THE CALL OF THE JUNGLE
After four days of splendour, we long for the purity of the jungle. For this we fly to
East Malaysia with Royal Brunei Air. For our jungle experience we could perfectly well
have stayed in Brunei. Two-thirds of that, after all, consists of tropical rainforest.
Completely untouched as well, because Brunei does not have to fell trees to make
money. But just because of that, the jungle of Brunei is virtually inaccessible and
- however ironic - it is more appropriate to cross the border to Malaysian Borneo.
Tourism plays a limited role here and the facilities for trips in the jungle - read: hiking
trails and accommodation options - are better. We fly to Sandakan, an excellent start-
ing point for adventures in the wilderness.
THE PRIDE OF THE BORNEAN JUNGLE
Of course, we are keen to see the orangutan - the pride of the jungle - as quickly as
possible. Although there is nothing better than a meeting in the wild, the animals
are shy and do not show themselves often, so we err on the side of caution and first
visit the famous Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre. Here wounded, displaced or orphaned
orangutans are taken care of and prepared for their return to the jungle. We are there
just before dinner time and can hear their arrival from the noise in the trees. Red-
brown tufts of fur on long, supple arms move in an agile way through the branches.
The animals are beautiful. They eagerly gobble up the fruit and the nuts that have