Camp Lemaing – Sir Hugh Low Expedition Camp : A Community Based Ecotourism Project

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The 16-bed Camp Lemaing is named in honor of Lemaing, one of the local mountain guides from Kg. Kiau who led colonial official Sir Hugh Low for the first documented climb to the summit of Mt Kinabalu in 1851. The camp is located at Sambatang Caves on the Kadaimaian River, a fifteen minutes trek below the Minitinduk Gorge.

Camp Lemaing is a community project initiated by Sabah Society and funded by Sabah Credit Corporations with an initial grant of RM70, 000. Mr Albert Teo and the team from BEST Society provide their expertise in develop Camp Lemaing to be a successful community based ecotourism model project, and ecotourism specialist, Borneo Eco Tours (BET) to develop, package, promote and market this camp internationally into a world class ecocamp. The camp was designed in the collaboration between local architecture firms, Arkitrek and Hasegawa & Xavier Associates.

Artist's impression of Camp Lemaing

Artist’s impression of Camp Lemaing.

The project team member assembled are Dr Heng Aik Cheng (Sabah Society), Dr Ravi Mandalam (Sabah Society), Martin Moguring (land owner), Joseph (Village Headman of Kg. Kiau Nuluh), Ian Hall (Arkitrek), Yukio Hasegawa and Isabel Sandeman (Hasegawa & Xavier Associates), Albert Teo (Director of BEST Society), Baton Bijamin (Director and General Manager of BET).

Construction of Camp Lemaing began in August 2013 with the objective to revive interest in Minitinduk and explore the possibility of turning it into an attractive tourist destination. The project seeks to enhance historical interest in the first ascent of Mount Kinabalu by Sir Hugh Low, and cultural interest in the people of Kiau Nuluh and Minitinduk. BEST Society and the project team reckons that Camp Lemaing will generate sustainable income for local community through employment at the ecocamp thus achieve capacity building, leadership development to alleviate poverty and transform community.

It has all the ingredients to be developed to a world class ecocamp – dramatic and photogenic landscape, historical interest, road accessibility, interesting flora, uninterrupted supply of clean water and an adjacent village whose residents are already familiar with the requirements of tourists.

Bamboo - the main building material for Camp Lemaing's structure

Bamboo – the main building material for Camp Lemaing’s structure.

Part of the team at the site.

Part of the team at the site.

Architect Ian Hall presenting the concept of Camp Lemaing  to project team members

Architect Ian Hall presenting the concept of Camp Lemaing to project team members.

The project site of Camp Lemaing

The project site of Camp Lemaing.

Mr. Albert, Martin and Ian Hall having meeting and inspection at the project site.

Mr. Albert, Martin and Ian Hall having meeting and inspection at the project site.

Project team meeting in Kg. Kiau

Project team meeting in Kg. Kiau.

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