Rhino Survey Expedition in Borneo
Tabin was declared a wildlife reserve because of the large numbers of wildlife and birds inhabiting its jungle, many of which are endemic and endangered species. Amongst them is the most endangered of the rhino species, the Sumatran rhino. Tabin is suspected to have one of the last remaining populations of the Sumatran rhino in Borneo
This is an excellent program enabling the participants to sample the best of what Tabin has to offer- a comfortable stay at the charming Tabin Wildlife Resort with a jungle expedition where your contribution will help the Sabah Wildlife Department and SOS Rhino Borneo in their efforts to protect one of the last populations of Sumatran rhinos in Borneo.
You will be picked up in the east coast town of Lahad Datu.
Spend sometime in the town to shop for local supplies before embarking on
the overland journey (1:30 hrs) to Tabin Wildlife Resort, an eco-tourism
resort within Tabin Wildlife Reserve.
Upon arrival, register and check into the charming Bornean timber bungalow of the resort which comes complete with private balcony, air-condition and hot water shower, a real luxury within the jungle.
Enjoy the splendour of mother- nature and explore the vicinity of the resort. Built alongside the Lipad river and nestled within the rainforest, a variety of birds, insects and even small mammals can be sighted quite easily within the resort.
| Tabin’s charming timber bungalow
|| Lipad Café at Tabin Wildlife Resort
In the afternoon, visit the Lipad mud volcano which serves as
a mineral salt lick for wildlife. After trekking through
the jungle for twenty minutes, arrive at the elevated bare area
of the mud volcano known to be frequented by deers, bearded pigs,
elephants and birds. Try to identify the multitude of animal
footprints here. Those adventurous can experiment the effect
of the volcanic mud said to be responsible for fine complexion.
Walk up the observation tower and admire the contrasting landscape
of the bare mud volcano area and its surrounding thick forest
where birds are commonly sighted.
After dinner, enjoy a slide presentation on Tabin’s uniqueness,
followed by a trip to look out for nocturnal wildlife and birds. Remember
to look up at the clear, dark sky of Tabin, identify the constellations
above you, and make a wish or two. Overnight in Tabin Wildlife
|Fun at the mud volcano
||Hornbills can be easily sighted
You may opt to join the early morning
bird walk (not included in package) as Tabin has a rich collection
of about 300 bird species. After breakfast, trek through the lush
green jungle known for its rich diversity of plants and animal
species to visit Lipad’s Waterfall. Take a dip in the natural
pool and enjoy the refreshing splash coming down from the waterfall.
Alternatively explore the surrounding vegetation or just relax. In
the afternoon, there will be a Sumatran rhino orientation and
work shop conducted by the SOS Rhino Borneo team. This includes
1 hour lectures and 3 hours practical training program. This
will prepare you for the next few days’ survey and field
work. Overnight in Tabin Wildlife Resort. (B,L,D)
| Wild elephants at Tabin Wildlife Resort
|| Lipad waterfall, a perfect place to unwind
Orientation Workshop Topics:
- Natural History of the Sumatran Rhino-This section
focuses on the recent biological history of the Sumatran rhino,
including characteristics, historical range, environmental
requirements, behavior, reproduction and habitats.
- Conservation of Sumatran Rhino-This section includes both
in situ and ex situ efforts occurring in countries all over
the world over the last 20 years. Failures, successes and special
issues confronting the survival of one of the worlds most unique
and most endanger animals.
- SOS Rhino Borneo Program-We will cover the various programs
of SOS Rhino Borneo and how collectively these areas combine
to build stakeholder commitment, thus sustainability of conservation.
Beginning in 2000 with an assignment to assist with the captive
breeding program, SOS Rhino Borneo expanded to include awareness
and capacity building projects.
Practical skills Workshop:
- Survey and tracking techniques
Participants will learn to
identify the signs of rhino such as footprints, feces, browsing,
wallows, and how to make a record of them. Rangers will demonstrate
casting footprints, GPS use, compass and mapping use, camera
- Jungle living
This will include what to expect in the jungle
when trekking and camping. What to do about bees, elephants,
snakes, fire ants and leeches. How to make camp, gather food,
cooking and forge rivers.
