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Last chance to see Asia’s endangered wildlife

30th September 2009 Print

In response to a rising demand for wildlife experiences in the Far East, Bamboo Travel is launching a special tour of China and Borneo to see some of the planet’s most endangered animal species.

The 16 day tour includes a day’s volunteering at the Bifengxia Giant Panda Research Base in Sichuan, and a chance to see a number of critically endangered species in the wilds of Borneo. For every person who books this special wildlife tour Bamboo Travel pledges to donate US$50 to the WWF.

The tour starts in China’s western province of Sichuan to spend a day volunteering at the Bifengxia Giant Panda Research Base. Following 2008’s earthquakes which forced the closure of China’s largest panda base at Wolong, many giant pandas were transported to nearby Bifengxia which now has a crucial role to play in altering the destiny of this endangered species. With the guidance of a researcher volunteers will help to clean cages, collect the pandas from their bamboo groves, and have the chance to hold and feed baby pandas.

From Western China the tour continues to Sabah in Northern Borneo, home to the greatest variety of wildlife in the Far East. The Borneo leg of the tour starts with an overnight stay on Selingan in the Turtle Islands National Park, as featured on the BBC’s “Lat Chance to See” with Stephen Fry. This National Marine Park protects a group of pristine islands in the Sulu Sea which are an important breeding ground for the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle, and the Green Turtle. Staying overnight on Selingan Island provides a high chance of seeing turtles laying eggs on the beach throughout the year, and each evening new hatchlings are released into the sea by the National Park Rangers.

Heading back to the mainland of Borneo, the tour then includes a visit to Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre. This crucial facility was founded in 1964 to care for abandoned and previously captive Orang-utans, and teach them to fend for themselves before being returned to the forest. After learning about the rehabilitation process and the conservation work being carried out by the volunteers at the centre, there is the opportunity to see recently released Orang-utans that return to feed at specially constructed platforms in the forests surrounding the reserve.

The designated wildlife corridors along the Kinabatangan River provide a wonderful place to see Borneo’s wildlife, especially the proboscis monkey. Found only in Borneo, the male of this species has a large pendulous nose, fat belly, thick white tail and webbed feet. The tour includes a 2 night stay in Sukau for excursions on the Kinabatangan River to spot proboscis monkeys and other animals, and bird life including oriental darters, bee-eaters and hornbill.

The tour finishes at the Danum Valley Conservation Area, a pocket of primary rainforest the size of Singapore with one of the world's most complex ecosystems, and the highest concentration of wild orang-utans anywhere. Danum Valley is the largest remaining habitat for Borneo's most endangered species including the Sumatran rhino, Borneo pygmy elephant and clouded leopard.

Prices for this 16 day tour start from £2,895 per person sharing which includes return international flights, accommodation, wildlife excursions and transfers with English speaking guides.

For more information on this tour or any of Bamboo Travel’s tours in the Far East, log on to