27 Oct - 29 Oct 2009 Bilit

Malaysian Borneo
Sabah aka Land Below the Wind
Sungai Kinabatangan
Kampung Bilit
Senbil Jungle B&B Lodge +60198420895
Rustic dorm beds in a jungle lodge as part of a 3-days/2-nights full-board package (including 4 river cruises, 3 guided walks and the transfers; excluding beer and booze) for MYR 300.- or US$ 88.- per person.

Click below for an interactive satellite view of the Senbil Jungle B&B Lodge near Kampung Bilit and for directions:

Cruising the chocolate-brown Sungai Kinabatangan, with 560 km the longest river in Sabah, watching wild animals such as (i) an impressive herd of c. 30 rambunctious Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) whose ancestors were introduced to Borneo, several hundred years ago by the Sultan of Sulu, (ii) quite a few harems of huge-bellied, long-nosed proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) in the trees lining the river banks and (iii) silvered langurs (Presbytis cristata), as well as spotting a variety of distinctive hornbills who play an important ecological role by travelling great distances and dispersing seeds for rainforest fruits that they eat and who are highly threatened by the ongoing logging practices: (a) oriental pied hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris), (b) black hornbill (Anthracoceros malayanus) and (c) rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros).

Teaming up with Dutch travellers Niels, Erik and Emiel, hiking the tiger-leech infested swamp forests and riverine forests on the south bank of Sungai Kinabatangan to the oxbow lake Danau Bilit (erosion and deposition of alluvia are the reason that large meandering bends in the river’s course eventually became cut off from the main river, forming distinctive crescent-shaped oxbow lakes aka danau) and watching cormorant-like oriental darters (Anhinga melanogaster) drying their wings in their signature style.

"Jeder Schritt loeste Schweiss aus, der sofort mit Bier ersetzt werden musste, und es ging nur, indem man in der Haengematte hing mit blossen Fuessen und sich nicht ruehrte..."

Taking the Madsahirun express bus for MYR 40.- or US$ 11.80 per person from the bus stop near Kampung Kinabatangan to the town of Semporna on the shore of the Celebes Sea and hiring a private speed-boat (for MYR 50.- per person, return) for an exciting schuss over crystal-clear water to Mabul Island, situated about 15 nm south-southeast off Semporna, passing en route many rugged water villages and discussing their ingenious unique advantages: (i) easy waste disposal, (ii) fresh and cool breeze between the buildings and (iii) no title deed necessary since the oceans belong to everyone.

Click below for more blog posts about our visits to Asian water villages
22 Apr - 26 Apr 2013 Hua Hin
22 May - 24 May 2010 Kompong Chhnang
29 Oct - 03 Nov 2009 Mabul Island
15 Oct - 24 Oct 2009 Kota Kinabalu
26 Sep - 30 Sep 2009 Bandar Seri Begawan

Click below for a summary of this year's travels

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