Borneo Wildlife Discoverer - September

I have now booked this trip.

Would be good to hear from anyone else that is going

Janet

I'm going on the same trip in May. Really looking forward to it. So if you need any info after then I may be able to help.

Its good to hear from you Smartie.

I would be grateful to hear from you on your return with any useful hints and tips that you can give. Are you able to view my email address via this site?

Have a brilliant time

Janet

Hi Janet, I can't see your email unfortunately.

4 weeks to go and I'm nearly counting the hours!

Helen

Hi Helen. I will ask Exodus if they are able to forward my email address onto you.

September seems like forever at this moment in time. I am sure the 4 weeks will go quickly, even though it may not seem like it.

Janet

Exodus have passed it on. Hope you got my email.

Janet, I'm going on the September trip. Really looking forward to it.
Regards,
Laurie

Hi Laurie

It's good to hear from you. When I booked it seemed ages away but thankfully the time is going quite quickly.

I need to make a decision as to whether to stay night before at Heathrow or travel to airport that morning.

Looking forward to meeting you.
Janet

I will almost certainly stay at Heathrow. I'll be taking the train down from Newcastle. The 1200 flight leaves little room for delay if I get the early morning train.

I'm busy experimenting with my camera to see what is going to work best in a rainforest.

looking forward to meeting.
Regards,
Laurie

I see Smartie that you did this trip in May. I am going in August and would appreciate any recommendations. Did you take a lot of Malaysian cash out with you and was there many opportunities to get cash out from cash points etc. How much rain did you have? What did you take in the way of waterproof jackets? Did anybody bother with leech socks? Any info would be much appreciated!

Hi Sue.
Yes, I took Ringgits with us then took out more from ATMs as we went along - in Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. There is time in KK when you get there on the first day to get money from an ATM if you need to straight away,we had a free afternoon.

We didn't have a huge amount of rain but I think we were in the drier season. I wish I'd taken a poncho, not a lightweight raincoat, a brolly could also be good.

We went with leech socks as we got them on offer as did another member of the group. Everyone else bought them from the local guide for about £3! We didn't find too many leeches but it had been dry. I got one on my hand!

Smartie, many thanks for swift reply! Any other recommendations for trip? Have reviewed trip? Any excursions you thought were really good or any rubbish? What about tipping? Is it possible for you to let me know roughly how much extra you spent on food during your trip and also if all excursions are paid for cash or if credit/ debit cards are used? Many thanks

Our guide collected a tip kitty from us and I can't remember how much each that was - it might have been 150 ringgits but I'm not sure; so it was made easy for us.There weren't all that many extra excursions, most paid in cash. If we had a hotel bill (meals,beer & laundry), I paid by card. Evening meals were probably (for us!) 30-40R each, sometimes less but rarely more. Lunches were pretty similar to evenings but we tried to aim for a sandwich or similar. All in all for two of us I took 1500R with us, took out over the course of the holiday another 1500R and put about 800R on the card (brought back 60!)
I think we enjoyed just about everything. If you want any other info Exodus will send your email to me like they did for Janet. I've just sent her a load of answers to her questions she's asked :)

Hi Laurie

Sorry that it has taken me so long to reply but I have been looking at travel options as, although I am not too far from airport, roadworks or problems or motorway can make a lot of difference. Due to this I am still considering (decision making is not my strong point as you can tell).

I am not sure how you practise rainforest photography in Newcastle but hopefully it is going well. Smartie sent me some lovely photos from her recent trip to Borneo and has answered some questions that I had which have been really useful to me. I think she is now doing same for Sue.

If you wish to chat before the holiday let me know and I will ask Exodus to send you my email address.

Take care

Janet

Hi
Only 8 more weeks to go now so would be interested to hear from anyone else joining Laurie and I on this trip
Janet

Hi Janet, Laurie
I am also joining the Sept trip. I booked back in June and was quite calm about it, but as it gets closer I'm drift between excited, nervous and a little worried that I do not have all the appropriate "kit". Hopefully I'm over thinking it - and I should just stick with excited!?
This is my first trip of this kind, so would be great to hear any words of wisdom from anyone out there who'd like to share. 37 days and counting....
Tracey

Hi Tracey
Its good to hear from you.

I booked early April so am very glad that we do not have too much longer to wait now. Smartie went to Borneo in May and kindly gave me lots of tips which were welcomed but I am still finding it a little daunting the closer it gets. Am certainly looking forward to it though!

Are you staying at Heathrow the night before? I have still not made my mind up whether to yet!

I am looking forward to meeting you. If you wish to chat/email before the holiday let me know and I will ask Exodus to forward my email address to you.

Take care
Janet

Hi Laurie and Tracey

Having received the joining instructions today I checked with Exodus and there are 12 of us booked.

