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Patrick Love Photography bio picture

Simply put,

I love carrying around a camera, and trying to get people to look into the lens.

Monthly Archives: December 2011

Sepilok, Borneo

The Sepilok area is a chilled out place that features a couple of nicer places to stay, and a variety of wildlife sanctuaries and rainforest discovery centers.  I am not really into spending time at wildlife sanctuaries or discovery centers, but they did provide enough distraction to keep us entertained for about two days.  If I did return, I would quickly book a standard chalet at Sepilok Forest Edge Resort.  The chalet felt deluxe after the other places we’d been.  The food was good, and the pool was a nice added bonus.

During our time, we visited the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, the Orang Utan Sanctuary, and the Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Centre.  None of them really grabbed me as being worth the trip, but they were OK.

Kinabatangan River, Borneo

Kinabatangan River was truly an amazing place.  Seeing animals in the wild is a completely different experience than seeing them in a zoo.  Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of zoos, or seeing animals.  One minute, and I’m ready to move on to the next thing.  This was different kind of experience.  Animals can be kind of cool!

We ended up getting connected with Osman’s homestay, which was right on the river.  There are other nature lodges one can choose from in the area, but they are much more expensive.  The deal with a homestay is that visitors experience what it’s like to hang out with a family, instead of just having a room somewhere.  I’m glad we got the chance to meet Osman and his family.  He is a passionate conservationist and educator, and knows the local environment as well as anyone.

We were happy that a herd of nearly sixty pygmy elephants was in the area.  What surprised me the most about the elephants was the noises that they would make.  One person commented, “now we know where the dinosaur noises used in Jurassic Park came from.”

Osman with a flower

At night, the herd of elephants moved through Osman’s yard.  At times, the elephants would bump and rub against the house causing it to shake.  Osman’s house is on stilts, which made it even more unstable and vulnerable.  We prayed that an elephant would would not get itself under the house and knock the entire thing over trying to get out.  Trying to sleep with wild elephants walking just a few feet from where we were sleeping proved to be impossible.  We tried starting a chainsaw, started small fires and using a spot light to try to get them to move away.  Nothing was successful.

Scott Miller - Hi, I'm taking my family to Borneo in December and trying to track down an email address or contact for Osmans home stay but can't seem to find. Ate you able to provide any details and any photography tips you may wish to pass on? ScottOctober 29, 2013 - 1:46 pm

P-Lo - Hey Scott, I'm not sure about Osman's contact details. Overall, not sure I'd recommend spending time with him. He was a bit aggressive with some of the girls we traveled with, and made a lot of sexual/gay jokes, that came off as a bit Jr. High-ish. He hard sells extra boat trips and tours. Your final bill will be higher than you expected. Also, he gets pretty aggressive with the wild elephants, chasing them, pulling their tails, etc, acting like it's all for a laugh. I was a little appalled, to be honest. I will say though, that the nature lodges along the river don't look any more impressive.November 1, 2013 - 5:41 am

Dive Training – Singamata Adventures Semporna

Some friends and I kicked off a 10-day trip to Borneo by doing a 4-day dive course at Singamata Adventures Semporna.  I didn’t have a lot of time to take pictures, because getting open water certification actually took most of my energy.  We would start studying in the morning during breakfast, do practice dives throughout the day, and study and test during the evening until bedtime.  Hard work, but definitely worth it.

Singamata, got mixed reviews from our group of 6.  The food was average, the setting was great, rooms are sparse, training was good (we all loved our instructor Mark), but once we visited nearby Sipadan Island for one of our last dives, we all agreed it would have been much better to stay there.  However, Singamata is about 1/3 the price of anything on Sipadan, so in the end you get what you pay for.  What’s more, we paid a lot of money to get dive training, but Vicky at Singamata never processed our PADI certifications.  Without a PADI card, I will not be able to dive anywhere else.  WHAT A RIP OFF!

Positives: Learned to dive.  Negatives: Did not get to see/meet any sea gypsies.  This was the #1 reason I was drawn to Semporna.  Maybe next time.