The last month I have been volunteering with an organisation called Camp International on the beautiful island of Borneo. Explaining to family and friends my plan to visit, many hadn’t heard of it before. Because of this, I’ve decided to share ten ‘quick facts’ below before we get into the nitty gritty.
1. Borneo is the third largest island in the world and the biggest in Asia 🏝
2. It is divided into three countries: Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei (we visited the Malay part of the island, which is made up of two states called Sabah and Sarawak) 🇲🇾 🇮🇩 🇧🇳
3. There appears to be quite a divide within the Malay part of the island between the westernised/wealthy capital and larger cities, to the more rural less developed and poorer areas
4. It has a population of around 19 million people, made up of Dayak (the native people of Borneo), Malay, Banjar, Orang Ulu, Chinese and Kadazan-Dusun
5. The landscape is mainly covered by ancient rainforests, which are believed to be around 140 million years old, making it the oldest jungle in the world 🌏
6. Being one of the most biologically diverse habitats on earth, it has a vast variety of species including an incredible 15,000 different plants/flowers, 3,000 trees, 210 mammals and 420 birds 🌿🌺
7. It is home to indigenous and endangered animals such as orangutans (my favourite), Asian Pygmy elephant, Sumatran Rhino and clouded leopards 🐘
8. Before the last Ice Age Borneo was part of Asia (hence why the animals still reside on the island). For some reason I find this fact really cool 🤓
9. Borneo used to have the largest rainforest in the world, but sadly due to extensive deforestation and palm oil farming it has decreased in size by almost half
10. It is still fairly undiscovered not only in its vast jungle landscape, but also to tourists
As outlined above, we have been staying in the Malay part of the island, which culturally is split between Christianity and Islam. We have been lucky enough to stay and work with both sides of the community.
Rather than writing posts per day, I will be splitting them up to projects and also R&R days. Stay tuned 😉.
P.s. Sorry for the delay in posts, the hard work, heat and lack of signal have set me back a tiny bit.
Jessica Storm ✌️