Experience

Become a Lost Explorer in Borneo

All of us have those moments when we feel the need for a total reset, to escape everything for a little while. It’s true, sometimes the only cure is to get away, to explore a new landscape, to trek through the wilderness and we know just the location: Borneo. We were inspired by The Lost Explorer team to curate a boundary-pushing itinerary that’s hardly been done before. In a world that is constantly moving, this 13-day itinerary (tried and tested by our travel experts) will bring you right back to the basics. You’ll learn to thrive like the nomadic Penan jungle tribe. Carve your own path through mystifying landscapes and the most remote corners of the region within the Sarawak Jungle of Borneo. Reset your engines as you learn to live the way of the Penan tribe; foraging and fishing for suppers cooked on open fires, sleeping amid the wilderness in hammocks and travelling great rivers by canoe. Capped off with a survivalist’s challenge, you’ll discover Borneo in a way unlike anyone else and become a true Lost Explorer. Consider this trip your natural detox.

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Welcome to the tribe

Arrive into Miri Sarawak and spend your first two days acclimatising, getting briefed on jungle safety and exploring the thriving markets of Miri and Lambir Hills National Park. Day three is when this adventure really gets going. Heading into Sarawak Jungle, you’ll jump in a dug-out canoe to reach the Penan village buried deep within. Numbering a few thousand people, the Penan tribe is one of the world’s last remaining nomadic jungle tribes – making them the true masters of jungle survival. Over the next 10 days, they will be teaching you all of their ancient techniques, preserved and passed down through generations, that have made the treacherous Bornean jungle habitable. They will take you trekking through the depths of the jungle, teaching you about jungle plants along the way. A word to the wise, take note of which are edible and which are not – it’ll come in handy later. You will also learn how to make campfires and off-the-ground shelters from scratch as well as how to identify animal tracks and recognise bird calls.

Alone in the jungle

When it comes to what you’ll be cooking each evening, join the tribe as they school you on the best jungle hunting and cooking techniques. From how to lay traps to catch wild pigs, to fishing using traps and nets, to how to make and use a blow-pipe dart, you will have all the skills you need to survive alone in the wild; convenient, as that is exactly what these first few days are setting you up to do. After a Penan forest sign language lesson using cut twigs and folded leaves, vital for hunting stealthily and in teams, you will trek to a beautiful waterfall where you will camp for the night. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep because this is when the real challenge begins as we bid you adieu and you are left alone in the jungle to fend for yourself for a whole 48 hours.

Test of your mettle

Using all the vital knowledge you have accrued over these last 10 days, you will have to build your own shelters and fires, catch and cook fish, collect edible plants and set traps for pigs. Panic not though as there will be a Penan guide on hand the whole time to guarantee your safety and give advice, but that’s all they are there for and they will not assist you in any other way. This is a true test of your mettle and an accomplishment that will leave you feeling fulfilled and cleansed, with nothing on your mind over these few days other than your own survival.

On your final day, you will canoe back to the Penan village before heading home from Borneo, feeling like a real Lost Explorer- cleansed in body, mind and spirit no doubt.

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