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Image of The Month | August 2018

Borneo, the world’s third-largest island, is home to some of the most spectacular and alluring wildlife on the planet. Much has been written about this fascinating region over the years, from the extraordinary local tribes with their unique customs, to the incredible birds and mammals that still abound in protected areas.

While most people associate the island with vast jungles and rainforest, these habitats are in fact under severe threat, largely due to the flourishing palm oil industry. The planting of palm oil is now big business throughout much of South-east Asia, Indonesia and West Africa, decimating vast expanses of lowland rainforest throughout these regions. Initially used largely in soaps and beauty products, palm oil is now widely found in many processed items, including many of food items that we eat on a daily basis. Take a look at the ingredients the next time you buy ice-cream, granola or a candy bar and get an understanding of just how widely used palm oil is these days. Sadly, the impact of palm oil has been severe on wildlife. Plantations offer very little in the way of food for native species, so the overall numbers of birds, mammals and other wildlife has been reduced dramatically.

It is now widely documented how flagship species like Bornean Orangutan are critically endangered largely because of habitat loss. Fortunately, Borneo has set aside a number of key reserves which act as sanctuaries for many of the island’s outstanding species, including Bornean Pygmy Elephant, our Image of the Month. Many people aren’t aware that elephants are even found on Borneo, let alone that there is a unique sub-species endemic to the island. Most authorities treat the borneensis race as a sub-species of Asian Elephant, although some argue that there is a significant enough difference in genetic divergence to warrant their recognition as a separate species. Bornean Pygmy Elephant are currently listed by the IUCN as endangered, with an overall population loss of more than 50% in the last 60 to 75 years. Disturbing as this may be, Borneo’s elephants are still holding their own in vast areas of wilderness like the Danum Valley, Tabin Wildlife Reserve and along protected zones of the mighty Kinabatangan River.

Rockjumper Wildlife’s fantastic tours to Borneo take in the very best sites of this incredible island, as we explore the depths of the Danum Valley, Kinabatangan River and Tabin in the province of Sabah. We have excellent opportunities of finding a variety of interesting mammals aside from Bornean Pygmy Elephant, including Bornean Orangutan, Proboscis Monkey, Bornean Gibbon, Sunda Flying Lemur (Colugo), Bornean Clouded Leopard, the rare Marbled Cat (seen on our most recent private tour in the Danum Valley), Flat-headed and Leopard Cats, Maroon Leaf Monkey, Bearded Pig, Western Tarsier, Malay Civet, Binturong (Bear Cat) and many others, from various flying squirrels to flying lizards and even flying snakes!

Rockjumper Wildlife’s next Borneo tours are scheduled for June 2019. See below for more details.

Peninsula Malaysia Pre-Tour Extension 2019
6 Jun 2019 – 12 Jun 2019  (7 days)
COST: US$2,850 * €2,560 * £2,290 * ZAR42,130

Borneo – Rainforest Wildlife of Tropical Asia 2019
12 Jun 2019 – 20 Jun 2019 (9 days)
COST: US$5,350 * €4,800 * £4,300 * ZAR79,070

*Alternate currencies are for comparative purposes only

 
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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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