Do you know what a Tarsier is?
Maybe you’ve seen this.
You should really see this photo, and the rest of Charles Ryan’s photography on Instagram Then, check this out, two nights ago this happened: I snuck around in the jungle, quietly tip toeing around dead leaves and leeches, trying to get side by side with this little fella and take a pic. As you can see I was pretty damn happy about this. You can also see that this little guy is way more keen than I expected, and saw me from a mile away.
Once he spotted me, he took a leap from that tree like a frog, springing himself directly over my head! I thought for sure he was after my face. He hopped away into the darkness, never to be seen again.
Lucky for us, this was a fruitful night hike. Five (!!!) tarsiers in two hours! That’s easily a personal best.
It took me a while, and many hours of night hikes to be able to spot one on my own. Like all animals, tarsiers give off eye shine, in their case its this reddish orange glow. Unlike most animals, once they get the light in their eyes they wisely turn their heads away. Most animals, I’m looking at you Mouse Deer, just stare at you, dumbfounded, blinded by the light. Aren’t these tarsiers a trip? Adorable as they are to us, many locals won’t get close or hunt them because of their “worldly features.” They live in different worlds, with the head of an owl, tail of a rat, claws on their hands and the legs of a frog. I see cute tree hugger that joyfully hops from tree to tree. Others see demon. Fine with me, for that I can see FIVE IN TWO HOURS.
Going on a night hike in the Borneo Rainforest is one of the coolest activities in this world. You could see absolutely nothing, and you will still have the experience of a lifetime. The jungle never sleeps. Lizards, frogs, and who knows what else are constantly making noises to keep your mind on full alert.
But most of the time, through that little beam of light on your head, you will see something. The jungle is flush with wildlife. Civets, mouse deer, countless reptiles and amphibians, the list goes on and on.
Every once in a while you will have one of those spectacular nights, where you crash a tarsier party.
And there aint no party like a tarsier party, when a tarsier party don’t stop.
Photos taken by Atteh, my jungle trekking partner in crime this last week and guide for Sticky Rice Travel