Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Into The Jungle – Danum Valley Primary Rainforest, Borneo

Where do I start? I am so reeling from the memories of this place that I am almost overwhelmed.

The Danum Valley is a conservation area of 438 square kilometres of primary rainforest in the state of Sabah in Borneo.

We took a (very early) 45 minute flight from Kota Kinabalu into Lahad Datu, where we met our driver and embarked on the 2.5 hour journey to Borneo Rainforest Lodge; the only place tourists are permitted to stay in the whole area.

77km of this journey was off road, along dirt roads and past check points that let us know when we were entering secondary, and then finally primary rainforest. 

All that we passed along the way were nature research centres and smatterings of houses and small local communities; not longhouses but traditional, wooden houses, built on stilts.

Our driver kept stopping us along the way to point out kingfishers and hornbills, and was so enthusiastic about the forest.

I knew we were in for something really special when we caught a glimpse of the 30 metre high canopy walkway on our way in…

We were greeted on arrival with a lemongrass juice (my new favourite drink!) and a garland made of bamboo leaves, and this set the tone of the hospitality for the entire stay; the staff here really could not do enough for you.

The Lodge itself is an impressive wooden building that leads to individual lodges where the guests stay, along raised wooden paths. 

In the dining and bar area, you look out over a river, right into the rainforest. The first time we sat there it literally took my breath away; I mean wow.