A total of 399 vehicles entered in Borneo Safari 2018, bringing with them a total of 1,030 participants and 27 of them competing in 18 special stages. For the first time in the competition’s history, a Russian team participated, and they were made to pit their skills against fellow competitors from Japan, Indonesia, Ireland, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, and Malaysia.

The Super Hardcore track featured much harder obstacles such as the so-called ‘bungee jump’, uphill climb, V-Gulley, and rough rocky terrain. Constant rain ratcheted up the difficulty level substantially, and certain steep slopes required vehicles to be assisted by winch for safety.

The 8-day event covered a total distance of 400km flagging off from Kota Kinabalu onward to Kota Marudu and Kota Belud. Participants not competing in the special stages have the choice of traversing the jungle in either Hardcore of Super Hardcore routes – no choices for the faint-hearted!

But whilst the prevailing images of Borneo Safari are of rough and tough 4x4s slugging it on river crossings and hill climbs, the actual experience is a much richer tapestry of moments, friendship, and memories. It is a place where character is built and friendships are forged.

More than an annual event, Borneo Safari has evolved to become a community, one that reunites yearly like families gathering for a festival. Even as the vehicles drive out of the jungle after eight days of exertion and adventure, the family is already looking forward to Borneo Safari 2019.



Borneo Safari is one of the world’s biggest off-road challenges – eight days pitting man and machine against nature’s obstacles deep inside the lush forests of Sabah.

A constant presence in Borneo Safari for over a decade is none other than Isuzu, which has been supporting the event since 2006, with 2018 now marking its 12th consecutive year as Diamond Sponsor.

Three units of the D-Max were sent in to join the challenge, and all three stormed into the Super Hardcore section before emerging five days later. Featuring no powertrain modifications, two of three units of the D-Max were built in 2013 and have been used in six successive editions of the Borneo Safari, testimony of Isuzu’s robust engineering.

From humble beginnings in 1990 with only a handful of vehicles, Borneo Safari has grown to become a major fixture in the global 4x4 off-roading calendar. Recently completing its 28th edition, it is one of the world’s biggest events of its kind.

Amidst lush tropical backdrop, hardcore off-roaders not just from Malaysia, but no fewer than nine countries, converge to pit their skills, tenacity, and vehicles against the most demanding terrain Sabah has to offer.