Borneo is one of the world’s greatest wildlife-watching destinations. A faraway island blanketed with misty jungles and filled with a honeypot of weird and wonderful biodiversity; this unspoiled pristine pocket of life is a paradise waiting to be rediscovered. Consisting of the world’s oldest and most revered rainforests, the vastness of dense canopies and rich foliage lets trekkers experience Mother Nature in her full glory.
Join us on this photographic safari, specialist-led by a seasoned professional in the realm of photography, Charlie Ryan. Capturing the essence of Borneo’s wildlife through his lens, Charlie’s work has been published in National Geographic, BBC, and Netflix.
Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary is where captive orangutans are reintroduced into the wild and you will be able to observe them at their feeding stations in the rainforest. Focus on close up photography of orangutans with the great lighting from the large opening in the canopy around the orangutan feeding platform.
You will also visit the nearby Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, wake up early for a dawn canopy walk for bird watching and head out for night walks in the forest to search for nocturnal wildlife and to see giant red flying squirrels emerge from their nests. These squirrels can “fly” up to 500 feet between trees, which is a spectacle to see.
Home to one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Borneo, take a cruise at dusk to look for orangutans, pygmy elephants, silvered langurs, hornbills, and proboscis monkeys. On a night walk, see nocturnal fauna such as the slow loris, western tarsiers, civets, and more. The Kinabatangan River is the longest river in Sabah known for the highest concentration of primates in North Borneo. The forest is secondary forest, with a large amount of ficus racemose, a preferred food source for a variety of species. The focus of this area is river cruises and photography from the boat.
Take a short boat ride and overland transfer to Gomantong Caves. We will spend the afternoon walking in the reserve and visiting the bat cave. This is an amazing experience, with great wildlife around Gomantong Caves (orangutan, hornbills, red leaf langurs, birds, etc). If it is a clear day, shooting the million bats emerging from the cave is a spectacle worth seeing. Long ropes of tens of thousands of bats come out at a time, with raptors waiting to hunt the bats mid-air.
Head into the heart of Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah’s largest wildlife sanctuary, home to a plethora of wildlife and ten primate species, five cat species, some 220 species of birds, pygmy elephants and banteng. Set off in 4x4s to search for leopard cats, marbled cats, flying squirrels, and binturongs (bearcats). Take an early morning nature walk, hike to the mud volcano, where salt-enriched mud bubbles up and attracts many different animals. Climb the observation tower for great views of the surrounding forest. Head out on a jungle trek and for a night drive to search for wildlife.
Travel to Danum Valley, known for its 400 square kilometres of virtually undisturbed primary rainforest. There are over 30 resident orangutans around the lodge. Because there is no hunting, they are very comfortable around people. Other notable species are red leaf langurs which hang around close to the lodge, hornbills, gibbons, deer, owls, and more. Snakes, lizards, insects, and frogs are also fantastic around the lodge. Spend two days exploring the local nature trails, keeping an eye out for rare species, including the pygmy elephant, clouded leopard, Bornean gibbon, and maroon langur. Bird life is especially diverse, with some 275 recorded species. Take a guided night hike when the forest is vibrant with wildlife. Watch a dazzling sunrise over the valley from atop an observation tower, stretch your legs on a moderately challenging hike to a nearby waterfall; go on a canopy walk in the treetops surrounding the lodge; venture out on night safaris to experience the forest when it is vibrant with wildlife.
Photography can be challenging in Danum Valley. Even though you get up close subjects during the day, the canopy is very tall (100-140 feet) and it can be quite dark on the forest floor. A tripod and a lens with a wide aperture are recommended. Cameras that handle well with high ISO is also recommended for this.
Standard Chalet, 07 - 09 October 2024
This cosy, tranquil lodge provides excellent access to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. The airy wooden chalets are set around a lake amongst lush gardens and rolling hills and features an open-air restaurant serving international cuisine. Don’t be surprised to wake up to an orangutan lounging on your terrace.
Chalet, 09 - 12 October 2024
A well maintained eco-lodge nestled in the jungle covered banks of the Kinabatangan River. With solar power, use of natural materials, and decorations hand made by local artisans, this lodge is a great place to enjoy the natural surroundings.
Standard Chalet, 12 - 14 October 2024
A cosy lodge with locally constructed timber chalets dotted throughout the rainforest and along the banks of the Lipad River. Consisting of 20 timber chalets in the midst of the rainforest, Tabin blends well with its surroundings on the banks of the Lipad River. This is the only lodge located within Tabin Wildlife Reserve, the largest wildlife reserve in Malaysia, with a total land area of 123,000 hectares.
Deluxe Chalet, 14 - 17 October 2024
Set amongst the rich flora and fauna of the Danum Valley, this spacious and rustic lodge is the only lodge in the area. There is a swimming pool and open veranda at the main building, where you can sit back and enjoy the incredible diversity of the forest environment. The wooden chalets and bungalows are wonderfully welcoming, especially with the mist shrouded treetops and babbling river lulling you to sleep after a day wildlife spotting.
|07 - 17 Oct 2024
|Photographic Safari with Charles Ryan