Rare hornbill family sighting caps off unforgettable wildlife journey—perfect conclusion to D’Drift 2024 (Travelogue Day 10)

Three hornbills perch atop a tree on a hillside in Ulu Baram. Photo taken on March 17, 2024.

By D’Drift Team

KUCHING, March 20: As the D’Drift Team descended the verdant slopes of Ulu Baram with the first rays of sunlight illuminating our departure from the enchanting jungle realm, our spirits soared at the majestic sight of a hornbill family gracefully perched atop a towering tree, as if bidding us farewell.

For Sarawakians, the hornbill embodies luck, and encountering a solitary one in its natural habitat is deemed fortunate. We were doubly blessed as we beheld not one, but five majestic hornbills in the wild, a quintessential stroke of luck five times over.

Hornbills typically journey in pairs alongside their lifelong companions, which initially piqued our curiosity after spotting only five, until a sixth gracefully soared past, beckoning the others to venture further into the depths of the Ulu Baram rainforest.

Unexpected encounters: panorama of wildlife beyond hornbills

We thought our wildlife sightings would conclude with the hornbills, yet shortly thereafter, we encountered a greater coucal, known locally as ‘bubut’ flying past our pickup. Unlike the hornbills, some Dayaks still perceive this bird as a harbinger of misfortune.

Despite having encountered the reputed ill-omen ‘bubut’, our spirits remain undeterred as we were reassured by the earlier auspicious sighting of the hornbills, judging the abundance of fortune outweighing any perceived misfortune.

Among the array of wildlife encounters, we also witnessed a flying squirrel gracefully gliding across our view as it traversed downhill; however, the sighting of the squirrel and ‘bubut’ were so fleeting that we were unable to retrieve our cameras in time to immortalise the moment digitally.

An eagle perched atop a tree on a hillside in Ulu Baram. Photo taken on March 17, 2024.

As the return journey continued, we chanced upon an eagle majestically perched atop a towering tree, seemingly vigilant in its search for potential prey amidst its surrounding wilderness.

A monitor lizard leisurely crosses the dirt road as the D’Drift Team exits Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort. Photo taken on March 18, 2024)

Our final yet nonetheless remarkable wildlife encounter occurred as we departed from Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort on Monday (March 18), witnessing a small monitor lizard leisurely crossing the road before swiftly darting into nearby bushes as we approached with the pickup.

We consider ourselves fortunate to have encountered these animals during our journey, as spotting them in the city would have been entirely improbable.

‘Kampung Adidas’, trusted footwear for adventures off the beaten path

The ‘Kampung Adidas’ holding up well to the rigours of our various treks across rough and uneven terrain. Photo taken on March 19, 2024.

‘Kampung Adidas’ is the most stylish and practical footwear you’ll ever need to go through muddy trails, cross rivers and climb mountains in Sarawak.

These black rubber shoes are not only multipurpose but also waterproof, light, easy to dry, sturdy, reliable and most importantly, cheap.

While locals especially those living in suburban and rural areas mostly opt to use them for their daily routine, others wear them for trekking and waterfall hunting adventures which are popular recreational activities even among Sarawakians.

If you’re going on any adventure that involves trekking in rivers, it’s best to pair your ‘Kampung Adidas’ with long socks with your trousers tucked inside, to avoid getting bitten by any leeches.

Throughout this D’Drift 2024 trip, these rubber shoes have brought us to U’ong Bilong and Three Sisters Waterfall in Long San, Tekiwit Waterfall in Long Sela’an, and Wong Pala Munsoh in Ulu Sarikei as well as the many villages along the way.

The versatility of ‘Kampung Adidas’ shines particularly on demanding terrain like uneven roads and jungle trekking, where its robust construction, specialised traction, and durability provide optimal support and protection, ensuring adventurers can confidently navigate challenging environments with comfort and stability.

In Kuching, ‘Kampung Adidas’ are available in various sizes at stores such as Ai Lee at Tabuan Jaya, DL Concept Plus at Tabuan Laru, and certain MR. DIY as well as E-mart stores.

Words of gratitude, from me to you

Today marks the final and 10th day of our annual trip, and the D’Drift 2024 team would like to extend our thanks to Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and his ministry for their continuous support and sponsorship of our D’Drift annual trips.

We would also like express our sincerest thanks to Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak) chief executive officer (CEO) Amelia Roziman, and Pertubuhan Wartawan Bebas Kuching (Pewarta) chairman Peter Sibon for their generous contributions as well as Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) veteran officer Yusup Labo who guide us on our journey and provided great assistance.

We won’t forget the remarkable generosity of the locals we encountered during our journey, whose assistance, warm welcome, and embrace into their community have left an indelible mark on us; we extend our deepest gratitude for their kindness and hospitality.

To all the readers of DayakDaily, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering support and feedback throughout our 10-day adventure across Sarawak. We hope you have enjoyed the journey as much as we have.

As always, stay tuned and see you again for D’Drift 2025. — DayakDaily