Mud Glorious Mud

Lahad Datu Travel Blog

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Rainforest

I suppose I should have expected it, after all the clue is in the name. It's called "rain forest" so it's going to rain and when it does it's going to be muddy!

We are on a 3 day/2 night Uncle Tan jungle trip to the rainforest on the east coast of Sabah.  The camp is a 2 hour bus and 45 minutes boat ride from the Uncle Tan HQ at Sepilok.  There are about a dozen others on the trip including the young Irish couple who we met on Mt Kinabalu.  On the boat up to the camp we look for wildlife and to my surprise see Proboscis Monkeys as well as plenty of birdlife, but again I curse my camera which is not really up to the job of taking good wildlife shots.

Tree Frog

The Uncle Tan camp is a collection of wooden huts about 400m from the river.  We are advised to take advantage of the wellington boots available for hire and though the path initially looks OK is is pretty muddy in places and by the time we reach camp I resolve to use the wellies next time we venture out.  The rooms are Ok but pretty basic, relly just a matress and mosquito net and though we are provided with a sheet it seems too small to be any use.  Naturally there is no fan or a/c as there is no electricity here.  After dinner we take night boat safari and see plenty of monkeys and sleeping birds. 

The next days we are woken at 6am for a dawn boat safari.  This is one of the best times to see wildlfe and there is plenty on show.  We are particularly fortunate to glimpse 2 orang utans.

Night walk - Scorpion
  Mid morning we have a walking safari in the jungle near the camp and though we do no see many animals the insect and flora makes this perhaps more interesting than the boat safaris.  In the afternoon we have another boat trip and after dinner we a night jungle walk when we can see the animals, such as scorpions, that come out at night.  On the fiinal day before our departure we have another boat safari. 

Overall the Uncle Tan tour is excellent.  The wildlife here is amazing (our slight depressed Swedish friend from KK who we actually run into several times explains to me that  the jungle here is a narrow corridor close to the river so that the wildlife is compressed into a relatively small area.  Most of the rain forest here has been logged and turned into Palm oil plantations) the staff and guides superb and the whole experience sufficiently untamed and uncomfortable (hot, humid, mosquitoes, muddy, poor showers) that 2 nights is just about enough, at least for us.

Uncle Tan rainforest camp
 

On the way back as we approach the jetty we are caught in a heavy rain shower and spend the rest of the day trying to get dry.   The Uncle Tan guys have arranged a bus for us to Lahad Datu where we pick up another local bus on to Semporna.  It rains heavily for most of the trip we see some appalling wet weather driving and several accidents, but we manage to arrive in Semporna safely and after asking directions find the hotel and dive shop area.

Semporna is a rough looking place but the Sipadan Inn where we take a room is one of the best hotels we have stayed in for some time.

Kingfishers sleeping
  Next door North Borneo divers can take us diving to Sipadan on Tue and Wed (there are only 100 divers permitted in the park each day) and Mabul tomorrow.  The major dive operator here seems to be Scuba Junkie but they are a victim of their own success and their Sipadan trips are booked out for the next 5 days.  I have heard good reports about N Borneo divers so am pretty happy with the way this has turned out and am looking forward to the diving tomorrow.

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Rainforest
Rainforest
Tree Frog
Tree Frog
Night walk - Scorpion
Night walk - Scorpion
Uncle Tan rainforest camp
Uncle Tan rainforest camp
Kingfishers sleeping
Kingfishers sleeping
Crocodile
Crocodile
Proboscis monkey
Proboscis monkey
Early morning at the river
Early morning at the river
Lahad Datu
photo by: Riz7