Visiting Sepilok is essential to understanding Borneo and what makes the island tick; the sights and sounds of Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve are incredible. The region is home to a high-profile handful of conservation and animal rescue projects which are vital to the protection of many endangered species including orangutans and sun bears. Stay in a rainforest resort on the edge of the protected jungle, visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre, and learn more about the contemporary wildlife conservation which is central to the lives of local residents, scientists, botanists and dedicated park rangers. The longer you stay the more you'll appreciate the importance of these kinds of projects and what they protect.
Obviously there's a lot more, this is just to get you started...
The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre's criss-cross of raised boardwalks makes it a near certainty that you’ll spot at least one or two orangutans at some point. This is a very well-established, well-known sanctuary complete with feeding platforms, handrails and even a nursery play area for the youngest orangs. Visitors must keep a respectful distance from the animals, but the orangutans sometimes come very close of their own accord. Feeding times turn the sanctuary into a raucous raft of noise, whilst hourly educational talks offer informative learning about the surrounding habitat. Experience the orangutans in their natural habitat, and find out on-the-ground details about the project’s continuing conservation.
Although visitors are advised to be as quiet as possible whilst in Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, the cacophony of insects, birds and animals almost makes this request redundant! This is somewhere to become fully immersed in the rainforest. The Discovery Centre’s information points explain what you can expect to see and where, from watching lizards scuttling across the forest floor and catching sight of snakes slithering under ferns, to glimpsing giant butterflies fluttering out of the foliage. Suspended walkways provide a route high over the canopy from where you can look out over the lakes. There are several easy-going jungle trails, as well as an organised nocturnal walk which offers the best chance of spotting (or at least hearing) the forest’s most elusive wildlife.
Just across the rainforest road from the orangutan sanctuary is a conservation project dedicated to a slightly less well-known species: the Malayan sun bear. The smallest of the world’s bear species, and the second scarcest, the sun bear is listed as vulnerable due to habitat loss, hunting and captivity. The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) is focused on their rescue and rehabilitation, and is the only project in the world dedicated to the species. See the bears in their natural forest habitat from the observation platform, and chat to the committed staff about how they raise awareness and care for the animals and the environment.
Explore an untamed habitat concealing endangered animals, rare birds and plants with mysterious medicinal properties; all before steeling away for a remote island retreat.