Our Trip to Borneo


During our recent 7 ½ weeks in Indonesia, we didn’t simply limit ourselves to designing jewellery! The family took time off to travel to Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, famous for its jungles, rivers and orangutans. You can click on the photos to enlarge them.

We chartered a klotok, a 12m long wooden riverboat, and quietly glided up the rivers and tributaries of South-Central Kalimantan.

It was a little intense for us, because Lior, at 16 months of age, was constantly on the move, pitter-pattering to the edge of the boat to look over the 40cm high railing. Kalimantan’s rivers are well stocked with saltwater crocodiles, so we had to stay on our toes, just in case she tried to climb the rail!

The rivers we visited are calm and beautiful, particularly the smaller tributaries with almost black water, lined by lush forest. It was common for us to see proboscis monkeys, with their long, fleshy noses and dusky red orangutans in the trees, right by the water’s edge.

Meirav, just like her father, was particularly intrigued by the Nepenthes pitcher plants growing wild, and quite common in the jungle. These plants are carnivorous, using their long pitchers to trap unsuspecting insects that fall in. Fascinating! Too bad they don’t eat the leeches too.

No trip to Kalimantan is complete without an orangutan encounter. We visited a few areas in the Tanjung Puting national park, including the famous Camp Leakey, where orangutans were rehabilitated after being rescued from areas ravaged by logging. These animals have since started their own families, and can be viewed at feeding platforms, where fresh fruit is laid out for them.

The animals we saw were effectively wild, but many maintain a memory of being cared for by humans, and are not averse to getting close. Sandy was almost tickled up the nose with orangutan hair, as a young mother with a baby on her back calmly swung past from one tree to another.

Even with all the exciting things to experience in Kalimantan, it was truly blissful to simply sit at the bow of the boat, watching the river ahead of us, and the forests encroaching on either side.

In the face of irresponsible logging in Borneo, particularly by oil palm plantation companies, we hope that our children will also be able to introduce their own kids to the wonders of natural Borneo.

4 Comments for this entry

Di Bendeich (Di's Art Haus)
July 4th, 2011 on 2:51 pm

Hi Doron & Sandy
We enjoyed your pics & blogs of Kalimantan. We called it home for 10 years and Kel said it certainly looks like ‘Croc Creek’ where you have you leg dangling as tasty bait!! The orangutan were part of our daily life when they came into our gardens.
See you at Sydney Gift Fair

July 4th, 2011 on 3:05 pm

Wow – wow – wow – wow – wow!!!!!!!
What an amazing experience!
I look forward to seeing you soon :)
Sharlene xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

July 14th, 2011 on 5:11 pm

Hi Di and Kel. How fantastic to have lived in Kalimantan! I have no doubt it showed you how to live life more slowly and to take notice.
We look forward to seeing you in Melbourne at the Gift Fair too.
You too, Sharlene!

August 4th, 2011 on 2:02 pm

What an amazing trip. One day I’d love to take my husband and daughter up there too. Tahnks to her we have been made much more aware of the devestative effect of palm oil logging.
Time to make more people aware and save these beautiful gentle animals. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.

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