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A Brief Introduction

We would like to remind visitors that at Camp, facilities are Spartan in nature, but we do our best under "circumstances of wilderness" to make your visit enjoyable and comfortable.

The Camp is near the Lokan River, a tributary of the Kinabatangan. The site of our Camp is on a native land that has not been cleared. The place is tucked between the Forest Reserve and the Wildlife Sanctuary.

Staying at Uncle Tan’s Wildlife Camp is a roughing out experience!

The Camp is located in the Lower Kinabatangan Flood Plains – a Wetland and a Rain Forest. Floods can occur in a Flood Plain; often, it rains in a Rain Forest and a Wetland isn’t exactly dry.

Experience the Kinabatangan on its own terms!

Accommodation

Accommodation at Camp is in the form of raised huts. What we have are rough huts with no doors or windows. We do not have villas, lodges, chalets or the likes. The floors of the huts are covered with linoleum. You will have a light mattress and mosquito net. All huts are on sharing basis. Make sure you collect a clean sheet from our Ops Base/Bed and Breakfast premises before leaving for the Camp.

 

Meals

All meals are cooked for you. These include breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Meals are to set menus. You can have a morning cup of coffee/tea before the start of the morning safari. Breakfast is at 8:00 a.m. Lunch is at 12:30 noon and afternoon tea is at 3:30 p.m. Dinner will be prepared by 8:00 p.m. 

FAQ
Q:    I am a vegetarian. Would that be a problem?

A:    No problem at all with vegetarian diet. When you arrive, let our staff know. They'll be happy to assist. We are used to catering for vegetarians.

Q: I am on gluten free diet and will be bringing my own food. Can I use the Camp's kitchen to prepare my food?
A: Feel free to use our Camp kitchen. Our staff have been generally briefed about gluten free diet and will be happy to assist you to prepare your meals. However, their understanding are limited. It would be best that they assist under your supervision.

Water for Cooking, making Tea & Coffee

We bring in water for cooking and making tea and coffee. Hot water for making drinks is available. Feel free to ask the kitchen staff for some when you want to make a hot drink. Bottled drinking water is sold by our staff co-operative.

Tea & Coffee

Tea and coffee are available all day. If you find the containers on the serving table empty, do ask our Camp staff to make more.

Bathing & Swimming

Water for bathing and washing is pumped from the lake to the bathhouse. Make use of the bathhouse for cleaning up. Try to conserve water. You are advised not to bathe or wash in the Kinabatangan River. In the recent months, big crocodiles have been spotted on River Safaris. Crocodiles have been seen taking wild pigs during River Safaris. Baby crocodiles were also seen in the lakes – some Mama crocodiles must be around. Do not swim alone in the lake.


A Mama croc takes down a pig


FAQ
Q:    Do crocodiles come to the Camp area?

A:    We have never encountered any incident where the croc came and toured the Camp area. Mistakenly, visitors sometimes exclaim that they have seen crocodiles in the Camp area [and that can cause quite a buzz]. But what they saw were monitor lizards. Many young visitors say they saw Dinosaurs.


The age old monitor lizard

Staff Co-operative

At Camp, our staff co-operative sells beer, canned drinks and bottled drinking water. Rubber boots are also available for rent.

Income earned by the staff co-operative goes to the staff. The company takes no commission or percentage from the co-operative. The co-operative is the staff's little business that the company allows them to conduct.

Please remember to settle your bill before leaving Camp.

FAQ
Q: How much do I need to allocate for buying bottled water and drinks at Camp?

A:  An average visitor spends about RM 20.00 - 30.00 for a 3D/2N stay. But some visitors can consume a lot of beer. In such cases, it would be better for the "ferociously thirsty" visitors to make their own estimates.

Note: It is a tough task for the staff to carry bottled water and drinks to the Camp. To ensure that there is enough bottled water for all, visitors are requested not to waste drinking water. It would be a good idea to mark your bottle of water so that it won't get mixed up with others and eventually gets discarded due to confused ownership. Using drinking water for shower is not a considerate thing to do. 

Toilet/Outhouse

It will be most environmental unfriendly for you to do your "business" all over the jungle. Kindly use the toilets. The toilets are "Biological Toilets". Do not put used toilet papers into the toilet. Put the used paper in the tin provided. Please flush after use.

Pests in Your Huts

Avoid putting food in the huts especially in your pack - rats and squirrels will bite through your pack to get at the food. Rodents also love aspirin, paracetamol and toothpaste.

Macaques can be mischievous at the Camp area and are particularly attracted to things in plastic bags. They can also unzip bags. Fortunately, they have yet to figure out combination locks.

Visitors are reminded to keep their belongings safely!

Check your sleeping place, shake out the mattress and tuck in your mosquito nets. Before you put on your clothing and shoes, shake them out first.

Electricity & Generator

Many visitors come with cameras and camcorders that need recharging. We use a small generator for lighting and charging of batteries from 7.00 p.m. till midnight.

Throughout Malaysia, the Standard British 3-pin plug is used. The 2 pins can also be used but use of this without the earth connection with risky items (such as iron, shaver, etc) should be avoided.

