Jungle trekking in Sabah, Borneo; it conjures up images of months of preparation, a caravan of pack-donkeys, a Bear Grylls-type jungle guide and, of course, impenetrable jungle.
That is why many are surprised when they find out jungle trekking in Sabah – Malaysia’s largest state – can in fact be easy and, dare I say, fun.
By easy I mean 35km of dense, tropical jungle and by fun I mean picking leeches out of unmentionable places. Nah, just kidding – it’s only 34km.
Here’s what to expect.
Day 1 – Inobong Station, Dongongon to Kampung Terian
This is where you sign in, collect the permit, pay the fees and meet the guide that will be your jungle eyes and ears for the next 3 days while you trek across the Crocker Mountains.
The moment you hit the trail the hard work starts with a steep ascend to 800m, where the peak of Mt. Natarum welcomes you to the Salt Trails.
You may not have noticed – and almost surely at this point won’t care – that you’ve risen through an interesting flora change. The peak is overgrown by tall grasses and thinner trees with less dense canopies.
The rest of the Salt Trail today brings less severe ups and downs, yet will take you up to 8 hours to complete, depending on your pace and level of fitness.
The day ends with a descend to just 250m above sea level to Kampung Terian, which is where you’ll meet the family that will host you for the night.
Your home-stay has basic toilet and shower facilities, but you would want to get your business done and showered before it gets dark, because it also gets cold.
Delicious, unprocessed food, more than likely farmed by the villagers themselves, will be served for dinner, when there’s an opportunity to get to know your hosts better.
Sleep will come easily.
On the next page, Salt Trails Day 2…