| Hakim Hayat |
A DUO calling themselves the ‘Nomadic Lion’ is currently in the Sultanate as part of an ongoing expedition that spans over a 2,500-kilometre walking distance to cover numerous places of interest in Brunei Darussalam and Sarawak.
Its founder David Atthowe from Norwich, England, and Yusep Sukmana from Ciamis, Indonesia, have visited a number of landmarks in the capital and other tourist hotspots including the Ulu Temburong National Park in Bukit Patoi in their ongoing ‘Walk of Borneo’ expedition which commenced in Sabah last August.
The nature-loving duo initiated their first project in 2014 by walking the entire length of Peninsular Malaysia to raise awareness on the environment and its people who live in harmony with nature. A documentary of their journey will describe the current situation of the local environment and the organisations working to protect it.
During a press conference hosted by the Tourism Development Department, together with a non-profit environmental organisation, David yesterday lauded efforts by the Sultanate in keeping its rainforest pristine and intact, calling the country “The greenest part of Borneo.”
The pair arrived in the country on October 28 from the Sarawak border in Kuala Lurah following 67 days of walking from Tawau and Kota Kinabalu. Their journey from Brunei will continue on to Miri and Kuching and finally down to the far southern tip of Sarawak.
David noted that they have covered over 1,200km walking distance from Tawau to Brunei and are almost halfway into their journey.
“You have the most blessed area in Borneo to walk in… especially with walking pavements and gaps on the roadside, which makes it a perfectly safe country for us to walk in. You are also blessed with so much lovely jungle. To me it is the perfect place to walk… I can’t think of a better place to do this expedition,” he told the press conference.
He also spoke of the massive potential Brunei has to offer to tourists and nature lovers alike, believing that many people would like to see that part of life in the jungle and rainforests.
“Brunei is blessed because it still maintains a large part of it,” he added.
Some of the key highlights of their adventure in the country include exploring the rich mangroves and observing the proboscis monkeys in their natural habitats along the Brunei River. The duo was also welcomed by friendly local communities as they explored the water village in the capital, giving them the opportunity to experience the rich culture and heritage of Brunei.
David said the focus of the documentary will be the positive environmental projects taking place in Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak.
Throughout the expedition they will visit conservation projects, projects working with indigenous people, education projects and community empowerment projects. They will also meet many individuals who are working hard to protect the rainforests of the region.
They are hoping to have a number of presentations and events in high schools, universities and public spaces to promote conservation efforts and nature awareness.
This Saturday, the duo will deliver an inspirational talk at the Sports School in Berakas and members of the public are welcome to attend.
The Brunei Tourism Development Department said they are supporting the Walk of Borneo by helping raise awareness on its stand on environmental impacts.
Also present at the press conference, which was held at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, was Tourism Development Department Acting Director Mariani binti Hj Sabtu.