Most Inspirational Moment
We were lucky enough to see a wild pigmy elephant, crossing the river right in front of our boat. Lucky for us, we were alone on the river. Sunrise at the Wildlife Discovery Centre in Sepilok had us up close with a somewhat angry wild orang-utan, which was definitely an experience! At the Sun Bear Sanctuary we met Poppa Bear (Wong) who, if you've seen the ITV Borneo show with Judi Dench, you will know instantly. He, like every other Bornean, was extremely friendly, and happy to chat at length about about the gorgeous Sun Bears. Visiting Labuk Bay and the Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary was a special place, my favourite being the Silver Leaf Monkeys and one baby. And snorkelling off of Manukan Island was top notch, and accommodation there was lush! Could have used a few more days. Be sure to order a kopi tarik at the take away cafe toward the pool. They open at 7.30 am.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Manuel, our tour leader, was amazing. We were such a lucky group and could have not asked for a better leader to gel our Exodus Team! He was knowledgable, compassionate, and a pleasure to be around. I'm looking forward to another Manuel Exodus tour in the future, as he really bonded with every member of our tour and we were all sad to say our goodbyes.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Luggage - You have to carry your own nearly everywhere, so pack as light as possible, in a soft pack. Leech socks - I was very worried about finding these here before we left, but we found some in the Centre Pointe Mall on the ground level. They were also available to rent at the Bilit Adventure Lodge along with wellington boots! Sleep - Our entire group had problems sleeping on various parts of our tour. No way to combat it, but be ready. Bug spray - Take it with you an top up regularly, especially in the rainforest areas. Plasters - Take these too as you may have blisters. Roti cannai - Try this in the Centre Point basement Islamic Center restaurant. It doesn't look like much, but we were there every day were were in KK. You'll see red plastic chairs and know you're in the right place. 1x roti cannai costs 1.50RM, so like 30p, and it's the best we found on the whole tour. Noodles and rice dishes were great too. Laundry - Forget about it. Know by the end you're going to stink. So will all your travel companions. Use laundry services where they're available; we found the Sabah Tea Longhouse laundry to be a reprieve from the stink! The last hotels on the trip will happily take any clothes you don't want to take home with you and distribute to those in need. A good idea (stolen from travel mates) is to buy clothes at the charity shop and leave them with you. Best thing to wear would be lightweight long sleeved shirts! If you put any effort into this tour, you'll be handsomely rewarded - early morning treks provided us with a personal encounter with a pigmy elephant as well as an orang-utan. It was special!
Don't hesitate. I'm experiencing massive post-holiday blues as this holiday was particularly life changing for me. Amazing. Enjoy.