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Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre
Ben van Wijnen

"Absolutely brilliant experience and one we will never forget. We spent hours here just watching the adult and infant Orangutans in their natural habitat. The adults are free to just come and go as they please, whilst the infants have a beautiful play and feeding area that also allows them to explore their native habitat in safety."

Only 20 minutes by road from Sandakan (25 km) and you'll come at the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. This world-famous Sanctuary enables visitors to come in close contact with the remarkable "Orang Utan" which means "man of the forest" in Malaysian. The red-haired Orang Utans  are amust-see, when you bring a visit to Sabah. Here, in the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, young orphaned or captive orang utans are taught survival skills so that they may return to their natural habitat. After that, they are released into the forest.
The Rehabilitation Centre  is set in 43 square kilometers of beautiful virgin rainforest.  The Sanctuary started in 1964 to help once-captive Orang Utan and to teach them to fend for themselves in the wild. After watching orphaned orang utans being taught how to climb, visitors proceed to a platform.  At that platform they can watch the semi-wild orang utans come in from their jungle hides for their twice-daily ration of milk and bananas.

These large red apes - man's closest relative- are astonishingly gentle and highly intelligent, gazing at visitors with almost disconcerting frankness. 
To avoid the spread of disease, touching the animals is not permitted inside the Rehabilitation Centre. However, it is usually possible to meet and photograph a couple of the mature females, who are so fond of human company that they refuse to go back to the wild, just outside the Registration Centre.

The Sanctuary also houses a couple of highly endangered Sumatran rhinos, and occasionally other animals such as elephants. There is an Information Nature Education Centre, and a mini-theater where a documentary video about the work of the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary is shown.


Visitors areadvised to arrive about one hour in advance to register and enjoy activities prior to the feeding. It is possible to take a taxi to SepilokRehabilitation Centre and have it wait for your return. There are also infrequent buses marked "Sepilok" leaving from the station near the Central Market. All tour operators offer guided tours which include transport.

There's also a Mangrove Forest Trail. This trail in the Sepilok Centre and takes about 2-3 hours walking one way.  Interesting features include a scenic stream, water-holes, transitional forest, pristine lowland rain forest, boardwalks into the mangrove forest and wildlife tracks.

Note: Orang-utans have brown and rust-coloured shaggy fur. They weigh an average of 50 kg (110 lb) and can weigh over 90 kg (200 lb). The orang-utan lives in tropical, swamp and mountain forests, where it eats mostly fruit, leaves and insects.



Sepilok Jungle Resort

Ideally located in Sandakan, one of the second largest cities located on the east coast of Sabah, this area is popular for ecotourism. Guests are offered the opportunity to enjoy an eco-friendly environment. A culturally rich city, guests can visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, Turtle Island Park, Kinabatangan River, and Gomantong Caves. Donít forget to visit the Sepilok Orang Uton Rehabilitation Center, indeed the most popular tourist hotspot in the city! Enjoy a refreshing stroll around the resort and be rejuvenated by the fresh and non-polluted atmosphere. Apart from being a nature paradise, Sepilok Jungle Resort boasts 45 air conditioned rooms and 15 fan rooms ranging from dormitory to deluxe with a balcony. A perfect place for nature lovers, Sepilok Jungle Resort is simply unique.

More information and photos: Sepilok Jungle Resort |click now|




   Ben van Wijnen

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