(19 November, 2017) – Close-up encounters with exotic wildlife from the ancient rainforests of Borneo and Cambodia to the wilds of Sri Lanka are thrilling new adventures pioneered for the first time in relative luxury by the Secret Retreats collection of independent boutique hotels, restaurants and cruises.
On the fabled island of Borneo, WOW Borneo has forged a unique alliance with Dayak tribes to offer the intimate insight into Kalimantan’s hothouse of eco-diversity which until now has been visited only by the most hardened adventurers.
The exclusive single cabin sister vessel Ruhui Rahayu and its sister vessels – the 3-cabin private charter Spirit of Kalimantan and the join-in cruise Rahai’I Pangun – explore Tanjung Puting National Park, one of the natural wonders of the world, in comfort. The highlight is visiting orangutans saved from extinction. A new vessel, the KM Sekonyer explores the Katingan River in Sebangau National Park, home to the world’s largest population of wild orangutans, where villagers from Dayak tribes conduct guided jungle tours.
Elsewhere on the Malaysian side of Borneo (Sabah province), visitors to the lodge Kinabalu Park encounter a host of wildlife going hiking with rangers along the Silau Silau Trail, renowned for Bornean gibbons, slow loris, proboscis monkeys, pygmy squirrels and fruit bats, and home to over half of Borneo’s 518 bird species.
In neighbouring Sarawak, The Village House arranges wildlife cruises to spot crocodiles, proboscis monkeys and the rare Irrawaddy dolphin, and bird watching at Buntal. Guests can also play golf and take a challenging hike up Mount Santubong, or just relax on neighbouring Pantai Puteri beach.
In Sri Lanka, Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris brings unique insight into Sri Lanka’s leopards, sloth bears, elephants, deer, birds, reptiles and other wildlife from eco-friendly, movable camps in the buffer zones two national parks Yala and Wilpattu. Noel has extensive experience camping in the wild and over the years has learned the best places to observe leopards and even identify individuals by name. Rich wildlife encounters on the safari game drives in Toyota Land Cruisers also include wild elephants, crocodiles, water buffalo, spotted deer, Hanuman & grey langur monkeys, wild boar, mongoose, jackals, fishing cats and sloth bears – along with a host of bird species from bee-eaters to sea eagles.
At luxury eco-lodge 4 Rivers Floating Lodge on the Tatai River overlooking the Cardamom Mountains of Cambodia, guests can trek deep into an untouched tropical paradise on guided safaris into some of the most diverse flora and fauna in Southeast Asia, where many wildlife and plant species are yet to be discovered due to its remote location and inaccessibility. The lodge is only accessible by boat. Recognised as one of 35 international biodiversity hotspots, the Cardamom Mountains are home to more than 60 reptiles, nearly 500 birds and more than 70 species of mammals, including the indigenous clouded leopards and Malaysian sun bear. Many species are under threat, including the endangered Indochinese tiger, Siamese crocodile, royal turtle, and the Cardamoms are one of Asia¹s last corridors for Asian elephants.
“Secret Retreats defines a new way to explore Asia’s wildlife. We offer comfort and safety with thrilling discovery, local legends, traditions and insights as well as unique ecotourism experiences for guests to remember forever, far away from the well-trodden tourist trails,” says Secret Retreats Managing Director Stéphane Junca.
Complete conditions and schedules are available through the Secret Retreats Concierge team: firstname.lastname@example.org.