Monday, October 12, 2015

Just Back: Borneo

National Geographic’s Andrew Coleman (on Instagram @andywcoleman) recently traveled to Borneo to explore one of the oldest rain forests in the world.

Hoping to spy an orangutan in its natural habitat, Andrew was quickly blown away by the biodiversity he encountered on this unique island, the planet’s third largest, in maritime Southeast Asia.

Here are some of the high points of his trip, in his own words:

Biggest selling point: The World Wildlife Fund estimates that some 44 mammals are endemic to Borneo, including the large-nosed Proboscis monkey and the Sunda flying lemur. The spectacular bird life on the island is also worth noting; more than 400 species can be found there.

The key to ensuring a great wildlife-viewing experience is to stay where the animals are. That’s why my wife and I chose to spend the first part of our trip in Sabah, one of two Malaysian states on the island, at the Sukau Rainforest Lodge. (Borneo is divided among three countries: Malaysia and Brunei in the north, and Indonesia to the south.)

The resort, one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, is surrounded by rain forest on the banks of the Kinabatangan River, prime wildlife spotting habitat. On one occasion, we were lucky enough to spend an afternoon with a herd of rare pygmy elephants.

Memorable moment: Upon returning from a wildlife river cruise, my wife and I heard reports that a mother orangutan and her two-year-old son had been spotted in a tree right next to our lodge.

We spent the rest of the afternoon watching them swing in the treetops. We had come to Borneo to see wild orangutans; this experience was a dream come true.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Just Back: Borneo