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    10
    Apr '20
    Our group of Apex travelers
    Lantern Bug at Danum, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Photographing Rhinoceros Beetles at Danum, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Rhinoceros Beetles mating at Danum, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Banded Broadbill at Danum, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Canopy walkway at Danum, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Black-crowned Pitta at Danum, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Pygmy Elephants at Deramakot, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Buffy Fish Owl at Deramakot, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Diademed Roundleaf Bat at Deramakot, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Rhinoceros Hornbill at Deramakot, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Skink at Deramakot, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Gomantong Caves, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Gomantong Caves, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Bearded Pig at Kinabatangan, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Kinabatangan, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Long-tailed Macaques at Kinabatangan, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Proboscis Monkey at Kinabatangan, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Male Proboscis Monkey at Kinabatangan, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Rhinoceros Hornbill at Kinabatangan, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Silvered Langur at Kinabatangan, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Pitcher Plant at Mt Kinabalu, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Rafflesia Flower at Mt Kinabalu, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Whitehead's Broadbill at Mt Kinabalu, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Keeled Green Pit Viper at Sepilok, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Orangutan at Sepilok, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Orangutan at Sepilok, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher at Sepilok, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Red Giant Flying Squirrel at Sepilok, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez
    Red Giant Flying Squirrel at dusk, Sepilok, Borneo © Gerald Broddelez

    Borneo Trip Journal and Photo Gallery

    Posted by

    in Asia & Pacific

    In February 2020, Apex travelers explored the mangroves, rivers, caves, and rainforests of Northern Borneo. Field leader, Gerald Broddelez, reports here on some of the trip highlights and shares his Borneo photos of the spectacular plant and animal life they encountered.

    Danum Valley

    A late afternoon in this incredible virgin rainforest gave us our first encounter with the “man of the forest.” A young male Orangutan was feeding and swinging in the vines just a few feet away before deciding to come down and cross the road ahead of us. Wow! What a start for the many different animals that we would see on this expedition! A while later, we all had telescope looks at the brightly colored, endemic Black-crowned Pitta singing away from its perch several feet above the forest floor. The colorful Lantern Bug and huge Rhinoceros Beetles (that we observed mating) were among the many spectacular insects seen.

    Afternoon outings along the canopied walkway gave us spectacular views of Red Giant Flying Squirrels soaring from tree to tree, closely watched by a family of Maroon Langur, Banded Broadbills and the very rare White-crowned Hornbill. Night drives turned up great sightings of Leopard Cat and Greater Mouse Deer.

    Gomantong Caves

    A short visit to these huge cathedral-like caves was another highlight of the trip. It is home to thousands of Swifts (including the ones harvested for bird nest soup) and 100,000 bats of more than 10 different species. These are visible from a wooden walkway high above the “moving” floor consisting of millions of critters! On the way in we found a single male and a mother and baby Orangutan giving us unsurpassed views!

    Kinabatangan River

    This is “the spot” for one of Borneo’s strangest primates, the Proboscis Monkey. We were not disappointed as we soon found several cooperative groups of these long nosed monkeys feeding in the riverside trees overhead. We also had very good views of several Orangutans, Leaf Monkeys and both Crab-eating and Pig-tailed Macaques. Cruising in comfort along the river and its tributaries we found a good selection of other wildlife including the beautiful Rhinoceros Hornbills, a huge Saltwater Crocodile, rare Storm’s Storks, Buffy Fish-Owl patrolling the river at night, and Bearded Pigs right by our accommodations.

    Deramakot Reserve

    This reduced impact logging forest with its nice chalets was our home for almost a week. We spent our time exploring the logging roads with our open “safari” style vehicles. Among the many highlights here were several groups of Bornean Pygmy Elephants, Leopard Cats, Red Langurs, Bornean Gibbon, Red-bearded Bee-eaters and a long and varied list of birds. The evening spotlighting sessions produced many rare and seldom seen mammals. Best of all were sightings of the Slow Lori, Mouse Deer, several Flying Squirrels, Bornean Colugo, Palm Civets, Diadem Round-leaf Bat and the rarely seen Banded Civet.

    Sepilok

    Here, we visited the world-renowned Orangutan and Sun Bear Rehabilitation Centers. We got close-up views of some of the adults and babies of both species as they came in for their morning feeding sessions.

    During the evening we visited the canopy walkway and did a short walk in the nearby forest. Several “flying” squirrels were seen overhead while a Colugo and a beautifully colored Green Pit Viper gave us eyeball to eyeball views. An oriental Pygmy Kingfisher and a rare Malay Stink Badger were the highlights after dark!

    Mount Kinabalu

    Our last destination of the trip did not disappoint. We had a great morning exploring the rainforest around the headquarters seeing some extremely rare and beautiful birds such as the endemic Whitehead’s Trogon and Whitehead’s Broadbill as well as some of the near endemic Mountain Squirrels.

    At the botanical gardens we found the rare and large Rajah Pitcher plant as well as a nice selection of orchids. That afternoon, we saw the world’s biggest carnivorous flower, the Rafflesia. We rounded out a fantastic trip with an exclusive farewell dinner at the wonderful Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort.

5 Comments on Borneo Trip Journal and Photo Gallery

    RK Warburton and Kathryn Lemmon says:

    We loved Kevin’s and Jonathan‘s videos. We were hoping to see both of them in the Austral islands. Hope we can make this trip sometime in the future if we ever get rid of coronavirus. Also the slideshow from Borneo was great. Bob and Ann were with us in Ethiopia just before they headed to Borneo. Glad they could get the trip in before social distancing and quarantines. Will we ever travel again? Hope so. Best to all of you at Apex. Good health. RK and Kathryn

    Pam and Don Mitchell says:

    Wonderful photos that bring back memories of exploring those areas several years ago with Jonathan. Thanks for sharing them (but no leeches in the Danum valley!)

    Karin Goss says:

    Such a great idea to do this post! Thanks Carmin, Alicia and the whole Apex team for keeping us in the loop.
    We think about you all so much and pray that this scourge will die out before too long and allow you to continue with the business of connecting we mere mortals with the remote and wilder world out there where the air is now clearer, the water cleaner, the marine and terrestrial habitat happier and the animals freer than ever. Hopefully we as a species have had our eyes opened!
    We miss you all.
    Be aware, be safe and stay well

    margi wiest says:

    Gerald
    It sounds and looks like another amazing adventure.
    Was looking forward to seeing you this summer..but alas the COVID 19 …
    It was so much fun to get to know you in China..hoping to see you in the near future.
    Take care and stay well.

    Patti Malloy says:

    What else can I saw but WOW WOW WOW!!! The trip was outstanding in every way. Thank you Gerald!!!

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