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Welcome to sailing yacht Alishan

Read more about the adventures and boat-projects on board of Alishan

Wildlife of the Kinabatanga River

More wildlife at Sungai Kinabatangan

This plant that looks like tapioka, but isn’t, is in fact very poisonous.

All the locals knew that, but nobody could tell me its name.

L: Island Rustic R: Grey Pansy

Holding on to the trees our guide kept his boat stable, so we could take pictures. This python wasn’t too pleased when he grabbed his branch and gave Ahmed the fright of his life.

Common Rose

A Ratsnake crossing the Menanggul River at night.

Proboscis monkeys

Big Papa with his ladies settling for the night. They come to sleep in the trees along the river, where they sit with their backs to the water.

His or her way of telling us to move on.

The Proboscis monkeys spend 16 hrs per day sleeping and the rest of the time filling their hugh stomachs with fruit and leaves.

Checking the greens.

The beautiful Lyssa Zampa is not a butterfly but a moth.

Thousands and thousands of bats leaving the Gomantong caves at the end of each day.

L: an insect eating bat and R: a Blackie

Orange Mapwing

Sungai Menanggul, a tributary of Sungai Kinabatangan

A regular, the Green Tree Lizard

Orang Utans

They are usually way up in the tall trees and hard to spot, but we got a glimps of this curious toddler.

This female happened to come down from her safe possie high up the tree when we

walked by. She carried a very small baby, of maybe 3 month old.

A speck of white in a sea of green: Triangle White (?)

The rivers were full of crocs, so no swimming. They were not very aggressive and only attacked people when they came to close to the nest. But that happened every year, mostly to plantation workers, wading through the swamps while trying to catch some fish.

We saw them mostly at night, their eyes reflecting our torches.

L: Blue Pansy R: Double Tailed Cupid

Gaja! Gaja! A Bornean pygmy elephant

L: Clipper R: Duke

Both very common in the lowland forests.

The Green tree lizard again, posing as usual.

The web of the Golden web spider is as impressive as the 10cm spider itself.

Water Hyacinths lining the lakes and rivers provide food for monkeys and hoppers, shelter for otters and crocodiles and a natural barrier for curious dinghy faring seagypsies.

One of many beetles

Pigtail Macaques

Bigger than their long tailed cousins, they are also stronger and can do a lot of damage to the trees. A local NGO provided a way for them to cross the water safely.

However, it makes the crocs go hungry!

They are very entertaining and not only have pig tails, but also pig ears and a very human stare.

Strict social rules determine their place in the group

A kind of bee, I think.

L: not many orchids in bloom this time of the year, but quite a few mangrove snakes house in the trees near the plantations.

The Psyche Butterfly or one of his 26 cousins

Leaf Monkeys (Langgur)

Living in small groups, we found grey and silver langgurs often around other primates, like gibbons and proboscis monkeys.

The hard to see insect is actually a very beutiful fly that we saw many times.

L: Bornean Mormon R: Malayan Zebra

I think. If not, anybody correct me, please!

A shy red leaf monkey that would not pose any longer.

Blue-banded Peacock

An explosion of new-born spiders of some sort

Other creepers, crawling on rotten wood and hairy hands.

The Tree nymph and the smaller Wood nymph were often seen at the oxbow lake.

Long-tailed Macaques

One happy family

Off by himself

Baby-sitting the cheeky juveniles must be the hardest job.

More insects, some with wings, some with legs, some curling in a ball when sensing danger.

Early morning raptor catches the fish

(Lesser Fish eagle)

L: Ginger Skipper R: Grass Yellow

Stick insect. The little dotted round spots are his eyes.

L: Black and White Helen R: Bush Orange

Water monitor lizard

L: Enormous beans, eaten only by Orang utans. R: a common black squirrel

Golden Web Spider

Birds of the Kinabatanga River

Birds of Sungai Kinabatangan

Buff-rumped Woodpecker

A pair of Bold-striped Tit-babblers

Pale Blue Flycatcher, sleeping on low branches along the Menanggul river

Black-and-Yellow Braodbill, looks like it’s designed by a comitee.

A family of Black-and-Red Broadbills huddling together at night.


Stork-billed Kingfishers, the biggest of their kind in Borneo were frequently seen flying low over the water.

The common Kingfisher is not that common here.

The little Blue-eared Kingfishers are the best divers

One more Common Kingfisher, because it’s not so common

The Rufous Picolet, only 10cm, hammering away like a real woodpecker.

What is so interesting to this Buffy Fishowl?

The Emerald Dove was always just a fast-flying blurr in the dark forest, untill it hopped on to a yard. By mistake, I guess.

Every morning we heard that far-carrying, melodious song of the White-crowned Shama. It’s crown is hidden behind the leaf, sorry.


L: Oriental Pied Hornbill R: Bushy-crested Hornbill

Juvenile Black Hornbill have white markings on their head.

L: 2 Bushy Cresteds sharing secrets R: A Wreathed Hornbill looking out for his mate.

The big Rhinoceros Hornbill, awkwardly feeding on berries.

6:00 am: A group of Crested Firebacks landed on the riverbank. The male, waiting for his ladies to arrive.

L: Red-billed Malkoha R: Orange-bellied Flowerpecker

Hebbes! Great Egret catching his breakfast.

Another great water bird, the Oriental Darter

Scarlet-rumped Trogons at the Menanggul, L: male, R: female

Dark-sided Flycatcher

L: Black-and-Crimson Pitta and R: Hooded Pitta, my first sightings of pittas ever.

Storm’s Storks, often the source of speculations to what they were up to.

Jaap thinks he is an exhibitionist.

And she is falling for it.

Yellow Bittern, peeking through the grass at night

Crimson Sunbird on Red Hibiscus as always making a colorful picture


Crested Serpent Eagle, my lucky bird

Mr and Mrs Blyth’s Hawk-Eagle looking out for prey over the plantation.

L: male, R: female

Their off-spring presumably, sitting at the same spot 12 hours later.

L: Lesser Fish Eagle R: Brahmini Kite

The Brahmini Kite, the commonest bird of prey in Borneo, is seen as an ambassador of the gods by Iban and Dayaks.

Common Iora

L: Bronzed Drongo R: Ashy or Red-headed Tailorbird

The Oriental Darter once more, drying its wings like a cormorant

A Storm’s Stork in argument with a Slender-billed crow.

It’s hard to see on these low quality shots, but it’s the best I could do with this Red Junglefowl, the ancestor of our domestic rooster.