Monday, June 22, 2015

Borneo: Kinabatangan River Safari

It is claimed that Borneo offers up the best safari outside Africa.

With this in mind, we were eager to venture into the wild and see for ourselves.

After a lot of research online and looking at some of the tours on offer in Sandakan, we decided to book through our hostel with Nature Lodge Kinabatangan.

Our decision was based on the fact that there was no way we could be scammed or that they could just run away, as we were staying at the hostel- Harbourside Backpackers- and they had provided us with excellent advice and tips up until now.

We booked on the 3days, 2 night safari in a twin dorm shack for 380 MYR/ $100.

This included all safaris, tours, transfers and food!

A pretty great deal in my eyes!

The only extras we paid were for beer and extra drinks- which didn’t add much more than $10 to the overall bill- for 3 days of intense safari I don’t think there is a better deal to be found!

Into the Wild

Packed and ready and still on a wave from our Orangutan exerts the previous day, we were ushered to a small cafe for lunch.

Here a wretched mini-bus picked us up, driving us on the 2 hour trip into the jungle.

A couple of bumpy hours later and we had completed our off-road journey, reaching the murky river bank.

We sat tentatively as we swayed in the water with our entire belongings on a decadent wooden raft across the gaping river to the campsite.

The camp itself was perfect for us- rustic, wild and a proper earthy experience.

This is exactly what we had hoped for- to be thrown deep in the wild and in tandem with some of Borneo’s most incredible wildlife.

In fact, we were chuffed with our little wooden shack- as basic as it was- but it came with its own chorus of howling monkeys in the trees above and groans from tropical frogs within the surrounding grasslands- it was insane!

There were however those who were not so impressed- an Australian couple on their honeymoon were expecting something a lot more luxurious and silver plated.

For the price, I don’t really know what they were expecting as there are of course much more luxurious and expensive options to choose, but we were not alone in sharing the excitement at finding a real travelling hot-spot- a true experience and unrefined taste of the wild!

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