I owe this review sometime back but won’t let pass the chance sharing our amazing experience.
In some places, you’re glued to your phones, laptop etc to kill time (but thank God for poor network signal). You won’t trade flipping thru gadgets in exchange of wonders of Borneo’s wildlife. All you need is a trusty camera, binoculars maybe, explorer’s cap and you're set to go.
Wake up to a misty morning as sun starts to rise. Trailing the huge Kintabangan river promises lush mangroves, birds, fishes, reptiles etc. The primate show is anticipated featuring loveable orangutans, proboscis, macaques & the rest of the swingy gang. As we joke about it, we have paid our ancestors a visit :). I was hoping to see Pygmy elephants, Leopards, Rhinos but nope :(. Must be a thrill but I won’t get in their way for sure.
Love the eco-friendly lodge. The energy, cost saving practices was well executed. If you have strength to spare, pedal your way to power. Food was great (don't expect gourmet) & maybe too much for a tiny appetite. Our afternoons, were spent lazing & dozing off the jetty, occasionally waiving at boat riders passing by. At night, you’ll hear bugs orchestrating, don’t make up a tune, but it’s still music to our ears. Ohs we have almost never seen thousands of low lying stars (not counting the fireflies). Climb up the tower to get a better view. Ensure you spray on repellant to keep our buzzing, crawling friends away. Dive into slumber & the next Borneo journey awaits.
Its Day 2. With our yellow boots on, we trek in the tropical forest with our cool guide Salim. Saw tall, huge trees, more bugs, small lake, probably the Pygmy’s muddy spa. Back to the boat, we trail again to the river. Our guides got sharp eyes, can spot sightings a mile away! Saw more animals, more luscious greens & locals making full use of the river water. Yes, bathing, laundry etc. Loved and enjoyed cruising the river so much.
It's the final day 3. After hearty breakfast, with our bags packed, it’s our last glimpse of the lodge. Folks here have been so nice. You know, not those over friendly but genuinely sincerely nice. We still have a few hours and they have arranged for us a trip to Gomanton caves. Timely, April is the harvest season for the highly priced bird’s nest. Make sure you’re covered
to protect yourself from bat, birds poo, pee (guano) and lots of roaches. But don't let this scare you. It’s still amazing how these men bravely climb up rope ladder amidst 900 meter high to reap this much coveted swallow’s saliva known for its nutritional value. It’s believed to have been given as gifts to early Chinese emperors. No wonder it cost a fortune.
Locals and other sector has been doing great efforts to preserve the wildlife. I could have written more on our Borneo exploration. Now, we’re just thrilled to have been there. Thoughts on coming back to the lodge? Yes someday. Sam, can you reserve us a room again please? :)
- Also Known As:
- Borneo Nature Lodge Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An eco-friendly lodge nestled along the riverbank of Kinabatangan river the longest and biggest river in Sabah.The Lower Kinabatangan is one of Sabah's most splendid natural treasures and the richest concentration of wildlife in South East Asia. The lodge has 12 rooms with an additional twin-sharing handicapped friendly room equipped with air-condition and attached bathroom. Appreciate the "Green" details practise by the lodge where at night all electrical items run on solar power. ... more less
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