Many know Brunei for its super-rich sultan and his golden palaces but not many are aware of the wildlife paradise that this island nation is. Brunei is a jewel full of endless wildlife riches and a good place to start this safari is the Ulu Temburong National Park. It has a canopy that towers up to 50 meters in the air and if you are not scared of heights, you can take a majestic view of the sprawling rainforest of southeast Asia.
Brunei is situated on the western part of the island of Borneo, and it is a tiny, oil-rich country with its dazzling capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan. Wildlife lovers will find the Ulu Temburong, which is the only national park in the country, too attractive to be ignored. As a remarkable portion of the rainforest of Borneo is being destroyed by palm oil farmers and loggers, Ulu Temburong is like a paradise on its own with its vast diversity of flora and fauna.
Starting the Wildlife Safari
Commence your wildlife safari as you drive out of Bandar Seri Begawan via a one-hour water boat ride from the principal jetty to Bangar which is the sole settlement in the Temburong district. It is from Bangar that you travel for another 18 kilometers to the hamlet of Batang Duri which is where the road finishes. From here you get to take the traditional longboat for another 30 minutes on the wild Temburong River until you get to the Ulu Temburong Resort.
It is not an easy journey from the banks of the Temburong River to the canopy walkway as it is very demanding. It commences with a one-kilometer climb on a dizzying jungle path with extreme humidity – this safari is not for the faint-hearted.
Deeper into the Jungle
If you can brave the canopy walkway and the almost 20 ladders to get to the top, you are going to be stunned by the view from above. You can savor the scenery of Ulu Temburong with its endless variety of wildlife. Tourists spot gibbons swinging across the canopy and it is not uncommon to hear their screeches in the dipterocarp trees some of which have been standing for over a century. The peace of the air is pierced by huge hornbills that cruise overhead with their elongated beaks and colorful plumage.
Some tourists are even lucky enough to spot a flying squirrel as they leap effortlessly from one tree to the other. However, the density of the forest is not in any way affected by the endless sounds of the various wildlife on the forest floor. The forest stretches as far as the eyes can see and that explains why visitors spend up to two hours on the walkway asking for more.
Even though many of the tourists want to experience the Ulu Temburong while standing on the canopy walkway, the Ulu Temburong Resort also has offers for jungle hikes for full visualization of the famed waterfalls. You can even swim in its natural and pure pools. The wildlife safari in Brunei is not complete without night treks as these allow you to be fully immersed in the jungle sounds with the cicadas and frogs letting it all out loud.
If you are interested in a wildlife safari to Ulu Temburong, you will need to get a permit for your travel. If you do not want all the stress or want to minimize cost, you can work with the travel agencies that are in Bandar Seri Begawan. They all offer cost-effective tours that will give you memories that will last a lifetime.