Nepenthes Exploration Expedition

The Redfern Team is organising the Nepenthes Exploration Expedition to observe and photograph several little known Nepenthes taxa, in some cases, for the very first time.

This is an unconventional trip, in the sense that there is no guarantee we will find the little-known Nepenthes that we set out to see. But that is the nature of exploration! We would like to run this trip in September, 2022. We propose to find a group of participants first, discuss the itinerary with the participants as a group, and jointly select which of the following objectives to focus on, then agree mutually convenient dates.


The cost will depend upon the number of participants coming, and the combination of objectives (and the logistics involved (e.g. domestic flights, hotels 4*4 vehicles etc.), but is likely to be between £2,000-£3,000 for a 2 week trip.

A photographic/observation expedition


Objectives include:

Objective 1:observe the gigantic form of Nepenthes sanguinea from Mount Benom. Although known for over 100 years, very few people have ever seen or photographed the giant form of N. sanguinea. From the scant images that exist, it would appear this gigantic form is among the largest and most impressive of all pitcher plants!

Objective 2: No definite photographs exist of Nepenthes alzapan. The species is known only from herbarium specimens collected in 1925, and has never been seen with certainty since. It was described by botanists Martin Cheek and Matthew Jebb in 2013. Even the name “Mount Alzapan” does not appear on any maps. After months of research, the Redfern Team has located the likely candidate mountain. We will try and see this long-lost species (note: absolutely no guarantee of success – it is possible we may climb this mountain and find no Nepenthes at all – but this is the nature of exploration!)

Objective 3: Friends in Malaysia and the Philippines have observed two possible new Nepenthes species and have invited us to observe these populations. Our visit would be observation only (we cannot collect herbarium specimens without permits, which our Malaysian and Philippine colleagues may undertake at a later date, once permits have been issued). But we may be able to shed light on whether these reported populations are new species or not.

Objective 4: As a slightly more easy and reliable final objective, we can visit the beautiful Mulu National Park and Mount Murud (home to an amazing rainbow of well-known Nepenthes species and beautiful tourist attractions, and just a really great place to unwind and enjoy at the end of the expedition). Pending permission from the Mulu National Park, we may be able to photograph the mysterious Nepenthes campanulata by drone. This species grows on the cliffs of some of the world’s largest limestone caves. Note: we are currently applying for permission from the Mulu National Park to fly a drone (and can only do so if permission is granted).

Email for more information and to make bookings.

NOTE: this trip is photographic / observation expedition. No scientific research, collection of herbarium specimens, or plant material will be undertaken, in accordance with Malaysian and Philippine laws. A photographs and all findings will be shared with our colleagues and friends in Malaysia and the Philippines.