Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Danum Valley Conservation Area

Danum Valley & The Borneo Rainforest Lodge

The Danum Valley, a primary rainforest jungle, is far removed from human habitation. Renowned for its rich variety of both plants and wildlife, Borneo's mammals include such extremely rare and endangered species as the Sumatran Rhino, Benteng Elephant, Clouded Leopard, Bornean Gibbon, and Leaf Monkey. The Orangutan and Proboscis Monkey are both found only in Borneo. Bird life is equally extensive and varied with over 275 individual species having been recorded, giving Danum Valley a reputation for being one of the best places for viewing Borneo's wildlife.

The Borneo Rainforest Lodge is a basic and rustic international-standard lodge built beside the Danum River. Unlike mass-market tourist destinations, the lodge accommodates a maximum of 60 people, ensuring each guest a unique and individual jungle experience. The fine facilities with basic comforts make it possible to explore the incredible diversity and complexity of the rainforest and offer a unique opportunity for guests to understand the primeval Borneo Rainforest in today's conservation realities.

Lodge activities include jungle walks, bird watching with resident nature guides, canopy walkways high above the jungle floor that allow the viewing of the rainforest from the treetops and night safaris with sights and sounds emanating deep from within the rainforest
:Text above taken from:

In March this year I went to Danum Valley to meet up with a photographer with the wife from British columbia Canada. We stayed about a week in Danum Valley Borneo Rainforest Lodge. I met Mr. John Whitelaw and wife Mrs. Christine Whitelaw on arrival at BRL. I travelled up a day before to recce the place before they arrived . On arrival Christine was not feeling well on the road trip to BRL due to the condition of the road. Its a dirt road for 2.5 hrs from Lahad Datu to BRL. However Mr. John W is all excited on arrival. They told me they saw a few wild pygmy elephant on the last 5km to the lodge. And they were Lucky! I didn't see any of them that period. John W showed me his photo of the elephant.

They checked in and later we talked on John's photo interest and Christine interest too. To my relief John W does not like to trek so much and running after animals in the jungle. So I can take it easy to concentrate on little animals which are my interest and John can take photo of his interest. I ask John W's interest. He likes some abstract especially nature. At first I don't know what he was talking about. I will show you some of his photo works later. I asked Christine of her interest. She says she likes watching nature from the lodge. She dare not go to jungle as she is terrified of leeches and snakes. So she stayed at the lodge and restaurant the whole duration of their stay.
Tiger Leech

Paradise Flying snake

In the morning I went out and saw a group of Red leaf monkeys at close up. Not only that, for the first time I saw a Morph Langgur of the Red leaf Monkey. Photo on my blog banner. It was awesome.
Red Leaf Monkey

The next morning we went out and got some nice pictures:
Pil Milipede
Whiskered Tree Swift

We went to the canopy walkway and it was a good view of the Lowland Virgin Jungle from there. At that time the canopy is undergoing extension.

Canopy Walkway on Construction

I took several pictures that morning and including my good friend Mr. John Whitelaw.
John W with Giant Yam plant

John Whitelaw at work

And some of John Whitwlaw's magnificent works:-Fern leaf by John Whitelaw

Alsomitra Sp. seeds.Photo taken by John Whitelaw

We went back to the lodge after a long walk that morning. Had a good buffet lunch and took some rest. Later that afternoon we heard some news from our naturalist, Mr. Vivian and said that there is an old wild Orangutan nearby the staff quarters feeding on the fig fruits. We grab our camera equiptment and ran to the site. We were the first to get there and got some good pictures. We called Christine to come and this one was so nearby and it was ok for her to come. She came and was very happy to ever see a Wild Orangutan! Without going into the jungle and seeing the Leeches and snakes that would stick on her and sucks the blood out of her.

Wild Orangutan Male feeding on fig fruit

Later there were more visitors came and viewed the Orangutan
We went on to do some of the jungle treks and manage to get some little animals shot. Just as I like. The trees are so gigantic and beautiful. Its one of the oldest rainforest in the world. It is said to be more than 1 million years old. Shorea sp. Tree.

We crossed suspension bridges and trek up and down hills. After such a long walk and a hot day, we returned to our rooms. To my surprise a frog almost camouflage to the railings just outside my room. An amazing -Four Line tree frog.Fourlined tree frog

One of the nights we went out on a night walk and found some of the most beautiful animalsBlack backed Kingfisher sleeping on a branch

Hairy spiders on night walks

Cup fungus

There are many more activities can be done at Danum Valley. Night drives, trek to coffin hills, drive to Danum valley Field centre and much more. It is such a wonderful trip.
Mr. / Mrs John Whitelaw are very happy with their trip and hoping for their return in future. John W are so kind enough to send me a few poster size fine print of his works all the way from Canada and all expenses paid. Thank you so much Mr. John Whitelaw.
I came back to KK with a whole load of pictures and yet to be edited till now. I can't wait for another trip to Danum Valley.

Please visit Danum Valley Borneo Rainforest Lodge website for more info and reservation. I highly recommend this place to any Nature Lover.


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North Borneo - Sabah

North Borneo - Sabah
Photo Trips and Birding Trips