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Roundtrip Borneo, June 2004

Sukau

 
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Nose Monkey
Nose Monkey

Welcome to Sukau

Welcome to Sukau
Welcome to Sukau

After a long day driving from Mount Kinabalu, we finally arrived in Sukau. The moment I got here it took my breath away. This is going to be great I though!

The next two days we are going to be on the river, watching the wildlife, spotting birds, hike in the rainforest, hahaha, and even being eaten by leeches. But even that is worth it! Wow, what a wonderful place this is!

Where is Sukau?

Map Sabah
Map Sabah

Sukau is on the east coast of Borneo, just south of Sandakan. The way I got here was by car. The last bit of that trip is over a long dusty sand road, with lots and lots of bumps in it. I think it is about 30 kilometres on this road, and by the time you get to Sukau you probably feel a little bit like a milkshake ;-))

Sukau is located on the Kinabatangan River, the largest river of Borneo.

Sukau River Lodge

And this is where we are going to stay for the next two days: The Sukau River Lodge. The accommodation is 'relatively' primitive. But it does have some great luxuries like air-conditioning and a private shower with hot water! So I felt like a happy camper here :-)

The lodge is located on a crossing of two rivers: the huge Kinabatangan river and much smaller Menanggol river. The only way to get here is by boat. The area was surrounding by rainforest making you feel like staying on the edge of the jungle. The perfect spot to be for the next two days.

Sukau River Lodge
Sukau River Lodge

The lodge seen from the river
The lodge seen from the river

After quickly checking into the lodge, freshen up, we were off again. It is getting late afternoon, a good time to go out on the river in search for nose-monkeys and other wildlife.

Today's trip will be on the smaller Menanggol River.

Our first excursion on the river

Our first excursion on the river
Our first excursion on the river

Don't expect to have this river for yourself this time of day. There are several other small boats here, all in search to get a glimpse of the nose-monkeys.

We actually had one of the slower boats, but also the most quiet one. And that suited me just fine. It was so relaxing to sit in the boat in the afternoon sun, while my eyes were searching the dense forest, trying to spot wildlife. We moved along so quietly and peacefully, it felt like the more natural thing to do here in the rainforest. No roaring motors chasing away the wildlife and disturbing the peace.

"One"

This is our guide Redzuan or better said "One", which everyone seemed to call him. He is a great guide, full of knowledge about the nature surrounding us, full of enthusiasm and love for nature. And it was great to have him with us.

It felt more like having a knowledgeable friend with us than a real guide. What more could we ask for! :-)) So I just want to say: Thanks One, for making our roundtrip on Borneo extra special :-)

One
"One"

The banks of the river

 The banks of the river
The banks of the river

The river Menanggol isn't that wide and we slowly move along the thick vegetation of the river banks. Our eyes are wide open, searching for wildlife, birds, snakes, or anything else that might move in these trees and bushes.

But of course the inevitable happened: we got distracted by the landscape. The trees and hanging plants over the river just look beautiful. Even without seeing any animals it is beautiful here.

Fallen tree

Fallen tree
Fallen tree

Nature here is like nature should be, left alone, created by itself. This fallen tree in the river is left alone, its branches trying to hold on to the riverbed.

How long will it be able to stay here, before the river gets grip on it and takes it downstream? Maybe it is meant to be here for the rest of its life, slowly rotting away and giving way to new life while doing so.

Read more on page 2 about Sukau....

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