Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nature Orientation Course in Maliau Basin ~ PART 1

This post is continued from

Photo credit ~ Jimmy Omar 

As I have already mentioned in the previous post, I had participated in a Nature Orientation Course in Maliau Basin Study Center. This is a one week course organized by the is a part of the awareness campaign organized by the Sabah Nature Society and Yayasan Sabah to educate the young generation the importance of conserving nature.

22 students accompanied with several teachers participated in this exciting program. These students are chosen from the Nature Clubs in several secondary schools around Sabah. They are among the best "nature-lovers" students in Sabah.  

The course provides many exciting activities related to nature which I will share about in this post. Mr. Jimmy Omar, the host of this program along with Andreas Boital and his team have made this course a success and leave us behind unforgettable memories and useful knowledge. 


On the first day of our adventure, participants from Tawau, Semporna and Lahad Datu will assemble in front of the Tawau UMNO building where we will board 4-Wheel Drive Vehicles which will leave at 11 am to Maliau Basin.

UMNO Political Building in Tawau © CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

The ride to Maliau Basin Study Centre (MBSC) took us 5.5 hours across about 190 kilometers of road. The roads after Kalabakan district are unpaved and very bumpy.

Halfway into Maliau Basin, we took a break at the Maliau Basin Security Gate where we register and checked in.

Security Checkpoint / Maliau Basin road junction

During the break, we also took the opportunity to visit the Maliau Basin Information Gallery in the security checkpoint compound. This information gallery is opened by Shell Company in 2007.

Maliau Basin Information Gallery

The information gallery is very informative as it contains maps, pictures and articles
about Maliau Basin.

There is even a Tembadau skull displayed inside the gallery

After the break, we resumed our journey to the Maliau Basin Study Center which is about another
20 km away from the security gate.

If you think the road from Kalabakan is bad enough, the road starting from the Maliau basin security gate is a lot worse. The situation gets from bad to worse. This narrow road is without gravel so it is extremely muddy and slippery here. A non-4WD automobile will surely get stuck in the thick mud.

Sometimes the condition becomes very risky when our cars crossed rivers through bridges which are simply made of 2 tree trunks. One little slip and you will fall to the rivers below.

Our 4WD car covered in mud from the long journey

After checking in at the lobby counter, we were lead to the hostels where we will be staying for the next several days. The hostels are dormitory roomed so we each choose a bed and start to unpack our luggages.

Bambangan & Beluno Hostel

After that, we explored the surroundings of our hostels while waiting for dinner time.

Dinner is in MBSC Dining Hall where we enjoyed our all-you-can-eat buffet. Wild boars also came to join us after picking up the smell of our delicious meal.

 A wildboar

We have nothing to do after dinner so we returned to the hostels and get to know each other while I looked for nocturnal insects.

These are several of the nocturnal insects that visited our hostels attracted to the artificial night lights.

Continue to part 2 here

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