Alpha 4 Danum Valley – A '7 Weekers'' perspective

2nd April 2015

Getting put into a group with complete strangers, then sent off to the Jungle to work and live together for the best part of 3 weeks was far from a normal experience.

I assumed that most of the venturers were used to Raleigh life, and as a squeaky-clean, new seven weeker I was completely fresh to the delights of sweaty showers, constant filth, and something that could only be described as bush-tucker breakfast. But already, I was feeling at home and the morning porridge wasn’t that bad.

Danum Valley was paradise. It was satisfying enough simply being there. Around every corner was a postcard view, or something straight from a wildlife documentary. I half expected David Attenborough to be pottering around the river.

I think as a group we knew how lucky we were to be in such a place. There was definitely a solid appreciation for what we were doing.

What we were doing, for that matter, was amazing. Building the guard hut was hard but satisfying work. It’s not every day you get the chance to work for much bigger and better reasons than yourself.

We all had different jobs around camp to make life easy. Everyone enthusiastically pulled their weight. There was definitely a solid team spirit.


The group had been through everything. The loss of two precious bags of sugar was tough on everyone. The stress of momentarily losing a GoPro in the river almost cracked us. And being brutally destroyed by the local lads at football was almost more than we could bear!

Most importantly though, Alpha 4 was made up of lovely, motivated people, who undoubtedly made the phase unforgettable.