Visiting Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary is essential for understanding Borneo, and what the country stands for. Conservation and animal rescue projects are incredibly important to many local residents, scientists, botanists and dedicated park rangers. One ideal way to find out more is to stay in a rainforest resort on the edge of the protected jungle, and another is to visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre in the same forest as the sanctuary. The sights and sounds of Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve are incredible, and the longer you stay the more you'll appreciate the vital importance of this kind of conservation.
Obviously there's a lot more, this is just to get you started...
Sepilok's criss-cross of raised boardwalks make 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 nature sanctuary complete with feeding platforms, handrails and even a nursery play area for the youngest orangs. You can't, of course, touch the animals, but they 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. Visiting Sepilok is essential on a trip to Borneo. Not only will you get to experience orangutans in their natural habitat, but you'll also find out some on-the-ground details about the continuing conservation and animal welfare projects.
Although it’s advised that visitors are as quiet as possible whilst in Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, the cacophony of insects, birds and animals almost makes this request redundant! This is the place to become fully immersed in the rainforest. The Discovery Centre’s information points explain what you can expect to see and where, from glimpsing lizards scuttling across the forest floor to catching sight of snakes slithering under ferns and giant butterflies fluttering out of the foliage. Tower walkways provide a way to get high above the canopy and look out over the lakes. There are several easy going jungle trails, and an organised nocturnal walk which offers the best chance of spotting, or at least hearing, the forest’s most elusive wildlife.
The secret to experiencing Sepilok at its fullest is to stay for a couple of nights at one of the neighbouring nature resorts. At the Sepilok Nature Resort, right on the reserve’s doorstep, you can experience the sights and sounds of the rainforest after the day trippers have gone home, and have a prime view from your own private balcony. A second nature resort, within walking distance of the rainforest Discovery Centre, has its own canopy walkway offering an immersive jungle experience at all hours. Staying this close to Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve is the best way to relax into nature and take your time to appreciate life in the rainforest, without having to rush around it all in a day.
Explore an untamed habitat concealing endangered animals, rare birds and plants with mysterious medicinal properties; all before steeling away for a remote island retreat.