Orangutans & Waterfalls - Why We Love Borneo

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June 19th 2018
Published: July 2nd 2018
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As lovers of nature, my family was particularly keen on flying off to the Malaysian region in Borneo. The key objective was simple – To enjoy the two of the best things Borneo has to offer. Firstly, spot the endangered Orangutans at their best, comfortable in their own environment, instead of seeing a shadow of the rare species locked up in a zoo.

Borneo is one of the few places in the world where these magical creatures live and with declining numbers in the past years, ticking this off our bucket list sadly seemed like an emergency. Secondly, we also wanted to have a swim in the beautiful waterfalls of Borneo. Thankfully, we were able to do both. Here are some of the highlights from our trip –

Searching for Orangutans

In spite of the fact that the local Orangutan shelters are marked as protected areas, Orangutans usually tend to stick by each other, which is why unlike in any type of enclosed space, it was at first hard to spot them in the Semmengoh Nature Reserve. Most of these creatures are completely wild and hardly come to the parts where visitors are permitted. On our first day of searching, we did not spot any.

Success at Last

On our second day of exploring the nature reserve, we heard a loud noise in the trees as we crossed the same path that we had the earlier day. The trees in front of us all seemed to be camouflaged into each other but along with the sounds they started to sway and their branches broke and fell to the ground. A big and hungry Orangutan awaited us. We got the chance to get closer to his bright orange fur which looked like fire against the deep green backdrop. Aware that we meant no harm and more importantly that we had food, he swung from tree to tree almost comically enforcing a display of intense and yet chaotic strength and direction. Even though my children seemed a bit tense, I could feel that it was out of elation – our dream of feeding Orangutans in Borneo had finally come true!

Borneo At Its Best

Borneo’s wonderful waterfall lake right in the middle of the rainforest offered us what weary walkers exactly needed – a swim to remember! The cold water was full of small fishes and we could feel the stare of Orangutans in the trees watching us enjoy. Watching the high canopy of the rainforest from the waterfalls was pure bliss.

Bless the Rains in Borneo

Torrential downpours, exotic birds, bee-eaters everywhere, red leaf monkeys, Macaques, Gibbons – we got everything that we could have expected from a rainforest. Travelling higher up the canopy, we were also lucky enough to see a herd of Pygmy Elephants!

No wonder that such a rare and beautiful creature such as the Orangutan chose Borneo as its native home. The place truly is beautiful, with the best part being that you won’t know what to expect as there’s an overflow of natural gems!


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