Attention all nature-lovers, biodiversity seekers, and biological explorers! Taxon Expeditions trips are tailor made for citizen scientists to experience the adventure of a lifetime!
To begin our journey, we will host you at a celebratory welcome dinner in our home in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the Malaysian state of Sabah, where we can answer any last-minute questions and begin to share with you the specifics of the adventures ahead. We will then travel on to our main location for our trip: the Maliau Basin. (Note: costs of transfers both to and from Kota Kinabalu are included within your trip fee).
We will stay at the Maliau Basin Research Center where you will be comfortable in a private room with bathroom and air conditioning. Built in 2011, the center is in the heart of the basin and is equipped with ample comforts for being located deep in the rainforest. The Basin itself is a geological wonder, a circular amphitheatre 25 km wide and surrounded by sharp cliffs up to 1.6 km high. The flora and fauna of the basin make it an unparalleled global hotspot for animal diversity. There are over 290 species of birds, and over 80 species of mammals including clouded leopard and Malayan sunbear. Plant-lovers will delight in the exotic orchids and endemic carnivorous pitcher plants.
Our field work during the excursion will focus on the immense populations of snails, beetles, and other insects that can be found in the basin. Be prepared for the surreal colors, shapes, and sizes of these animals as we begin our quest to discover species that are currently undocumented. You will learn to identify which species may be unique to our journey. Then, the most exciting part – finding a name for your own newly discovered species! Drs Iva Njunjić and Menno Schilthuizen have been working in this area for many years, and in addition to their personal familiarity with the fauna of Borneo, they hold the official research permits for the creatures we will discover, which will make your findings credible in REAL scientific journals. We are not simply having you name a creature for the purposes of this trip, your work will be officially recorded in scientific history!
Our schedule will be filled with exciting field excursions to a wide variety of local ecosystems (all transport costs included) such as caves, waterfalls, and steep cliffs. We will explore both during the day and sometimes at night to capture the unique set of animal life that comes alive after dark. In addition to all of our exploring we will have lectures and presentations by world renowned TED speaker, author, and TV personality Dr. Carin Bondar. Dr. Bondar will also be assisting us in our laboratory work, where you will have the opportunity to take part in a wide variety of biological techniques including DNA extraction and sequencing. The total number of participants in our one-of-a-kind trip will be limited to 15 so that you can receive maximum support and instruction from our staff. All study materials and books are included in your excursion package.
Meals will be prepared at the research station by locally trained chefs. You will have the unique opportunity to sample many flavors and specialties endemic to Malaysia and Borneo. While we are busy exploring and discovering, the kitchen staff will be hard at work preparing our many meals and snacks. We can accommodate specific dietary requests with advance notice.
Are you ready for this totally immersive, unprecedented and all-inclusive journey? The cost for this adventure, exclusive to participants with Taxon Expeditions, is 3900 EUR per person. The price includes all transfers within Sabah, accommodation, food, organized explorations with expert scientists, presentations, and books by world-renowned speakers and biologists, and full access to the biological laboratory on site. In addition – this is your chance to find, and NAME, your very own unique species in one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems. With Taxon Expeditions you are not simply a tourist – you are an explorer, an adventurer, and a scientist.