Carrier's Fiona has recently returned from a life-changing trip to Borneo, exploring the untouched tropical rainforests, home to many rare species including the orang-utan and the proboscis monkey. Read on to share her unforgettable experience.
I have wanted to visit Borneo for a long time, so I spent a while planning the perfect trip. We began by visiting the Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Center where we observed endangered orphaned orang-utans, and learnt about how they nursed the young ones back to good health and eventually encouraged them to forage for their own food and become independent.
I was so taken by the astonishing gentle and highly intelligent character of one particular orang-utan Chikita that I decided to adopt her and make a donation to help with her rehabilitation.
Next we chose to explore the Tropical Lowland Dipterocarp Forest, where we encountered giant trees like massive pillars that were over 30 million years old and some of the most astonishing wildlife, including macaques, red and silver leaf monkeys and dozens of beautiful birds. It was incredible my camera was poised… waiting and listening for every rustle in the treetops; I came home with some remarkable photographs.
We then journeyed through the magnificent scenery of the Mangrove Forest aboard a river cruise along the waters of Sulu Sea of Sandakan Town, where we came across wild crocodiles, which was incredibly exciting and at the same time slightly frightening.
At Kota Kinabalu we visited the night market where we sampled some of the most delicious food I have ever tasted, tiger prawns, lobster, spanner crab, a local seaweed delicacy called lato and so many different fruits and vegetables I hadn't realize existed. The colours and smells were intoxicating; it made me want to launch my very own Borneo inspired cooking programme.
The entire trip was an experience I will never forget, Borneo is definitely a destination I would recommend, it's a dream for anyone interested in wildlife and is truly one of the world's most unique and fascinating countries.