Cave & Jungle Exploration on BorneoOur first stop on Borneo was Mulu Park with some of the largest cave chambers and systems in the world (Clearwater Cave is 9th in the world at 175 kilometers long and 350 meters high). The cave formations were extraordinary. It takes 100 years to add 4-6 centimeters to a stalagmite! Along with this beauty were the acrid smells from the bat guano. In Deer Cave 140,000 pounds a day is deposited by the 3 million bats that fly out each evening at dusk.
We trekked through lush jungle on elevated boardwalks, small stone paths or on the spongy forest floor. Our night walk overwhelmed us with the cacophony of sounds produced by unseen fauna: high pitched sounds of cicadas (main background), overlaid with the sounds of frogs, birds, and insects rubbing their legs/wings.
Guides showed us geckos, bats, snails, centipedes, millipedes, and lastly, “stick” and “leaf” insects and spiders whose appearances were camouflaged by their host flora. Canopy walks at 25-35 meters above the forest floor on 1-foot wide rickety wooden slats provided another jungle perspective: waterways below, sunlight streaming spottily through to the ground, different flora (orchids, ferns, vines, lianas) and fauna (pygmy squirrels, bright green viper snakes, butterflies).
Mulu Park was made more special by the commitment of the guides, most of whom were born and raised in the rain forest and referred to this place as home...it provides them with all that they could ever need to sustain their life