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Found 11 results

  1. Hi all. We are planning a return trip to Borneo next April/May. We are organizing the trip through AA Borneo again since they did such a great job last trip. My wife and I are looking for 2 to 3 more people to join us so that we can lower the costs and increase the fun! The dates are relatively firm since Deramakot is now getting wildly popular and we need to book our flights soon since we are using miles. But, I am sure there is a bit of flexibility if I get some interest in the next couple of weeks. This will be an "Everything and Anything" trip. Meaning, we don't plan on just focusing on birds, or mammals, or herps. We hope to see lots of all 3 actually. Here is the current itinerary: - Pickup at KK hotel (April 22) - 6 nights Deramakot (April 22 to 27) - 2 nights Sepilok Nature Resort (April 28 & 29) - 3 nights Kingabatangan Wetlands Resort (April 30 to May 2) - 4 nights Borneo Rainforest Lodge (May 3 to May 6) - Fly from Lehad Datu back to KK (May 6) We will have a private guide at all locations and expect to see some incredible wildlife. I have an idea of activities that we would do at all locations but nothing is finalized yet so there is flexibility there. Please let me know if anyone is interested and I can supply more details or answer any questions that folks may have. Thanks Alan
  2. Well I hope that Safaritalk readers haven't overdosed on Borneo after reading Jo's (KittyKat) great ongoing report. While our itineraries were pretty similar and we saw some of the same things, I think there are enough differences here to keep you interested. This is especially true if you are thinking about going to Borneo. And, you should. We think it's fantastic and we plan to go back...maybe even next year if we can rustle up a few people to join us. Our itinerary was as follows: 1 night KK 3 nights Mt Kinabalu 4 nights Deramakot 2 nights Sepilok 2 nights Kinabatangan River 3 nights Danum 1 night KK We used Adventure Alternative Borneo to plan and book our entire trip. We had 1 serious birder on the trip and the remaining 3 of us were more generalists. So, we tried to plan an itinerary that catered to birding, mammaling and herping as best we could. The reports can be accessed on my website and are still a work in progress as I finish them. I hope to add a new entry every few days. Here are days 1 and 2: http://focusedonnature.blogspot.com/2017/04/borneo-day-1-and-2-kota-kinabalu.html Here is day 3: http://focusedonnature.blogspot.com/2017/04/borneo-day-3-mt-kinabalu.html Alan
  3. All the recent additions to the Show us Your Elephants thread got me thinking about adding some of the photos of Asian elephants I've taken in various places but rather than add them there I felt it would be appropriate to start a new thread. So if anyone has photos or videos of elephants taken anywhere in Asia, please add them here. The Asian Elephant Elephas maximus was once distributed from Syria in the West (until 100bc) to Vietnam in the East and from Northern China south to Indonesia. Now only scattered populations remain in India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia aside from being extinct in West Asia they have also become extinct in nearly all of China with just 300 or so remaining in the far south in Yunnan, they’re also extinct on the Indonesian Island of Java. Somewhere in between 2,000 to 3,000 of the subspecies Elephas maximas sumatranus still survive on the island of Sumatra and around 1,500 so called Bornean Pygmy elephants survive in the Malaysian province of Sabah on the island of Borneo with perhaps just a further 80 in the neighbouring Indonesian province of Kalimantan. According to local legend Borneo’s elephants were introduced to the island in the 18th century by the Sultan of Sulu, though this might seem very unlikely, at the time it was not unusual for domestic elephants to be shipped from one place to another. However recent genetic analysis seems to have disproved this theory indicating that Borneo’s elephants have been separated from the those on Sumatra for around 300,000 yrs and are therefore clearly of Bornean origin. Although if this is the case and they’ve been on Borneo for that length of time it’s remarkable that they appear to have only ever occupied a relatively small of North-eastern Borneo and that no fossil remains of elephants (or virtually none) have been found on Borneo. This has led to the intriguing idea that the Sultan of Sulu legend could in fact be true that elephants are of introduced origin but that they were brought from Java where elephants are now extinct. At present their exact origins have not been determined for certain but what is clear is that they are unique to Borneo and that the name pygmy elephant is a misnomer as they are in fact on average no smaller than Asian elephants found on the mainland in West Malaysia. Presumed Extinct Javan Elephants May Have Been Found Again In Borneo Asian elephants are in decline everywhere their total population is often put at somewhere between 40-50,000 but really this is no more than a guess and the higher figure is almost certainly an over estimate. More on Asian elephants Unfortunately whoever created this IUCN redlist range map forgot to include the Borneo population While the total remaining elephant population is not known what is known is that at least 50% of them are in India and one of the largest populations of Indian elephants Elephas maximus indicus is in the south west. One of the best places to see them there is from a boat on Periyar Lake in Periyar NP in Kerala.
