In the heart of the Borneo jungle is the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, which is home to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. The center aims to return orphaned, injured or displaced orangutans into the wild. They are reassimilated gradually, from enclosed quarters to free roaming feeding to eventual release into the jungle.
This center allows visitors to witness non-caged orangutans living naturally in the wild.
Watch this video to come with me on a journey and meet some of this center's playful young, subdued adult and rambunctious teen orangutans.
When you visit the center you can witness all steps of their rehabilitation process. The youngest orangutans hone their climbing skills in a manufactured jungle-gym that the center calls its outdoor nursery. Older orangutans are free to roam the forest, but still get fed at platforms twice a day. Since the platform is in the wild, other animals (like macaques) enjoy the feedings too. Your entry ticket allows you to spend all day at the center! The orangutans are free to roam around with you. You will be delighted by their cheeky behavior and docile nature!
If you are looking to visit in 2021, fear not, this center is still open and kicking!
Here's what you need to know before you go to the Sepilok Orangutan Center:
Foreign Adults: RM 30 | $7.41 USD
Foreign Children: RM 15 | $3.70 USD
Malaysian Natives: RM 5 | $1.23 USD
Camera Fee: RM 10 | $2.47 USD
* This includes any cameras, video cameras, phone cameras or any other recording equipment for personal use. So basically, everyone that goes will pay an extra RM10, because who wouldn't bring a camera to capture these beautiful creatures!
Once you pay, you can stay all day! The longer you stay, the more chances you have of seeing an orangutan up close!
Saturday - Thursday:
9am to 12pm | 2pm to 4pm
9am to 11am | 2pm to 4pm
Orangutan feeding times:
10am and 3pm
It is recommended to arrive 30 minutes before feeding time.
Sepilok Center Educational Video:
9am | 10:30am | 11am | Noon | 2:10pm | 3:30pm
This is a worthwhile 20-minute video about Sepilok's work shown six times daily
Don't touch the orangutans! Keep a distance of at least 6 feet!
Why? They are susceptible to many human diseases and one orangutan has the strength of seven humans adults! They are docile in nature, but I wouldn't want to risk it!
Even if COVID is over, apply the social distancing skills you gained from 2020 to the orangutans.
No bags, No Food and No Water bottles!
Why? The orangutans are very smart creatures. They know humans keep fun items like food and water inside the bags, so they will try to steal these items! If they see you drinking water or eating food then this will also give them swiper urges!
Apply sunscreen or mosquito repellent before entering the center.
Why? The orangutans are attracted to bottles of all types! Also, this rule is to prevent toxic fumes for the wildlife.
Hot Tip: You don't need a pricey tour to experience the center!
Transportation to and from the center is very easy with multiple bus and taxi options. When you arrive at the center, you can buy tickets on-the-spot, so there is no need to plan ahead. We did our trip here DIY and it allowed us flexibility in our experience and savings in our wallets!
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center
Sabah Wildlife Department Batu 14
Jalan Labuk Sandakan SabahWDT200, 9009 Sandakan Sabah
+60 (0) 89531180
Hopefully this blog post will help you visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center in 2021! We loved our time here and we recommend it to all travelers exploring the island of Borneo! If you'd like to get a taste of this amazing experience before going, watch my YouTube video: Meeting Orangutans in Malaysia