The Forth Capital Borneo Jungle Adventure



Forth Capital – Borneo Jungle Adventure

Forth Capital is not the typical financial adviser and as a result of this strives to differentiate from the norm. With a unique set of company values that employees are held to, the most exciting one is the importance of being ‘explorers’.

Throughout Forth Capital’s history there have been numerous team adventures, but this year, 12 employees set out on a life changing experience, that enhanced their self-awareness, strength and ability to work within a team. Unaware of the location of the trip and only a kit list to guide them as to what to take, it was not until the group arrived at their various airports that they learned of their destination. The heart of the Borneo Jungle!

Day one: Kuching Initiation

As each branch flew in, they were greeted by their trip guides and the reality of what may be upon them began to sink in. They were told no further information other than to be ready for a briefing and a possible ‘last supper’ that evening.

The group was split into three teams and it was revealed that these would be the teams for the entire duration. The teams would take part in challenges throughout the trip, to compete for arrows that would ultimately be used in the final show down between the groups. The team with the highest score on the archery board would then split and compete against one another with one single shot to be crowned the ‘King’ or ‘Queen’ of the jungle.

Day Two: Into the Jungle

A long four hour journey into the jungle and an hour and a half ride on wooden, cracked long boats (unaware of what lurked beneath them) the groups arrived at their first destination, a basic long house, deep in the jungle.

To enhance the experience and safety, the group were told they would spend the week travelling alongside the Iban tribe and as a result of this must complete their first team task, learning key phrases in Iban, which consisted of: “Left”, “Right”, Faster and “Get out”.

Day Three: Standards Lower

Following a briefing by the Borneo Adventure Guide on the possible dangers they may face as they go further into the jungle, the group set off up the river.

The engines were stopped and it was revealed each team would race against one another using only the paddles and their brute strength. Due to the high rocks and low waters, the teams were forced to forget about the possible dangers and jump out of the boats.

Arriving at the second longhouse it was clear that the standards had been significantly lowered for the second evening in the deep jungle. The weather took a turn for the worst and as a result Skonie (the trips team leader) devised archery and physical tests to pass the time.

Day 4: The Deep Jungle

As everyone was aware the trip was getting progressively worse, there was a level of anticipation surrounding what the next few days could hold. As each individual was handed their own machete, the reality of what they may encounter became clear.

Following a two hour jungle trek and a turbulent boat ride, the groups arrived in thick jungle, where it was revealed they would face the challenge of building their beds and campsite to be used for the foreseeable future.

Whilst a small group ventured across the river to set traps for dinner, the remainder of the group worked on building, shelters, fires and benches around the site.

Day 5: Back down the river

Following an evening sleeping in the open jungle, further than any tourist had ever gone before, it was revealed the toughest evening was over and we would be returning down the river.

One member from each team was chosen to go on a mission to hunt a wild boar, whilst the rest were treated to a stop at a nearby waterfall which was breath taking in its beauty, before taking part on a three hour trek through the jungle in search of Orang-utans.

When darkness had completely set in, a handful of the group took a trip down ‘snake alley’ to partake in frog catching, a delicacy for the evening’s meal.

Day 6: Back to where it began

Having travelled almost the entire trip either by long boat or foot, the group were then challenged with building a raft using only the surrounding bamboo and bark for rope. They then raced for 2km down the river, rapids and all.

When the groups finally made it down the river, they were welcomed into one of the Iban tribe’s long houses. The experience was incredibly unique, partaking in traditional Iban celebratory dances, drinking their home brewed moonshine and viewing their ‘trophy’s’ (Human skulls that had been headhunted decades ago).

The group returned to the initial long house for the final archery showdown, where the ‘King’ of the jungle was crowned.

Day 7: The end is neigh

Following a tough 5 days of trekking, sleeping rough, no showers, critters and rice for every meal, the group returned to their hotel in Kuching to freshen up and relax before regrouping in a civilised setting to celebrate the completion of the trip. And what a trip it was!

Forth Capital is a global company, with offices in Geneva, Hong Kong, Dubai and London, they strive to uphold their ‘explorer’ value in order to continually challenge, build and bring the global team together, and the 2015 Borneo Adventure did exactly that.

Tom Tracy

The Author

Tom Tracy

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