“Spotting an orangutan with her baby just above my head was such a heart-warming feeling for me.” Find out what else our client, Titanilla, saw on her recent travels in Borneo…
A first-hand account from a client’s recent trip…
Tabin Wildlife Reserve is a place for everyone, the guides were really inspirational in their love of nature, the place where you can really get close to the animals… seeing the monkeys cross the river above my lodge or spotting an otter from my balcony is hardly an experience you can get anywhere else.
My other favourite was Abai Lodge, where you can walk around the boardwalk on your own… spotting an orangutan with her baby just above my head was such a heart-warming feeling for me.
Finally, spending the last few days in the Gaya Island Resort gave me the lost paradise feeling, a beautiful beach and super nice view again with the options to snorkel and kayak in the
Make sure to travel with light clothes as you are going to get soaked! Bring plenty of insect repellent to avoid leeches in Tabin and mosquitoes along the river. A good binocular is a must but if you don’t have one it’s possible to rent.
I started in Tabin, and then stayed at Kinabatangan Lodge, Abai Lodge and MY Nature Resort. In this order Tabin is the wildest. Perhaps ask to do the itinerary the other way around and start from Sepilok, end at Tabin (Odyssey Note: Yes, this is possible, flights permitting!) Kinabatangan is a bigger and more modern lodge, but there is no option to walk around a lot there, you can only go exploring with boats so if you’d want to explore on your own, make sure to stay one or two nights in Abai.
At Abai lodge the showers were operated with rainwater and when looking down the drain, you could see the ground under the lodge… at the same time they provided eco-neutral shower gel to make sure that we do not cause harm to the nature around us. This gave me a really good feeling. We did not plant any trees but that did not take away anything from the experience. Especially at Abai I felt that the tourists coming here help local people a lot.
Landing at Lahad Datu when going to Tabin all you could see was palm oil plantations. Responsible tourism gives people a chance to work outside of the palm oil industry that is very prominently present in the region. Being at Tabin also made me feel like I am supporting a very important cause as they are having the last Rhino in Malaysian Borneo in their reserve and trying everything in their power to make sure that they are not going extinct. Also, our guide told us a lot about how they are trying to make sure that the surrounding palm oil plantations do not have a harmful effect on the animals.
This was my first time outside of Europe and not only did it live up to my expectations but totally exceeded them. The places I saw were amazing and I’m sure that this is an experience I am going to take with me for the rest of my life.
Local people are super friendly and everybody speaks a good level of English so its not a problem to get around on your own in KK. Spending time in this country lifts your spirit as people are optimistic, happy with their lives and welcoming to foreigners.