Crocker Range Trekking
The Crocker Range Trekking Tours
Real Thing and
Trus Madi) will have you immerse completely into the jungle and you must expect rough,
rugged and very demanding terrain. In the rainforest leeches await you, and a wet, humid climate
with many river crossings. On Trus Madi it is cold and wet, but there are no
leeches or river crossings. Both tours come with local foods and drinks, and extremely friendly people!
You need footwear that provides
excellent foot hold and traction, and you might wear gaiters but you also have to bear in mind that ever so
often we might have to ford rivers/enter local houses and we have to take off
our shoes. Further it is recommended that you wrap your spare clothes, and other
items, tightly in plastic bags to prevent them from getting wet. If you have
sophisticated camera or filming equipment a dry-bag is a good idea!
Further take along:
towel and swimwear (underwear
actually is ok...)
sun hat and sun block, rain coat/poncho, mosquito repellent & usual toiletries
basic medical kit with antiseptic
cream, plasters, pain killer (ibuprofen-based such as Advil are ideal) etc
energy food bars
change of clothes for the overnight stay
light blanket/sarong (sleeping bag for Trus Madi)
light sleeping mat (inflatable
lilo, or foam)
torchlight and spare batteries
camera & video (fully charged); spare films
if you have: small things that you can easily dispose of as gifts such as
promotional ball-pens, lighters, some post-cards of your place… bear in mind,
the local people are as curious about your place as you are about theirs!
We also suggest that you take out
an additional travel insurance such as
TravelCare - the organisers of the tours do
not provide any insurance!
Food and Drinks
This trip comes with almost exclusively local meals (meaning lots of rice and vegetables) throughout
and we suggest that you take along some energy bars, and maybe
sweets and the like for supplementary energy. The sweets will also come in handy
in the villages for the children...
In the villages we will eat
anything that is offered, generally lots of home-grown and wild vegetables,
chicken, fish and maybe wild boar or, with some luck, deer. If you have any
allergies or other dietary requirements let us know, we can always arrange for
the necessary if we are notified in advance!
You have to drink a lot of water, which is readily available from all shops and
in the jungle from clean mountain streams (if you have water sterilising pills
or a UV steriliser there is no harm in taking them along, just to be on the sure
side). Water served in the homes of local
people is always boiled.
Special note: it is customary to serve visitors some
rice wine, or cassava beer. If you cannot take alcohol, please let your guides
know that they can inform the locals – otherwise you will find yourself again
and again with a full glass of some fermented drink you might not like…!
What you will see and
Jungle trekking is not exactly a
wildlife safari and you should not expect to see any animals other than lots of
leeches (not to confuse with ticks; leeches are harmless and quite intriguing
creatures once you get to know them better... and we promise, you will get to
know them!). With some luck we can spot pheasants, hornbills and smaller
mammals, and with some luck monkeys but really don't count on it as they all tend to avoid human contact.
Trekking will mostly be under the
thick canopy of the humid-wet forest, and you need a sensitive film to take good
shots of this unique eco-system. You also have to go slowly and carefully, the
terrain is mostly steep and unaccustomed. Against the leeches we suggest that
you wear woollen socks (real wool seems to keep them at bay), and further
protect your footwear with gaiters and you might also want to stuff tobacco into
your socks. It is sometimes recommended to spray shoes
and gaiters, as well as lower trousers with Baygone Spray, but I have only had
moderate success with our leeches here.
The really interesting part of
this tour is to get to know the Dusun people who live here, and their
friendliness and hospitality will certainly amaze you. They are for the most
part subsistence farmers and gain a little money from the sales of tobacco they
plant, and other jungle produce they can sell on the weekly market (tamu)
in Donggongon. However, most of them don't travel to Donggongon weekly -
understandably, as it is a day-long arduous walk through the rainforest. With
what they earn they purchase essentials such as soap, coffee and tea, sugar,
cooking oil etc, and they also have to pay school fees for their children. Don't
be astonished, but even in these remote areas there are primary schools!
Tourism, an occasional side
income for the people here, is only very slowly discovering this area, and thus
it remains largely unspoilt and truly off the beaten track.
Probably the most important is
that you are mentally well prepared, more so than physically! It is your
attitude and curiosity you bring along that will make this trip truly memorable!