I now feel the need to do a luggage shop this weekend as
not sure that I have anything suitable to pack into and havn't got any idea what size case/bag to take (light packing is not my strength - its usually a hardshell case max'd to the weight limit)

All suggestions welcomed

Janet

Janet, Tracey,
Sorry, I haven't been on the site for a while.
I'm going to be using an exodus kit bag that I have from a previous trip. I tend to put everything in resealable plastic bags. I usually manage to keep my hold luggage below 12 kilos. It makes life easier when moving around a lot. I think there are laundry opportunities on this trip which helps. I will be taking high strength DEET, sun/rain hat, lightweight clothing, socks thick enough to tuck trousers into, walking trainers (+clean pair for indoors), longsleeved white/pale shirts for evenings and a warm top for cooler evenings.
Just had my last immunisation shot this morning.
I will be staying the night at Heathrow but I haven't booked that yet.
Regards, Laurie
PS We have a lot of rainforest around Newcastle but its cool rainforest, still wet and muddy though.

Hi Laurie

I am pleased to hear from you again

I have a hybrid holdall (hardshell bottom, soft top) that I used when I went to Kenya a few years ago that has not been used since. Not sure its ideal but would save me purchasing another case.

I have bought some dry bags to pack things in but due to weight may just take your advice and use resealable plastic bags (or mix of both).

There is no way that I can get my luggage down to your level but will aim for 15kg to make it easier when moving. No doubt toiletries alone will take up a chunk of that so will get lighter as we go. Smartie confirmed there are several laundry opportunities.

I have 50% DEET and suitable clothing now I hope. Thanks for the prompt re: socks to tuck into as hadn't thought of that and will now do same. Are you taking leech socks?

Which jabs are you having? I think I have all essentials covered from previous holidays. Just need to get malaria tablets sorted out.

Circumstances now mean that I am travelling to airport on morning of flight but will leave early in case of any hold-ups. Have you booked your seat on plane? Maybe we can arrange a meeting place within departures before boarding?

Take care
Janet

Janet,
not bothering with leech socks. I've heard that detol acts just as well as a leech deterrent. I've had a typhoid booster and hep B, everything else was up to date. I haven't booked seat on the plane.
I'll be carrying a bright green backpack with an exodus label and I'm about 5'2" on a good day.
Regards,
Laurie

Hi Janet and Laurie

hee hee you make me laugh already! Great to hear there are laundry facilities - I was worried that we might not stay anywhere long enough for anything to dry, so had a back up plan of "Fabreeze"!!
I share Janet's packing approach. I travel a lot with work, but have never mastered packing light. The plus is I can carry heavy!! Also anything small but relatively heavy will go in by backpack.
I'm trying to avoid buying more luggage, but you are right, a softer case might give me a couple of kgs back to play with. Might see if I can find something sensibly priced - or check out the exodus brochure to proof that new soft luggage will get enough usage to justify the investment :-)
Glad that you are also only taking running shoes - thought I might be the only one not equiped like Indiana Jones.

I checked with Exodus last week - we are now 13.

What are you taking as snacks? I can live on protein bars and chocolate but neither are light or perfect for the weather

I will be travelling in from Zuich, so will meet you in KK.

Look forward to hearing your other tips and tricks

Cheers
Tracey

Hi Laurie and Tracey

Only 2 weeks to go and the excitement is kicking in now.

Still looking at luggage but may well just take my existing holdall when the time comes due to the capacity. I now have leech socks but understand that you can purchase them from our guide for £3 if needed. May play extra cautious and use dettol too. I don't mind donating blood but don't fancy the itching that follows.

I am up to date on jabs although have only had 2 of the HepB ones so will need to get the 3rd done after the holiday.

I have a feeling I will struggle with the food there as am not a fan of noodles and do not eat spicy food so do plan on taking some snacks to see me through (cereal/protein bars, jelly beans, etc). One of the more recent reviews says they had no problem getting chocolate, biscuits and crisps out there which will definitely help!

I will be taking my walking boots for when trekking but will travel in walking shoes/trainers. Think I have focused so much on what to wear daytime that I probably need to think further about what is needed for the evening when eating out.

Laurie - I will definitely look out for you at the airport. With your bright green backpack hopefully you should be fairly easy to spot provided there are not too many tall people inbetween us as I am also the same height. My backpack is greenish but I will also ensure that I have the Exodus label clearly on display.

Tracey - It gave me a good laugh picturing you with your Fabreeze in hand. Am looking forward to meeting you.

Take care

Janet

As far as snacks

Hi travellers, Now just under a week to go, and we are looking forward to the trip very much. I see we can't book seats with Malaysian Airlines until 48 hours beforehand! I found it useful reading everyone's emails.
Romaine and David Byers

Hi Romaine and David

Its good to hear from you.

I had not tried to book my seat yet so was unaware that this was not possible until so near the time, Thanks for the info.

Looking forward to meeting you both

Take care

Janet

Hi Everyone!
Finally the time has come :-) I am now checked in for the flight, and had my last HepA/B booster today. All I need to do now is pack!!?
Hope you are all more organised than I am? Good news is, it's too late to panic know. I have leech socks and 100% Deet, after that I'll need to improvise.
Picking up on the ladies earlier conversation - I'm 5'5", until the shoes come off, and can then be recognised by my orangutan hair.........
Safe travels everyone. Looking forward to meeting you all on Sunday
Regards
Tracey

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