Monday, January 09, 2017

Spirit Quest with Giraffe: Maliau Basin with Sticky Rice

“Adventure, challenging & amazing” – Hatti, Guide

These three words are the perfect way to describe this unforgettable and unique experience. I would highly recommend the 4 nights, 5 days tour for anyone who is looking for venturing on the path less travelled and for the opportunity to connect with wild Borneo. The team at Sticky Rice are highly professional, helpful and a pleasure to travel with making the experience even more enjoyable and memorable.

What should I expect from this expedition?

Day 1: Kota Kinabalu to Maliau Basin research Centre

Estimated travel time: 5 hours inclusive of transits

Notable Fauna seen on night Safari: fruit bats, flying squirrels, Bear cat, Banded civet, Common Palm/Borneo striped Civet, leopard cat, Sabah Deer

Today is an early start and a travelled filled day if you are departing from Kota Kinabalu. Sticky Rice will arrange transportation pickup from your hotel at around 7am in a modern van. The van is comfortable and the driver friendly and chirpy for the duration of the 2 hour leg to the bus depot where you will change vehicles to a utility truck. From the depot the trip takes approximately 2-3 hours to Maliau Basin Gate. At the gate you will register before having lunch at the Maliau Basin Information centre.

The Maliau Basin Studies Centre is approximately 1 hours drive from the Shell Maliau Basin Gate. The studies centre can only be described as a tranquil retreat nestled within the jungle. Enjoy time in this peaceful paradise before venturing on an afternoon wander to experience the Sky Walk. The Sky Walk is a wonderful opportunity to meander along the tree trope taking in views of the Maliau River and enjoying glimpses of busy squirrels scurrying through the branches.

Your evening will see you watching a short documentary, after a delicious dinner, to inform you of Maliau Basin and all it’s riches. The night adventure proceeding this is an awesome experience to witness the nocturnal wildlife at play. This involves a ride in the back of a utility truck with a spotlight, keeping your eyes peeled for bedding eyes to give away the hideaways of these wonderful animals. See above for a list of creatures we were fortunate enough to see on our adventure before retiring to our comfortable hostel beds.

Day 2: Agathis Camp to Nepenthes Camp formerly ‘Camel Trophy’

Approximate Total distance: 7.5 km Estimated time: 4 hours inclusive of rests

Notable Fauna seen: Mouse Deer, Malay Civet, Roul Roul Patridge, Big Tail Macqua (monkey), Barking Deer, leeches

Agathis Camp got its name from the Borneon species of Agathis tree which can only be found in Maliau Basin. Agathis Camp was destroyed by Pygmy Elephants in 2014 which is now the basis for you to begin your expedition on Day 2. From here you continue along the flowing river, crossing over bamboo bridges before continuing up through undulating forests and climbing steel ladders to reach the rim of the escarpment. This aspect of the journey continues for about 3 km. From about the 2.5 km mark we were welcome by torrential rain which continued to about the 5 km marker.

Throughout the journey you will notice that the rainforest scenery changes from Lower Mountain forests, Hilly Forests to mossy forests before reaching Karangis forest (Eucalyptus). From the mossy forests you will witness an array of Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes species) for you to view. Maliau Basin is home to all 6 species of Pitcher Plants inclusive of the Hybrid species Stenophylla (red and brown splotchy). The Veitchii Nepenthes is only found in Maliau.