If you want to see orangutans in their natural habitat, Sepilok is the place to go. Indeed Borneo is one of only two places in the world where you can do so.
It’s not too far from Sandakan and is mostly made up of forest that’s home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna. The main draw to Sepilok is the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. It was set up in 1964 and is one of the few places in the country dedicated to helping these animals. People flock here in their hundreds to see the orangutans at feeding time, the afternoon tends to be a little quieter, so try to visit then.
You can also choose to go on a walking trail through the 43-square-kilometre reserve for a more intimate experience with these creatures. There’s no guarantee, but there’s a good chance you’ll see one as you look around. Make sure you visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre and try the canopy walk. There might not be orangutans, but there are plenty of other animals to keep you entertained; the macaques for one – they’re rather cheeky and not at all shy!
Head to one of the local villages to learn about their traditions and try some of the local dishes. They like to mix veg and ferns with garlic, local herbs and spices to create a delicious, crunchy dish that will leave you feeling refreshed.
We love Sepilok because of its focus on conservation. The locals have worked tirelessly to protect and rehabilitate orangutans and they’re now working just as hard to protect Malayan sun bears. A visit here will support these efforts.
Plan your trip to Sepilok today.