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Borneo: A Gorgeous Journey Of Wildlife And Rainforest

Orangutan Borneo

We had journeyed to Sabah the Northern most Malaysian province on the Island of Borneo in search of pristine rainforest and wildlife.  Our trip concentrated on Danum Valley, said to be one of the greatest primary rain forests left in the world, and the Kinabatangan Willdife Reserve stretched out along the lower reaches of the might Kinabatangan River . The wildlife was was simply stunning – these are a few highlights.

Sunset on our first night on Borneo.

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The Danum Valley Rainforest – hot, sticky and awesome…. (also full of leeches hence the rather stylish green leech socks!)

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Away from the only roadway into Danum Valley the jungle went on for square mile after square mile of seemingly endless primary rain forest with huge emergent tree species breaking through the canopy.

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Forest floor dwelling lizard.

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Once down on to the Kinabatangan River the wildlife was a bit easier to spot (and fewer leeches)

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Long Tailed Macaque – a very calm placid species

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This female Long Tailed Macaque posed beautifully.

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Buffy Fish Owl.

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A very rare (and very brief) sighting of a pair of Asian Short Clawed Otters.

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Finally, after a week of searching two of the best wildlife reserves in South East Asia at dusk on our last day on the river a glimpse of a truly wild orang-utan.  She was just building her nest for the night and held within it a small baby.  A very, very special moment in our trip.

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Once away from the wildlife reserves we entered more ‘civilised’ areas.  Whilst there we’re more people around it did give us the opportunity to see orang-utan close up in two rehabilitation areas.  These orang-utan had been rescued from palm oil plantations and were slowly being taught to live independent lives.  Here’s a couple of the best shots.

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So many wildlife treats along the way it was unimaginable, for instance the Asian Elephants.

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Written by Tom Warburton

Long, long ago (back in analogue days) he travelled the world extensively including a two year around the world trip. He is now rediscovering the world with a digital camera. He originally trained as an ecologist and is particularly interested in environmental and wildlife issues.

28 Comments

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  1. I always love your articles and photos.
    The only thing that I wouldn’t have cared much for would be the leeches. {{shivers}}
    But all in all it sounds like a trek worthwhile.
    These are such beautiful and exotic animals,it must have been incredibly amazing to be able to photograph them in their natural habitat.
    I’ll be looking forward to you next adventure. So take care and watch out for those bloodsuckers. lol

  2. We have been all over the Malay Pennisula but haven’t been to Borneo yet. We will have to so we can get a glimpse of the man of the forest .

  3. Stunning photos, Borneo is high in my ‘to visit’ List. I’ve spent time in the Amazon and also Northern Laos in the jungle and the experiences will stay with me forever.

  4. Wow, unbelievable.
    Congratulations for you extraordinary work.
    Pls visit Kerala.
    You will get almost similar experience in here.

  5. Wow, you managed to see so many different animals, how lucky. My expectations for our upcoming trip to Borneo have just been raised, fingers crossed we’ll have a similar experience.

  6. These are some of the most impressive pics of Borneo we have seen! we are working on planning trip there for next year. Looks so beautiful.

  7. I went there in 2003 and climbed Mount Kinabalu. A life changing visit, beautiful country and fantastic people. I visited Sepilok Nature Reserve and saw the orang utans being introduced back into the wild. Fantastic experience. I’d love to go back.

  8. Paul, what amazing animal and rainforest shots! The only rainforest I’ve visited so far is up in Tofino, Canada. I wish those destroying these forests realized the riches we haven’t even discovered yet. Let alone the forests and their inhabitants, thanks for sharing these gems!

  9. Amazing wildlife. How fun this must have been! I hope to go there–my dad lives in Bali and has been wanting to take me to see the orangutans but now that I have 2 small kids, I have to wait until they are old enough to take such a trip.

  10. Such a beautiful place. I had heard it was so difficult to see wildlife and there were hardly any trees left so I was happily surprised to see your photos. What tour operator would you recommend for a trip there? thanks. Lori

  11. Thanks to Paul for hosting these. Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments. Seeing the wild orang-utan was a real treat. It was almost dark so we were very lucky to see it at all. The otter’s were also amazing. Our guides were much, much more excited about the otters than the orang-utans as they hardly ever saw them. Want to go again!

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