Malaysian Borneo Birding Tour

Woodpeckers of Conservation Concern: 
Buff-necked Woodpecker, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Olive-backed Woodpecker

 October 2-18, 2019
2018 Tour Fee: $9,220 single / $8,450 double occupancy (2019 price TBA)
*Featuring 2 US guides, a local guide and a driver. Maximum of 8 birding guests*
Leaders: Steve Shunk  and Christine Elder
Questions: Contact Paradise Birding owner Steve Shunk
How to Register: Click the button below to view and download the tour itinerary and registration form.



The world’s oldest rainforest; the world’s largest flower; the world’s largest stick-insect; and, the world’s smallest falcon. Over 1,700 orchids, 46 rhododendrons, and 39 Nepenthes pitcher-plants. Nearly 100 endemic reptiles (288 total); 63 endemic mammals (280 total), and 52 endemic birds (650 total). Few areas on Earth can match the amazing biological diversity found on the island of Borneo, and we can’t wait to take you there!

Back in 2004, a renowned woodpecker biologist told me that some of the best woodpecker watching in the world could be found in Borneo. I knew nothing about this place, but I started my research. Seven years later, I was invited to speak at the Borneo Bird Festival in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, and I headed to southeastern Asia with uncertain expectations. It would be my first big trip to the tropics; my first trip to Asia; and my longest trip away from home. I would be confronted with entirely unfamiliar bird families—like frogmouths, hornbills, broadbills, and pittas. New songbirds would include whistlers, ioras, and monarchs. The vegetation would be like nothing I had ever seen. I would be lost in the jungle without knowing the local ecology, and I would be drowning in strange wildlife sounds.

I made that month-long trip to Borneo in 2011, and I experienced a world beyond my imagination. I tallied 179 life-birds, including 20 endemic species and 42 endemic subspecies. I saw 8 different primates, including the endemic Bornean gibbon, the Bornean orang-utan, and the strange proboscis monkey. And, I came home knowing that I had not finished exploring Borneo’s amazing equatorial rainforest.

In 2016, we returned for our official scouting trip to Borneo. We were quickly reminded of the friendly culture, eclectic Asian cuisine, and a tourism infrastructure that outshines many popular birding destinations in the western world. We marveled at Bornean pygmy elephants, giant flying squirrels, and the enigmatic Bornean colugo. And the birding? We found 229 bird species, including 23 Bornean endemics, plus 48 endemic subspecies. This birder added 64 life-birds to his Borneo list! Sounds exciting, I know, but reading about Borneo doesn’t even come close the first-hand experiences that await. Join our incomparable wildlife safari on the world’s third largest island. The Whitehead’s Trogon is calling your name!

Your Host and Lead Guide, Steve Shunk


Steve is a fantastic guide, and has mad birding skills. Each day of the tour was filled with a personalized birding experience as well as good food, camaraderie, and fun. Steve and Christine are fantastic hosts, obviously enjoy what they do, and love sharing their passion for nature-travel with others.
— Carter Moore