Monday, October 31, 2016

Record number of vehicles for 26th Borneo Safari

KOTA KINABALU: A record-breaking number of 357 four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles and 987 participants are taking part in the 26th Borneo Safari International Offroad Challenge which was flagged off here yesterday.

Event director Faez Nordin said a 350 target was set this year but an exception was made for seven vehicles only for one of the most challenging expeditions in the Borneo Safari history whilst more applications had to be rejected due to the set limit.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun flagged off the eight-day and seven-night expedition at the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) building on Gaya Street where the 4WDs will drive 680km through the Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran, Ranau, Kota Marudu and Kota Belud districts.

“The logging road has been abandoned for 20 years, I think. A lot of landslides, broken bridges and as you know right now in Ranau and Marudu, it’s raining a lot.

“It will be more challenging because there are more participants ever. Last year only 318 vehicles,” said Faez, adding a majority of the participants are Malaysians and the international participants hailed from Brunei, Indonesia, China, Japan, Thailand, Ireland and Portugal.

“There are a lot of newcomers, and we have more than 20 vehicles from Indonesia. Last year, there were only two from there. We also have a lot from Semenanjung as well as Kuching, Sarawak. There are 42 from Brunei so it is good for our tourism,” he added.

Faez said the annual event, which started in 1990, is the ‘new year’ for 4WD adventure enthusiasts and reckoned a 380 target would most likely be achievable in 2017 based on the overwhelming response of this year’s Borneo Safari.