Sunday, August 11, 2013

Jungle trekking in the Danum Valley


Accessible via a two-hour drive from the town of Lahad Datu in eastern Sabah, is Borneo’s Eden, a lush, tropical jungle enclave known as the Danum Valley Conservation Area.  This vast expanse of lowland virgin forest is managed by Yayasan Sabah, a corporate body in charge of the conservation of the rainforest terrain in Sabah.
 
The Danum Valley is a vast expanse of wilderness populated with tall trees belonging to more than 200 species.  Many of the trees that grow in the lush enclave of the Danum Valley count amongst the tallest and oldest in the world and are overgrown with various fungi, orchids and dangling creepers.  Such is the thickness of the forest cover that it plays host to several species of rare and endangered native fauna like the flame-haired orangutans, sun bears, clouded leopards, bearded pigs, pygmy elephants, mouse deer, endangered Sumatran rhinoceros along with 340 species of birds and 72 species of reptiles including tree snakes, King Cobras and the almost ubiquitous monitor lizards
 
Most visitors to Sabah are desirous of spotting at least some if not all of these wondrous creatures and jungle treks in the Danum Valley are much sought after expeditions in this, dense, dark and teeming jungle thicket. 
 
A popular starting point for these tours is the stunning Borneo Rainforest Lodge, Borneo’s first eco resort in Sabah, which is located on the banks of the Danum River. Each of the lodge’s well-appointed rooms is equipped with hot tubs and the restaurant and bar area of the lodge offers stunning views of the lush rainforest and beyond. Explorations of the Danum Valley usually include: -
 
Jungle Treks
 
Guides follow various trails into the jungle terrain of the Danum Valley but usually include a hike to ‘View point’, the highest point in the forest located near the lodge, which offers stunning views of the wilderness and beyond.
 

Canopy Walks
 
The Danum Valley is equipped with a series of elevated walkways fashioned out of wood, cable and rope located at a height of 26 meters above the ground. Walks along these canopy walkways offer gorgeous vistas of the misty rainforest and the lush jungle floor.
 
Night safaris
 
As night falls in the jungle, guides lead visitors along nature trails by flashlight, as they point out nocturnal inhabitants of the jungle like owls, frogs, mouse deer, civet cats, and flying Lemurs. If you are especially lucky, you may even get to spot adorable tasiers (the world’s smallest primates) and even fearsome leopards and pythons on these nighttime jungle safaris.
 
A few points to keep in mind before heading out on treks in the Danum Valley
 
Do make sure you wear thick socks and sturdy footwear for your jungle treks as most nature trails in the Danum Valley are overrun with leaches.
 
It is always hot and humid in the jungle during the daytime as relative humidity is almost constant at 80%, but at nighttime the temperatures tend to plummet to 22C, so you should come prepared for the drastic change.
 
So if you can’t make it on an African safari, a jungle adventure through Borneo’s Danum Valley should more than adequately fulfill your need to get up close and personal with creatures in the wild.

No comments:

Post a Comment