Lodge Review – Borneo Rainforest Lodge

After visiting the SRL (Sukau Rainforest Lodge) we were ready to move on and based on the reviews of BRL (Boreo Rainforest Lodge) we were exciting but cautious based on experience at SRL.

In short, BRL was FANTASTIC.  They did everything well.  From the pickup and transfer from Lahad Datu to BRL in the Danum Valley all the way to the drop off back in Lahad Datu 4 days later.

BRL is located about a 3 hour very bumpy drive into a primary rainforest called the Danum Valley. Upon arrival you are created with a warm towel to wipe off the dust from the long drive in.  The main lodge was under renovation so they had a temporary lodge which was actually very nice.  They could have fooled me and called this the main lodge and I wouldn’t have been disappointed.  After meeting our guide and brief orientation we were escorted to our room.  The room was very large and nicely appointed with an amazing view of the river and rainforest behind it.  Truly one of the nicest views from any lodge we stayed at.

After settling in we went to the “Elephant Pool” which is a nice little swimming area in the river.  We went here everyday to cool off after the long hikes.  Really one of the best places in the world to take a swim.  We were even joined by Gibbons and Macacs on several occasions.  They are very active and always put on a good show.

Video of Miki swimming in place at the elephant pool.

That night we went on a night drive and saw flying squirrels, slow loris, samba deer, and several other animals I can’t remember.

Slow Loris

Days 2, 3 and 4 were equally packed.  The day usually started with a morning walk before breakfast.  Usually over the canopy walk with is several hundred meters long and very high up in the canopy.  After breakfast you go on another walk with can be 2-3 hours long and arrive just in time for lunch.  After lunch there is usually time for a short nap or a swim and then you meet up with the guide again for another 2-3 walk before dinner.  After dinner you can go on on another walk or a night drive, depending on your preference.  As you can see.  Non stop activities all day long which is exactly what we wanted.

The wildlife spottings here were non stop.  Spotting wildlife in the rainforest is not as easy as spotting wildlife on safari in Africa.  Part of the adventure is trying to find it.  We were very lucky that we spotted orang utans on two separate occasions (for a total of 5 wild orang utans while in Borneo).  The first one at BRL was a mother and it’s baby.  They were on the move so I had to run through the thick jungle chasing them while taking photos.  The other was a large and very lazy male that just sat around all morning eating and sleeping.  The last sighting made the trip.  I got some amazing pictures of a large male that seemed to be posing for the camera.

What made the wildlife sightings even better was knowing all the hard work hiking would be followed by amazing food.  I was very surprised at the quality and variety of the food.  They had various kinds of curry (my favorite being the lamb curry), every night for dinner they had a grill where you could get lamb, steak, prawns, chicken, etc.  They had a huge selection of fresh fruit as well.  To top it all off it was all served by a very good staff on tables under the stars.  The main lodge was being renovated which non of us complained about because we liked eating under the stars better than having to eat in the lodge.

Would I go again? Yes. Absolutely.  We rarely go the same place twice but this might be the exception.

Would I recommend it to a friend?  Yes.  The first thing I mention when people ask about my trip to Borneo is BRL.

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One Response to “Lodge Review – Borneo Rainforest Lodge”

  1. Jenny says:

    I loved reading this! My family (myself, husband, two daughters — ages 6.5 and 8.5 at time of travel) will be traveling to Borneo in April of 2011, and we are planning to spend 4 nights at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge. I can’t wait, and I hope that we are as lucky as you were with our wildlife spotting!

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