The other side of Mr. Aji’s coin was guided jungle walks.
These took place in a part of the riverside jungle near our guesthouse. The first one was at night and we were accompanied by our Spanish friends.
It was pitch black… We all had to have torches and keep close together. As we entered the thick bush we came across a variety of insects, spiders of various size and hue, a rhino beetle and a massive cricket!
We even saw a small bird asleep under a leaf – protection from the rain.
During our walk Mr Aji warned us of Fire Ants. If we were to stop and look down and see large ants we were to run, run fast! These ants have such a powerful bite that even Elephants fear them. We saw some, but treated them with respect.
We heard more than we saw but in the pitch black darkness it was very entertaining.
The next morning we did a similar trek but didn’t see much as it had rained heavily overnight and many of the monkeys do not risk jumping on slippy wet branches.
When we first Mr. Aji that morning he produced (out of the small of his back!) a big knife. The same knife that Rambo had in First Blood: Part 2 (Great movie by the way). Looking at Karen I sheepishly asked him for it’s purpose. Minds filling with dread, that we were about to encounter some huge beast as we waited his response.
He needed it to cut branches and mark our trail, was the answer. Phew!
Our last jungle walk took place near the Gomantong Caves. Here we were treated to a close encounter with a Crested Serpent Eagle and some red leaf langurs to bring our Borneo Primate hot-list to 8 species.
We really enjoyed our safaris but felt we had seen enough wildlife for a while after almost 12 hours of guided tours! Although we can now distinguish a white-crowned Hornbill from a Rhino Hornbill by sound alone :-).
Mr Aji was the best and would recommend him for the tour.
Next up was our chance to climb Mount Kinabalu.