Saturday, July 3, 2010

proboscis monkeys and fireflies

on the day before our departure from kota kinabalu, we opted to visit the klias wetlands to catch a sight of the proboscis monkeys and the fireflies. the alternative was to go river rafting along the padas river.

the tour operator, a contact of one of our group members, had offered us a special rate for the monkey and firefly tour.

the place set in a rustic environment had things not expected to be found in such a place - solar panels and a fish spa.

we travelled more than 100km from our hotel to reach the wetlands. we started from our hotel at 2.00 p.m. and reached the sanctuary at around 3.30 p.m. gongs were sounded to herald our arrival (or maybe it was a signal for the hired ones to dress up as monkeys). we were also welcomed with some light refreshment - finger food and beverages.

at around 4.30 p.m. we boarded the 10-seater boat for a cruise down the river. the water of the river that flows through a mangrove area was murky and you could not see the bottom at all. our smaller boat allowed us to get closer to the river banks for a better view of the monkeys on the trees.

proboscis monkeys are found exclusively on the island of borneo. the have the longest noses of all primates. in elderly animals, it can reach 17.5cm. proboscis monkeys live in mangrove, lowland, riverine and swamp forest. they are excellent swimmers.

the boatman was an excellent spotter of monkeys and other creatures. 50 metres after setting off, we saw the first troop of proboscis monkeys. they were on a tree very close to the bank of the river.

moving to the other bank, our attention was directed to some movement in the water. it turned out to be a smooth otter swimming underwater, surfacing now and then.

after a few more sightings of the proboscis and 'beckham' monkeys, we were back to where we had launched off. dinner was buffet-style.

after dinner, we boarded the boat again. as was the case with the sighting of the monkeys, we did not have to travel far to come upon the first cluster of lights on the trees. however, as there was a full moon in the night sky, the illumination was not as brilliant or spectacular as it would have been.

1 comment:

yg said...

firely viewing is best done on a moonless night. s'poreans don't have to go very far to enjoy this. there's sebana cove in johor and kuala selangor in selangor.