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Reconnect With Nature on These Expeditions

Reconnect With Nature on These Expeditions

Gain a deeper understanding of the natural world through these educative programs and expeditions.

Scientific Expeditions for Citizens

You don’t need to be a biologist to go on these adventures! Taxon Expeditions organizes expeditions to remote areas in search of scientific discoveries, finding and naming new species. If you have a passion for nature, science, and conservation, you can help build specimen collections for scientists and conservationists.

On these expeditions, you can do hands-on field research alongside scientists, work in a laboratory, attend lectures, and do DNA analysis using nanopore technology. You’ll see the most incredible animals and plants in biodiversity hotspots around the world. Go jungle trekking, canopy climbing, bird-watching, caving, and night walks. Find a new species and name it yourself!

Some of you may remember my trip to Borneo with Taxon Expeditions; we even named a beetle after Leonardo DiCaprio. Here are the upcoming expeditions for 2020:

  • April 26-May 5, Soberania National Park, Gamboa program info
  • July 8-19, Durmitor National Park, Montenegro program info
  • September 27-October 6, Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei program info – I will likely be going on this expedition!
  • October 18-25, Penang Hill, Penang, Malaysia program info

Expeditions by Naturalists

Ecuador, March 1-14 (+ optional 4-day extension)

Naturalist-photographer Chien Lee and local experts Lucas Bustamante and Frank Pichardo will take you across the country to explore the species in one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world.

Ocelot; photo by Chien Lee

A maximum of 8 people can attend, and the fitness level for this trip is considered easy.

For a full itinerary and more photos, see program info here.

North Sumatra, June 13-18

North Sumatra is the only place on Earth where you can find elephants, clouded leopards, orangutans, tigers, and Sumatran rhinos coexisting.

Sumatran orangutan; photo by You Chung-Wei

It is also home to the tallest and largest flowers in the world. The blooms for these species are incredibly short. The Amorphophallus titanum only blooms for less than a day, and the Rafflesia anroldii blooms for 3-4 days. The dates for this expedition are set to coincide with the peak bloom times for these flowers.

Amorphophallus tinanum; photo by You Chung-Wei

This trip will be led by Chung-Wei, a celebrity herpetologist and seasoned eco-tour leader from Taiwan, and will be conducted predominantly in (Taiwanese) Mandarin.

For a full itinerary and more photos, see the program info here.

East Sabah, March 14-18 (+ optional trip extensions)

Visit conservation centres and see the wildlife of Borneo up close. You’ll learn about the smallest bear in the world, explore caves and canopies, meet a semi-wild orangutan at a rehabilitation centre, and cruise down the river.

Explore the rainforest at night
Help plant native trees to restore the riparian forest

Opt for the Turtle Island trip extension to see turtles hatching, explore the perfect waters of Semporna, or go on the 4WD safari in Deramakot to see some of the larger wildlife, including clouded leopards and pygmy elephants.

Safari in Deramakot; photos by You C.W. & Tam Y.C

For a full trip itinerary and more photos, see program info here.

Kinbalu (flexible dates)

Head out on a day trip (8am-4pm) to explore Gumbayong Trail, Kiau Taburi Trail, or trails in Kinabalu Park with a local naturalist. Add on a night exploration for a three-hour walk in the lower montane forests.

If you have a few days for this trip, a multi-day adventure can be designed for you. You can visit Kiau Taburi or Kinbalu Park as well as community reserves in the area, such as Kiau Nuluh, Bundu Tuhan, or Maragang Hill. If your time and budget allows, add on a 4WD safari into Deramakot.

Photos by Lerry D

For those interested in birds, a special birding expedition can be customized to help you find your target species. For more information, see program info here.

Conservation by Exploration with Indigenous Communities

Maranggoi, with the community of Pinolobu

Explore four waterfalls with unique rock formations and collaborate with ecologist M.S. Khoo to document the rare flora and fauna in the area. This will help devise a plan to reduce the impact of tourists and restore damaged habitats.

For more information, see program info here.

Guide Polly Bahan sharing on how Dusun people traditionally use the fruits of Neesia (possibly N. synandra), as medicine

Penawan, with the community of Penawan

Spend time in Penawan Waterfalls Eco-Park and help with conservation efforts by joining the survey and restoration programs. Plant primary forest species that have been damaged by illegal logging, and fruit trees for use by both animals and humans.

Discover the fungal diversity in the various forest types of Penawan reserve – some may even be species new to science. Photos: Khoo M.S

Join the monthly survey for unique species, usually on the last weekend of every month. You can also design a custom expedition in this area.

For more details, see program info here.

Maragang Hill, with the community of Mesilau

Visit the highest community nature reserve in Malaysia for one of the monthly trips to survey the landscape and wildlife of Maragang, or organize a trip any time to contribute to the conservation efforts of the area. If you can, make it an overnight trip so you can stargaze and see the sun rise.

Photos by Khoo M.S.

For more details, see program info here.

Belanum, with communities affected by the largest dam in Malaysia – multiple dates

The Belanum Nature Reserve will provide a sanctuary for the wildlife impacted by Bakun Dam, and will be the foundation for future eco-tourism efforts. Survey for wildlife or help restore the habitats as you live off-the-grid near the Bakun reservoir or by the Belanum River.

Bornean bearded pigs; photos by Khoo M.S.

The next confirmed trips will be taking place in early February, early April, early June, and early August.

For more details, see program info here.

If you’re planning on attending any of these expeditions, let me know! I’d love to hear where you’ll be going. Be sure to share some photos with me on Twitter or Facebook after your trip, or reach out if you’ll be joining me on the Brunei expedition in October!