‘It’s the stuff of Hollywood movies; it’s the classic lost in the wild kind of scenario landscape. Borneo’s jungles are something that will recount in you the sweaty, overbearing atmosphere of Jurassic Park…’
The mountains of the island push themselves out of the earth’s surface and their jagged summit soar above the clouds. Down below, the mist drifts slowly from one hillside to the next. If you stand still, you can hear the calls of the wild birds and the tree hoppers. They’re all scouring for the rich, juicy fruits that grow on the island. The vegetation is so dense you can’t see more than 30 meters in front of you. The tall trees will block out the direct sunlight, but the humidity will remind you that you’re in Asia.
Communities have built small rickety bridges that hang above the green and brown waters of the river flowing in and out of Borneo. Does this get your heart pumping and excite your need to explore? Let’s get into the detail!…
Lemanak River is tranquil and yet full of so much richness. Green in colour, it flows into the main Batang Lupar River. You have to see it to believe it, but it exudes the stereotype of a a nature documentary vibe. Local communities have built their shacks called longhouses along the riverside. The trees bend inward, and they cover the top of your head from the blistering sun overhead as you pass through on your slim longboat. The vegetation varies from incredibly visceral bright green to darker earthier shades of green and brown. A guided tour will allow you to sail to one of the many small and welcoming villages. Here you can see how they have existed for so long immersed in the jungle. You can even try shooting a blowpipe which is the native’s hunting weapon of choice.
Image credit shankar s.
Bako National Park
You couldn’t come this far and not see what the wildlife is like. Since 1957 the Bako National Park has allowed organised parties to enter to experience Sarawak’s forests and wildlife. So if you’re looking for a great TOP NATURE ESCAPE IN BORNEO, here is where you start. Hopefully, you brought your binoculars as you will be treated to watching the 275 rare proboscis monkeys go about their business. Their unusual characteristic long droopy noses and cute pot bellies are just the beginning to this adventure. Look up, and you might see one of the forty-four species of flying squirrel that stretch out their membrane attached to their wrists and ankles, glide from tree to tree in search of mates and their favourite food. You’ll be walking along worn and known paths and taken through the forest by an expert guide so don’t worry about this next one.
The clouded leopard is actually native to the island, and just like their African cousins, they are secretive and private hunters. They are occasionally spotted travelling across a pass that has a middle that is out in the open. Every step you take in the jungles of Borneo, you get closer to something you cannot experience anywhere in the world. Sure there are many rainforests around the world that have the same kind of muggy and hot atmosphere. But seeing that Borneo is an island and has evolved basically on its own, it’s got secrets that it doesn’t share lightly.
*this post was written in collaboration*