Borneo Bird Festival 2024

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Borneo Bird Festival

This year is exceptionally remarkable as the Borneo Bird Festival 2024 has announced the dates much earlier than expected. Usually, the news comes out two to three months before the event, and after numerous suggestions to the organisers, the event dates were announced in April, six months ahead.

Therefore, BBF2024 will be held from 26 – 27 October 2024 at the Rainforest Discovery Centre in Sepilok, Sandakan, Sabah. This is the home of Borneo’s only birdwatching festival and event, which takes place yearly.

Since I stepped foot here in 2010, I have hardly missed this birding event over the last 14 years, and this year marks the 15th year that the bird festival is happening here. If you have always wanted to visit the east side of Sabah, I recommend attending this event along with your birding trip.

The Borneo Bird Festival 2023 was also an extraordinary event because world-renowned birdwatcher Noah Strycker was a guest of honour during the festival, and the team from Birdwatching Asia had the pleasure of birding with Noah Strycker at Kinabalu National Park and Sepilok.

Borneo Bird Festival 2024 Program

For this year’s BBF 2024 program, many categories are open for everyone. There is a bird race, bird and wildlife photo contest, talks, a children’s contest, and many other exciting activities for birders and families.

  • Bird Photography Contest
  • Wildlife Photography Contest
  • Bird Photo Race
  • Sabah Bird Race
  • Camera and Optics Exhibition
  • Talks and Workshops
  • Conservation Education Awareness
  • Children’s Art Contest
  • Artistic Bird Makeup Contest
  • Guided Birdwatching Walks
  • Tour Packages on Sale
  • Local Food Bazaar
  • Local Produce and Handicraft Bazaar
  • Recycling Activities
  • Games for Children
  • Zipline Activities
Program Borneo Bird Festival 2024
The official activities list for this year’s bird festival.

Random Photos of BBF 2023

Below are some random photos of the Borneo Bird Festival 2023 taken around the RDC. Each photo has an explanation.

Vivian Wong Sandakan
The official launching at the event with YB Vivian Wong, seated fourth from left.
Nikon Borneo Bird Festival
Nikon is the official camera sponsor for the Borneo Bird Festival.
Food Bazaar Borneo Bird Festival
The food and drink trucks are set up at a designated area on the festival grounds.
Models at Borneo Bird Festival
Here are some of the ‘rare’ birds seen at the festival, which are participants in a contest.
Talks at Borneo Bird Festival
The talks and presentations will be held here in the new RDC function hall.
Vendors Borneo Bird Festival
Some of the international vendors are on the festival grounds.
Bird Race in Sabah
The local marshalls are conducting the Sabah bird race briefing.
Noah Strycker Borneo Bird Festival
Noah Strycker and the officials from Borneo Bird Club and Sabah Tourism Board.
Talk by Noah Strycker
Noah Strycker gave his unique talk at the event.
Birdwatching Asia and Noah Strycker
Noah Strycker with the members of Birdwatching Asia.
Borneo Bird Festival Noah Strycker
From Left: YB Vivian Wong, Ashraf, Noah Strycker, Ashwin and David at the Borneo Bird Festival 2023.
Sabah Noah Strycker
Noah Strycker with Cede Prudente and several birders along the Pitta Trail at the RDC.
2023 Borneo Bird Festival
The closing of the Borneo Bird Festival 2023 event.

Where to Stay Around Sepilok?

For those planning to attend this festival, you must note that several resorts and lodges are available around the Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), and rooms sell out fast. So, I have compiled this article on where to stay in Sepilok, highlighting all the main resorts and lodges.

Please book early because if you take your time, most places will be fully booked, and you will have to stay in Sandakan City or the Mile 6 area, which is quite far from the event. Every year, I hear birders only confirming at the last minute to attend the BBF and end up staying in the town area, which takes an hour to reach the RDC.

Borneo Bird Festival 2024
  • Date: 26-27 October
  • Day: Sat & Sun
  • Time: 7.00 AM to 5.00 PM
  • Venue: Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), Sepilok, Sandakan
  • Contact: BBF Organisers

The Borneo Bird Festival is co-organised by the;

It is supported by;


The previous Borneo Bird Festival 2023 was exciting, as quite a number of visitors from worldwide came, including some participating teams. The vendors were also multi-national, with participating bird clubs from around Southeast Asia.

For those planning to attend the Borneo Bird Festival 2024, please take note of the dates, and you should start booking flights and accommodation as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Overall, most visitors or participants will come in on Thursday and leave on a Monday, which is a good time for five days there.

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About Bird Watching Asia

Bird Watching Asia is a self-funded project to promote bird watching in Malaysia and around Asia.

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