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Jungle treks, Orangutans and survival skills in Borneo - Ellie Walton

Soon after leaving Borneo paradise, we arrived at Kinabatangan Nature Village. Situated on an island (so to speak), we boarded our first boat to the accommodation for the next couple of nights. We quickly settled in after a briefing of what was to follow in the next few days. The agenda consisted of very early mornings to board sun rise cruises, muddy jungle walks and evening sun set cruises to see if we could spot some of Borneo’s famous creatures (including the Pygmy elephant). Unfortunately we weren't so lucky as to see the rare Borneo elephant, despite this we managed to see copious amounts of monkeys and tropical birds including the country's beloved bird: the hornbill.

We soon made our way on to the next hostel which was located near to Sepilok (the orangutan rehabilitation centre). As we arrived, the sun was blazing and a day soaking up some rays was well overdue. The new stopover was situated on top of a hill which looked over the rainforests canopy which made sunbathing that little more tropical.

The following day we ventured out to Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary where we had front row seats to see the close to extinct creatures roam around the sanctuary as they integrated with fellow monkeys. It was definitely one not to be missed!

On to the jungle we went, exploring the darkest of caves and the muddiest of trek paths. Elsie, our tour guide gave us the essential survival skills that we needed, we soon learnt that lighting and making a fire (even with a lighter), proved very difficult. Even with the locals' help, we barely lit a flame to our "fires". We left it to the experts to set up the camp fire which was used to cook our meal for the evening. We packed up camp and headed out on a more adventurous trek, clambering around caves and sliding (not deliberately) down steep banks, we were preparing for the mountain climb that was soon to follow...

Three nights in the jungle soon flew by, we had some R+R in the hot springs before we headed to the next adventure. Despite our exhaustion we were feeling very accomplished and somewhat ready for the Mt. Kinabalu climb that was fast approaching!

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