  4. The slow boat chugged away from the busy harbor and a skyline of concrete buildings that heralded the town of Kumai. It veered into Sekonyer River. Before the bend, a huge statue of an orangutan with raised arms welcomed us into the national park. On our right was the 4,150-acre Tanjung Puting National park edging the mouth of Kumai River. the town of Kumai is flourishing, thanks mainly to the growth of tourism. Concrete blocks with holes are spread around the town. Inside are swallows building nests - birds' nest which are gathered to sell for a high price as a delicacy for Asians. For a small town in Kalimantan, its streets were quite busy with people and traffic, signs that things have begun looking up for its people. Kumai is the gateway into Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. Tourists who want to see orangutans in the park have to come through this town. To get to Kumai, you could either fly into Pangkalabun from Jakarta, which my group and I did, or take the cruise ship NatGeo Lindblad, which runs wildlife cruises in Southeast Asia until the end of this year. I'm sure there are other routes to the town but I didn't find out.
  5. We (MrsQ a.k.a @Thursday's Child and I) have just returned from a fascinating trip to Borneo. The trip was inspired by the trip reports of @Safari Cal, @kittykat23ukand @Kitsafari. Our thanks go to them for that inspiration and practical advice. Borneo is the world’s third largest island, resting on the equator. The largest section of the island (Kalimantan) is part of Indonesia. The Sultanate of Brunei is a small independent country. Sabah and Sarawak are two states in the Malaysian federation and it these that we will visit – with most of our time being in Sabah. The outline of the trip was 3 nights Kota Kinabalu (2 nights just outside and 1 night in the centre) 2 nights Sepilok 4 nights Kinabatangan River (2 nights in 2 different lodges) 3 nights Danum Valley 3 nights Kuching (Sarawak) The trip was largely wildlife/nature focussed but we did also build some time in to allow us to see a bit of culture – in particular a chance to enjoy local food! We booked the Kota Kinabalu and Kuching hotels online. For the middle, wildlife focussed section we booked through Naturalis, a Borneo based company that @Safari Cal uses. (http://www.naturalis-expeditions.com/borneo.cfm) (naturalis@naturalis-expeditions.com) Our main contact was Luca. The company responded well to emails and all of the arrangements went very smoothly. We would use them again.
  6. I made a 4-day trip to Danum Valley Conservation Area in eastern Sabah, west Malaysia from May 30 to June 2. We stayed at Borneo Rainforest Lodge, which provided a 3-day or 4-day package that included accommodation, guided treks, all meals and soft drinks. The lodge has since extended the packages as it has found that a 3-day stay did not give sufficient time to really explore the rainforest. In fact, we found that our 4-day stay was just a tad too short to see much, but Mr Kitsafari couldn’t take more leave. My trip followed in the wake of @kittykatuk23 and @safarical. In his previous reports, Mr SCal gave invaluable details before and KK23 saw a myriad of flora and fauna during her trip, so I will try not repeat much of what has been said before. 2 weeks before we left, a mainland Chinese supervisor was kidnapped in a fish farm off Lahad Datu. There has been a spate of kidnappings along the east coast of Sabah in recent months and a few countries have issued travel advisories. The kidnappings are thought to have been carried out by the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf military group or the Sulu mitant groups. The groups are based in southern Philippines which is very close to the islands off Sabah. It has become a rather lucrative trade for the militants to kidnap for ransom. They would kidnap anyone they can get hold off, mainly in island resorts because they can quickly escape in their speedboats back into Philippines waters where the Malaysian navy cannot follow. So when the kidnapping happened so close to Lahad Datu, we were rather alarmed and I made a couple of calls to Borneo Naturetours, which organizes the trips to the lodge, and to the lodge itself to ask about security. On both occasions, I was assured that Danum Valley is a 2.5-hour drive into the thick forest and that the Philippine militants would not penetrate there as they can’t do a quick getaway. It was close to our departure date, so we decided to go for it. we returned safe and sound, and more pointedly, very happy with the experience.
  7. beautiful cat. "An extremely elusive creature called a bay cat has been photographed in stunning detail in its native Borneo in Southeast Asia." for more pse read: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/rare-borneo-bay-cat-captured-stunning-photo-140726575.html
  8. I have just find this article through Mammalwatching. It is said it is likely sumatran rhinos are extinct in the wild in Sabah. http://news.mongabay.com/2015/0423-hance-sumatran-rhino-sabah-extinct.html The article focus on the massive hunting at the beginning of the last century as the main cause of extinction of the rhinos, while logging and deforestation for palm if plantations played a secondary role in the extinction of the rhino. Sumatran rhinos are still present in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia, in very low numbers. It is likely they are extinct in Tamang Negara too. Last tracks were seen in 2003.
