Rain forest or jungle, whatever you call it it’s hot and sticky and the place to see the wild animals of Sabah.
We started on the gentle side in Sepilok staying at the Nature Lodge for three nights. We arrived late at the bus stop and were fortunate and grateful that there was one enterprising taxi driver waiting there to see if anyone needed a ride. Our constant good fortune and the kindness of strangers who help us along the way is another thing for which I continue to be grateful.
Over the next three days we visited the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center and the Rainforest Discovery Center.
It has changed a bit at the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center since Paul visited 45 years ago.
We now have to keep our distance to avoid passing diseases between species. But it was still great fun to watch this orangutan at the feeding station. We found out later that she is pregnant so all the more important that she has this backup nutrition. She is living on her own in the wild next to the center.
Our time at the Rainforest Discovery Center was early in the morning but although we could hear birds, we were unable to see any of them. We enjoyed the intro in the visitors center and the canopy walk and just spending time in the trees.
We also spent one day in Sandakan following the Heritage Trail to the oldest mosque, Chinese temple and Catholic Church.
We spent some time at the Agnes Keith house.
I had read her book Land Below the Wind before coming here. Now I want to read her other books including Three Came Home about her time (along with her son and husband) in the Japanese prison camp during WWII. I love her personal style of writing and now can better picture the places she describes. We also stumbled upon an exhibit dedicated to adventure movie makers Martin and Osa Johnson.
Something to add to our watch list – the films they made in Borneo. Our final stop was the war memorial park that told the story of the prisoner of war camps and the death marches that left Sandakan for Ranau.
It renews my commitment to building peace when we read about the horrible cost and cruelty of war.
Next stop was the Nature Lodge in Kampung Bilit on the Kinabatagan River. We had many opportunities for viewing wildlife while cruising in a small power boat on the river.
Though some had said the time there was relaxed, we found ourselves almost constantly busy between eating, tea and activities. When we had a little time between things we enjoyed meeting our fellow tourists from many parts of the world. Who has time to rest?
We had a couple more days to fill so we paid a visit to the Tabin Wildlife Sanctuary where we saw more flora than fauna, but also did get a foot soak and an experience of the jungle.
We got one more chance for wildlife viewing when former student, Fong Lim, took us to Semporna for snorkeling. It was a lazy and wonderful way to peak below the surface as if entering a giant fish tank. We didn’t have an underwater camera, so these from the surface will give you some idea.