Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary is about 25 km away from the town of Sandakan. It was established in 1964 as a centre to rehabilitate the orphaned and injured orang utan to enable them to return to forest life. This centre is managed by the Wildlife Department of Sabah and is one of the top tourists destination of Sabah.
These mammals are highly intelligent and they are hairy, can have arm span of over 2.0 m and with weight up to 145 kg. They can reach a height of 1.5 m or 5 feet. "Orang Utan" is the Malay language for person of the forest and is aptly named so due to their close characteristics to the human beings and their natural habitat.
More about Orang Utan
The Orang Utans are the only great ape species found outside of the continent of Africa. They are omnivore and can live up to 40 years and can only be found in Borneo and Sumatra. They live on the tropical rain forest trees that thrives here. Their food include leaves and fruit that grow in the forest. Other than that they also eat insects and sometimes meat as well.
The young stay with the mother up to 7 years before they are able to survive on their own in the forest. Deforestation for the timber in the tropical rain forest has affected the habitat of these endangered mammals. It is estimated that there are now less than 15,000 of these animals in the wild. Hence every effort should be taken by the various governmental and non-governmental organizations to ensure the continuous existence of these mammals.
The orang utans that are not able to find their food in the forest are being fed daily at the platform. The time of the feeding by the rangers is 10:00 am and 3:00 pm daily. They are fed with bananas and mild. The food is provided as a supplement to the food that they find in the forest. Their numbers can range from five to ten depending on the season of the year. If the trees are fruiting, their numbers will decline.
The macaques are also living here. Remember to secure your belongings as they tend to grab your handbags or food.
Nature Education Centre & Walk
The Nature Education Centre at the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary provide more detailed information on the orang utan. Remember to watch the 25-minute video of the centre's work. It closes from 12 pm (11 am on Fridays) to 2 pm for lunch.
There are also trails with distance from 250 m to 4 km that you can walk in the forest. Register yourself at the visitor reception centre before going for the walk. Bring along mosquitoes repellent, water and hiking boots (to reduce the contacts with leeches).
See the videos of the centre.
Fees and Opening Hours
Malaysian with MyKad: RM5 per person and RM2 for those below 18 years old.
Foreigners: RM30 per adult and RM15 for those below 18 years old.
Cameras and videos will be charged RM10 each.
The tickets are valid for two feedings.
Security Gate: 8.00am to 5.00pm daily
Reception & Ticketing Counter: Daily from 9.00am till 11.00am and 2.00pm till 3.30pm
There are quite a number of good accommodation near the centre. Most of them are located along Jalan Sepilok . The popular ones are the Sepilok Nature Resort and Sepilok Jungle Resort. Others include Sepilok Resthouse, Sepilok B&B and Labuk B&B.
These resorts can also arrange for tour to Turtle Islands park and night walks.
Getting To Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary
Public buses and taxis can be taken from the town of Sandakan. The Labuk Road Bus depart for the centre from the Majlis Perbandaran Sandakan or MPS from 6:00am onwards. Ticket price is about RM3 one-way.
Address of the Centre
Batu 14, Jalan Labuk Sandakan, Sabah
Tel : +6 089 531 180