Witness orang-utans in their natural Borneo habitat

Dream of a trip to Borneo, and you'll conjure visions of wildlife like nowhere else on the planet - including, of course, the iconic orang-utan. These majestic animals fascinate us - perhaps due to their high intelligence, uncannily familiar mannerisms, & their inspiring relationship with the rainforest. Much of this habitat has disappeared, but conservation efforts are underway to protect these incredible creatures. Responsible eco-tourism is a crucial aspect of this process, and gives you the opportunity to marvel at the magnificence of orang-utans in their natural surroundings.

What to expect from a Borneo orang-utan experience...

With their distinctive reddish-brown hair and amiable, expressive faces, the well-loved orang-utan is one of the most instantly recognisable of the great apes. They are also the largest truly tree-dwelling mammal, with a diet consisting mainly of fruit, meaning they rely on large areas of rainforest for their home and food-supply.

The Bornean rainforests have been subject to extensive deforestation from the wood, paper and palm-oil industries, so the orang-utans have lost much of their natural habitat, which has led to dangerously dwindling numbers. 

In recent decades, a movement has arisen to reverse this trend and protect the remaining areas of rainforest, while simultaneously providing independent income for local communities. These eco-tourism projects provide this vital balance and offer you the chance of an unforgettable orang-utan encounter.

A stay at the highly-rated Borneo Rainforest Lodge, in the heart of Sabah’s unspoilt Danum Valley Conservation Area, gives you a wonderful orang-utan spotting experience whilst also providing surprisingly luxurious accommodation. If you don't need quite so much luxury with your rainforest adventure, the Tabin Wildlife Reserve offers fantastic opportunities to hike through the jungle to active mud volcanos, where you can experience a rich variety of wildlife at close range.

Visit the Sepilok sanctuary in Sabah, or the Semenggok sanctuary in the Sarawak region for a chance to get as close as possible to these amazing animals. You will witness the truly dedicated rehabilitation of injured and orphaned orang-utans and learn more about these amazing animals from those who care for them. 

One of the surest ways to see wild orang-utans is in the preserved corridor of rainforest between the ‘Kin River’ and the plantations beyond. A Kinabatangan River boat trip is a relaxing choice which is highly likely to reward you with a sighting or two.

If you are focusing your visit in Kalimantan, the Indonesian area of Borneo, then the best way to see orangutans is on a traditional wooden riverboat cruise through the waterways of Tanjung Puting National Park. Waking up each morning in your cabin to the sounds of the jungle around you, and spending the days observing these incredible animals in their forest home, will make some very special memories.

Whichever way you choose to include orang-utans in your visit, one thing is certain – an encounter with these gentle ‘old men of the forest’ will be an experience to treasure!

Location: Sabah, Sarawak or Kalimantan

Duration: 1 - 3 days

Accommodation: Varies

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Our client Chris said...

'We were not only lucky enough to enjoy watching the big male orang-utan at the Semenggok Rehabilitation Centre and see many others in our 2 trips to Sepilok, but also had many sightings of them in the wild (including 2 waking from their nests whilst we were at the fabulous Kinabatangan River!).

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