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Danum Valley

Danum Valley Conservation Area is a 438 square kilometres tract of relatively undisturbed lowland dipterocarp forest in Sabah, Malaysia. A dipterocarp forest is where the Dipterocarpaceae family of trees are found. These trees grow to exceptional sizes typically 70-80m tall. The seeds of these trees have aerodynamic wings that aids in their dispersal by wind. These forests are also greatly prized for their timber but what is special about Danum valley is that even before it became a conservation area there were no human settlements within the area, meaning that hunting, logging and other human interference was non existent making the area very unique. We wanted to see the best of the rainforest in Malaysia and so here we are.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley In order to get to Danum valley you have to get to Lahad Datu. We flew into Lahad Datu from Kota Kinabalu. Danum Valley is 82km from Lahad Datu. The Danum Valley Field Center (DVFC) is going to transport us there once we get to their office located close to the airport

In order to get to Danum valley you have to get to Lahad Datu. We flew into Lahad Datu from Kota Kinabalu. Danum Valley is 82km from Lahad Datu. The Danum Valley Field Center (DVFC) is going to transport us there once we get to their office located close to the airport

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Our bags are loaded into a pickup truck and we ride in a mini van.

Our bags are loaded into a pickup truck and we ride in a mini van.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Rain protection for the luggage

Rain protection for the luggage

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Its better to carry a couple of water bottles from Lahad Datu which you can refill at the DVFC during your stay there. Bottled water afaik is not available at DVFC but they provide hot or chilled filtered water from the water dispensers. Hence the need for empty water bottles if you are not carrying one. You can also carry other food items as there isn\'t a convenience store there where you can buy a soft drink for example. The dining area is the only place where freshly prepared food is available at DVFC. They serve juice for breakfast though in addition to Coffee and Tea.

Its better to carry a couple of water bottles from Lahad Datu which you can refill at the DVFC during your stay there. Bottled water afaik is not available at DVFC but they provide hot or chilled filtered water from the water dispensers. Hence the need for empty water bottles if you are not carrying one. You can also carry other food items as there isn't a convenience store there where you can buy a soft drink for example. The dining area is the only place where freshly prepared food is available at DVFC. They serve juice for breakfast though in addition to Coffee and Tea.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Lots of pickup trucks in Lahad Datu

Lots of pickup trucks in Lahad Datu

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Security check

Security check

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley After the security check its a long drive into the forest to get to DVFC

After the security check its a long drive into the forest to get to DVFC

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley The dining area at DVFC

The dining area at DVFC

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Lockers are available at the DVFC reception office. If you want to use the services of a ranger you must talk to the head ranger at this office. We decide to do the Tembaling waterfall trail the first day and Jusman is our ranger for the day.

Lockers are available at the DVFC reception office. If you want to use the services of a ranger you must talk to the head ranger at this office. We decide to do the Tembaling waterfall trail the first day and Jusman is our ranger for the day.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Tiny mushrooms growing on a log along the trail

Tiny mushrooms growing on a log along the trail

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley A dipterocarp tree

A dipterocarp tree

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley An old tree has fallen and is disintegrating on the forest floor. You can see how the bacteria, termites and other creatures break down the giant trunks.

An old tree has fallen and is disintegrating on the forest floor. You can see how the bacteria, termites and other creatures break down the giant trunks.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Lots of fallen trees and if a large tree trunk obstructs a trail it is simply cut through

Lots of fallen trees and if a large tree trunk obstructs a trail it is simply cut through

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley The trail goes under the fallen tree

The trail goes under the fallen tree

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley A group of students who were visiting the DVFC

A group of students who were visiting the DVFC

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Some fallen tree trunks make very convenient bridges

Some fallen tree trunks make very convenient bridges

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley In some area where the trail is steep, there are fixed ropes to aid in ascent and descent

In some area where the trail is steep, there are fixed ropes to aid in ascent and descent

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Humidity is very high in the forest. Clothes tend to get drenched in sweat. Choose your clothes in a quick drying material. Leech socks are absolutely essential.

Humidity is very high in the forest. Clothes tend to get drenched in sweat. Choose your clothes in a quick drying material. Leech socks are absolutely essential.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley The dipterocarp trees are so tall you cant see the tops of these trees if you stood anywhere near their trunks. 70 to 80 meters is their average height.

The dipterocarp trees are so tall you cant see the tops of these trees if you stood anywhere near their trunks. 70 to 80 meters is their average height.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley When you see a patch of well lit forest floor it mostly means that a large tree that once stood there has fallen. This large tree trunk is still in good shape after it has fallen but a portion of its trunk towards the top of the photograph has shattered to bits.

When you see a patch of well lit forest floor it mostly means that a large tree that once stood there has fallen. This large tree trunk is still in good shape after it has fallen but a portion of its trunk towards the top of the photograph has shattered to bits.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley There are all sorts of vines clinging to trees

There are all sorts of vines clinging to trees

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Meera is standing against the base of a large tree. She also took a liking for the large leaf.

