Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

Welcome Xplore-Asia’s newest initiative, our weekly blog.

Each week, we will introduce you to different parts of South East Asia and Indochina, placing the emphasis the more interesting aspects of a particular region and keeping you up to date with new developments.

Our blog is intended to be a guide for you to help assist in tailor-making your dream holiday, with us. We hope you enjoy reading our blog, and remember, please continue to follow us through Face book and Twitter, to keep up to date, as we keep you updated weekly.

This week, we turn our focus to Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary in Borneo.

Located in the heart of a mangrove forest and an oil palm estate, is one of Borneo’s real treasures, The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, which is home to a variety of endangered wildlife species, with the indigenous Proboscis monkey exclusively found only in this part of Borneo.

The Labuk Bay sanctuary was born out of a kind land owner’s sense of responsibility to see the survival of these creatures. Whilst embarking on a palm oil plantation development, near to the current site the land owner, got to hear of the precarious predicament, these marvelous creatures were in, and wished to learn more. After learning about the monkeys and the possibility that they might lose their natural habitat, the land owner, dropped his plans for plantation development, to help maintain the ecological balance of nature in the area an ensure the survival of these marvelous animals .

The Proboscis Monkey’s have very recognizable features; the males are very large in size and have very prominent noses which swell and turn red when the monkey is either angry or excited. These are thought to be significant in the males courting of a female. Also the males are known for their, flat top reddish hairstyles, and large protruding bellies, thought to relate to their complex digestive system.
In comparison, the females are much smaller in size with their only distinguishing feature being their up turned noses. The size and weight difference of the male to the female is thought to be the largest amongst any primate species throughout the world.
The Proboscis Monkey’s home is in the mangrove forest and swamp, so apart from living amongst the trees, the monkey’s feel very much at home in the streams, rivers and creeks and are more than accomplished swimmers.

Today, the Labuk Bay Sanctuary provides the monkeys, with a home for life, and operates a very successful feeding programme; a dietary supplement scheme of fruits and water, which helps ensure the conservation of these animals. The monkey’s come regularly each day for their feed, normally in groups, which you can observe whilst visiting here. Another initiative is the mangrove planting project, where you can make a donation towards the repopulation of the monkey’s habitat and the world’s environment in general.

The Sanctuary offers fully guided treks and night walks through the jungle to observe not only the Proboscis Monkeys but also the abundance of other wildlife, including hornbills, wild boars, crocodiles, maroon leaf monkeys, and maybe a wild orangutan. At night the forest comes alive, when the firefly’s, light up the darkness, providing an amazing light show experience.

Only a few minutes driving distance by pick up from the sanctuary is Nipah resort, which serves as the accommodation for Labuk Bay. in fact, it is the only accommodation within the vicinity of Labuk Bay.

Set in lush tropical rainforest, and built in lodge style, it provides a very relaxing setting with a choice of comfortable chalets or shared dorms (ideal for group travel).

The chalets, double and twin have both air conditioning and fans, with hammocks on the private veranda outside, which you can slip into after a day’s exploring.

The resorts restaurant is set in a low lying area amongst the mangrove forest, which in the evening provides a dramatic scene of the firefly’s lighting up the trees. Also there is a satellite TV room, a pool table and a library and internet room, if you wish to catch up on the rest of the world.
However, why would you wish to catch up on the rest of the world, when you’ve spent the day in paradise on Earth, amongst the amazing Proboscis Monkeys and the beautiful nature and wildlife.

A visit to Labuk Bay is an experience definitely not to be missed when you in this part of Borneo, after all, exploring nature is the reason why you come here.
Labuk Sanctuary is featured as part of the Discover Borneo escorted tour by Xplore-Asia. Please visit our website for full details of the program and to make a reservation

Xplore-Asia looks forward to bringing you closer to nature, in Borneo.

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