It’s our third day in the Borneo rain forest. Two boat trips down the Kinabatangan River each day. It’s a rain forest, and it seems to have set out to prove it! We’d been on a short trek into the forest surrounding our camp earlier that day, and had squelched through the rich brown mud in our borrowed wellies, almost losing them sometimes to the sucking of the land. We had brushed aside mosquitoes, gazed in awe at the second smallest frog in the world, and laughed at the white fluff bugs as they jumped around (I still don’t know what they’re called!)
We spent about 4 weeks in Borneo! Borneo is the name of an island, occupied by three separate countries: Brunei, Indonesia, and the states of Sarawak and Sabah of the federal constitutional monarchy of Malaysia. Malaysia consists of thirteen states and three federal territories, situated largely on two land masses: Peninsular Malaysia, and Eastern Malaysia (Borneo). We’re visiting the state of Sabah, first to see the terrestrial wildlife at Sepilok and Kinabatangan, and then to Semporna to do some diving off the east coast.
While we were in Semporna, the Regatta Lepa took place. This is an annual event – a magnificent display of the traditional wooden carved single-mast sailing boats of the Bajau people. The Bajau are a nomadic people, of various groups, clans and families, that traditionally live on the water in this region.