We took an extended river cruise down river, as our guide had been told of a herd of pygmy elephants quite a long way away. Just when we were begining to think we wouldn't see any, we found them. At first we could only hear them & see the tops of their backs over the grasses. Then one stopped to feed and kindly ate & cleared the way so we could see him clearly. A huge creature stood right in front of us. We were so close it was absolutely amazing.
The wild orang-utans were also an amazing sight. We saw a mum & baby near the entrance to Gamatong cave. Then we saw a few more in the trees along Kinabatangan River from a distance. But when we were at Danum Valley we came so close it was unbelievable. The first day there, we were stood watching a mum and baby feeding from a very close distance for quite a long time. And then on the morning trek the day we were leaving we came even closer to a young male. We watched him eating fruit, hanging upside down, spitting out the seeds & watching us. Awesome!!
We went on this trip not expecting but hoping to see as much as possible. They are wild animals after all. But in the first 2 weeks it just seemed to get better and better.
Our list of sightings: Rafflesia flowering, flying squirrel, scorpions, western tarsier, proboscis monkeys, long & short tailed macaques, red leaf & silver leaf monkeys, monitor lizards, orang-utans (11 wild + the ones at the sanctuaries), crocodiles, pygmy elephants, samber deer, mouse deer, civets, gibbon, pit vipers, red bellied viper, turrantulas, marbled cat, bat exodus (at deer cave), flying lemur, Irrawady dolphins. Plus lots of different insects and beautiful birds.
Our first week was dry but we still encountered leeches. Quite a lot actually!! Leech socks are a must. We bought ours whilst we were there for about £6 and I'm glad we did. When the rain did start I was glad we took ponchos. Great cover for our backpacks and cameras as well as ourselves.
There were a few single travellers on our trip, but we all got on great and ate (& drank) together most nights. We were in a group so if you wanted company it was there, or if you decided to be alone sometimes you could be.
The long walk through the jungle on day 5 was a 9(ish) km walk. It took us just less than 6 hours. The trip is definately a moderate activity level as it includes quite a bit of walking, mostly on uneven surfaces up and down hills in very hot, humid weather.
We did the optional trips, paid camera fees, ate street food and at restaurants, bought souveniers and drank lots of beer all for about £350 each for the 3 weeks.