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.