Kalimantan is the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, the 3rd largest island in the world. The Indonesian part covers some 580.000 km2 (225.000 sq mi), the vast area is home to only 12 million people, so most of the provinces, especially the interior is very sparsely populated, and the vast rain forests here is some of the most bio-diverse areas in the world.
Flora and Fauna
The Borneo rainforest is 130 million years old, making it one of the oldest rainforests in the world and 70 million years older than the Amazon rainforest. Borneo is very rich in biodiversity compared to many other areas. There are about 15,000 species of flowering plants with 3,000 species of trees, 221 species of mammals and 420 species of birds. Subject to mass deforestation, the remaining Borneo rainforest is one of the only remaining natural habitat for the endangered Bornean Orangutan. It is also an important refuge for many endemic forest species, as the Asian Elephant, the Sumatran Rhinoceros, the Bornean Clouded Leopard, and the Dayak Fruit Bat.
Kalimantan has a tropical climate with the average temperature ranging between 23 and 31°C. The island has a high annual precipitation, around 300 mm per year, with a light rainy season between March and May, and a more intense one between November and January. Precipitation levels arehowever considerably lower than many other neighbouring parts of Indonesia
There are 74 living languages spoken in the 4 provinces. Indonesian serving as the official language, while the Banjar language serves as a lingua franca on much of the island except in West Kalimantan, where Malay is more popular. Other major languages spoken in Kalimantan include Dayak (Bornean) and a number of dialects related to the Chinese Hakka and Minnan (Teochew) languages.
Distances on Kalimantan are long and public transport is spotty and expensive. The easiest option may well be to book an arranged tour.
Most diving activities takes place in the Berau Archipelago in the Celebes sea, around the islands of Derawan, Sangaliki and Manatua in East Kalimantan, there are also some less visited dive sites in West Kalimantan, these include Batu Payung and Radayan island in the vicinity of Singkawang and Karimata islands reserve further south, some 100 kilometers of the coast from Ketapang.