Kinabatangan River Tour_Borneo Corridor of Life_Animals_Macaque

A Kinabatangan River Tour

A trip up the Kinabatangan River is a tour through Borneo’s corridor of life. The region is home to Asia’s last forested floodplains, and is one of only two places in the world with ten primate inhabitants. But illegal logging and palm oil plantations threaten the future of the wildly diverse, Bornean rainforest. Take a sail upriver and see why the Kinabatangan is worth protecting.

 

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The animals of the Kinabatangan River. A troop of long-tailed macaques, a man-made monkey bridge, colorful stork-billed kingfisher and silvered langur.

 

 

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An early morning tour up the Kinabatangan River and an estuarine crocodile.

 

 

The Orang Sungai, or “River People,” have depended on the Kinabatangan River for hundreds of years.

 

 

Nicknamed the “Dutchman” after European colonizers, the proboscis monkey is one of four primate species found only in Borneo.

 

 

Clear skies over the Kinabatangan River.

 

 

Kinabatangan River Tour_Borneo Rainforest Corridor of Life_ Gomatong Cave

Not for the faint of heart, Gomatong Cave is home to venomous centipedes, a million bats and a billion cockroaches.

 

 

The creatures of the Kinabatangan. A rhinoceros hornbill (the national bird of Malaysia), bi-colored damselfly, estuarine crocodile and great egret.

 

 

A critically endangered orangutan. If you need a reason to help save the rainforest in Borneo, let this gentle creature be it.

 

 

How to help save the rainforest in Borneo

The demand for palm oil, timber and other natural materials is driving the destruction of Borneo’s rainforests. But there are small, simple things we can do as consumers to help minimize deforestation and support ongoing conservation efforts. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has a number of suggestions for how to help save the rainforest in Borneo. These include:

 

Be a conscious consumer

Even the most well-intentioned shopper may not realize that half of all packaged products in supermarkets contain palm oil. Many products made with palm oil are not clearly labeled. Or they may list palm oil and its derivatives under another name. If you want to be a conscious consumer, it’s important to become familiar with the common names for palm oil. Then, start checking products and food labels for its use. Opt for products that contain RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil. Or consider purchasing a palm oil-free alternative. Free apps like PalmSmart and Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping can help you identify which products meet environmental standards.

 

Make a small donation

A small donation can go a long way. Here are a few suggestions for where to donate:

  • The World Land Trust, Rainforest Action Network or The Rainforest Trust. These organizations crowdfund to purchase and preserve acres of rainforest.
  • The Borneo Project advocates and provides international support for community-led environmental campaigns in Borneo. Impressively, more than 80% of the organization’s funding comes from individual donations.
  • Adopt a rescued orangutan. Through the Indonesian non-profit Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), donations go directly to the care and rehabilitation of orangutans at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Center near Central Kalimantan.

 

Travel responsibly

Lastly, ecotoursim supports conservation efforts by providing a way for communities to generate income while still protecting the environment. There are a number of ecolodges, ecotour companies and volunteer opportunities around Borneo. These include BOSF’s Samboja Lodge and Sukau Rainforest Lodge — one of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. Wanderful has more on how to choose an ethical ecotour company anywhere in the world.

 

 

Also interested in a trip to the Amazon? Check out Through Mountains and Forest: A Trip to Manu National Park for how we spent five days in the Peruvian Amazon and Planning a Trip to Manu National Park for how to organize an Amazonian adventure.

 

 

Photos taken during a tour of the Kinabatangan River with Borneo Eco Tours.