Friday, November 14, 2014

Rainforest Explorers


After leaving Sukau we headed to Sepilok, a small town hidden within a protected rainforest area.

Because of this, it is home to both the Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), and the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC) (plus a brand new week old sunbear conservation centre as well).

We headed to the RDC first, a huge area complete with multiple hiking trails into the jungle, canopy walkways which put you at the tops of the trees, and a discovery garden which points out native food and medicinal plants of Borneo.

The information centre was a great starting point, explaining much about the different species around Borneo, and how we have managed to endanger  most of them.

It also provided a refuge for us while we waited out the daily rainstorm, one of the hardest we had seen yet.

After the rain subsided, we headed to the canopy walkway, and were stopped by a couple from our B&B who told us they had just seen a mom and baby orangutan! We raced to the tower where they had seen them, but unfortunately it seemed as if the rain had scared them into hiding as well as most of the birds.

Next up was a walk into the jungle to see the “Giant of Sepilok” tree- the tree itself was pretty cool, however the walk on the small path while carrying sticks to ward off potential snakes and spiders was the most exciting part, especially when we emerged from the trail to find a tiny leech on Matt’s ankle!

Luckily this was the only leech that managed to attach (while we saw a few other small ones creeping on our shoes), as we had heard much worse stories from other travellers, particularly ones which involved going to the bathroom in the middle of the jungle.

The discovery garden was quite interesting, sectioned into crops and foods (like these pepper plants!), medicines, flowers, ferns, orchids and pitcher plants – which catch and eat flies and other small bugs.

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