If you want to see the elusive orangutan in its natural habitat, one of the best places is Borneo’s remote Danum Valley rainforest. You travel through endless palm oil plantations to get there – sadly one of the main reasons the forest is disappearing at such a rate – and it doesn’t disappoint. This is a place you’ll never forget. Right in the depths of the rainforest there’s a network of walkways high in the canopy – it’s like moving through the clouds as the humidity and mists swirl around you. On our second day, we heard a cracking and snapping of branches high up and froze, peering into the trees. It was an orangutan making its bed for the night and we watched as it bent branches as thick as a man’s arm, flipping them over with no effort at all. So strong, so orange – such a privilege to watch. We saw birds of every colour of the rainbow, wild forest elephants and, as dusk arrives, the forest erupted into a chorus of croaks, calls, songs and unusual critter noises, but we felt safe ensconced in a mosquito proof bed with a friendly gecko on the wall catching stray insects. This is true escapism of the wildest kind.


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