Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Imagine Travel: Wild Borneo - Chloe explores the rainforest

Borneo’s rainforests are hailed as the best place in Southeast Asia to experience nature’s great works of art, so I was eager to discover this wild and wonderful destination.

I began my much-awaited adventure through Sabah in Sandakan, where the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is located.

Although everyone dreams of spotting orangutans in the wild, these sightings can never be guaranteed.

A visit to Sepilok is definitely the next best thing.

The centre rehabilitates orangutans that have been victims of the illegal pet trade, or who have lost their homes as a result of deforestation triggered by palm oil plantations.

Today around 60 to 80 orangutans are roaming freely in the reserve.

For the best viewing opportunities I recommend heading there in the morning when they are feeding, as they come close enough for you to see their cheeky little faces munching on delicious fruit.

My journey then took me to the waters of the Kinabatangan River, where Attenborough famously filmed some Borneo footage a few years ago.

During this part of my trip I had my binoculars permanently at the ready, as the wildlife sightings were the most frequent here.

I split my time here between Abai Jungle Lodge and Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge, which I would highly recommend.

Both properties are located on the river and offer exciting cruises where you can get up close and personal with a fantastic array of wildlife in its natural habitat, including wild orangutans, proboscis monkeys, hornbills and pygmy elephants, just to name a few!

Travelling between the lodges is done by boat (they are about an hour from one another), which means you have plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife as you journey from one to the next. 

All of the lodges along the Kinabatangan River are naturally quite basic given their remote location, but the experience that accompanies them far exceeds any misgivings about fine dining or silk sheets.