Voltage is 220/230 Volts. If your appliance is rated for 110 Volts as is common in the U.S., you would require a step-down adapter. It would be best to bring the adapter if it is the case, as this can be difficult to purchase locally.

Trekking & Wildlife Spotting

As part of our activities, we conduct a guided trek in the surrounding jungle area. At the present moment, as we are in a new and remote area, all trekking would be guided. Trekking without a guide would not be allowed. This is because due to little use, trails may not be clear and are unmarked. There is a risk of getting lost in the jungle. 

Getting Lost

Remember, no one needs getting lost on this earth. The world is round. If you keep going you will return to your starting point! However, if you think that you are lost, just remain calm. Sit down, wait and THINK. If you cannot figure out where you are, JUST STAY WHERE YOU ARE. The camp staff will look for you.

Remember the following:
1. Tell the Camp staff where you intend to trek out. Tell them the time you plan to return to camp.
2. If you think you are going to get back after dark, bring a flash light with you.
3. If you have to signal for help, shout: "CO-EEEE!" three times in a row and wait. Keep repeating this till you get a reply. The reply will be two "COEEEEs" in a row. If you get a reply, keep signaling to draw the searchers to you. If you see any flash light beams, shine your flash light in that direction. Wave your light to draw the attention of the searchers. If you have a whistle, blow three blasts in a row and wait. When you get a reply, keep blowing your whistle – two blasts at each interval. You will draw the searchers to you.
4. If there is still light and you want to find your way, walk northwards. The Kinabatangan River lies north and flows towards the East. Walk towards the river. When you get to the bank, try to get to a clearing so that you can see the river and look out for boats that may pass by. Yell for all you are worth: Help! Some kind village folks will drop you off at our jetty – don’t forget to say "Thank You".
Remember to take some drinking water with you before you set out for your trek.

IMPORTANT NOTE - NEVER LIGHT A FIRE IN THE JUNGLE – You may not be able to control the fire and set the whole jungle in flames!

At dinner time, a "head count" is carried out. If you are lost, the Camp staff will search for you. Try to keep to the tracks in the meantime.

Carry some drinking water with you. Westerners get thirsty in our hot climate. Drink plenty of water. Some people may lose too much salt and will feel weak.

Boats

Our boats are open skiffs and are used to transfer people to and from Camp and to conduct river safaris. On no account should visitors request the boats to go out to the village to buy things or drive them without permission. The transfer boat leaves the Camp only once a day, departing at about 10:00 a.m. The boat going to Camp will leave the jetty at about 4:30 p.m.

Life vests MUST be worn on board. Do not sit on the side of the boat. Do not stand up while the boat is moving. If you need to stand up to take a picture, switch places or get your things, put your hand up to get the Boatman’s attention and ask him to stop the Boat. Do not block the view of the boatman.

River Safaris

The cruise into Camp is in itself a river Safari. When the weather is fine and river conditions good, we organize night Safaris for spotting wildlife. This is done after dinner. Often, crocodiles and many owls are seen on Night Safaris. Before the Morning Safari, have a coffee and a light snack first. Then go down to the jetty at 6:30 a.m. for the morning Safari. Do not wait to be called. Every visitor gets a chance for ONE Night Safari and ONE Morning Safari. However, if there is extra room in the boat, visitors who stay longer than a day can go out for another River Safari. Please give those who have not gone on any Safari a chance.

Remember you are not to shout and tease any animal sighted on River Safari. We do not want to frighten them and make them shy of future safari boats. WHEN ON NIGHT SAFARI, DO NOT FLASH YOUR FLASH LIGHTS. The boatman will have a large spot light – his assistant will spot light the animal for you to see.

Sickness

You are advised to bring along the medication you use. If you are sick, inform the Camp staff. If need be, arrangements will be made to take you out of the Camp immediately for you to get medical attention.

The most common sickness at Camp is dehydration. We see many such cases, especially affecting children. This is because our weather is hot and humid. A lot of water is lost especially when there is physical assertion. It will be good to ensure that plenty of water is consumed.

Strong Liquor

Avoid bringing strong intoxicating drinks into Camp. It would not be nice when someone gets drunk and spoils the holiday of others. Beer is permissible.

NEVER do illicit drugs at our premises/Camp or bring any illegal substances to the our premises/Camp/vehicles/boats. We have zero tolerance for drug abuse.

Luggage and belongings

Before leaving for/from Camp/Ferry site/Ops Base, please ensure that you have your luggage and belongings with you and that they are in the Van/Boat. It is quite a distance from one point to the other and it will take time (and lots of arrangements) for us to assist you to get your left items.
Do not ask others to remember to “put this in” or “take that out”. We are proud owners of our worldly possessions and have the wonderful honour of taking care of our own things.

