If you thought that your own environment was a jungle, then think again, it is nothing compared to what Borneo has to offer. Located on the world’s third largest island, Malaysian Borneo consists of two states, Sabah in the north and Sarawak on the western coast. Both have some of the world’s most species-rich equatorial rainforests with prime patches that are easily accessible to visitors.
For many visitors to Borneo, and it certainly was for me, the most memorable moment was looking a wild orang-utan in the eye and feeling the connection between two species that apart from a small percentage of DNA, are identical.
If you’ve always longed to experience a real equatorial rainforest, Borneo will fulfil your wildest dreams in spades. Once you have become used to the almost impenetrable foliage and oppressive humidity that will make you perspire like a tropical river, you will start to discover the pitcher plants and orchids of the lowland forest or the conifers and rhododendrons of higher, cooler altitudes. The one downside, is that as you travel more broadly outside the main population centres, you will come across the deforestation that has made so many depressing headlines worldwide. Thankfully though, significant areas of Bornean rainforest remain intact, protected by conservation projects where nature can be seen at her most beautiful.
I have twice visited Sabah and Sarawak, both of which offer easy access to the conservation areas and the wild Orangutan experience I was seeking. However, it would be unkind of me to forget to mention the two major cities in Malaysian Borneo; Sarawak’s Kuching is the island’s most sophisticated and dynamic city but Kota Kinabalu in Sabah is also work the effort of discovering.
If you are there for the Orang-utan, you will want to travel out to Sepilok for a full day to experience the best orangutan experience available.
Even if you are not a massive cat lover, it is worth taking the ten minute walk out from the central waterfront area of Kuching, in Malaysian Sarawak to see this unusual fountain located in the centre of an intersection.
hile in Sandakan in the province of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, I was intrigued with the volume of plant growth on buildings. Here more than anywhere else that I had noticed, it was clinging to almost every flat surface.
Hidden away amongst the hundreds of acres of Palm Oil plantations is a small oasis of safety called Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, about an hours drive from Sandakan in the East Malaysian state of Sabah.
Unknown to me, there was a visitor climbing down the sign post only a few feet above my head, also apparently intent on my peanuts. It was only as a friend returned from inside the visitor centre and cried out, that I became aware of the looming primate.
The tropics often offer some of the best sunset photo opportunities and Kota Kinabalu in Borneo was no exception. This photo taken through a broken railing on the cities docks blends the harshness of the rail with the dying rays of the day with spectacular results.
The inhabitants of this settlement have developed a semi-permanent lifestyle with housing which boasts running water, electricity and even the occasional satellite dish. A substantial network of raised walkways connect the individual homes, along which pets roam and children fly kites.