A group of 7 Students in a golf cart
Year 10s Geography & Biology trip to Borneo

Year 10s Geography & Biology trip to Borneo

 
Day 1:
Last night we arrived at the hotel at 8:45pm and we checked into our rooms. After relaxing for about half an hour, we walked down to the shops to get some snacks and things for our hotel rooms. Since everyone was completely exhausted we were all in our hotel rooms and in bed quite early.
We left the hotel at 9:30am and explored the mangroves at Sabah Wetlands Cultural Society (SWCS). SWCS is 15 minutes from Kota Kinabalu city centre and is a protected cultural heritage site of Borneo. We started with a presentation and exhibit of the mangrove site and then headed off onto the trail. The mangroves were absolutely spectacular and unlike anything most of us have ever seen before. During our journey we saw many different species including crabs, mud lobsters, mudskippers, a king fisher bird, herons and spiders. We also learned about different mangrove species and
how to identify them. We finished the trail and went back to get rubber boots so we could do our field work. We spent the rest of the time in the mangroves using transects to measure species diversity and how the mangroves change the further they are from the tidal zone. We had a session learning about statistics and the analysis of data before returning back to the hotel. By Taylor
 
Day 2:
This morning we prepared for the day ahead and drove to the marina dock for a 10 minute boat ride. We arrived at Gaya Island and to learn about corals and other organisms. We went snorkelling, collected data and saw amazing colourful fish and corals. Afterwards we had lunch on the beach then analysed our results. We then did some investigations on waves and the bay, such as, long shore drift and wave frequency. We took a small hike through the forest and discussed about the animals in Borneo. We returned to the hotel and talked about what we’ll do tomorrow. Today was very exciting and felt like a day in the Maldives! We ate dinner at the hotel. By Andrea and Albin
 
Day 3:
We took the bus to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. After a quick lunch, we ventured into the park, looking at all the different animals while the teachers and guides informed us about them. Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is not a zoo but a rehabilitation and research centre for the indigenous animals of Borneo including the Orang Utan. After about an hour, we watched an animal show, where the wildlife park staff showed us parrots, snakes and bearcats who had learned tricks. Throughout the colourful show, we were also made aware of threats to these beautiful animals. After the wildlife park, we headed back to the hotel and wrote down our results from the river study and discussed what they showed. We had a short briefing about the next day and finally went up to pack and sleep. By Emma.
 
Day 4:
The next morning we embarked on our trip to camp in the jungle. It was a long bus journey so we all listened to great music and slept which made time go by much faster. We stopped at the Mount Kinabalu viewing point. Mount Kinabalu is the highest peak in Malaysia at over 4000 metres above sea level.  It is a very important mountain for the people of Sabah and a couple of years ago it suffered a massive earthquake which left an interesting shiny mark where the mountain rock fell off. We learnt about the adaptations that plants have on the mountain and then we went shopping in small gift shops and got a lot of souvenirs for our friends and family. We learnt a lot about the earthquake and the vegetation that grows around Sabah. Sabah relies heavily on agriculture as a source of income and employment. We then headed into the Poring hot springs where we walked in the canopy of the rainforest on a rigged up walkway, swam in a waterfall and learnt about the geothermal energy in the area which brings naturally heated water to the surface. By Amelie
 
Day 5:
We left Poring hot springs to travel to Kondis Point on the Kiulu river. When we arrived we met some new staff and they were all friendly. The first thing we did was unpack our backpacks to arrange them in our tents. In the tents, we had to share with either two or three people while the teachers stayed in a hut called an A-hut where it looks like a tent but bigger. There were 4 A-huts so one teacher stayed in one hut each. After eating dinner we started making food for the second dinner but instead we cooked it in bamboo. Everyone wanted different ingredients. The different ingredients were potatoes, dory fish, spring onions, normal onions, garlic, salad, peppers (white and black), salt, soy sauce, and calamansi which acts as a lemon to southeast Asian countries. When we finished, we put the bamboo above the fire to cook it. While waiting a man came by and he showed us two incredible ways of making fire. The first way was with wood where you rub to make friction and when the fire comes the man placed it on the coconuts shell to make the fire bigger. The second one was with flakes of timber which you put on a piece of ceramic then quickly rub it fast against bamboo to light up the timber. 
The next morning we started on our journey to the white water rafting starting point. We started our trek at 8am. We went up and down many hills and walked across rivers on suspended bridges. We were shown fruits, crops and even rubber trees. It took four bridges and four hours to get to our finishing point. All of us enjoyed trying and seeing fruits we had never seen before. We got to see how pineapples were grown and most of us were amazed.  Then we got to the white water rafting point and ate lunch before starting our journey on the river. Everyone really enjoyed it, a lot of people fell out but they just kept smiling. I really loved how everyone helped everyone get in the raft after falling out. We all showed a great amount of team work while paddling down the river and singing songs to keep us going. When we finished we all jumped into the water and had a great laugh. By Jaden and Simone
 
Day 6:
Today was very exhausting as we first went to a beach to measure the wave height, the frequency of waves and looked at the biodiversity along a transect. After the first beach we went to a storm beach where we bought juice offered by the locals, it was delicious. At the storm beach we did water sampling and checked the water quality. The water quality was poor due to the proximity to the urban centre of Kota Kinabalu although it had improved from the data taken last year by the Kent College pupils. Next was exploring the city, rather than the jungle or river. First stop, the fish market, where we looked at different types of fish, learning about how endangered they are and the methods of fishing used to catch them. Next we went to the middle of Kota Kinabalu and visited the oldest standing building that dates back to the 1920s and used to be a post office when Sabah was under British colonial rule. Finally after climbing a hundred stairs we reached the observation point where you could look down on the city while eating a cold ice cream as a reward. By Lina and Max
 
Day 7:
Our last night in Borneo - we visited the waterfront for dinner. After taking some wonderful sunset shots we ate a delicious dinner of pizza, lamb, garlic bread, pasta, fish and chips and salad, the teachers handed out awards. There were tears and cheers around the table, mostly tears though. Everyone was very upset that this would be their last night in Borneo. Next stop KCD! By Morgan and Elias