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Excerpt from Independent.co.uk

On a speck of a tropical island in the South China Sea, nature is rehearsing its royal variety act. Emerging from the dense canopy of the virgin rainforest, which blankets two-thirds of the island and is home to more than 50 species of bird and butterfly, a giant monitor lizard darts across our path.

Cempedak, in Indonesia’s Riau archipelago, is a nature documentary maker’s dream. The marine life-rich coral reef that surrounds the private island has encouraged wild pigs, rafts of sea otters and pods of dolphins to venture towards its shoreline.

Baby turtles are often found nesting under the boathouse, a resident silver leaf monkey swings among more than 100 types of tree, and if you are especially lucky (in the case of one guest), you may even encounter a critically endangered pangolin. It’s the sort of place that might even make Attenborough a little giddy.

 

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