Birdsong transforms the canopy of the Borneo lowland rainforest into a symphony. Around you, the lush jungle foliage of Asia’s last great rainforest whispers in a Java Sea breeze. Home to 15,000 types of flowering plants, 3,000 kinds of trees, and 420 species of birds, this is one of the oldest rainforests in the world, spanning some 140 million years. But these aren’t the only superlatives that define Borneo: About 440 species of fish swim in its rivers, streams, and lakes and 221 types of mammals roam the forest floor. Since 2007, more than 100 new species have been discovered here. And its most famous resident—the Bornean orangutan, affectionately known as “the old man of the forest,”—shares 97% of its DNA with humans.

Here is the most profound observation we’ll share about Borneo: Exploring Batang Ai, Gunung Mulu, and Kinabalu National Parks, you will feel as if you are stepping back countless thousands of years. Indeed, the primeval world lives and breathes here still. Limestone spires reach to the skies like outreached fingers. Forests are dense with trees and other vegetation you’ve likely never seen. And primates sit or swing high in the canopy. If you can put aside the feeling that you are somehow out of place—or out of time—it is pure privilege to explore here.

And explore you will, during Discovery Tours’ new Borneo, Nature, Diversity & Grace tour. In our small group, you will have ample opportunity to get as close to this magnificent world as you’d like. Follow a plank boardwalk through a rainforest to the ancient Deer Caves, where if you’re lucky you will watch as a cloud of bats emerges from within. Walk among the dramatic stalagmites and stalactites of the Wind Caves. Explore Clearwater Cave, part of the largest cave system in the world, a network that stretches 138 miles.

You will also have the chance to meet some of the incredible creatures that call Borneo home. Meet the proboscis monkeys at a sanctuary in Labuk Bay, 400 acres of mangrove forest preserved for their protection. Endemic to the island, the unusual looking primate sports an oddly long nose. Long ago, their large bellies reminded locals of the Dutch colonizers, and so the monkeys earned the nickname orang belanda, or “Dutchman.” At the Sun Bear Conservation Center, see the world’s smallest bear. Only found in Southeast Asia, these adorable bruins are rescued and rehabilitated, threatened by deforestation and hunting.

Join us, and experience the spectacular natural world of Borneo for yourself!

Posted by Gate 1 Travel

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