It was 4 pm in Semporna. We arrived from a one-day tour to Bohey Dulang and the islands between Borneo and Philippines. We were tired and had salt in every pore of the skin. We walked the few metres between the Dragon Inn Hotel and the jetty were we expected to take the last boat to the paradise: Mabul archipelago.
I remember the day we arrived at Sukau Rainforest Lodge as one of the best of our trip to Borneo. We got up early in the morning in the small island of Selingan (Turtle Island), in the middle of the Sulu sea. Then, a boat took us back to Sandakan and we changed into a bus to reach the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. After lunch, another boat picked us up again in Sandakan jetty. That boat went up the Kinabatangan river for more than 2 hours.
The Kinabatangan river offers one of the most wonderful landscapes in Borneo. This river is home to a great amount of wildlife. A sacred oasis that fortunatelly survives among palm oil plantations. And surrounded by all this nature, there is the Sukau Rainforest Lodge, which is considered by National Geographic as one of the Unique Lodges in the World. In fact, this lodge is well kwown because it has access to the richest wildlife in South East Asia.
5:30am – Mabul Island – Celebes Sea
The sun was rising behind the windows of our overwater chalet in Mabul. Under our feet, the glass floor allowed us to see some ray fishes. We got dressed, packed everything inside the suitcases and someone rang the bell of the main entrance. A golf car was waiting for us outside to take us through the wooden plaform first and under the palm trees later to the other side of the island for a quick breakfast. Our small boat to Semporna in the Borneo coast was going to depart in less than 30 minutes.
The boat ride took one hour. Then, a small tourist bus (Bas Persiaran) took us during one hour and a half to Tawau airport, where a private driver was waiting for us for a long 6h journey to the remotest and most inaccessible valley in the world, where every week new species are discovered: Maliau Basin, The Lost World.
The day started at 5am in the Shark Island in Lüderitz. We spent the night there, protected by some huge rocks. The night before we set a fire to cook some meat while hidding from the south Atlantic winds. The night was cold in southernmost town of Namibia. But we had to get up early because a 4×4 trip through orange dunes was waiting us 3,5 hours away through some of the most beautiful desert roads of the world.
After our Damaraland expedition that took us to the wildest landscapes of Namibia, we drove from Khorixas to Opuwo. This was a long drive, more than 4h, to the north. While approaching to the borders of the Etosha National Park we started spotting wildlife. At sompe point police stopped us in the middle of nowhere. A big sign informed that we were crossing the Red Line.