Amongst the Wildlife of Borneo

Dale and Allison Schultz

27 Jul 2017

Fullfilling our borneo dream

Being amongst wild orangutans on the island of Borneo has long been a dream of ours and Natural World Safaris facilitated turning that dream into a reality. After doing a fair amount of research and due diligence, it became clear that NWS is an industry leader and would serve us well in making our dream come true. 

From the moment we reached out to NWS to enquire about the trip to the moment we arrived back home, NWS was there to accommodate, assist and ensure our trip was everything that was expected and more.

With the assistance of our excellent Destination Specialist, Mike Gurrey, we quickly settled on an 11 day excursion dubbed Borneo: Jungles, Rivers & Orangutans. Upon arrival at Sandakan Airport in the Malaysian state of Sabah, we were promptly collected for our transfer to the first resort we would be staying at.

The Sepilok Nature Resort was the perfect place to begin our Bornean Adventure. The well appointed cabins blend into the jungle landscape, surrounded with beautiful flowers, trees and mingling wildlife. The resort is just a short walk from the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. We visited both centres on consecutive days in order to witness scheduled feedings and the playful adolescent orangutans exploring their nursery. Both centres provided wonderful experiences and views of Borneo's most famous endangered creatures and allowed us to see what was being done to rehabilitate those that have had unfortunate histories.

We were also treated to some very up close encounters with proboscis and silver leaf monkeys at the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary.

A pleasant river cruise brought us to the Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge. While staying at the lodge, our knowledge and appreciation of wild birds greatly increased. By the end of our trip, we were calling out the names of the majestic birds which were frequently seen flying overhead and became quite enamoured with many new species, especially the various varieties of hornbill. 

It was also during our stay here, that we spotted both wild pygmy elephants and a distant, but quite memorable orangutan feeding in a fig tree.

A trip to Gomantong Cave also provided us with the memorable experience of being in the midst of millions of bats, swiftlets and other cave dwelling creatures and as luck would have it, a mother and small orangutan feeding in the jungle just outside the car park.

Our next destination was the remote Tabin Wildlife Resort. Despite being tucked away deep within the forest, the resort offers guests many modern comforts. Opportunities for guided jungle treks abound here and night safaris equipped with drivers and spotters were on offer each evening. Guests are also taken to a "mud volcano" where you can apply your own face mask and to the Lipad waterfall for a refreshing plunge. After all that trekking, one can enjoy a foot-soak and mud mask right on site at the lodge's very own "jungle spa".

The final destination of our adventure was Gaya Island. A short flight and boat ride brought us to the secluded getaway off the coast of mainland Borneo for 3 nights of pure fun and relaxation at the exquisite Bunga Raya Island Resort.

Simply put, Bunga Raya was paradise!

The grounds featured endless varieties of hibiscus flowers and other plant life, we were constantly surprised by the different types of wildlife that ended up practically on our doorstep each and every day and the service provided by the staff was second to none. Thankfully, we took the advice of our Destination Specialist and treated ourselves to some quality beach time after our Bornean jungle adventure.

I would highly recommend NWS to anyone seeking to explore the beautiful and amazing world that lies beyond what many of us could ever dream of reaching on our own. The local guides, transportation and accommodations were all fantastic. NWS literally took care of everything. Planning, preparing and executing so perfectly a trip such as this would not have been possible without the expertise of NWS.

 We can't wait for our next adventure!

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