Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
This Park is comprised of 5 islands and natural reefs. We took a day trip that gave us 2 dives and beach time on one of the islands. The waters were calm, clear and warm allowing for lots of viewing of fish and coral.
Kinabalu National Park
Considered one of the Islands highlights, this Park boasts the Grand Mt. Kinabalu. It is the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea at 4095 meters. We originally hoped to climb to the summit but couldn't secure accomodation at the midpoint; a must. We opted to stay at the base and do day hikes instead.
The flora and fauna are unique in this area allowing for intersting finds. This little guy was lucky to miss our feet and get captured by our camera instead!
The insectivorous Nepenthes (pitcher plant) can hold up to a liter of rainwater!
The rainforest really sprung a spectacular canopy which we were lucky to view from our room. Equally lucky was the fact that we made it inside before the massive afternoon/evening rains. As well, we enjoyed a local village variety of rice wine while staying dry & warm inside!
Poring Hot Springs
This popular local relaxing spot was developed during WWII by the Japanese. It has indoor and outdoor hot tubs (including ours which was shaped like the Rafflesia flower!), cooling pools, a butterfly farm, orchid garden, tropical garden, waterfalls and this Canopy Walkway. The Walkway allows one to feel like Tarazan as you are suspended on ropes from trees and the forest is viewed from up to 40 meters off the jungle floor.
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
This is one of the four Orang-utan sanctuaries in the world. Orang-utans are the only species of Great Ape found outside of Africa. Apes (Orang-utans, Gorillas and Chimps) differ from monkeys in a number of ways including the fact that they have no tail.
This Center assists injured and orphaned orangs to be reahabed to return to the forest. There is one feeding station at the Center that the public is allowed to view at feeding time twice per day. Once released most of the orangs return for a while to get their easy bananas and milk and show off their babies. The older ones help the younger ones adjust to wildlife and eventually they stop returning as they roam further into the forest and forage for themseleves.
Sungai (River) Kinabatangan
This is Sabah's longest River at 560 km. and considered one of the best places to view wildlife in Southeast Asia. We took a 3 day trip deep into the Jungle and felt a bit like we were experiencing "Survivor" meets "Boot Camp"! The pre-dawn river "cruises" (small boat with 4 of us and our Guide) allowed for beautiful sunrises and great bird and animal viewing.
This is definitely a bird lover's paradise! We were fortunate to have a knowledgable and skilled guide that was great at spotting different species. Rick was a good "voyeur" as well.
This creature is famous for its prominent fleshy nose. They really are funny looking!
Some of the trees were "lit up" with many birds, especially around dawn or dusk, These Oriental darters really have necks like snakes.
As we were getting ready for our afternoon jungle walk we were told to protect against leeches despite the oppressive heat & humidity! The long pants and special canvas leech socks were quickly donned. We did get to see a few leeches, but thankfully only on our guide's foot!
These critters easily camouflage in the surrounding terrain.
This is one of Borneo's eight hornbill species. They are considered protected but we were saddened to see souvenirs made out of these beautiful bills.
These birds stood out prominently in the green forest and blue waters; and were magnificent in flight.
These kingfishers are usually qhite shy. This little fellow kept flying ahead of our boat whenever we got too close. Needless to say, Rick has many pictures.
Rick was very excited to see this very large and wild specimen (he bought his last belt in South Africa!).
Ever wonder what happens to all those broken tiles? Here's the answer. All (sitting) toilets in the Kinabatangan area seem to use these tiles.
This is the Kingfisher in flight.
We got a great deal on airfare. It took 2 flights with a total of 3 stops over eight hours to go from almost the northeast tip to the southwest tip of the Island!