September 2008 Archives

The Sukau Experience

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Hello all, so I'll just quickly introduce myself, my name is Will Berry and I have been out in Borneo now for about a month doing a bit of work for DiscoverBorneo. It's mostly office based so when Ritch, one of my friends from England came over to Borneo, it was a brilliant reason to go off to the jungle, so here is the tail of our trip.

Getting there was really very simple, just a very quick ride in the taxi to KK airport. We arrived, with just enough time for a quick coffee for breakfast. Then up up and away for the 40 minute flight to Sandakan. If you go try to get a window seat you can get some really good views of the jungle, again very simple to get out of the airport, internal flights really could not be simpler.

So out in to the blazing sun of Borneo again we were picked up from the airport and taken down to the pier for a fast speed boat journey up river, here we meet John who had just taken his yacht up river to have a little snoop around, he could not get that far apparently because of an overhanging power lines but his description of the river was definitively interesting. We could not wait to get started!!!

As we started to leave Sandakan bay we must have passed over a huge school of fish since they started to jump up out of the sea flying in all direction and then we were in to the Kinabatangan itself a really broad river, as you travel up you can see civilisation begin to disappear the villages get further and further apart, the jungle get thicker and the trees taller.

There was another group of five heading up the river with us, so we chatted about what we hoped to see and how we had come to be in Borneo. The guide was really friendly and always kept an eye out for wildlife thought he explained that most animals slept during the mid day heat, the speed of the boat was keeping us nice an cool however. Just before we reached the lodge the driver suddenly cut the power to the engines and there just beside the boat was a 3 meter Crocodile he was only there a few seconds but he was a very beautiful animal, this gave us some really high hope for what we would see in the evening.

Then we arrived at the Melapi Lodge here we were welcomed with a cool glass of juice and a simple buffet lunch, then off to our cabin, much better than I had been anticipating for the middle of the jungle air conditioning, and a lovely veranda on watch the sun setting over the river. They have a big central lodge where they serve food and then there a reasonably well stocked bar and very friendly staff, nothing nicer then a cold beer after a hard days animal watching.

So now on to the important bit seeing the animals, this is all done by boat, our tour only included an afternoon trip for about 2 hours, but you can book morning and night trips when your there, just make sure you take enough money ATMs are a little hard to come by in the jungle. In total we took 2 afternoon, 1 morning and night time tour. This was just about perfect for us but then again we did get very lucky.

The boats are traditional long boats with a fifteen horse power engine on the back, when full they can fit about 6 people sitting two by two and then there is the guide and the boat driver. They have plenty of life jacket which you can us or not depending on your preference. On our first outing we saw a small herd of pygmy elephants just down by the water our guide had in the pasted work for WWF and pointed out the radio collars around some of the elephants necks, they were meant to allow WWF to track their movement but apparently deep in the jungle they where next to useless !!! The only way is the more advanced but more expensive GPS tracking. We stayed with the elephants for about 10 minutes, time for everyone to get some good shots and just admire this creatures apparently the reason they so small is evolution.

The big elephants in Africa don't have to worry too much about their size since they just have loads of open space but in Borneo big elephants would find it just about impossible to move around the jungle, so they shrunk.

The next animal we encountered were the hornbills now I' am in no way a twitchier, really I love the undersea world being a marine biologist, but these are some really spectacular birds with their massive beaks, we saw in the space of five minutes 3 different types of hornbills .

So then we headed of down a small tributary that lead off the Kinabatangan river this is where the jungle closes in a bit more, and you really feel inside the jungle. There are loads of Macaques all over the place, travelling around in there troops, mothers carrying little babies and grooming each other all very cute.

Then we encounter the one bad thing about the trip, lots and lots of other boats, some sitting six people per row and having six rows, we nick named these boats busses, how any one got to feel the remoteness of the jungle on these things is beyond me. There were a load of other small boats there as well it was like a traffic jam, this was where I really appreciated our boat driver he just zoomed passed all these boats and head off far up stream. It turns out that the boats from Melapi Lodge try to leave about half an hour earlier than all the rest of the boats and are not as concerned about using a little more fuel, to get you back to the peace and tranquillity of the jungle thank you thank you thank you, it really was these little touches that made the trip so good. Having left the gaggle of tourist well in our wake we could proceed to get back to watching the jungle.

Next on the list was a bird that I think no one could fail to be amazed by, kingfishers, they have 7 or 8 different type in Borneo depending on who you speak to , but that's not the point they are just magnificent birds, a real startling blue offset by a really powerful and vivid orange very very beautiful and the look so elegant, when they dive for a fish great just great birds. Then there are the fly catchers very very fast birds all I ever saw was a small black blur but apparently that what it was ( this is why I'am not really a twitcher). Then we came upon some quite extraordinary bridges these where actually crossing points for the orangutans, built from donated Japanese fire hoses to allow orangutans to cross the river, they really don't like to get wet apparently. I really really wanted to see an orangutan in the wild but I was not going to get my hopes up, since they are so rare.

