Recently, frequent Gaia Discovery contributor Simon Pridmore and his wife Sofie travelled to West Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost province. This is the third of three pieces recounting their adventures.
Based in Malaysian Borneo, Borneo Eco Tours has been a pioneer in responsible nature tours since 1991. Two of the most popular destinations in which they operate includes the iconic Kinabatagan River, where guests can enjoy their award-winning Sukau Rainforest Lodge and Borneo's famed primates, and Kudat, which provides opportunities for guests to visit and support cottage industries (supported by their partner NGO, BEST) along the scenic coast.
BEST Society, which stands for Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies, supports rural communities in Malaysia’s Sabah establish and improve their own social enterprises, improving their quality of life through business. Moving away from charity, now the NGO focuses on capacity building in social entrepreneurship, and is increasing access to markets for cottage industry artisans.
Two hours south of Katherine, just off the 2,500km Central Arnhem Highway to Cairns, there is an unsealed, red sand road disappearing into the bush. This dusty track winds 35km through shady gum forests and lush savanna. Kangaroos stare, wild donkeys scatter, and your 4WD enters Country belonging to the Jawoyn, the people of the Frog Ancestors. “This is my mothers country” whispers our guide Long John, “I wasn’t born ‘ere, but this is where I learnt to ride.”