Mud Glorious Mud
Lahad Datu Travel Blog› entry 6 of 13 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.