We do not have a dishonesty problem at Camp. However, unfortunately, there have been a few cases where our staff and other visitors have been wrongly accused (the presumed “stolen” items were found not to be missing or simply misplaced or accidentally thrown into the garbage). It is not nice when someone jumps to conclusion and wrongly accuses others. The person may eventually apologise but the damage to the one being accused would have been done.
We now ask that visitor deposit their valuable, important documents and spare money with our Captains (or staff in-charge) at Ops Base/Camp for safekeeping. This measure has been taken to prevent possible false accusations and suspicions that can cause a lot of unpleasantness.

Do not forget to retrieve your locked things when you leave Camp.

FAQ
Q: Do I need to take my wallet and money with me when I go out on Safaris and treks?
A: There are no shops nearby the Camp or in the surrounding jungle area. Credit cards are completely useless in the jungle. There is no need to take your wallet and money with you when you go out on Safaris and treks.

Registration for going to the Camp

Arrangement to go to the Wildlife Camp is made only at our Operation Base. Unregistered visitors arriving themselves to the Camp will not be entertained and will be treated as trespassers.

"Independent travel to the Kinabatangan is virtually impossible" – Lonely Planet
We do not have any “transportation” or other agents to bring visitors directly to Camp. We control and carry out all arrangements to take visitors to Camp.

Departure Dates
As the Camp is very popular with visitors, kindly adhere to your departure dates. You may extend your days in the camp only if space is available.

[Important Note: We DO NOT have agents who can book or take visitors to our Camp. We handle bookings directly and we control and carry out all arrangements to take visitors to Camp.

Please note that bookings can only be made via email to eugene@uncletan.com or natt@uncletan.com or by calling our Ops Base at (6) 089-535784 or Mobile Phone 016- 8244749.

We also DO NOT have agents who have been authorised to collect payment or deposit on our behalf. Payment is to be made at our Ops Base or where pre-arranged, by transfer to our company account. We will NOT acknowledge payment made to third parties.]

What to bring with you to the Camp

You will be far from any shops. If you smoke, get enough of the brand of cigarette you smoke. Bring insect repellent – try the type made from Uncle Tan’s tested Formula. It works!

Have good pair of walking shoes. Long sleeved shirt and long pants for the night. For bathing, don’t forget your swimming suit, trunks or sarong. Have a sweater with you in case it gets cold in the

night. Bring a Poncho/raincoat – your insurance against rain. Often, if you do not bring your rain gears, it will be sure to rain!

Below is a basic checklist that you may find helpful:

Long Sleeves Shirts, Long Pant, Walking Shoes/Boots, Underwear, Socks, Towel, Shorts, T-Shirts, Sweater, Swim Wear, Sandals, Swiss knife, Flashlight, Personal Medication, Tooth Paste/Brush, Soap/Shampoo, Sun Block Cream, Comb/Shaver, Poncho/Raincoat, Cap/Hat, Sunglasses, Insect Repellent, Camera, Film, Battery, Lenses(SLR), FLASH(SLR), Binoculars, Watch.

Do not forget the flashlight. As much as we would love to, we do not have enough flashlights to lend out.

FAQ
Q:    Do I need walking shoes or boots to trek in the jungle?

A:   We have some rubber boots at Camp that our staff cooperative rent out. However big sizes are limited. For trekking in the jungle, a pair of walking shoes will be good. We recommend that visitors buy rubber moulded shoes (RM 5) for walking in the jungle. The reason is because we feel it is a shame to dirty good (and expensive) boots. Rubber shoes are good because they are cheap, easy to wash and dry fast (just wipe). They are commonly known here as "Adidas Kampung" (Village Adidas or 4 stripes Adidas). 

They are very common and can be purchased in provision shops, mini-mart, etc. Just say you want Adidas Kampung and the shopkeeper will know. The only problem is large sizes. The biggest is size 42 (equivalent to size 9). The shops near our B&B/Ops Base sell them too. 

If you do not want to keep the "Adidas Kampung" after using them, do not trash them. These rubber shoes are used a lot by the local villagers and they would be happy if you were to give it to them.

" Everybody appeared to have more packing responsibilities than I did, but the paradox was that if anything was missing from what anyone packed, I was the one to blame" - Agnes Newton Keith: "Land Below The Wind"

Staff & Guides

Get to know our staff and guides. Be their friend and they will be your buddies and companions - they know the jungle and river very well and will have a lot to share with you. Our guides are committed to their jobs. Tell them your special interest and they’ll be happy to point things out to you.

Our friendly way
The Camp will be your home during your stay. Make yourself at home.
Loosen up and have fun!

We conduct our business in a friendly way and lots of things are done as a matter of courtesy in friendship. Many business “advisers” tell us that this is not a good business approach. But we don’t care! This is our way. We are not calculative about tiny bits of this and that. Similarly, it would be really nice if we receive the same understanding and consideration in return.

Join us in the spirit of friendship and adventure

Enjoy your stay at the Camp.

If you have some nice photographs of your stay at Camp and want to share it with others, email it to us and we will try to post it on our website (tell us your preferred name for photo credits). If you have a homepage and want us to place your link, include that too!

Uncle Tan’s Wildlife Camp – A Melting Pot of Nationalities somewhere in the Jungle of Borneo.

If you enjoy your stay at the Camp, tell others about it.

(Original text by Uncle Tan)

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