Expedition of a lifetime!

Expedition: Kinabalu Trekking – Best of Borneo

Danny Cummings

Kota Kinabalu? What a strange and exotic sounding name, conjuring up visions of the lost world, complete with dinosaurs, giant creepy crawlies and amongst all the chirping, buzzing and croaking, maybe that distant roar is King Kong defending Ann Darrow and beating triumphantly on his chest? Emerging from the jungle at the foot of Mount Kinabalu, looming 4000m above sea level over the surrounding Sabah jungle. Could this be the land that time forgot? “We trekked for 4 days through the jungle learning on the way all we needed to know to feed, water, shelter and keep ourselves warm. It is no exaggeration to say by day 3 anyone of us had enough knowledge given to us by Henry our jungle guide to survive unsupported in the jungle. The crew were fantastic and apart from very knowledgeable they were also so much fun and always laughing.”

Four days surviving in the jungle, where it’s all about trekking through the humid wetlands, steamy rainforests that shelter squirrels, wild pigs, giant earthworms and 50cm long giant red leeches. Caught under the spell of immense trees, past waterfalls where lush green ferns have made their home, crossing rivers, hunting and gathering and making fires to cook up the day’s trappings, before falling asleep in a hammock in a self-made shelter, listening to the sounds of the forest: monkeys, hornbills, birds and insects, and finally sleeping, with dreams for company in the absolute darkness. 

Having survived the jungle, the next challenge awaits – the ascent of Mount Kinabalu (4095m), its park a world heritage site – stairs and rocky terrain climb on the lower slopes through dense rainforest with hardwoods, fruiting figs, bamboo, giant tree ferns and mossy earth all vying for attention. Maybe bright flashes of the orange bill marking the presence of the rhinoceros hornbill. Rainforest giving way to a mix of foliage, rhododendrons, oaks and chestnuts, eucalyptus and carnivorous pitcher plants – some of which are capable of devouring mice and rats. Then emerge above the forest canopy –  “Out of the jungle and onto the great Mount Kinabalu where Rolfe our mountain guide took over. A day later and there we stood on top of this truly remarkable, jungle covered mountain, for sunrise”.  Savouring the rose, orange glow from the top of Malaysia’s highest mountain –  a magnificent reward after the toughness of the climb. “Then down we go to the bottom and a stunning beach resort for a well-earned rest, unless of course you’d prefer to go rafting or climbing or parasailing or in my case Scuba diving. If you can dream it then Rolfe and Jerry will do their best to sort it.”

Resting too long is not an option when there is so much still to see in this unique place. “A day later then back into primary rainforest on the hunt for the big 5Orangutans- Pygmy Rhino – Clouded Leopard – Pygmy Elephant – Salt water Crocodile. 2 nights at a lodge with river cruises, night jungle walks and endless monkeys finished what can only be described as an expedition of a lifetime.” Home to 5,000 types of plants, 326 different birds and over 100 mammal species the experience is completed with more sights and sounds in excursions from the luxury riverside lodge, rhinoceros hornbill, pygmy elephants, proboscis nose monkeys, primates, crocodiles and rare insects, and river dolphins dancing beside the boat.

“Thanks again 360 Expeditions”

Danny Cummings

Join us on the next trip 25 August – 06 September 2020! Click here to find out more about our ultimate Kinabalu Trekking & Survival Skills expedition in Borneo!

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