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Published: March 20th 2016
Sepilok, Saba, Borneo, Malaysia 11-13 March 2016
After a 2 ½ hr flight with Air Asia, we arrived in Sandakan Airport where we were picked up by a driver from the Sepilok Jungle Resort (SJR). What interesting accommodation, situated in the middle of a rain forest. The buildings were cleverly made of wood-looking concrete which of course will last much longer than timber in this high rainfall/humidity area. In saying that, they have actually had a reasonably dry wet season.
Our room was basic with air-conditioning, bathroom and coffee making facilities. Along all the corridors were posters with photos of all the local wildlife which was really helpful for identifying what we saw on walks etc.
After the walk around some of the property, taking photos of the fish-filled lakes, beautiful swimming pool and some of the surrounding jungle, we found the restaurant and lounge area where we ordered a refreshing beer.
At dinner, we sat with Kerry and Bill from Melbourne who have done almost as much travelling as us and own an off-road caravan. We had lots of fun with them as well as another couple, Johno
& Jude from Queensland. It was a laugh a minute between all of us, having a lot of common interests.
Next day after breakfast, we were picked up from SJR for a full day excursion to Sepilok Orang Utan Centre to see orang utans in the forest. What a fantastic experience that was. The Centre staff emptied a big container of fruit and vegetables on an elevated platform and along came several big animals. They were fascinating to watch, with all their antics and with their long arm spans of up to 2.6metres often stretched out between 2 trees.
We went to the Centre twice, for the 11.30am and 3.00pm feeding. In the afternoon, we watched a 9 month old female ‘fall’ out of a tree while she was playing and then go onto jumping close to us for a further play in several different trees. She was ‘as funny as a fit’.
We also watched a 20 minute video on the conservation efforts of the Centre – very interesting.
We then continued our nature experience by taking a leisure walk to The Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
to see the smallest bear in the world. This facility was right next to the Orang utan Centre and was privately run rather than by the Malaysian Government. We watched more playful antics from these black-coloured bears which had yellow arrow-shaped marking on their chest. They were rather cute. The owner of the Centre said they had 37 Sun Bears and the aim was to get them back into the wild. Most of the bears at the Centre had been rescued from illegally kept household which had them for pets. Most arrive at the Centre in very poor condition. They do not allow the bears to mate.
We returned to SJR for lunch, after which we went for a guided walk at Rainforest Discovery Centre to see all the local flora and fauna as well as a canopy walk. We saw some beautiful tropical flowers and fruit.
Later in the afternoon we had a wonderful swim in the tepid pool before dinner and lots more laughs!!
The next day we visited the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary to see the morning feeding at 11.30am. We visited 2 sites, the 1st
seeing only a pair of oriental pied hornbills and no proboscis monkeys. At the 2nd
site we saw many – mothers with little babies, juveniles and the very big ‘kings’. The males have the very long nose as well as a continuously erect penis, both of which are used to cool them down apparently. The females are much smaller with more normal sized noses. We were at the Centre for over an hour watching all their antics. The little babies were so cute!.
These primates don’t eat any sugar as their bi-chambered stomach can’t cope with it. They live in mangroves and live on the mangrove leaves. The Centre discovered that they also liked pancakes!! No sugar of course. We really enjoyed our time there.
After the tours we went back to SJR for lunch and in the afternoon, we had free time to relax at Hotel's swimming pool. It was a hard life!!
The next morning we caught a boat with 2x200hp outboards to Turtle Island.
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