Orang Utan Island

Come meet one of Malaysia’s most endearing mascots at the 35-acre Orang Utan Island – a breeding sanctuary cum conservation, research and education centre. Observe these primates as you walk through the 100m steel ‘cage tunnel’. Don’t miss the opportunity to interact with the star attractions, two orang-utan babies, at the end of your visit.

The island is part of the Bukit Merah Laketown Resort, which also has a water and eco park. The resort is just an hour’s drive from Ipoh.

Opening hours:

Orang Utan Island: 9.00am – 5.00pm

Water Park: 12.00 noon – 7.00pm (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday)

Eco Park: 10.00am – 7.00pm Monday to Thursday
10.00am – 7.30pm Friday, weekends and public holidays

Iban Longhouse

The iban longhouse tour at Batang Ai is a unique experience to be cherished. Lemanak River is about four hours’ drive from Kuching. Visitors will get an opportunity to journey upstream along the river on a wooden longboat, before arriving at the longhouse where many interesting activities await. Be awed by a blowpipe demonstration, see how rice is cooked in bamboo tubes and watch a traditional native dance.

Batang Ai is the site of the 24,040ha Batang Ai National Park. it is home to the endangered gibbons, orang utans and hornbills. Just outside the park is the fivestar Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, offering longhouse-style accommodation with all the trappings of modernity.

Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Situated in the Semenggoh Nature Reserve, this centre was established to rehabilitate orang utans that were injured, orphaned or kept illegally.

The Centre has been a resounding success, caring for almost 1,000 endangered mammals, birds and reptiles from dozens of different species. However it is the orang utan rehabilitation programme that has made the Centre famous. In one respect, Semenggoh has been too successful – so many orang utan have been successfully reintroduced into the surrounding forest reserve that the forest’s carrying capacity has been reached, and rehabilitation activities have been transferred to the Matang Wildlife Centre, part of Kubah National Park.

Semenggoh’s role has changed and it is nowadays a centre for the study of orang utan biology and behaviour, as well as a safe and natural haven for dozens of semi-wild orang utan, graduates of the rehabilitation programme. It is also home to numerous baby orang utan, born in the wild to rehabilitated mothers, a further testament to the success of the programme.

A visit to Semenggoh is a once in a lifetime experience – a chance to see semi-wild orang utan, ranging from tiny infants and boisterous adolescents to dignified mature adults, enjoying life in a secure natural habitat.

The best time to visit Semenggoh is during the morning and afternoon feeding sessions when there is a good chance of seeing semi-wild orang utan returning to the Centre for a free meal. Feeding takes place between 9.00-10.00am and between 3.00-3.30 pm.

As feeding time approaches, the semi-wild orang utan emerge from the rainforest, descending from the forest canopy to the lower branches of trees near feeding platform. They are highly entertaining creatures and offer a wealth of facial expressions to visitors.

Gomantong Cave (bird’s nest)

There are two cave complexes – Simud Hitam (Black Cave) soaring up to 90 metres high and the more accessible of the two, and Simud Putih (White Cave), where the more valuable nests are found. Simud Hitam is a five-minute walk from the registration centre. A well-maintained boardwalk gives you easy access to explore or watch the skilled harvesters at work.

The resident creatures of the caves include swiftlets (from which the nests are collected) and bats among others. Outside, other birds such as serpent eagles, bat hawks and kingfishers can be seen. You might even spot an orangutan or two. You will need to make prior arrangements for exploring the more challenging Simud Putih which calls for more serious caving.

Danum Valley Conservation Area

Located deep in an untouched tropical forest, the Danum Valley Conservation Area is a thriving paradise of diverse tropical vegetation and wildlife. The forest is a sanctuary to animals such as the Asian elephant, clouded leopard, orang utan, proboscis monkey and Sumatran rhino. All tours must be pre-arranged with tour agents. Danum Valley is situated about 70km west of Lahad Datu.

Must do:

  • Enjoy a nature walk in the virgin rainforest
  • Watch birds from the 170m-long canopy walkway
  • Trek to the seven tiered Sungai Purut waterfalls
  • visit an ancient Kadazandusun burial site
  • Go on a night drive in an open jeep to catch sight of nocturnal animals

Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre

Enjoy the rare and thrilling opportunity to see an orang utan up close. Situated in the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve which sprawls over 4,300ha, this sanctuary serves to rehabilitate orphaned orang utans as well as educate the public on the importance of wildlife conservation. The viewing gallery gives an opportunity to see the orang utans being fed by rangers.

Opening hours: 9.00am – 4.00pm daily
Feeding times: 10.00am and 3.00pm