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WOW Borneo is operated in Kalimantan or Indonesian Borneo which occupies the south of the mystical island of Borneo. Kalimantan boasts some of the world’s most beautiful, biodiverse forests and is home to the iconic and endangered orangutan.

WOW Borneo’s Orangutan Cruises were founded in 2008 in Palangka Raya by two women who were inspired by Central Kalimantan’s mighty rivers, wildlife and culture.

It all began when Gaye Thavisin and Lorna Dowson-Collins converted a traditional Kalimantan river vessel into a comfortable cruise boat, inviting guests to connect with unique local traditions and the extraordinary diversity of the flora and fauna.

WOW Borneo’s Orangutan Cruises have since expanded to four fully-equipped boats, spanning three rivers and providing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for nature lovers from across the world.


WOW Borneo’s idea is simple: to nurture the local community and environment by creating a serene ecotourism experience with excellent service and fabulous food!

WOW Borneo is a social enterprise with a firm focus on recruiting, training and supporting local people and working closely with the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation.
The first boat Rahai'i Pangun Kaja Island Out of operation


WOW Borneo’s responsible approach to tourism creates alternative livelihoods for local communities and promotes protection of the rivers and forests. WOW Borneo puts great importance on providing opportunities for the people of Kalimantan whilst preserving its wonderful ecosystem.

We employ local people and have a firm policy on training, career development, fair pay, health insurance and benefits.

WOW Borneo partners with local guides, canoe providers, homestay hosts and sangars (village musicians and dance groups).

Our bathrooms are stocked with locally made natural soaps from Permakultur Foundation and all our delicious food is sourced from local growers. The Kumai, our latest addition to the fleet, is powered by solar panels so that guests can enjoy air conditioned comfort with minimal carbon footprint.

WOW Borneo supports a local foundation, Ransel Buku which provides a library service to villagers along the river.

WOW Borneo also takes great pride in supporting the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, with generous donations made on behalf of all our guests.

We hope that you will join us to explore the treasures that Kalimantan has to offer!

Wow Borneo (BOSF)-1
YPK hand made soaps