After eating a delicious made to order breakfast we collected our cases from our luxurious chalet, paid our bill and waited for our new guide to arrive. His name was Adrian and we soon discovered he was also our driver. We loaded our cases in the back of the minibus, climbed in and off we drove to the Gomantang caves. After parking we began making our way towards the caves along a boardwalk. As we went I had the good fortune to spot a green lizard, beautifully camouflaged. He was so still and given he was only about 12 centimetres long I had done well to notice him.
Further along the boardwalk a largish group was looking upwards. Some orang utans were up in the trees but hard to see. We kept going and luckily saw an orang utan near the cave walkway. Our first orang utan in the wild! Our guide motioned to us to keep still and see what she did. She left the roof of the building and started to descend. Adrian said she was coming down to collect jackfruit and he pointed out two on the ground not far from where we stood.
As she came down we noticed a passenger. As she moved down we had an even better look.
However as she came down she hesitated. Back up she climbed.
Our guide said she wouldn’t come across for the jackfruit while we were so close so off along the boardwalk we went, hoping she would come down quickly but she didn’t.
The caves were quite impressive size wise but the smell was quite strong. Apparently this wasn’t the time of the year for the birds to be nesting so we didn’t see many. However based on the smell birds nest soup won’t be on my list of foods that I must try. The apparatus that the collectors use was quite interesting but looked rather lightweight to support an adult.
To avoid stepping in the bird dung visitors had a boardwalk to make their way around the caves.
Apart from the smell the other thing that could put a visitor off was the amazing number of coakroaches. We happened upon a bunch devouring something dead.
Perhaps it had been one of the many massive centipedes we saw also.
After completing a circuit we made our way back along the boardwalk but no sign of the mother orang utan and her baby, although one of the jackfruit was gone. Further along the boardwalk we were able to just see some orang utans through the leaves eating the jackfruit. As to whether the mother and baby we had seen before were among them is anyone’s guess. The caves may not have been that good but seeing orang utans in the wild was totally wonderful!
Once back at the vehicle we continued on to Sukau. On our arrival at the jetty we parked and waited for a boat to come from our Lodge.