Malaysia is a nature-lovers’ paradise. It’s hot, humid climate, fosters tropical rainforests and mangroves, that provide the perfect environment for a rich diversity of wildlife. It is estimated that 20% of the world’s species can be found in Malaysia, including hundreds of varieties of animals, birds and reptiles. The first few days of our Borneo & the Malaysian Peninsula tour tracks some of these amazing creatures in the wild. Read on for Exodus’ top favourites when it comes to Malaysian Wildlife.

Discover Malaysia’s Best Wildlife

The Malayan Tiger

On the top of our list has to be the Malayan Tiger. Standing proud as Malaysia’s national symbol; the Malayan Tiger is highly revered and even appears on their coat of arms. This awesome, majestic animal makes its home in the jungles of the Peninsular Malaysia. However, the hunt for its medicinal properties and also the threat of deforestation, has left this beautiful species on the brink of extinction.

Discover Malaysia’s Best Wildlife

The Orangutan

Orangutans are native to the rainforests of Borneo and can often be found in the wild in the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. Loved by many, the orangutan may appear cute, but they are also hugely intelligent and are thought to be one of man’s closest relatives. If you’re not lucky enough to catch a glimpse of them in their natural habitat, Malaysia has a number of sanctuaries that aim to rehabilitate and release the animals back into the wild. On our Borneo & the Malaysian Peninsula trip, we get to see these creatures for ourselves in the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary during the first week of our trip.

Discover Malaysia’s Best Wildlife

Pygmy elephants

Asian elephants living in Borneo and the Malaysian state of Sabah are known to be genetically distinct from their mainland Asian cousins. Their smaller stature, relatively large ears and gentle nature have led to them being referred to as Pygmy elephants. Due to deforestation and hunting their numbers are also dangerously low with less than 1,500 residing in wildlife reserves within the area.

Discover Malaysia’s Best Wildlife

Proboscis monkey

The Proboscis monkeys are characterised by their unusually large droopy noses and rounded pot bellies. Although more common in the rainforests of Indonesia, they can also be found in the national parks within Sabah and Sarawak.

Discover Malaysia’s Best Wildlife

The siamang

The siamang is a species of gibbon, native to the Malaysian Peninsula. Tailless with long black fur, the most recognisable feature of the gibbon is its inflatable, greyish-pink throat pouch, which it uses to make deep booming calls to its mates.

Discover Malaysia’s Best Wildlife


One of the most ferocious animal species in the world is the saltwater crocodile. An adult male can weight of up to 2,600 pounds and a length of about 19.7 feet! Found in the rivers and mangrove swamps, crocodiles are an opportunistic predator that has the power to ambush any animal that crosses its path.

Discover Malaysia’s Best Wildlife

Rhinoceros hornbill

The magnificent Rhinoceros hornbill has a prominent red and golden-yellow horn on the top of its beak, known as a casque, which amplifies the birds’ call. The body and wing feathers of the Rhinoceros hornbill are jet black, with the males having an orange or red ring around their eyes.

Apart from the Rhinoceros hornbill, you will find 740 other stunning bird species in Malaysia, many with glorious, tropical-coloured features and unique calls to help spot them.

With trips to wildlife reserves, river cruises and optional night walks included on our Borneo & the Malaysian Peninsula tour, you’ve got a great chance of seeing a range of these captivating species up close and personal. It’s experiences like these, that will make an indelible imprint on your memory!

Discover the very best of Malaysia’s wildlife with Exodus Travels and Malaysia Airlines