Thursday, May 14, 2009
The Prince And I - Sukau Rainforest Lodge
I was greeted and welcomed as I stepped of the boat at the Sukau Rainforest Lodge jetty, and escorted up to the lobby where I was served a refreshing cold glass of tropical juice, and given a thorough explanation of the program for my stay - no time wasted here - as in Danum Valley this was all about getting out there and explore!
As I settled into my room I read a bit about the lodge in their little brochure - and found that I was indeed in good company here - the husband of the Danish Queen Margrethe II, Prince Henrik had stayed here in 2002 during a tree planting ceremony he had partaken in as part of his WWF duties being the President of the Danish WWF - so I knew I had made the right choice for my accommodations! (Even if the rooms had definitely not been updated since!)
After a quick cup of coffee it was time for the afternoon cruise on the Kinabatangan river, and soon we were going down the river in 2 boats, looking for anything that moved! We had barely left the jetty before I spotted a Storm's Stork flying overhead - fantastic!! It is among the birds on the endangered species list there being only some 250-500 left in the world! I took it as a good omen, and soon we saw a big crocodile swimming stealthily along the riverbank - I got a good look and a couple of poor photos before it ducked under the muddy water and disappeared from view. As we continued down the river we saw several groups of the long-tailed Macaques, and several types of the Hornbills, a family of Proboscis monkeys moved through a group of trees, and we saw 2 orangutans - several birds of prey, and lots of other birds.
As we headed back to the lodge we saw thunder and lightening in the distance, and it was probably just a matter of time before it would reach us - making the planned night boat ride on the river impossible. Oh well, it had been a great afternoon with lots of sightings, and maybe this business of shining bright torch-lights on unsuspecting sleeping creatures is really not the right thing to do anyway!
Dinner at the lodge was great, I got to chat with a few of the other guests as we sat and enjoyed our meal on the porch by the jetty overlooking the dark waters of Kinabatangan, surrounded by the jungle and it's many sounds!
Soon the rain was pouring down in buckets, and the night ride was definitely off, and so was I- that is off to bed being lulled to sleep by the thundering rain on the roof!