Lahad Satu (The Star/ANN) - On the eve of Malaysia Day, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ended their four-day whirlwind visit to the country by taking in the beauty of North Borneo's tropical rainforest.
They spent their last day in Malaysia observing nature in the primeval jungles of Sabah's Danum Valley.
The royal couple who wore khaki pants, safari shirts and boots were hoisted 50m above the ground to the treetop level of the forest.
They later walked along a canopy walkway and were treated to the breathtaking sights of the jungle.
They also trekked through some of Danum's pristine forest during their seven-hour visit to the 438sq km conservation area.
Prince William, a Royal Society fellow, and his wife Catherine Middleton also spent time chatting with 25 Malaysian and British scientists as well as Oxford University students carrying out a variety of environmental research projects in Danum.
The couple arrived in Danum at about 10.15am aboard a Sabah Air helicopter from Kota Kinabalu.
They listened and occasionally posed questions on the Yayasan Sabah and the Royal Society's South-East Asia Rainforest Research Programme (Searrp).
The briefing was done by the foundation's conservation and environmental management division group manager Dr Waidi Sinun and SEARRP director Dr Glen Reynolds.
Also on hand to brief them were Sabah Tourism chairman Datuk Tengku Zainal Adlin Tengku Mansor and Sabah Forestry Department director Datuk Sam Mannan.
Mannan said the couple was particularly interested in Sabah's forest conservation efforts as well as its iconic wildlife such as the orang utan and proboscis monkeys.
"They were also keen to know about our restoration work. This visit is a great motivating factor for us," he said.
Dr Waidi said the royal couple's visit would bring the Danum Valley and conservation work here to a higher level.
"The Duke of Cambridge did say that his father [Prince Charles] has a soft spot for the rainforest," he said.
Dr Waidi added that the visit was also a recognition to the joint research efforts by Yayasan Sabah and the Royal Society for nearly two decades.
After a short rest, Prince William and Catherine flew by helicopter to the east coast town of Lahad Datu where they boarded a MasWings flight to Kota Kinabalu.
They are scheduled to leave for the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu today.