Borneo’s Secret Kingdom – Nat Geo Wild Kinabatangan Shoot

Roger Munns Blog, Shoots

I was back in one of my favourite places in Sabah, the Kinabatangan, in February. On this three week shoot for National Geographic Wild I was shooting a range of animals which live in the riverine forest by this long and winding river (or sungai in the local language). The Kinabatangan is home to many of Borneo’s iconic species such as the rhinoceros hornbill, proboscis monkey, orangutan and the bornean elephant. In fact all eight species of Hornbill can be found along the banks of this beautiful river. It’s full of wildlife but a challenging location to film due to the lack of spots on the river to get the tripod out. Much of the shooting is done from small boats, expertly driven by the local guides. My assistant Morten Jensen and I stayed at SDC’s Proboscis lodge in Bukit Melapi near Kampong Sukau which gave us access to the great wildlife in the area plus the ability to jump in the 4wd and head to locations like the limestone caves at Gomantong.

The Kinabatangan is one of the best places in the world to see and photograph tropical birds and mammals but, as is often the case, it faces threats. To find out more about the challenges faced by this region take a look at the work done by Hutan, an NGO run by Isabelle Lackman and Marc Ancrenaz.

The series is called Borneo’s Secret Kingdom. It is co-produced by Scubazoo and Wild Bear for Nat Geo Wild and is related to a similar shoot I worked on for ZDF called Amazon of The East. That three part series features the people who live and work along the banks of the Kinabatangan.

Update: The first episode of Borneo’s Secret Kingdom will air in Australia on NatGeo Wild on Tuesday 17th January 2017 at 1930. For full listings visit National Geographic Channel’s Australian website


Sony PXW-FS7
Canon EF Lens to Sony E Mount T Speed Booster ULTRA 0.71x
Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM
Canon Extender EF 2 x III
Zacuto FS7 recoil rig