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Audley Traveller

Your Southeast Asia: Tales from Borneo

Audley clients Sue King, Joe Atherton, and Michael and Jane Handford recently visited Borneo on separate trips. Highlights included seeing orangutans and staying in an Iban longhouse.

Orangutan, Danum Valley, Malaysian Borneo

Orangutan, Danum Valley, Malaysian Borneo

We stayed in the jungle in Danum Valley, and again were lucky enough to have encounters with wild orangutans.

Audley client Sue King

We went to Borneo to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

We swam with turtles at Lankayan Island, even doing a midnight release of hatchlings. We travelled by boat along the Kinabatangan River with our guide George, seeing pygmy elephants, crocodiles, proboscis monkeys and some wild orangutans. We then stayed in the jungle in the Danum Valley, and again were lucky enough to have encounters with wild orangutans.

Following this we travelled to Mount Kinabalu, which we climbed, although I only made it to Laban Rata: my husband and our fab guide Joseph made it to the top. We finished our trip off with a couple of nights of luxury.

It was the most amazing trip full of wonderful sights. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone.

Iban tribe at their longhouse, Lemanak River, Sarawak

Iban tribe at their longhouse, Lemanak River, Sarawak

Returning to Kuching we set off to the Lemanak River and boarded a long-tail boat and travelled upriver to spend the night with Iban tribesmen in their longhouse.

Audley clients Michael & Jane Handford

It's never a good sign when your plane is not on the stand, but on the other side of the taxiway with a stepladder up to the wing! However, after a five hour delay we were off and away on a memorable trip to Sarawak and Sabah.

Arriving in Kuching we settled into our hotel and then enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the waterfront. Everyone was out for an evening walk and greeted us with friendly enquiries. The next day we set off with our Iban guide, Wayne, to explore the Bako National Park, a few miles from town. Arriving by boat we waded ashore and were immediately surrounded by inquisitive long-tailed macaques. Shortly afterwards Wayne found a troupe of proboscis monkeys lazing in the trees above us. A silver-leaf monkey with her baby climbed through the trees, then one of the rangers spotted a resting ‘flying lemur’ (Coluga) well camouflaged on a tree trunk.

Returning to Kuching we set off to the Lemanak River and boarded a long-tail boat and travelled upriver to spend the night with Iban tribesmen in their longhouse. A most hospitable welcome and excellent meal cooked by our hosts and Po Heng our driver. We were served rice wine whilst we watched a tribal dance in traditional costume. Next day we returned down river stopping en route for a most delicious beach barbecue. Then it was time to say farewell to the Iban.

We then flew to Mulu to explore the caves and more wildlife spotting, including the magnificent Rajah Brooke birdwing butterfly. Then on to Sabah to explore the Danum Valley, and Tabin Wildlife Reserve. We caught sight of wild orangutans, pygmy elephants, other monkeys and numerous birds. On one night-walk we spotted a clouded leopard high in a tree - a real highlight.

All in all a thoroughly memorable adventure.

Read more travellers' tales from around Southeast Asia

Burma, CambodiaThailand and Vietnam.

Tailor-made itinerary ideas in Borneo

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