Together again we prepare for our next destination. We want two spend two days at Sarawaks smallest National Park, called Tanjung Datu, located at the northern tip of Sarawak and close to the Indonesian border. The park is just 14 km2, but meant to be one of Sarawaks most beautiful protected areas and only reachable by boat. We start with the local bus from Kuching to the small city of Sematan. This is the last place you can reach with public transport. No regular boats are available to go to the national park or the nearby village of Telok Melano, so we ask around, if there are fisherman or other locals, who can bring us there. Some patience is needed, but if you are not in a hurry, possibilities will come up. Some negotiating is needed and the way back has to be organized too. Helpful locals give support and we find a transport, not really cheap, but maybe the best opportunity available. After around 45 min the boat driver drops us in a bay and we follow a short jungle path to the park headquarter. After these first impressions we know this place is really beautiful.
It’s already late afternoon and we decide to set up our camp first before looking around. Fixing the hammocks and preparation to stay dry in case of rain takes some time and after finishing it’s already dark. We enjoy our evening snack, cookies with peanut butter and dry instant noodles and nestling down into our hammocks. I’m almost already sleeping when the wind becomes stronger, hammock and tarp start shaking and I worry about the stability of our camp. A thunderstorm is coming and it starts raining, but surprisingly everything stays in place.
The next morning, we go for an 5km trek inside the jungle. Some parts are quite steep and sometimes the way is blocked with fallen trees and thick plants. It’s getting really sweaty and it doesn’t take long until we finish our water. So back at our camp we take some rest before starting for a short walk to a viewpoint. No wildlife sighting so far, but sounds coming out of the jungle, there must be something out there, something big….. There are only few visitors a year in Tanjung Datu so animals are naturally shy.
After sunset we take our headlamps and go for a night walk in the jungle again. The atmosphere is different. It’s really dark and a bit scary. Enlighted by our torches spiders start to glitter. They are everywhere, huge hand size and smaller ones, a crap is hiding in an earth hole and then two big gloomy eyes are staring at us. We try not to move, the animal also seems not to move and for some seconds all of us just wait for what’s happening next. We carefully use our headlamps to identify what kind of animal it is. It seems to be catlike and it’s quite big. We are excited and need to calm down not to make too much noise and chase it away. But the animal doesn’t seem to be scared or bothered by us. More than 10 minutes we follow its steps before it’s hiding in the jungle again. Afterwards we find out that it has been a Malayan Civet Cat (Wikipedia). Amazing! Fascinated after this experience we spend on more night in our hammocks.
The next morning our boats man arrives on time to pick us up and we need to leave that beautiful place. Now we are looking forward to the upcoming Rainforest World Music Festival.