Danum Valley Adventures-in Search of the Giant. 17th October 2016.

We booked our trip to the Danum Valley Conservation Area a year ago right after Tai Ping Ling’s successful hunt for the Giant Pitta in October 2015. The DV Field Center is a two hours drive from Lahad Datu, the nearest town. As there are no direct flights from Singapore to Lahad Datu, we had to stop over at Kota Kinabalu for a night.

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All smiles at the start of the Borneo adventures. At Kota Kinabalu airport about to board the MAS Wings turboprop plane for the 55 minutes hop to Lahad Datu. Alan OwYong, Goh Yue Yun, Alfred Chia and Tan Julin. 

Cropped Forest outside Danum

The logged forest buffering the Danum Valley Conservation Area. 

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The 438 sq km conservation area was suggested by the WWF Malaysia in 1976 . Yayasan Sabah Foundation agreed to conserve it as National Park in 1980. The DV Field Center is on the fringe of the area. Further in is the more luxurious and expensive Borneo Rainforest Lodge.

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A herd of over 20 Borneo Pygmy Elephants blocked our way to the field center. A great start to our trip. We did not see any elephants inside the conservation area during the whole of our stay. 

Danum Field Center from the air

The Field Center where we stayed. Food was as good as can be expected in such a remote place. The rooms are clean and comfortable at night even without aircon. Power cut off at midnight so charging of batteries had to be done early.

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The viewing veranda and dinning area at the field center. A great place to watch wildlife coming through. This is where I photographed the endemic Bornean Gibbon and child swinging by. Free wifi available but too low for surfing. Signals for mobile phone is sporadic at best.  

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Leech socks are a must but they will not prevent leeches from getting in. I got beaten behind my head and under my armpits, Alfred in his nipples and the rest at more respectable parts of the body. 

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The Segama River and the surrounding the dipterocarp pristine forests in front of the Field Center.

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Andrew Siani our guide for the trip about to cross over to the Waterfall trail to look for our pittas on the first morning. Everyone was looking clean, fresh and full of expectations.

 

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