Having roamed around mainland South East Asia for some time, we were eager to swap motorbikes and buses for boats and fins. We were headed to the crystal waters and the remarkable wild of the 25,000 Islands that make up Indonesia, Malaysia, and The Philippines. Having spent both our childhoods consuming nature documentaries, we were now in the places that had once seemed impossibly far away: the dense jungles of Borneo and the crystal waters rivaled by very few places on earth.
Upon arriving to Komodo National Park we rented a kayak and meandered through the islands in search of coral and fish. We jumped in the water at every chance and ended up pulling the kayak by a rope so we could stay underwater, marveling at the life beneath us. Soon enough we decided to trade our snorkels for scuba tanks. Diving with giant Mantas in Komodo National Park, getting caught in a swirl of Barracudas in Malaysia and exploring WWII shipwrecks in the Philippines, we understood the underwater wealth of these islands knows no limit.
Intent on finding orangutans in the wild, we headed for one of two places in the world where they still run free; the island of Borneo. Days of trekking through national parks lead to sightings of bats, monkeys, birds, reptiles and even a herd of pigmy elephants feasting on the bank of the Kinabatangan river, but still no Orangutans in sight. Years of logging and palm oil plantations have left them stranded and in danger of extinction, without the vast territories they rely on. We climbed the Gomantong cave at dusk for the nightly flight of the fruit bats, and it was amongst these densely forested mountains, after we had given up all hope of a sighting, a deep orange fuzz appeared amongst the trees, far too big to be a monkey, and just about right to be an ape.
You can see more from Soren + Victoria's travels at: www.FindingsAlongTheWay.com