Sepilok is a small inland region but it’s one of the most visited parts of Borneo. Why? Because it’s the most famous place in the word to see orangutans in their natural habitat.
Population: Virtually no one lives here, apart from the 75+ orangutangs who freely roam the 4,300 hectare forest reserve.
Vibe: Anticipation and excitement
Known As: The place where you can see orangutans up close.
Must Do: Visit the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre - but don’t stop there! There’s more wildlife to see....
Things to see and do
Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
The centre is located within the Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve. This forest is protected and around 75 wild orangutangs call it home. There are feeding platforms set up within the forest where volunteers drop fruit twice a day to supplement the diets of orangutangs who cannot forage enough food or themselves. The centre also has a nursery area with a playground for orphaned orangutangs and young orangutangs are paired up with an older ‘buddy’ to help them learn. In the wild, Orangutangs learn their life skills from their mothers and if they lose their mums before the age of six, they’re at risk of not surviving. There is viewing theatre so you can sit and watch them play. You won’t want to leave!
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Bornean Sun bears are the smallest bears in the world and they are highly endangered. The Rehabilitation centre is conveniently located across the road from the Orangutan Centre and you can walk between the two. Walk up on an elevated boardwalk, over bridges, above the trees and watch the sun bears play below. There are binoculars on the platforms to help you get a closer look. The staff at the centre are passionate and eager to answer your questions about the bears. There are currently 43 rescued bears at the centre.
Sandakan Rainforest Discovery Canopy Night Walk
Head out in the forest at night with an experienced wildlife guide to see Borneo’s nocturnal wildlife. The experience starts as the sun goes down with a walk up onto some elevated walkways, high up in the trees. As the sky turns to dusk, watch the trees carefully and you’ll see the squirrels wake up...but wait - these aren’t just your regular, run of the mill park squirrels. These are flying squirrels! If you watch long enough they’ll launch themselves into the air and glide up to 90metres. They’re not the most graceful landers and often arrive on the opposite tree with a bit of a thud. Once it’s dark your guide will take you down to the forest floor and you’ll walk the tracks. It’s common to see sleeping birds, frogs and bats. You’re particularly lucky you may see mouse deer, slow loris, civet cats and snakes.
Ready for a day of incredible wildlife encounters?