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SHANGRI-LA’S RASA RIA RESORT & SPA ANNOUNCES NEW NATURE AMBASSADOR

SHANGRI-LA’S RASA RIA RESORT & SPA ANNOUNCES NEW NATURE AMBASSADOR

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 1 December 2016 - Luxury resort and spa, Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria, in Malaysian Borneo has announced Sail Jamaludin as its new Nature Ambassador.  Sail will be responsible for leading the development of the resort’s Nature Reserve and promoting its news, initiatives and innovative eco-tourism product to an international audience.
 
Rasa Ria is a luxury beach-side resort with its own 64 acre nature reserve nestled within 400 acres of tropical jungle and all watched over by Sabah’s iconic Mount Kinabalu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  
 
The nature reserve has been developed to enhance the conservation of the flora and fauna that are native to Sabah and allow guests to explore Borneo’s indigenous wildlife.  The reserve is home to countless mammals such as long-tailed macaques, sambar deer, pangolins, porcupines, slow loris, bear cats (binturong) and the famous huge-eyed western tarsiers, many of which have been abandoned so have been brought to the reserve to be rehabilitated.  These animals reside alongside over 60 species of birds, 30 species of butterflies, and an array of indigenous plants including the rare Borneo orchids.  
 
Having successfully completed its orangutan rehabilitation programme, the reserve is currently embarking on a two-year development plan which will include the introduction of a range of new features – including a unique and innovative trail system - to enrich the guests’ nature and wildlife experience.
 
Sail Jamaludin was born and bred in North Borneo and has a career in wildlife conservation spanning nearly 30 years.  In 1996 Sail was brought on to set up Rasa Ria’s nature reserve and for the past 20 years he and his team of 8 rangers have been running the Reserve and the Nature Interpretation Centre to teach visitors about the local environment.  In addition Sail has led numerous community activities such as controlling forest clearing and helping villagers initiate eco-villages.
 
The resort runs a comprehensive scheduled nature programme, including canopy treks through the tree tops, specialist tours such as bird-watching and entomology, and Wildlife Wednesdays whereby a different plant, mammal or insect is highlighted each week.
 
For 2016/17 the resort is rolling out a range of new nature experiences including:

 
Night Vision Nocturnal Trek 
Guests will be equipped with special infra-red goggles for this special night time nature tour which takes visitors along the rivers.  The new tour will allow guests to spot animals which are more likely to come out at night, such as sambar deer, pangolin, bear cat, slow loris, bird species such as kingfisher and purple heron, and numerous reptiles.
 
Sabah Native Trail  
This new nature trail has been specially designed to show guests how the ancient native people of Sabah navigated their way through the jungle by following the animal tracks.  This method of tracking is innately sustainable as it reduces erosion of the land.
 
The ‘Breakfast with a View’ jungle tour 
The sunrise guided trek through Rasa Ria’s nature reserve allows guests to spot animals as the day breaks (the best time to see certain wildlife). The trek leads through the tree tops, up to a high platform 90 metres above sea level where the walkers enjoy a champagne breakfast looking out onto the stunning vista of Mount Kinabalu and the South China Sea. 
 
Little Rangers Experience  
Adventurous kids are kitted in their own ‘Rasa Ria Ranger’ mini polo shirts and caps to go out with the resort’s rangers to work with them for the day – helping to feed the animals, monitor the flora and fauna and learn about the life cycle of the forest.  Each child plants a tropical fruit tree – part of a 10 year plan to plant fruit trees to attract certain species of birds back to the reserve - as a lasting legacy of their experience.  Kids also receive a special ‘Little Ranger’ certificate.
 
Sandakan Orangutan Day Trip 
Rasa Ria has recently launched a new day trip to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sandakan.  Guests take an early morning flight to Sandakan where they will visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.  See these great apes - indigenous to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra and predicted to be extinct in the next 20 years – in their natural habitat.  Learn about this amazing ‘Man of the Forest’ known to have the closest genes to mankind (96.2%), and the centre’s rehabilitation programme.
 
The trip also includes visits to Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary and The Borneon Sun Bear Conservation Centre, as well as the Puh Jih Syh Temple and World War II Memorial Park, before flying back to Kota Kinabalu in the evening.
 
In addition to these new organised tours, Sail and his team of rangers will also create bespoke tours for guests tailored to their specific passions and interests to allow guests to get the most out of their stay at Rasa Ria.
 
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages 98 hotels under the Shangri-La brand with a room inventory of over 40,000.  Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services.  Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.  The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in mainland China, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka.
 

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