It is our policy to out resource hire of all required transport from canoes, speedboats to cars to pick up guests to ensure the surrounding community shares the benefits from our tourism venture. Our delicious food is sourced locally and supports the local economy. We train local village hosts/guides who benefit from the tourism trade that we bring to the villages. We recruit and train our staff from the local community. We have a staff development and training plan to encourage career advancement. We ensure that our staff is well paid, receive trip bonuses and have health insurance. 

We educate and raise the awareness of both our guests and the local communities about current threats to the environment and steps encourage them to support conservation programs and develop more sustainable livelihood approach for the local communities. The boat provides a way to travel into the jungle with a low environmental impact as there is no need for the development of roads and the accompanying environmental destruction caused by logging.

We are working on ensuring that our boat is as environmentally friendly as possible, we use battery power to back up our electricity and ensure that our waste is composted or disposed of responsibly. We work with local conservation NGO’s to support them in fund raising, planning and media attention for their conservation causes. 



About the author

Leave a Reply

Recently Online

Joined 4 years ago
Last active 3 weeks ago
Joined 2 years ago
Last active 5 months ago
Joined 5 years ago
Last active 5 months ago
Croydon, UK
Joined 7 months ago
Last active 5 months ago
Joined 1 year ago
Last active 5 months ago

Newsletter archive