In Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia Borneo, the rugged terrain, dense rain forests and numerous mountainous regions make it an irresistible destination for off-road driving enthusiasts. Serious expeditions need to be organised on a personal or group basis and expeditions must be accompanied and planned by local expert drivers and guides.
Discover Borneo can help you organise:
- Safaris and expedition in Sabah or Sarawak
- Offroad drive training
- Casual day outings and tours
- Short trips with overnight camping
The three international off road events held in Malaysia annually around October and November are the Trans Borneo International Rally, the National Challenge and the Rainforest International Challenge of Malaysia (Peninsula Malaysia).
Those who have taken part in these expeditions leave with unforgettable memories of the adventure of a lifetime. Nature, difficult terrain and the relentless tropical weather put obstacles in the way requiring endurance, resilience and patience, co-operation between teammates and fellow participants. These events bring out the spirit of adventure, camaraderie and teamwork, living through an epic and true Conradian journey.
Tours & Casual Expeditions
The casual visitor may not be cut out for the rigours of world class international event like the Trans Borneo, Camel Trophy or the Rainforest Challenge. However, there is nothing to stop an interested party from learning the rudiments of off-road 4x4 driving and having an exciting time exploring Borneo off the beaten track.
A number of companies offer 4x4 driving packages. Although visitors can rent 4x4s by themselves, they are advised not to venture into wilds without a guide and a few other driving partners as often the terrain is difficult to negotiate without the help of a seasoned driver, especially as monsoon rains and landslides can change the tracks and make them impassable or inaccessible. Some operators also offer off road training training courses of a one or two day duration with a certificate upon completion.
The Kinabalu Four Wheel Drive Club was started in 1988 by two off-road enthusiasts namely, Doctor J.S. Sidhu and Gedeon Mosito. These two founders initially organised few off-road outings among families and friends, purely as a family outing to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life during weekends and public holidays.
From there on, KFWDC has grown from strength tom strength, internationally recognised in organising the annual International Borneo Safari, which was first staged in 1989. The Borneo Safari event is a 7-day extreme off-road challenge with specially designed tracks or special stages (SS) to determine the champion.
Following the founders' aspiration, KFWDC continues in organising charity and community services for the rural poor, while at the same time stages the annual 4x4 Jamboree for members and friends in the outskirts of the city or deep inside rain forest with crystal clear rivers. Members with their families and friends will take part in several family outing activities during the 2-day outing.
- Wear light but absorbent natural fiber clothing
- Nights in the rainforests may get cooler than expected so bring along a water-proof jacket to keep you warm as well as protected from the rain.
- Sturdy shoes are a must especially in competition events. Bring a pair of thongs or sneakers to let your feet breathe and relax when you make camp.
- Socks are a must to keep your feet dry and unchaffed.
- A pair of heavy duty gloves are also advisable.
- Bring a sleeping bag and a camping tent for overnight shelter.
- Always check vehicles before starting out on a drive. Pay special attention to tires which can develop punctures from the rough terrain.
- Carry a first aid kid with elastic bandages, surgical dressing, antiseptic, burn cream, eye drops, scissors and tweezers
The casual 4X4 driver as well as the contestant should bear in mind that off road driving adventures happen in a sensitive natural environment. Internationally accepted practices are to be abided by when traveling and camping. Always remember to take your garbage with you. No burying of trash is allowed. Carry out bodily functions at least 100 meters away from campsites and well away from water. Keep to marked trails and do not drive over vegetated sand dunes while on beaches. Never run over or flatten any living undergrowth or saplings if your vehicle can safely go around it. Attempt also to move fallen obstructions blocking your track rather than trying to drive over them.