Danum Valley – day 2

We awoke to a warm, humid, misty morning. We met our guide, Daryl, near the shop and headed off, walking up the road for our early morning canopy walk.


After about ten minutes we were able to see the canopy walk from the road. Obviously a few others were up early too.


The rainforest was a real pleasure to be in. As we walked Daryl pointed out and told us about many of the trees and plants in the rainforest. This one was particularly fascinating. Apart from the lovely flower its foliage was touch sensitive.


As you can see in this photo once the leaves are touched they retract downwards and close up.


Once we were walking on the canopy walk it didn’t take long to be high up over the river valley below.


The cables seemed to be attached to the trees but on closer inspection we saw that they were not actually touching the trees at all.


One thing on the trees that you couldn’t help but notice were the armies of ants.


At the end of each span we climbed a stairway to enable us to move along the next section at a higher or lower level.


Even though we moved around quietly it mattered not as we did not sight one bit of wildlife whilst up in the canopy area. However on our return walk along the road we did see a family of these bush turkeys crossing the road.


We returned to the dining area for a magnificent buffet breakfast spread. It was probably just as well we tucked in because right in front of us and looking up to the right was the ‘view point’ we would be trekking up to. We would need to have lots of energy!


After changing into hiking boots and putting on ‘leech socks’ we gathered our hiking poles and daypacks, which held water bottles, binoculars and cameras and off we trekked on our long walk to the lookout at ‘Coffin Cliff’. Up the same road we walked for a few minutes then we crossed a swinging bridge.


Here’s the view of the river below.


It wasn’t long before we saw some of the lovely flora.


Our first spotting of fauna was this Gould’s frogmouth.


As we walked steadily uphill we passed this small waterfall which was off to our left. The sound of the flowing water was quite peaceful.


Not long after we came upon a sleeping lemur. Its position made it seem as if it was attached by suckers to the tree.


We couldn’t help be impressed by the huge trees as went.


Some of the plants and fungi were quite small but if we were alert there was lots to see.



The trek up was quite strenuous and took us over an hour to reach the ledge where a few log coffins were laid out, but there was nowhere near as many as we had seen previously at the Agop Batu Tulug caves. From there it was a short climb to the lookout point. Given it was in the low 30s and very humid the sweat was freely flowing by this point so we were pleased to stop for a rest and a drink break.

These next two photos show the views from the lookout. The first one is looking down at the resort. The large building is where we had eaten breakfast earlier and the smaller ones are the chalets.


This view is a bit more to the left.DSCN3747

This photo is proof we made it!


Daryl chose a slightly different path for the downward walk. In spots it was quite steep, muddy and slippery so the walking poles were invaluable. Part way down Daryl stopped us as he had heard a noise above us in the trees. It was a family of three gibbons, not something seen very often he told us. The gibbons were eating the foliage. At one point the male moved around quite a bit swinging a bit lower towards us but it was hard to take a good photo as they were so high up, probably 25-30 metres above us and partly hidden in the foliage.


From there we continued until we met the path going back up. We came to the point where the lemur was on our return journey and there it was still sleeping. Fortunately the light was better so this photo was more successful.


We kept moving, finally reaching the lodge as lunch time was nearly finished. Daryl went and spoke to the dining staff who were happy to still serve us. So we quickly went and washed ourselves and flopped down at a table with a view back up to the lookout and enjoyed our lunch.

Following that we returned to our chalet for a cooling shower, change of dry clothes and an afternoon nap before our scheduled afternoon walk through some of the nearby beautiful rainforest.


We completed a composite walk which encompassed four smaller trails, the Nature Walk (which we had walked part of on our first afternoon), the Danum Trail, The Hornbill Trail and finishing with the Tangki Trail. Sadly we had not seen wildlife.


However just as we returned to the lodge area we came upon a red leaf monkey trying to help her baby which had its leg caught in-between a tree and a very thick vine. Try as she could she couldn’t free the little one. In the end our guide and another guide shook the tree and vine and it finally came free, although the mother was keen to come down and remonstrate with the saviours! Here’s a somewhat blurry photo of the mother with the baby’s head partially hidden by foliage.


After showering and changing we made our way to the bar for pre dinner drinks, bumping into two English guys who we had seen several days earlier in Sepilok at the Sepilok Nature Resort. After a drink and a chat we made our way to the dining area where we had a very enjoyable buffet dinner and relaxed.

However the day’s activities weren’t over. Just in case we had some energy left Daryl took us on a torchlight walk in the hopes we could spot some nocturnal wildlife again but no luck, unlike the previous night when we had done the night safari in the truck.

Tomorrow would be our last day in the Danum Valley and we were still hopeful of sighting an orang utan in the rainforest here. As this was really high on Karen’s wish list I hoped and prayed Daryl would be able to help us find one. All will be revealed in my next post!



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