I have to admit that Borneo has been one of my favorite travel spots thus far. We went white-water rafting on the Padas River, hiked through some of the prettiest jungles in Asia, climbed a mountain, witnessed amazing wildlife in their natural habitat, and spent day after day swimming with sharks and chasing after rainbows of color that simply do not exist above the water line. What gets better than that?
Before flying back to Kuala Lumpur, our animal loving natures got the best of us and we made sure to visit Sepilok Rehabilitation Center on the edge of the Kabili forest reserve. The facility provides medical care for orphaned and confiscated orangutans as well as dozens of other wildlife species. Some of the other animals that we saw included sun bears, Sumatran rhinos and gibbons. (We were told that the occasional injured elephant made an appearance too!) Approximately thirty orphaned babies are raised in the nursery until they are old enough to be released onto the grounds. AND THEY WERE SO DARLING!! The babies were even wearing diapers…it doesn’t get any cuter than baby orangutans wearing diapers. I just wanted to climb over the gate and pinch their little cheeks or whisk them back to my family farm in Illinois. I was so honored to see such a loving environment for the wee ones, and was thankful that they had devoted and caring volunteers. We toured the facility, walked the grounds, and spent the night at the Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat, a lovely retreat just outside of the Rehabilitation Center.
Sarawak, the neighboring state of Malaysia is right next door to Sabah and offers even more jungle life, cave exploring, and river adventures. Unfortunately, we don’t have time to explore Sarawak during this trip. It such a prime destination that I’d like to devote a few months of adventure, hiking and getting lost. Sabah is a must-do for any Malaysian adventure. I’d go again in a heartbeat. (I have a baby monkey waiting for me after all.)