Crocodiles and frogs

Sandakan Travel Blog

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We woke up this morning at 6am to go for another river cruise. A bit of a nasty shock considering a sleepless night (wafer-thin mattress on the floor), no showers (a bucket of muddy river water was the closest), terrible toilets and just generally a hot, dirty, sweaty camp.


The morning tour soon reminded us why we came. We saw lots of monkey and hornbills again, and oriental darters, but the most impressive was the salt-water crocodiles. We saw several hatchling crocodiles in the river (maybe 20cm long) as well as a few metre-long adults in the water, and one on the river bank that we got to within five metres of. Finally, on the way back to camp we came within two metres of a giant four metre long monster.

Up close it was amazing how powerful it looked, especially its jaws and tail. After five minutes it dived into the water under the boat, reminding us why we couldn’t wash in the river in the mornings (a few years ago a full-sized wild boar was taken by a crocodile right in front of the camp).


We had breakfast back at the camp, and then we went for a guided walk in the forest. It was a really hot sweaty walk, and we didn’t really see much on it at all. We went to the lagoon where proboscis monkeys are normally found, but there was nothing there. On the way back we did see an emerald pit viper asleep in the tree, and we saw the world’s smallest frog (maybe 2mm long). We also saw the elephant wallows, but it was the wrong time of the year for elephant.


We had lunch, and then a couple of hours before our next boat trip.

World's smallest frog
Jodie’s back was out again, so I went to the lagoon and took a boat out with Adam and Angharad. We rowed it around the lagoon where we saw another troop of proboscis monkeys and several egrets and herons. We then found a link to the next lagoon and rowed around there and had a walk on the shores where I saw a river otter. Unfortunately we got back late so we missed the cruise that Jodie went on.


After dinner that night (the food was terrible too) we had a choice between another night cruise or a night safari. We chose to go for the walk, so our guide showed us how to hold the torch up in line with our eyes, and see frogs with the red reflection of their eyes, and spiders by the blue reflection. It turned out to be quite simple once we got the knack of it, and we soon saw many spiders and frogs of all different types.

We saw a giant (30cm) centipede, a water spider (really large), giant tarantulas, giant jungle scorpion, many small spiders and lots of frogs (including litter frogs, tree frogs, and the smallest frogs, but none of the bright red frogs we were looking forward to seeing). We also saw several birds asleep at a perch �" a dove, a Bornean Flycatcher and a Paradise Flycatcher (with their superb long tail).


The walk was really good, but would have been better if our guide was able to explain what we saw, and if he had waited long enough for everyone to see the frogs before picking them up and scaring them off.

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Worlds smallest frog
World's smallest frog
14,461 km (8,986 miles) traveled
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photo by: canuck_downunder05