Borneo Wildlife & Jungle Adventure Trip Report

Tim Barlow

18 Aug 2014

Borneo Wildlife holiday Review

As a frequent traveler to Africa for wildlife safari and adventure I decided to expand my horizons and explore other parts of the world. It was decided to start with South East Asia. In Africa I have enjoyed an incredible and life changing encounter with the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda, a bike ride across Botswana and completed a summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I hoped for a similar experience in South East Asia but I was not sure where to start.

After considerable research and reference checks I selected Natural World Safaris to plan my next great adventure.  I was not disappointed.  My custom Borneo Wildlife and Jungle Adventure developed with NWS’s Jessica Tiffin exceeded all expectations and I have a new favorite place to travel.

After a long flight from California I was met by Issac who would be my competent driver for the next 10 days and was promptly taken to the Horizon Hotel in Kota Kinabalu. Excellent accommodations with a full gym and a roof top pool overlooking the city and bay. Just what I needed after a long flight.

Day 1 was a bicycle ride above the coast towards Kudat and the north most tip of Borneo.

My bicycling partner, guide, mountaineer and soon to be buddy was Miki Mike. We enjoyed a scenic and very satisfying ride up the coast and refreshments at the tip of Borneo. But the days adventure was not over I would spend the night in a local Rungus Longhouse and enjoy some cultural immersion and food.

I made merry into the night with the indigenous tribe, learned a new dance step and was treated like Royalty.

The next day was an early get up as an adventure climb up Mount Kinabalu was next. Miki had me well prepared and packed appropriately and off we set. We made great time with perfect weather and decided to summit on the same day and enjoyed the mountain all to ourselves. Spectacular!

It was now time to rest and relax on a Tea Plantation and enjoy the beautiful grounds and cottage at the Sabah Tea Gardens. The next morning at Sunrise Miki led me on a bike ride around the Tea plantation and Rain Forest. Perfect to work up an appetite. An excellent breakfast was enjoyed by all in the open patio overlooking the valley and Mount Kinabalu in the distance.

Next it was off to Kinabalu National Park and to Bilit on the Kinabatangan River. I stayed three days in the beautiful and remote Myne Resort for more bicycling, hiking and river Safari where I saw my first wild orangutan and proboscis monkey families. This made the trip all worth it.

Before leaving for Sepilok I visited  the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary and observed these unique and entertaining monkeys. This visit and close up encounter was one of my surprise favorite memories of the entire trip.

For the grand finale, Sepilok, with a morning jungle hike and breakfast with the “man of the forest” the incredible orangutans. I enjoyed it so much that I returned for the evening feeding. These previously captive apes are being re-habituated to their natural surroundings for release back into the jungle.

My trip was perfect and beyond my most hopeful expectations. Getting to know my guide and driver over the course of the trip and discussing their operations and relationship with NWS I sensed the continuum of customer service and accountability to deliver a special experience. NWS truly partners with the best of the local outfitters and tour groups.

My next adventure takes me to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. NWS has put together another incredible custom itinerary for me that that has me counting down the days.

Safe travels!

Tim Barlow

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