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Wonderful TR and photography, thank you so much for sharing! Borneo was on my list, but now it's in the top n destinations (count keeps going up) to go to.  Whenever we'll go I hope we'll have as much luck at wildlife as you did.

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Wow! I just read through this entire report in one go. What an amazing trip with too many great photos to single out. Loved the humor too. Good to see such patience with indifferent guides, and unexpected mishaps. I probably wouldn't have been so calm, but it helps to be with others who can commiserate ;) Borneo is probably not somewhere we will ever get--too wet, too difficult, too many leeches (UG!) but I can enjoy it vicariously!


Am I to understand that most of the shots here were taken with the 200-500VR? That's really impressive! I of course love that lens as well but haven't yet used it much in difficult rain forest situations, nor for night shooting.  This will be my main lens on my upcoming Australia trip where I will at times face similar conditions (although hopefully not as wet, and minus the leeches ;)  So I'm encouraged that you did so well.


I do now see from the Exif that for some of the smaller critters, like the frogs, you were using the 18-300. I was wondering about that because I know the 200-500 doesn't focus very closely. I'm still stymied about which lens to bring for those.


Interesting that you used the pop-up flash quite a bit. Unfortunately there is no pop-up on the D500 or D850 which I'm now using...that's one thing I really do miss with these "pro" models.  Your night shots look great!


Anyway don't want to derail this with camera details :) I may send you a PM though.





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@michael-ibk, thanks so much for the kind words.  Yes, now that I am removed the "F" does stand for "Friendly" or "Fantastic" or something else that's not 4 letters. I will see one some day.  Now that I know how easy it is to copy the TRs over here that is my new M.O.!


@CheetahFan, thanks you guys.  The trip was really so much better with you two along for the ride.  We are ready to go on another adventure with you any time (I just started looking at Madagascar for 2020 maybe!)


@xyz99, thank you.  I think we all have "n" trips on our list.  There never seems to be enough time or money to take them all though. n > T + $ :(


@janzin, wow you read the whole thing in one go and you are still awake!? ;).   Thank you for the kind words as well.  Don't discount Borneo.  Once you get there, it is no different than any other rain forest except the trees are bigger and there might be a leech or two.  Leech socks and diligence pretty much negate that threat though.  Seeing all the exotic wildlife there more than makes up for any hassle in getting there too.


Yes, most shots were with the 200-500VR except for some of the night shots of frogs.  Plus, all shots were handheld.  I didn't even pack a tripod this trip for the first time ever and I really didn't miss it (especially in the heat and humidity).  I just got my D500 and am having the same debate as you with regards to what to take for our upcoming Brazil trip (rain forest and Pantanal).  Feel free to PM me, I wouldn't mind getting some advice from someone as accomplished as yourself and I am happy to share my thoughts as well.



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On 6/13/2018 at 8:08 AM, Alexander33 said:


Absolutely true. When I took a spill in Peru and was knocked unconscious, we had a doctor who drove us to a private clinic, which was promptly opened up especially for us by an X-Ray technician who met us there. The doctor also made house calls to our hotel — you’d never get that in the U.S.  Total cost: $80 USD for the doctor, $35 for the X-Ray, and $15 for painkillers and ointment. Granted, costs are relative, but it says a lot that after I had come back to my senses, I was more worried about the out-of-pocket cost we would have to incur (which I thought might be in the low thousands) than about my injury (thankfully, nothing serious).  I don’t think I would have received a level of care at home that was as attentive or efficient. 


Sorry you went went through that, but I’m glad you (and your camera/lens) made it through. That stork-billed kingfisher is especially spectacular. 



These  medical tales are as noteworthy as your sightings and photos and the Premium Villa!  I can add a similar one from Namibia in 2016.  Doctor appointment for 20 minutes and 2 brand name prescriptions = about $40.


Those red leaf monkeys are just too adorable.  Despite some frustrations with your boat guide, you got amazing stuff and good thing you could laugh about it.  Borneo has such abundance!

Edited by Atravelynn
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@Atdahl I tried to send you a PM but it says you can't receive messages :( 


NEVER MIND, I tried again and it worked!

Edited by janzin
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PREMIUM VILLA! wow that looked a bit out of place at BRL, but so inviting and I want!


Great sightings and great photos. thanks for sharing. hoping you will get a tarsier in your next trip... next year maybe? :)


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Great trip report! Thanks for sharing all the great info on Borneo, which has been on our list of places to visit for awhile now (I did my undergrad in Anthropology including several courses with Birute Galdikus) because we could combine topside animals with some great scuba diving.


I haven't had much luck finding information on transferring between locations that we want to visit, so appreciate the details and timelines. Thanks again! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

@Atdahl Hey Alan great report. 


Angela and myself kept running into you plus Tim and Andrea (@monalisa) for most of your trip glad you got yours written up.  I still haven't looked at my pictures in any great detail.



Edited by IamFisheye
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Hi Paul.   Yes, we seemed to bump into you guys everywhere which was cool.  I am sure that no one would mind more Borneo pictures or a TR so feel free to share your adventures :).


To top it off it seems like we might be in Brazil at the same time soon...PM coming.



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  • 4 weeks later...

I am so glad you were so diligent with taking notes Alan. I have forgotten the names of nearly everything already, so it has been awesome to read through your trip report, which I've done at least 5 times already :) 


Going through my own pics, I've got mostly doubles so I'll only add a few. And considering yours look like this:

Just Chillin' 



...and mine look like this:



...well I think I'd best be steering clear of the dupes!! :D:D:D 


Here is my fish contribution which unfortunately I'm not sure will show up:



Some pics:



"fish massage" in Danum Valley


Frogs going at it




Crazy cordyceps fungus blowing out the brains of its wasp victim





Better add some "serious" ones too :P..


Here are some of the sightings I had wandering around on the deck of the river lodge on the Kinabatangan River. There was literally no one else around to share the moments with so these are the best pics you're gonna get. 

Enjoy these exclusive pics!









Not enjoying the rain






One of my favourite sightings of the trip was what I dubbed the "langur party". We were all watching 2 or 3 silver langurs very high up in a tree that were extremely obscured. For various reasons everyone left after about a half hour except for me. I hadn't had a good sighting of a grey langur and was determined to wait them out. After about 45 minutes more of absolutely nothing, there was suddenly some movement. The langurs were moving! And coming into view!




I realised quickly that there were more than the original 3 in the tree, and suddenly they were absolutely everywhere and in my panic I didn't know where to look or which individuals to focus on




There must have been 20 or 30 individuals, there were so many




After a time there were what I thought were red langurs joining the party but later learnt were red morph silver langurs.


Look how cute!






And lastly I leave you with a face only a mother could love.. (which I thinks falls into the so-ugly-it's-cute category)

the baby proboscis monkey :D 







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I think your pictures are great!  Thanks for sharing all the "exclusive" footage that the rest of us missed out on.  You certainly had a great private Langur sighting and really the only decent one any of us had all trip long.


Even the video of those dang fish makes me cringe.  They were NOT gentle creatures that's for sure.  Ah...such good memories.  Looking forward to making some more in February. Look out Africa, the fearsome foursome is coming!



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Oh yes, I cannot wait!! February is so near and yet so far!! 

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