Today you will begin your survey with the Rhino Protection Unit. The survey location can vary according to the availability of SOS Rhino Borneo’s Rhino Protection Units. The land transport starts from Tabin HQ to Parit water village to the jetty. The 2-3 hour road and boat journey depends on the climatic condition. While traveling along the river you may have chance to see variety of birds, otters, monitor lizards, small mammals and elephants. Upon arrival at the survey site, trip participants have a chance to make their own temporary camp for your 3-night stay. This is one of the exciting expeditions travel along the river.
|Taking pictures of elephant hoof prints along the river bank.
||RPU Staff heading toward one of SOS Rhino Borneo’s base camps
Camp-making and jungle living
The following images illustrate the camp-making activities and
jungle living in temporary camps.
|Camp- making and jungle living
|Communal lunch after a tough jungle-trek
Early morning jungle trekking in deep Bornean tropical
rain forest to find rhino foot prints. On the way you may see a
variety of birds and other wildlife such as sun bears, wild boars,
sambar deer, and elephants. The jungle itself will prove to be
a most exciting and adventurous place to visit. Participants will
experience hiking up and down steep hills and walking through
streams and river beds. The beautiful landscape of Tabin’s
rainforest is relaxing and soothing.
The following photos show evidence of the Sumatran Rhinoceros in the jungle.
|Food plant eaten by rhino
||Fresh wallow used by rhino
|Rhinoceros hoof prints along the riverbank
||Rhinoceros dung after 2 -3 days
Around 4 o’clock team will return back to the temporary
camp and rest for the night. The next day will be more adventurous
and thrilling. (B,L,D)
This is another day of the jungle trekking in a different
location from temporary camp. Today the team will trek along the
river trail as rhinos do come to the river for a drink. Along the
trek one can experience the beautiful scenery of Tabin Wildlife
Reserve from the river side. If the team is lucky, the you can
catch a glimpse of beautiful birds and fauna such the Kingfisher,
Rufous Piculet, Rhinoceros Hornbill, White-Breasted-Wood-Swallow,
Great Argus, Red Leaf Monkey, Silvered Langur, and many more.
From the river trail, the team will then follow the transect
trail to a logging trail in search of rhino’s foot prints.
Upon reaching the logging trail, the team then will spend several
hours trying to locate and identify rhino foot prints. Around
4 o’clock, the team will head back to the temporary camp
for your final night’s accommodate here. (B,L,D)
After spending several nights in Tabin’s rain forest,
the team will return from temporary camp to Tabin Wildlife Resort.
The length of the journey back to SOS Rhino Borneo’s Headquarters
in Tabin will depend on road conditions. Proceed to check in
Tabin Wildlife Resort where you will enjoy a night’s stay
in the resort’s timber bungalow, complete with hot shower
and air-condition facility- for a change. (B.L,D)
After breakfast, you may want to relax in the vicinity of the
Tabin Wildlife Resort, sit by the Lipad river, have a drink of
local coffee or enjoy the presence of colourful birds, insects
and sometimes small mammals that can be seen nearby. After lunch,
depart Tabin. (B,L)
End of program. You may opt to extend your stay
at Tabin Wildlife Resort
What to bring for the Jungle Trek:
- Back pack, light sleeping bag, and plastic bags to keep your
personal effects dry
- Water filter, and/or tablets (available at pharmacies) to
clean drinking water
- "kampung addidas" (instead of hiking boots) can
be purchased upon arrival in Lahad Datu. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
FOR JUNGLE TREKKING
- Leach socks can be purchased upon arrival
- Teva-type sandals or Japanese slippers, to be worn while
in base camp, can be purchased upon arrival for US$3.00
- Waterproof bag and silica gel for your camera
- FAST DRYING: Sturdy light-weight long trousers, long and
short-sleeve t-shirts preferably dark colors, socks, short
trousers, night clothes, towels, hat or cap, swimsuit
- Antiseptic cream, talcum powder, antibiotics to treat septic
wounds, insect repellent
- Soap with low or no environmental impact
- Participants must be fit and healthy. Rhino tracking survey
work can be tedious and involves many hours per day of walking
in the rain, at times crossing swollen rivers, trekking up
and down steep ridges and ravines all in an environment
with humidity of more than 90% and temperatures hovering at
30 degrees C during the day.
- Meals during the rhino survey program are generally communal
and gathered from the forest, with local dishes accompanied
- Accommodations during the rhino survey program will range
from hammocks, to tents to stilt houses.
For booking and further information, please contact:
INTRA TRAVEL SERVICE (167645-U) KKKP No. 3639
Level 1, Office No. 5, Airport Terminal 2, Old Airport Road
Locked Bag 113, 88999 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Phone: 60-88-261558 Fax: 60-88-267558 Email: email@example.com