Meera is standing against the base of a large tree. She also took a liking for the large leaf.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Jusman our ranger. Interestingly he had a pair of Leica binoculars and he was very casual about it. Leica binoculars typically cost upwards of a $1000. The Rangers from Danum valley are an interesting lot. They know so much about the forest and see things you would otherwise miss. The forest is always alive with sounds of animal/bird/insect calls all day and all night. If you hear something interesting ask what it is and out comes an answer instantly.

Jusman our ranger. Interestingly he had a pair of Leica binoculars and he was very casual about it. Leica binoculars typically cost upwards of a $1000. The Rangers from Danum valley are an interesting lot. They know so much about the forest and see things you would otherwise miss. The forest is always alive with sounds of animal/bird/insect calls all day and all night. If you hear something interesting ask what it is and out comes an answer instantly.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Interesting detail on the tree trunk. Its such a complex ecosystem on a micro and macro level.

Interesting detail on the tree trunk. Its such a complex ecosystem on a micro and macro level.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley The forest floor is full of interesting detail

The forest floor is full of interesting detail

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley A termite colony. I have asked Meera to stand next to it to get a sense of scale

A termite colony. I have asked Meera to stand next to it to get a sense of scale

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley A fruit

A fruit

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley A small termite mound. These mounds are so delicate, the slightest touch will knock them over. You will find so many of these on the forest floor. They are everywhere in all shapes and sizes.

A small termite mound. These mounds are so delicate, the slightest touch will knock them over. You will find so many of these on the forest floor. They are everywhere in all shapes and sizes.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley We are back from the trail. The Tembaling waterfall was dry. I didnt take any pictures there. After this we do lunch and then another shorter trail

We are back from the trail. The Tembaling waterfall was dry. I didnt take any pictures there. After this we do lunch and then another shorter trail

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley On the orchid trail, a short trail next to the DVFC office

On the orchid trail, a short trail next to the DVFC office

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley One very large ant. Almost the size of a medium sized cockroach.

One very large ant. Almost the size of a medium sized cockroach.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley In the evening we decide to climb the observation tower

In the evening we decide to climb the observation tower

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley There is a second deck of the observation tower thats even higher and the trunk gets thinner. we were scared and didn\'t go up there. Thanks O\' mighty insecurity.

There is a second deck of the observation tower thats even higher and the trunk gets thinner. we were scared and didn't go up there. Thanks O' mighty insecurity.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley In the night we do the night safari where they use these very powerful car battery powered lights to look for animals on the branches of trees. The trees are very tall already its interesting to watch how powerful the lights are and how sharp the rangers are in tracking the animals on branches. They scan every surrounding tree bottom to top in a quick sweeping motion to look for animals as the jeep drives along.

In the night we do the night safari where they use these very powerful car battery powered lights to look for animals on the branches of trees. The trees are very tall already its interesting to watch how powerful the lights are and how sharp the rangers are in tracking the animals on branches. They scan every surrounding tree bottom to top in a quick sweeping motion to look for animals as the jeep drives along.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley A flying squirrel high up on a tree. This is the view from my zoom lens all the way zoomed in so you can imagine how high up the squirrel really is.

A flying squirrel high up on a tree. This is the view from my zoom lens all the way zoomed in so you can imagine how high up the squirrel really is.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Our room at the resthouse

Our room at the resthouse

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley I just love that window. Past midnight the generators are turned off until 7am, so there is no artificially created light or sound outside. The night sky is bright and the forest sounds very loud. You hear strange sounds and melodies constantly all night. The forest is a loud place in the night.

I just love that window. Past midnight the generators are turned off until 7am, so there is no artificially created light or sound outside. The night sky is bright and the forest sounds very loud. You hear strange sounds and melodies constantly all night. The forest is a loud place in the night.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley The resthouse. At the far end is the dining area.

The resthouse. At the far end is the dining area.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley Loading some bags on the trip back to Lahad Datu.

Loading some bags on the trip back to Lahad Datu.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley We have made some great friends during out stay at Danum valley. Most of us checked in and out together on the same days. Mark, Carmin, Lyall, Tony and Liz. You were excellent company during our stay at Danum Valley. Thank you.

We have made some great friends during out stay at Danum valley. Most of us checked in and out together on the same days. Mark, Carmin, Lyall, Tony and Liz. You were excellent company during our stay at Danum Valley. Thank you.

kiran chakravadhanula kiranc Danum Valley It was a great trip to Danum Valley. I quite liked the academic research oriented atmosphere there. Experienced what a rain forest really is. Met some excellent ranger folks. Did a long trek to Purut waterfall (separate album on this site) and few short ones. Saw the most beautiful sunrise ever over a forest (separate album) and met some great folks from all over. The staff at the DVFC were excellent. They cooked vegetarian food for us during our stay there and handled all the logistics beautifully. It is truly a world class research center and like they say go to Danum and take nothing but photographs.

It was a great trip to Danum Valley. I quite liked the academic research oriented atmosphere there. Experienced what a rain forest really is. Met some excellent ranger folks. Did a long trek to Purut waterfall (separate album on this site) and few short ones. Saw the most beautiful sunrise ever over a forest (separate album) and met some great folks from all over. The staff at the DVFC were excellent. They cooked vegetarian food for us during our stay there and handled all the logistics beautifully. It is truly a world class research center and like they say go to Danum and take nothing but photographs.