Amazon of the East
TOUR NAME: Amazon of the East
TOUR DURATION: 10D9N (2N Imbak + 2N Deramakot + 3N Sukau + 2N Abai)
PRICE: USD 4,600 per pax (6 pax minimum)
DAY 1: TRAVEL FROM SANDAKAN TO IMBAK CANYON
Suggest to arrive at Sandakan in the morning. Meet and greet at Sandakan airport and drive overland for 2 hours to the small town of Telupid. After refreshment or lunch, we shall start our journey to Imbak Canyon passing through oil palm plantations, forest reserves and villages. The village of Tongod marks the beginning of your approximately 2-hour (depending on the weather) 4-wheel drive adventure! Half-way, we shall stop by Imbak village; this will be your last stop for any last-minute personal supplies before we continue our journey. Arrive at Imbak Canyon Study Centre and check-in to your rooms. Explore the surrounding area before dinner is served. Welcome briefing and slideshow.
*Accommodation: basic, room with air conditioner + ceiling fan, hot shower bathroom and coffee tea making set. Electricity supply: 0700hrs – 0000hrs.
DAY 2: IMBAK CANYON
After breakfast, gear up as we drive to the Big Belian Camp (BBC). This will be our starting point to explore the surrounding trails, photograph some of the tallest trees in the tropical world, and discover the diversity of plants and unique insects. Trek through the unexploited forest with its own intricate wave of life and towering giant trees of the tropical world standing up to 250 feet. To date, only small part of the Canyon has been explored through scientific expeditions thus having great opportunity to discover its natural wilderness, its great waterfalls and rivers, the diversity of its plants and unique insects and other things waiting to be explored. End your day with a refreshing scenic view of the waterfall and dip in clear water rivers before we head back to our base camp for dinner and overnight. For photographers, learn the techniques in rainforest photography and bring home stunning images of the scenic Imbak river and waterfalls, interesting plant species and towering giant trees, wildlife including stunning arrays of birds, or an evening star trails when the sky is clear.
DAY 3: DERAMAKOT FOREST RESERVE
0830hrs – After breakfast, check-out and continue your journey to Deramakot Forest Reserve. We arrive in Deramakot approximately at 1130hrs, depending on weather and road condition. Upon arrival, check-in your designated lodging. The afternoon shall be spent exploring the nearby forest trails. After dinner, head out for a night drive to look for nocturnal wildlife. After approx. two hours of ‘night drive’ searching for wildlife, return to the lodge for overnight.
Deramakot is rich in wildlife with 75% of Sabah’s mammal species found within its 55,507 hectares of mixed dipterocarp forest. Deramakot is a logging area with 10% of the forest set aside for conservation and 90% set aside for reduced impact logging. It is also the longest Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified tropical forest in the world, having been first certified in 1997.Although it is a logging concession, Deramakot is one of Sabah’s best wildlife watching destinations. Orangutan, pygmy elephants, Banteng (wild cattle), proboscis monkeys and clouded leopards are just some of the iconic species that are found at here.
DAY 4: DERAMAKOT FOREST RESERVE
Early morning wakeup call at 0500 hours. Continue our search for wildlife and enjoy nature on a pre-dawn 4-wheel drive safari. Return to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast, will take a jungle walk for macro photography shoot, Deramakot is a hotspot for insects, some are endemic to Borneo. Return to the lodge for lunch, ‘ciesta or will take a break after lunch. Early afternoon, will explore the forest at nearby lodge for macro photography. After dinner, head out for a night drive to look for nocturnal wildlife until late night. Return to the lodge for overnight.
DAY 5 : SUKAU, KINABATANGAN
Early morning wakeup call and depart on a dawn walk through the rainforest. Return to the lodge and have breakfast. Leave Deramakot around 0900 hours and drive approximately 4.5hours travel overland to Sukau, Kinabatangan. We shall base ourselves at the small village of Sukau, staying at the Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge. 1600hrs-1830hrs: We venture out on an afternoon river cruise to photograph Proboscis monkeys along the Kinabatangan river or one of its tributaries, the highlight of your visit. Observe the Proboscis monkeys, endemic only to Borneo island, congregate along the riverside for its evening rest. Examine their odd-looking facial feature and unique group behavior, and be amazed by the agility of this much talked-about primate. Look out for multitude of wild birds, small and big mammals or primates that may take their way pass the area, bearing in mind you are now in the middle of the most wildlife-rich mangrove wetland and rainforest area in the island of Borneo, a sure feast to the keen eyes that enjoys nature. Return to the lodge for dinner. 2030hrs – 2300hrs: After dinner, experience the night river safari to look for other nocturnal animals and be surprised by the abundance of life that turn on after dark and how close you are actually to them! Be mesmerized by the symphony of the cicadas as you cruise back to the lodge and retire for the night. Photography coaching will be conducted during trips and leisure evening.
DAY 6 & 7: SUKAU, KINABATANGAN
2 full days shall be spent cruising in the early morning and late afternoon, in search of the specials in the area. After dinner, night river safari on a lookout for nocturnal animals. Photography coaching and lecture at mid-day.
Cruise schedule: Morning@0600hrs-0900hrs, Afternoon@1600hrs-1830hrs
On the second day, we will make a visit to the Gomantong Cave.
An outstanding cave formation and is one of the biggest birds nest limestone cave in Sabah. Bats, swiflets, insects, and forest animals inhabit the cave. Every evening, millions of bats will leave the cave entrance and swirl around in the sky before setting out to harvest over tones of insects nightly. A nature’s phenomenon and an experience of a lifetime. Bat hawks and other raptors are always ready nearby to feed.
DAY 8: ABAI, KINABATANGAN
0700hrs: After breakfast, check-out from Sukau and cruise to Abai, see the pristine mangrove and fresh water swamp forest, secluded at the edge of the RAMSAR site. Have a cup of coffee and local cakes while you are briefed about the lodging and the activities. 1600hrs-1900hrs: We set off for the afternoon cruise in search of the mangrove specials, river sceneries, village landscapes and more wildlife. On good weather, we may even get to see firefly colonies which are found at certain parts of the river. Firefly photography.
2030hrs: After dinner, we shall take a night stroll along the boardwalks on a lookout for nocturnal animals and interesting insects.
DAY 9: ABAI, KINABATANGAN
1 full day exploring Abai, Kinabatangan. You will be cruising along the river in the early morning and late afternoon. Slideshow of the journey. Overnight Abai lodge.
Cruise schedule: Morning@0600hrs-0900hrs, Afternoon@1600hrs-1830hrs
DAY 10 : HOME
0600hrs – 0900hrs: Morning cruise 10.00hrs: Check-out and travel by boat back to Sandakan. Then proceed to Sandakan airport for your flight back home.