In search of wild Orang-utans

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June 23rd 2011
Published: June 25th 2011
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The idea of going to Borneo first came up when we realized that our first wedding anniversary was fast approaching. Our original plans had us in Australia at the time and we decided we wanted to go someplace exotic where we could get a little better value for our dollar. Kind of funny, because what we’ve found is that Borneo is actually pretty expensive compared to the rest of Asia and it’s quickly become a splurge-fest that is costing us about the same per day as Australia. We didn’t really know much about Borneo except that we wanted to see Orang-utans, but the more we read about it, the more we got excited about going.

We thought about a beach holiday on a secluded island resort, but instead decided to do something that would be unique to Borneo. So for our anniversary we spent 2 nights at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge in the Danum Valley. A luxurious resort set in the middle of gorgeous primary rainforest. Sounds romantic, and it was; but it was also quite active. On the day of our anniversary we went on 3 guided treks and a night safari drive. Not to mention that the temperature was consistently above 30C and humidity was simply “high” (ie: 100%) regardless of the time of day. Consequently we were taking 3 showers a day just to cool off. As luck would have it we saw three orang-utans in the wild (the first one, a big male, was before we even checked in to our room). We also saw some interesting plants, birds, nocturnal animals, and lots of creepy-crawlies. One night we returned to our room after our night drive to find a giant huntsman spider guarding our door…yikes! One of our favourite treks took us to a waterfall with a natural “spa” pool complete with fish that nibble at your toes.

After our experience in the Danum Valley we moved on to another of Sabah’s big natural attractions, the Kinabatagan River. This time we stayed at a much more basic lodge (much more basic price as well) and went for several guided cruises on the river. By contrast to Danum Valley we saw much more wildlife on the river including proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, more orang-utans, and a rare pigmy elephant (smallest elephant in the world). On the other hand, the forest along the river has been heavily logged
Proboscis MonkeyProboscis MonkeyProboscis Monkey

Strange looking creatures they are.
and was just not comparable to the virgin rainforest of Danum Valley.

We had two different nature experiences and both were outstanding. The real question for this blog is: Can we still call it a honeymoon after our first anniversary?

Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 23


Male orang-utanMale orang-utan
Male orang-utan

Our introduction to Danum Valley
Tiger leechTiger leech
Tiger leech

Danum valley is full of these suckers. Hence the fashonable leech socks...

Greetings at the door.
Female and babyFemale and baby
Female and baby

Danum Valley
Pigmy ElephantPigmy Elephant
Pigmy Elephant

Having a swim in the Kinabatagan.
Wild orang-utanWild orang-utan
Wild orang-utan

seen from the Kinabatagan.

Hot and humidHot and humid
Hot and humid

Notice the time as well.
Canopy walkwayCanopy walkway
Canopy walkway

Danum valley
Colourful mothColourful moth
Colourful moth


25th June 2011

Amazing photos!
Hi there, Borneo is up next for us and we were really excited to see all the wildlife you caught on camera while you were there. It looks just amazing. We are working our way over land from Kuching to KK then to Indo but are on a much tighter the sounds of it, it might be hard to stick to! Nate and Jessie
25th June 2011

Fabulous wildlife;-)
Great photos - well done;-) Happy Anniversary - ours is also 23rd of June but this one was less spectacular than yours I would say hahha
26th June 2011

Bugs, moths,leeches, monkey's, orang-utan, birds and more. Excellent! Absolutely love the photo of the boots on the steps and the green lizard. Spectacular. Mother nature at its finest. Oh-- and happy anniversary.

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