In between voyages, expedition leader Mike Fogg answered our questions about Borneo and WWF’s Faces in the Forest expedition.
WWF Travel: What do you think most surprises visitors to Borneo?
Mike Fogg: Most people have a mental image of Borneo being the land of head-hunters and orangutans. What surprises most is the diversity of habitats, depth of culture and a history that is both complex and interesting.
WWF: What makes the Borneo expeditions unique?
MF: There are a few things that set our itineraries apart and make them unique. We allow guests to experience challenging environments that are outside their comfort zone, whilst doing it in relative luxury. We access places that cannot be gotten to any other way and also take guests to destinations that are not open to the general public. We are building long term meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with NGOs and remote communities. We are following our successful sustainability blueprint from our voyages in Papua New Guinea, The Kimberley Region of Australia, Antarctica and other areas that we visit. This is critically important as while we are establishing tourism in isolated areas we have a responsibility to do it in a sustainable and beneficial way that will ensure long term success.
WWF: What is your favorite animal to see in Borneo and why?
MF: It’s a close contest between the pygmy elephants or the entertaining proboscis monkeys. Sighting them is always a great reward. Watching the elephants playing in the waters in the late afternoon is a scene I won’t ever forget. The name pygmy is quite misleading, current studies have shown that there size does not differ significantly from mainland Asian elephants.
Proboscis monkey are always engaging, with their pot bellies and pendulous noses. There colours contrast remarkably with the green foliage and are a stand out attraction as they leap between the trees.
WWF: Finish the following sentence: You should go to Borneo if ...
MF: You have an open mind, keen sense of adventure and want to see coral reefs, wild jungles and primates.