Borneo wildlife encounter tour

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
On this holiday you will spend time in the Danum Valley Conservation Area staying at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, the only lodge in the region. The Danum Valley Conservation Area covers 43,800 hectares of protected lowland rainforest and is home to an astonishing variety of plants and wildlife including more than 340 species of birds, 124 species of mammals, 72 species of reptiles, 56 species of amphibians and 200 species of plants per hectare. The Lodge takes its eco-friendly credentials very seriously, they are committed to try and minimise guest and staff impact on the environment as much as possible. Some of the principles they have introduced include simple things like keeping guests on set trekking paths through the jungle, paper, plastic and aluminium can recycling in the nearest town but also more complex ideas such as the filtering of water for drinking thus avoiding the need for plastic water bottles: guestrooms have jugs of filtered water and the bar only sells canned drinks, no plastic is allowed. Also used cooking oil is collected from the kitchen and filtered to make oil for the restaurant table lamps and refuse sacks are made from biodegradable cornstarch not plastic.

The stilted timber guestrooms are built to try and minimise heat build-up in the rooms and thus avoid the need for in-room air-conditioning: the ceilings of the rooms are insulated with a 10cm-thick layer of mineral wool which keeps heat out and allows natural ventilation to pass through. The bathrooms are centrally located in the guestrooms and constructed of concrete which, while not inherently an eco-friendly substance, when placed in shade works to absorb the cooler air around it and act as a cooling ‘agent’ for the entire room.

There is an on-site organic garden where a lot of the restaurant’s salad and vegetables are grown: the gardens are fertilized by a combination of food waste and a homemade organic compound created by the lodge. This organic compound, called EM-1, is a combination of molasses, yeast and organic microbes mixed together and used in their organic fertilizer but also as a substance to neutralise odours from the septic tanks. Borneo Rainforest Lodge established a project in conjunction with the authorities of nearby Lahad Datu town to produce 300,000 EM-1 ‘mud balls’ to be thrown into the sea around the fish market to remove excess fish waste and neutralise the smell from the water.

The Lodge is also the site of an ongoing scientific study into the feeding habits of the local orangutan population and the effects of fluctuating fruit supply. This is being conducted in conjunction with the staff and guides of the lodge and with their full cooperation.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

This holiday visits Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre. Founded in 1964, Sepilok was established to rehabilitate orphaned and often injured orangutans and rehabilitate them back into the wild. Located on the edge of Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve, the facility provides medical care for orangutans and other wildlife species including gibbons, Sumatran rhinos and the occasional injured elephant. The Centre works like a halfway house for the orangutans: it provides a semi-wild haven in the protected reserve outside the confines of the Centre but twice a day meals are provided for those animals who feel the need for it. Entrance to the Centre for these feedings is chargeable and all funds go back to the Centre to help fund the important work they are doing here. The Centre is also an important education tool for visitors to learn about the orangutans and the Centre’s work and help promote it to possible future visitors.

Our local Borneo ground agents employ only local guides and drivers thereby keeping all moneys paid to staff in the local community. Where possible, food served to guests at the lodges is sourced locally thereby providing a further income to local residents.

Abai Jungle Lodge is located next to Abai village en-route from the Sulu Sea to Sukau. In conjunction with the Abai villagers, the Abai Jungle restaurant was built with food sourced from Abai village and their fishermen. A donation is made for each diner towards the Abai Homestay Development Fund to go towards the upgrading of village facilities with the provision of household goods, school uniforms, seeds etc.
Abai Jungle Lodge came later and was built behind the restaurant. The lodge uses many environmentally friendly practices including the use of biodegradable and environmentally friendly shampoo and soaps in guestrooms, rainwater collection and a reverse osmosis water treatment system which purifies the water in an energy efficient and cost effective way. The lodge also introduced their ‘tree planting and lunch with the villagers’ programme where for every person who partakes in this activity, a donation is made to the village as well as the tree itself which helps generate an extra income for the village. Over the years the lodge owners have donated useful items such as motor and fibreglass boats to the villagers.

In conjunction with Orangutan Appeal UK, for every booking to Borneo we adopt our chosen Sepilok orangutan, Gelison, in your names for a year. Orangutan Appeal UK works to support the orangutans of Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre which provides 24hr essential care for orphaned and injured orangutans with the aim to rehabilitate them into the wilds of the adjacent Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve and beyond. Funds from the adoption costs go towards funding the Centre’s work providing food, medical care and a safe refuge for the orangutans as well as being an important educational tool for visitors.

Climate

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