Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah Borneo

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

This was one of my favourite experiences in Borneo. I’m a massive fan of seeing wildlife in it’s natural habitat but unfortunately I didn’t manage to see any orangutans in the wild. This place was definitely the next best thing.

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

As you enter the centre you find a boardwalk to take you through the jungle. If you are lucky then you’ll spot an orangutan or two swinging through the trees or even walking along the handrail of the boardwalk.


The centre is open 9am-12pm and 2pm-4pm and feeding times are at 10am and 3pm daily. Most tour groups arrive at around 9.30am and are herded towards the nursery where you can sit and watch the baby orangutans playing from the coolness of the air conditioned gallery. After a couple of minutes in there I decided to head out away from the crowds and take a slow walk towards the feeding area. I was rewarded with a close encounter with an orangutan with only a couple of other people around. It was breathtaking being so close to such a spectacular creature.

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Having left the masses behind in the nursery gallery I was one of the first at the feeding platform and got the best spot in the house. A few minutes before 10am the rest of the crowds came along and jostled for a spot just as the keeper came out with the basket of food.


A mother with her baby swung down from the trees and helped herself to what she fancied out of the basket. The spectators watched and snapped away for ages as she ate an endless stream of bananas and other greenery.


Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre


Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

At around 10.30-11am most of the tour groups left so this is a much quieter time, as was the afternoon feeding although it felt much more humid in the afternoon.

There were so many photo opportunities. You can’t take your bag in with you as the cheeky orangutans like to pinch them. I took my long lens to get the best snaps of the feeding platform. There were only a couple of times when the orangutans walked right past me that my 70-300mm lens was too long, but when the orangutans are that close you want to savour the moment rather than try and get a good photo.


During my trip to Sabah Borneo I visited Kota Kinabalu, Mount Kinabalu and Sabah Tea Plantation, Kinabatangan River, Sadakan, Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and Manukan Island.

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

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