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Image of The Month | September 2017

Borneo, the third largest island on Earth, has long been considered a wildlife haven: with vast tracts of luxurious rainforest and stunning high-mountain peaks, such as Mount Kinabalu – which, at 4,095 metres (13,435 ft), stands aloft as the highest peak in the entire Malay Archipelago.

Much has been written over the years about Borneo’s fabulous wildlife; and, naturally, species such as Orangutan come to mind. This extraordinary species of Great Ape has unsurprisingly fascinated many visitors over the years; however, the island also hosts a number of other highly specialised and localised primate species, such as Maroon, Silvered, Hose’s and Sabah Grey Langur, Proboscis Monkey, Long-tailed and Pig-tailed Macaque, Slow Loris, Western Tarsier and Bornean Gibbon. 

Gibbons are purely an Asian group of Apes belonging to the family Hylobatidae. They typically occur in tropical and subtropical rainforests ranging from north-east India to southern China, and south through south-east Asia to Indonesia (including the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, and Java). Historically, the family contained one genus, but is now split into four genera comprising 18 different species. Unlike the Great Apes – such as Chimps, Gorillas and Orangutans – Gibbons don’t make nests, and differ further by being smaller and exhibiting low sexual dimorphism. Gibbons are also exceptional at moving through their treetop habitat; and are often regarded as the fastest and most agile of all tree-dwelling, non-flying mammals. They will often swing from branch to branch for distances up to 15 m (50 ft), and at speeds as fast as 55 km/h (34 mph)!

The Bornean Gibbon is endemic to the island of Borneo; and while still fairly easy to find in protected reserves and national parks, it has been recently upgraded to Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Research has shown that the Bornean Gibbon population has crashed by more than 50% over the past 3 generations (45 years), and the species is now severely threatened. Sadly, habitat loss on the island has been extensive and is still ongoing: as massive areas are lost on a daily basis due to continued logging and the clearing of forest for oil palm. The Bornean Gibbon is often split into 4 different species, with those in the province of Sabah known as North Borneo Gibbon – the species featured in the image. Other species are White-bearded Gibbon – which is found in W Kalimantan; Muller’s Gibbon – which is still fairly numerous in hill forest of NC and E Kalimantan, and Abbott’s Gibbon – which is the rarest on the island, with only one viable population left on the border of Sarawak and W Kalimantan.

Rockjumper Wildlife’s incredible Borneo tour visits the very best sites, from the extensive lowland forests of the Danum Valley and Tabin Wildlife Reserve to the scenic Kinabatangan River in the province of Sabah. Here we have excellent chances of finding Bornean Gibbon, as well as the incredible Bornean Orangutan, Proboscis Monkey, Bornean Pygmy Elephant, Bearded Pig, Leopard Cat, Sunda Flying Lemur, Black, Thomas’s and Red Giant Flying Squirrels, Slow Loris, Western Tarsier, Malay Civet, and even good chances for rarer species, such as Bornean Clouded Leopard and Flat-headed and Marbled Cat.

Rockjumper Wildlife’s next Borneo tours are scheduled for June 2018. See below for more details.

Peninsula Malaysia Pre-Tour Extension
06 – 12 Jun 2018 (7 Days)
Tour Price: US$2,750

Borneo – Rainforest Wildlife of Tropical Asia
12 – 20 Jun 2018 (9 Days)
Tour Price: US$5,250

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Rwanda
JR - Private Rwanda

Trip has been wonderful! Dale is second to none! Really thrilled to have him and Eric (driver)!

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Botswana
LH - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

We were very lucky to have such knowledgeable guides, Shadow had the ability to place us in the right spot at the right time when other guides were still thinking about it. It was nice just to sit and observe the interactions.
Great tour, the mix of participants also worked well. Many eyes help spot things which might otherwise be missed (back seats are higher and sometimes you just catch a glimpse that the front seat people miss).

Botswana
EB - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

Great communications and customer service.
One of the best trips I’ve been on. The sightings were fantastic, Andre was great, the food phenomenal and the support staff exceptional!
Andre was an excellent guide in all regards and made sure everything went smoothly.

Botswana
I.T - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

The tour was excellent. The staff from the Safari company were also excellent.

South Africa & Botswana
LH - Tailor-made South Africa & Botswana October 2018

I want to thank all of you at Rockjumper who worked to give me and my six friends the trip of a lifetime! The trip was perfectly planned; we saw a wonderful array of sights in perfect settings and lodgings all throughout the thirteen days. Logistically, everything worked like clockwork and it took all the stress out of traveling.

But without a doubt, what made the trip so incredibly special was our tour guide/leader, Rainer Summers. He not only lead us to the sights, through airports and into the bush but he managed to keep us all together, without losing anyone for more than five minutes – and I can assure you: that was not an easy task. (We really are not senile – just a bit independent).

His knowledge of what we saw and where to take us, especially in Cape Town improved our experience greatly. His knowledge of the wildlife and its social structure and behavior at Mala Mala and in Botswana increased our appreciation of what we saw exponentially. Nothing was too much trouble whether it was showing us how to use binoculars or camera or how to spot birds.

He also made sure that everyone was comfortable and at ease in all situations. He anticipated everyone’s needs and he ensured that we all had what we needed and/or wanted everywhere.

But most of all, Rainer was delightful to be with. He was fun and his wit and sense of humor made him a great companion. He is a tremendous asset to your organization. We all would like to return to Africa and Rockjumper’s tours but we will want to have no one but Rainer with us!!! We cannot envision a tour leader who could top this experience.

So, thank you for arranging the tour and a special thanks for choosing Rainer to be our guide. It was a magnificent experience and a week later, I am still wishing I was in Africa!

Sincerely,
LH

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