So we crossed under the bridges which was swarming with Macaques and pushed a little further up river we had been going for about two hours by now and the sun which had been clear in the sky when we set out was now rapidly sinking over the horizon, the guide and boat drive were happy to go on looking for wildlife a little bit long, which was lucky because then we saw the proboscis monkey, which you can only see here in Borneo. They were having great fun jumping from tree to tree with the massive long white tails and let's face it really ugly noses, then we made an about turn and headed for home, really very pleased with ourselves for getting a really impressive haul of animals first time out. So that is enough for now watch out for more about this trip later.

By Himanshu Bhatt (


Neolithic skeletons found in Gua Kain Hitam, Sarawak
at the laboratory of USM's Centre for Archaeological research.
In the background are the principal archaeologist and researchers in the project.

GEORGE TOWN (Sept 18, 2008): Archaeologists have made the most sensational discovery since Perak Man with almost simultaneous unearthing of two separate groups of complete Neolithic human skeletons in peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, both dating back some 3,000 years.

A total of three males with Mongoloid features, aged between 25 and 35 years, were found submerged in a coastal mangrove swamp in Pulau Kalumpang, near Taiping, Perak.

Another eight skeletons, including seven males aged betwen 25 and 45 years, were discovered in Gua Kain Hitam, at a back portion of the sprawling Niah caves complex near Miri.

Continue reading Prehistoric human remains found in Perak, Sarawak

by Jayden Yap

The Tropical Rainforest is earth's most complex biome in terms of both structure and species diversity. It occurs under optimal growing conditions: abundant precipitation and year round warmth. There is no annual rhythm to the forest; rather each species has evolved its own flowering and fruiting seasons. Sunlight is a major limiting factor. A variety of strategies have been successful in the struggle to reach light or to adapt to the low intensity of light beneath the canopy.

The Tropical Rainforest has always been one of the most mysterious and adventurous place to visit. Throughout the whole world, only a few tropical countries are lucky to have tropical rainforest with them, these are Amazon tropical rainforest, Cameroon, Congo, Nigeria, Indonesia and Malaysia.

When travelling in the tropical rainforest, it's adventurous and mysterious; we definitely want to think about our own safety. Amazon and Africa Tropical rainforest system are similar to the one in Malaysia and Indonesia, but for safety reasons, we always encourage visitors or tourists to visit the 3rd largest island in the world - Borneo.

Continue reading Exploring Borneo Tropical Rainforest


Motherly instincts: The mother and other adults protect the baby elephant
at the banks of the Kinabatangan River.

SANDAKAN: A conservationist is now studying the social structure of Sabah's Borneo elephants after past research had focused on genetics.

"We do not yet understand their actual family structures and group dynamics," said Nurzhafarina Othman, a biologist at Danau Girang Field Centre.

Nurzhafarina, whose reasearch would be based on actual observations, would be working with the Elephant Conservation Unit (co-founded by French non-governmental organisation Hutan and the Sabah Wildlife Depart-ment).

DNA information would also be collected via the faeces of the elephants.
(Article is taken from TheStar Online)

Continue reading Research on social life of Sabah's Borneo elephants


Mahua Waterfalls

KOTA KINABALU: Mahua Waterfalls nestled in pristine jungle and gushing with crystal clear waters is fast gaining popularity as a tourism attraction since it opened to the public in June 2003.(Article is taken from New Sabah Times)

Continue reading Mahua Waterfalls continue to awe visitors

Malaysia celebrated National Day on the 31st August 2008.

In Sabah,The National Day celebration was held in Kota Kinabalu. It was attended by Tuan Yang Terutama Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and other State Ministers.

Participated by 150 contingents including private and public sector employees, non-governmental organisations, students, Police & the Armed Forces, cultural performances and others.

Here are some of the photos...







Thanks to S.E.A.S for the wonderful photos:), cheers!

Homemade Hinava

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By Valencia

Hinava, merupakan makanan yang paling popular di kalangan kaum Kadazandusun.


  • Ikan tenggiri
  • Serbuk biji buah bambangan
  • Garam
  • Air limau nipis
  • Lada
  • Hirisan bawang merah
  • Sayur peria di potong halus


  • Ikan dibersihkan terlebih dahulu, kemudian dicincang sehingga lumat.

  • Isi ikan diperam dengan air limau nipis selama satu hari. (Simpan di tempat yang sejuk).

  • Air berlebihan dibuang. Isi ikan digaul dengan serbuk biji buah bambangan.

  • Campurkan garam, lada, bawang merah, sayur peria dan perahan limau nipis.

  • Gaul sehingga sebati.

Sesuai dimakan bersama nasi atau ambuyat :)


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