Into the Jungle at Kinabantangen River

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Our Jungle trip are about to start, waiting at the cafeteria in Sepilok, looking around to see if we can figure out who our travel companion will be. As this is in the middle of the feeding time, most of the visitors in the cafeteria is probably there for a similar reason as us. Mr Aji arrives and we are 8 adults + 1 child that will camp together for the following days. Looks like a nice group, but there is one obstacle, the weather forecast! For the following 3 days it is mostly promising rain. Should we cancel and wait for better weather or go and hope for the best???

We are optimistic, and on our way to the village of Sakau the weather is nice. We arrive to our accommodation, which is simple but we didn’t expect anything else, and are ready for our first river cruise. And just in case – bringing a raincoat! On this first afternoon river cruise we are heading downstream to look for crocodiles. None seen, but we are passing close to the first family of Proboscis Monkeys. Mr Aji, our guide, can mimic their sound, and the monkeys actually answers him. During this boat trip we then pass several groups of  macaques and a few more families of Proboscis,we also spot a wild pig, one or two species of the hornbills birds and some silver leaf monkeys. No elephants, no crocodiles and no orang-utan.

It has been raining quite heavily, but we have been so busy looking in between the trees to spot the animals that we have hardly noticed how wet we actually have been.

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Rainy weather

After dinner it is time for night tracking. Due to all the raining we actually pass this part of the programme. The rest of the group join, but it seemed that they didn’t explore much except some huge insects. Raining all through the night, but stopped just in time for our morning walk. No boat trip this time, but 1,5 hours very muddy and slippery walk. We heard and could smell some monkeys, but did not see any, and we climbed over some elephant dropping that had been there a while as it grow mushroom in it. After this the breakfast tasted great!

When it was time for our afternoon boat trip, the weather had become better and it had stopped raining. Today we went upstream, and very soon we spotted our first crocodile. Laying on the ground long enough for us to have a good look. Soon after we spotted crocodile number two and number three.

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Rhinocort Hornbill

We also spotted 6 out of total 8 hornbills birds that lives in Borneo, the most beautiful is the Rhinocort Hornbills, but this one we had a very close view on at In Pulau Pangkor some years ago

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Clearing the way on the small river

We are now going into the very narrow part of the river, but some trees have falling down so we can not continue. But we did see some more of the Proboscis monkey.

Back on the main river Mr Aji spot an orang-utan. The rest of us just see a tree, but after a while we see something dark moving around. We are told just to be patient and wait, in half an hour the orang-utan will go to sleep, before that it must build the nest for the night, and have dinner. And the tree next to the one were the orang-utan is hiding right now contain delicious fruit.

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We spotted some brown shadow in tree

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Now it is no doubt, we see a silverback and this is a grand old lady or man

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Finally it turnaround and we see it is a grand old man

We are waiting, and now something is moving, we see the back of grey-silver orang-utan, and then it turned around and we see that it is a male. Just as we were told, he is moving to the other tree for eating, then building the nest and at five o’clock he is sleeping! Amazing.

Next morning we stop half-way on our way back to Sepilok for our last walk, this time not inside the Jungle but on the big road. We see red leaf monkey and also the pig tale macaques.

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Orangutan night nests

And we se lot of orang-utan night nest up in tree, many of them recently build, but we are not able to spot any wild orang-utan, even though we are almost certain at least one is hiding in one of the big tree in front of us. We wait and wait, but no one shows up.

All in all we have spotted quite many wild animals, 6 different monkeys, 6 out of 8 hornbills birds, wild pig, crocodile, other birds, butterflies and various insects. What we missed was the gibbon, the pygme elephant and the leopard ( and probably a lot of different birds).

And in media we can follow the discussion of building a bridge over Sakau river.

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Car ferry at Sakau instead of bridge

And after 3 days in a rainy and muddy jungle we were in desperate need of laundry, specially for our shows. Luckily we had a self-service place in our neighbourhood. And from the hours spend there we can tell that on a Saturday afternoon in Sandakan it is the young men and boys that are handling the family laundrys.

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Sepilok

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To visit the Orangutang Rehabilitation centre in Sepilok, was one of the reason going here, so the first afternoon we are heading there. Actually we are only going to see how long time it takes us to drive there, since this is our meeting point for Mr Ajis Expeditipn. But when we arrived, we realised it was 5 minutes until the afternoon feeding starts, so why not pay it a visit. Coming late to the feeding platform was great, as we were followed by 3 orangoutangs heading the same way, towards the visitors platform. None of these were particular interested in the feeding itself, as long as it was much more fun hanging around on the visitors space. As one of them was quite aggressive, the rangers had to move all of us visitors several time. It was no doubt who was in charge this day!

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Hungry? Or just on their way for some action

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Should I go or Should I stay?

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Not so interested to get out on the feedin platform

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This one is in charge – all visitors have to move away

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Mother with child at feeding platform

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At least one that enjoy the feeding

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Enjoying the bananas

 

We continued to the outdoor nursery, which was a play ground for the young ones. They had rangers looking after them, but they only interacted when the orangutang get on the ground, then they needed to start climbing up in the tree or the platform again, as an orangutang living only on the ground will not survive. We as visitors was kept inside while the small ones outside had no boundaries, they could go to the nearby Jungle whenever they wanted. Could probably spend several more hours following their playing and movements.

On our way back these two fellows had a party on the leftovers.

Across the Street was the rehabilitating centre of the Malaysian Sunbear. I think this centre was run by the university, and the rehabilitation means the sunbear lives here until the age of 4 when their maximum weight is achieved and they can survive in the Jungle on their own. The area was very nice build, with canopy walkways giving a Jungle feelings. And the sunbears? Of course they were adorable……

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Malaysian Sun Bear at rehabilitation centre in Sepilok