Saturday, June 06, 2015

Luck on a river safari….Sukau, Borneo, Malaysia

Sabah is the eastern most state of Malaysian Borneo.

It is set up very well for package tour groups.

Lots of companies offering transport, lodging and attractions for exorbitant prices.

Since that is not really our style, we had a bit more of a challenge to figure everything out in the cheapest possible way from Semporna to Sukau.

We eventually found a reasonably priced bus from Semporna to “the junction”, which is a fancy name for an intersection with a couple of signs and a covered bench.

The buses in East Malaysia are not the fancy three-across reclining ones like we encountered around KL and Singapore.

They aren’t the worst though and the only hiccup on our 4 hour trip was the family of seven (yes, five children) attempting to buy just the two seats behind us (yes, only two).

This resulted in a long delay when a large group boarded the bus an hour into our trip.

The children were exiled to the aisle, slightly reminiscent of our hell-on-wheels Myanmar journey, except the person with their head on Riki’s seat was a cute, polite little girl, not a smelly, dirty, rude man.

When we were dropped at “the junction”, we walked in the appointed direction to find a minibus to Sukau.

Except there was no minibus, at least according the man at the covered bench, who conveniently could take us the 45 minutes to “town”.

Our driver loaded us into the most rickety little sedan I’ve encountered and sped off through 40 some kilometers of palm oil plantations.

Sukau has a small slice of protected forest that boasts easy to spot wildlife along the Lower Kinabatangan River.

The reason wildlife is easy to spot along the river: the palm oil plantations have pushed all the animals into a narrow strip of land.

They congregate along the water, making boat trips popular up and down the river.

We were there to spot the elusive orang utan (man of the forest).

And if that failed, our backup was to hit up Sepilok Nature Reserve, where they have an orang utan rehabilitation center with a popular feeding program.

But we were incredibly lucky. On our first afternoon boat trip, we spotted an orang utan with her baby high in the trees along the river.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Luck on a river safari….Sukau, Borneo, Malaysia