  9. Birds, Beasts and Bugs- Trekking in Sabah, Borneo Its funny how some destinations don't appeal one year and then rise to the top of your list in another. Sabah is one such destination. I initially felt that it didn't have much to offer me. It would be hot, sweaty; there would be lots of trekking, there would be a mountain (which I established in Madagascar that I don't do!) and despite their diversity, rainforests are notoriously difficult to actually see anything in, let alone photograph. But having got a few other priority destinations out of my system, I felt like trying something new. The birds were a big draw, as were the star primates, proboscis monkeys and orangutans, but it was the remote possibility of nailing a clouded leopard that really crystallised the need in my mind to at least give it a good go. Through mammalwatching.com, I made contact with another like-minded person, Paul, who took the lead in planning. We came up with a nice itinerary, he would arrive earlier and cover Poring Hot Springs and some other sites around Kota Kinabalu and I would arrive a few days later. We then would together cover the following over three weeks: Sun 16 – Tue 18 March- Kinabalu National Park HQ area, staying at Kinabalu Pine Resort Wed 19 to Thu 20- Sepilok – Rainforest Discovery Centre, Orangutan centre and sun bear rehabilitation centre, staying at Sepilok Jungle Resort. Fri 21- 23 Kinabatangan River staying with Robert Chong at his Kinabatangan Jungle Camp (where the hardcore birders stay). Mon 24 Depart KJC camp to Sukau. Drive to Lahad Datu, overnight at the Silam Dynasty hotel. Tue 25 -26 Danum Valley staying at Borneo Rainforest Lodge in a standard room. Thu 27 -30 Danum Valley staying at Danum Valley Field Centre in a standard room. Mon 31 Return to Lahad Datu, back at Silam Dynasty for the night. Tue 1 -3 April- Tabin Wildlife Reserve staying at Tabin Wildlife Resort. Fri 4 - Returned to Kota Kinabalu by Air, Overnight at Cassaurina Hotel, KK. Sat 5 - Paul had a lunchtime flight, mine wasn't until the evening, so I spent the day at Palau Manukan looking for a chicken (according to Ian) and departed for home that evening. We booked most of the lodges & hotels directly in advance. We were not able to book DVFC as we were unable to make contact with the office. So the BRL booking was insurance in case we couldn't get in at all, (expensive insurance at that!) and as it happened we had no trouble booking DVFC at their office in Lahad Datu, though that seemed a little pointless because when we actually arrived at reception at the field centre, the staff there didn't have a record of our booking. But in any case, it was all sorted out without much fuss! View of Mount Kinabalu: Mount Kinabalu by kittykat23uk, on Flickr
  10. Hi all, I've just joined and thought I'd post a trip report from my recent Easter trip to Borneo by way of an introduction. I'll post in sections with photos from each... the first instalment isn't too exciting but sets the scene for the next few. My 2 week safari to was to Sabah in Northern Borneo. 7 nights of it were spent on Safari with 3 in Kota Kinabalu (1 night at the start and 2 at the end). Borneo is so different from Africa where I've travelled to regularly since 2001. The heat and humidity of the rainforest is so different from the dry heat of the savannah and the changing light conditions have spoilt many a shot I've taken, but it's well worth the effort for the amazing flora and fauna that abounds on the island. Kota Kinabalu My safari started, as all do, in Kota Kinabalu, otherwise known as KK. I arrived in KK on an afternoon flight from Hong Kong. The thing you notice most upon arrival is that there are no queues in the immigration hall, it's straight through with no fuss at all. Within minutes you've picked up your bag and are outside looking for your transfer to the hotel for an overnight stay. I normally stop at a cash point here and pick up local currency for the stay which I use mostly for tips, using my card in hotels whenever possible. I stay at the Hyatt Regency in KK on my first evening as it's only 15-20 minutes from the airport and it's always an early start whether flying to Sandakan or as I was this time flying to Lahad Datu. I had a 5am start the next day so being fairly close gave me a little more sleep time. The hotel is fantastic, located right by the sea and has all the amenities you could wish for, you can check it out here http://www.kinabalu.regency.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels-kinabalu-regency/index.jsp?null The food is buffet style with a good selection on offer from European to local dishes and has a piano bar adjacent to the dining area where you can relax with a beer. There is a supermarket located outside if you forget anything and numerous bars and restaurants in the local area. The rooms are spacious and modern and I couldn't pick fault with the one I had. Wifi is free. It's really only a bed for the night so there isn't much to add except I'd have been happy to stay for longer had I wanted to see more of KK. The sunsets are really exceptional looking over the South China Sea: Part 2 is the trip from KK to Lahad Datu and on to Tabin Wildlife Reserve.
  11. One of the world's most rare and elusive cats, the Sunda clouded leopard of Malaysia, has been filmed up close. A biologist holidaying in Malaysia has captured unique footage of a young female leopard resting in the forest. Previously, this top predator has only been filmed fleetingly and at a distance, with the first wild footage to be made public captured in 2010. The Sunda clouded leopard was only discovered to be a distinct species in 2007. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/20627836 Hmmm.... might have to organise a trip there...

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