This morning I headed out of my lodge and caught sight of the long-tailed macaques jumping from one side of the wooden walkways to the other. After taking a few more photos I made my way for my final breakfast at the Kinabatangan Lodge.
After another wonderful breakfast, watching the sun burn through the mist over the river, I was met by my driver who took me on the 2½ drive by road to the Borneo Rainforest Offices. This was in preparation for my next venture into the Danum Valley. Along the 2½-hour route, we passed through endless rows of palm tree plantations. Sad that this part of the natural forest has now disappeared.
On arrival at the Borneo Rainforest Offices, I was greeted with a hot drink and biscuit and given a briefing on the rainforest. I was given a very nice water bottle that I was told that I could keep. After signing some paperwork, I headed out with another couple and we had a further 2½ drive in a very comfortable jeep to the Danum Valley.
This is the very dense part of the forest and is a conservation area, so you are surrounded by rows and rows of trees. Along the route our driver was very accommodating and stopped to let us take photos. We saw some red leaf monkeys on the way. We saw fresh elephant dung, but still no sign of those elephants!
When I arrived at the lodge our group was greeted by staff and we were given a beautiful chain made out of leaves. We were taken up to a beautiful open air bar, where we were given a nice warm towel, followed by a refreshing drink of lemongrass and ginger and a home made cookie. We were greeted by our guide, who gave us an overview of the forest and our itinerary for the rest of the day.
After I had settled in to this wonderful luxurious lodge, I ventured across the walkway for lunch. What an outstanding choice and the restaurant overlooked the valley with a lake below.
After lunch we were taken on our first walk along one of the canopies. These canopies are fantastic and are what makes this lodge so unique. We saw the dreaded tiger leeches, some fascinating insects, including the rolly-polly insect. This looks like a caterpillar and when you touch it, turns into a solid ball. Along one of the top canopies we saw some red leaf monkeys swinging across the walkways. We also saw a snake on our way back through the forest area. Our guides keep in touch via radio and we were advised that a male orang-utan had been spotted in the tree. When we arrived there he was and what an amazing experience to be within a stones throw of an orang-utan in the wild. We stayed for around 10 minutes, but when the orang-utan started to make its way down from the tree, that was our cue to make a very quick exit!
When darkness fell we were taken out on a night drive. We saw a wild cat just disappearing into the forest and lots of flying squirrels. We then headed back for dinner and what another fantastic choice of food and desserts. I then headed back to my lodge and sat on the balcony listening to the wonderful sounds of the forest.
The following morning we headed out around 6.30am for a 3-hour trek up to the peak of the valley. We encountered more insects including large ants and more rolly-pollies. Our guide pointed out the various plants and trees that we passed on route. In the distance we could hear the gibbons calling across the forest. When we reached the top we watched the sun burn the mist away over the valley. We then visited the coffin cliff burial site, where you could still see the remains of bones amongst the cliffs. Upon our return we were welcomed back with a hearty breakfast.
Later we ventured out on our afternoon walk. We encountered a racer snake on route and saw lots of large ants. We spotted some of the Danum Valley birds including the flycatchers that live amongst the forest.
After a rest and some dinner we headed out on a night time walk along the walkways through the forest, to see some of the nocturnal creatures. We spotted the huntsman spider, stick insects and some fascinating frogs on our walk. At 6pm each day the cicadas give out an ear piercing call, which lets you know that you are truly staying in the forest!
The walking treks are amazing and a great way to get a close up view of the animals and see some of the fantastic insects and plants of the Borneo Rainforest.
The following morning we set off on another early morning walk and saw some of the red leaf monkeys coming to life, as the sun rose above the trees. What amazing scenery amongst the heart of the rainforest. We headed up to the canopy to see what wildlife we could spot in the trees below. The animals were a little wary, as there had been a spotted leopard in the area a couple of days earlier that had sadly taken one of the baby monkeys. However we were able to spot some of the fantastic birds flying from the trees across the forest and some long-tailed macaques, swinging from branch to branch.
We headed back for a well-deserved breakfast and had some free time to take in the last sights and sounds of the forest. I went for a walk later that morning and spotted a female orangutan resting in one of the trees.
This was truly amazing, as I had this lucky find to myself!
What a fantastic end to such an amazing experience I had encountered during my stay in the Danum Valley.
After lunch we were met by our driver who was to take us to the airport to fly back to Kota Kinabalu. On route my luck was finally in, and we saw a mother pygmy elephant and her baby along the roadside. Our driver stopped so that we could take pictures. This was the icing on the cake.
After a 2½ drive back to the airport with a grin from ear to ear, I then took my flight back to Kota KInabalu. Upon arrival I was met by my driver who took me to my hotel for the night, in preparation for my mountain climb the following morning. I ventured out briefly taking in the night markets. The hustle and bustle of the city life felt like a million miles away from where I had spent my last 6 days.