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Adventure Travel Company

Lupa Masa

Lupa Masa is a rainforest hideaway nestled beside a jungle stream on the slopes of Mount Kinabalu, surrounded by the World Heritage Site, Mount Kinabalu National Park. “Lupa Masa” translates to “forget time”, and is the perfect place for an introduction to the diversity of the Borneo rainforest, as well as a retreat for those who simply want to get away from the modern world and relax in a beautiful environment surrounded by nature. It is built entirely from local bamboo and reclaimed wood and uses fully sustainable energy resources, with electricity provided by its own mini hydro generator. It is roofed by locally sourced palm thatch, which is cooler and quieter than man-made alternatives. Food is organic wherever possible and is grown and supplied by the surrounding villages.

To do

You can take night hikes to explore the rainforest and its amazing plant and wildlife, and there are nearby waterfalls for bathing and relaxation surrounded by with the sounds and sights of the jungle. No roads lead directly to Lupa Masa, and so your first introduction will be the 30-minute walk from Poring Hot Springs.

The surrounding forests are rich in mammal, bird and plant life and treks have included sightings of the slow loris, the western tarsier, the long-tailed porcupine, the yellow-throated marten, the Rajah Brook Birdwing butterfly and Wallace’s Flying Frog. Experience the vibrant colours of butterflies, dragonflies and fireflies, and relax in the mornings surrounded by the sounds of nearby streams, cicadas, frogs or even hooting gibbons. When in season, the Giant Rafflesia and many wild orchids can be found flowering nearby.

If this isn’t enough, then bamboo-rafting trips down the jungle rivers can also be organised.

Accommodation

Accommodation is basic but comfortable, and nights are spent in stretcher-type hammocks in traditional “sulaps”, or for an even more unique adventure you can take an expedition hammock and guide and spend the night sleeping in the jungle under the forest canopy.

In the bathrooms there are bucket showers, or an option which many guests prefer is to shower in one of the beautiful waterfalls or streams surrounding Lupa Masa.  

Toilets are squat toilets, which you pour water into to flush. All waste then goes into a septic tank and then reed bed.

Food and drink

Meals are vegetarian and include rice with numerous jungle vegetables which are grown in the surrounding area and supplied by the local villages. You can also learn about traditional cooking methods, such as using bamboo and banana tree leaves. All food is organic wherever possible, food waste is composted and plastic and other materials are limited in their use.

A clean water supply is never a problem, and even in the “dry” season the small rivers and streams surrounding Lupa Masa do not dry up. 

Community & Development

Lupa Masa employs people from the local community as it has done from the start of this project, and will continue to do so as it grows.

Adventure Alternative is an investor in Lupa Masa and supports other locally run initiatives within Borneo, through our regional company Adventure Alternative Borneo and Moving Mountains Trust. Moving Mountains Borneo provides funding for a locally run forest enrichment project in the Upper Baram region of Sarawak, with the Penan tribe. There is a travel program associated with this reforestation scheme, called “Picnic with the Penan”, which is supported by Adventure Alternative and run by the Penan people in Sarawak. Some of our trips include a visit to stay with the Penan as part of the itinerary, however with all other trips to Borneo we can schedule additional add-on expeditions, including a stay with the Penan.

Further links and more information:

Lupa Masa on Trip Advisor

Lupa Masa in the Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum

Lupa Masa on Responsibletravel.com

Lupa Masa on Facebook

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