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Best place to see wild Orangutan in Borneo?

  • kiwigirlnz

    Joined Travelfish
    17th August, 2011
    Posts: 15

    Just wanting some help on where the best place to see wild Orangutan is in Borneo? I have seen posts on wildlife sanctuaries but are really wanting to see them in the wild. Cheers!

    #1 Posted: 17/8/2011 - 11:20

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  • cybervlad

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    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2007
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 182


    I saw "forest people" (orang-utan in Bahasa) while visiting Uncle Tan's wildlife camp in 2007. Big family of these primates lives just next to camp.
    Unfortunately they prefer to seat very hight, so i haven't any pictures :)

    #2 Posted: 22/8/2011 - 13:01

  • idreamofdur-

    TF writer
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    Your best chance is on a river safari along the Kinabatangan near Sandakan. Uncle Tan's is one of the many operators of these tours. As the previous poster mentioned, they stay high in the treetops so you won't get a very clear view. I saw about 5 orang utans when I went (including a mother and baby), but the photos are nothing more than blurry reddish dots in the treetops.

    For the best of both worlds, do the Kinabatangan river safari to see them in the wild then go to the sanctuary nearby at Sepilok to see them up close.

    #3 Posted: 22/8/2011 - 13:51

  • tyler

    Joined Travelfish
    7th December, 2010
    Location Canada
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    I agree with both posts. Another suggestion for accomodation in the Miso Walai homestay along the kinibatangan. It is a bit out of the way - but easily accessible by bus and car. Check out the sabahtourism.org for a link to the director or the homestay. there is also an ecolodge to stay at nearby with great night treks.
    Have a great time.

    #4 Posted: 22/8/2011 - 23:21

  • podus

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd August, 2011
    Posts: 4

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    We went to the orangutan wildlife sanctuary just outside of Kuching - it's a 3 ringgit bus ride (about 45mins?) to get there, and the entrance fee is only about 6 ringgit (or half that if you show them any student card). We saw a whole lot of orangutans (and very close), including a mother and baby, a HUGE male (who monopolised the bananas), and at least 10 other orangutans of varying ages. I'm glad we went there, as it was so incredibly cheap and also rewarding. The bus (just ask someone there whch one) departs the bus station near the main mosque in Kuching at 7.15 am (best to be there at 7am) every day, and the return bus leaves the park at maybe 11am - but rather than wait around we ended up getting a lift with a tour group heading back to Kuching, and paid maybe 10 ringgit each, but it saved us a long wait in the heat. I would recommend this park if you don't have much time, money or both :) Beware of organised tours there though, for around 40rm, since it's so cheap to get the bus yourself.

    #5 Posted: 23/8/2011 - 14:53

  • stujess

    Joined Travelfish
    29th November, 2011
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 5
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    I would recommend Uncle Tans too, we saw about 3 -5 Orang Utans there but that was in 2009. On the same trip we went on the Red Ape Trail which was 3 days total in hiking, we saw a few Orang Utan nests and eventually saw a mother her child and her baby! Red Ape Trail is fairly expensive though, if you're on a tight budget. And it is not guaranteed you see any Orang Utans. But some of the money goes towards the conservation of the apes and the Iban village that you stay near before and after trekking.

    #6 Posted: 2/12/2011 - 12:32

  • kiwigirlnz

    Joined Travelfish
    17th August, 2011
    Posts: 15

    Thanks so much for all the replies! We are definetely going to go to the Kinabatangan River but will also look into doing a homestay as that sounds awesome too! Thanks!
    Oh anyone do any snorkeling in Borneo and know if it is better than that at say Tioman and Redang Islands on the east coast of peninsula Malaysia? Seems more expensive.
    We are also really wanting to climb mt Kinabalu although prices for this seem just insane!! ie. $800 nzd (around a thousand American dollars) for a tour and this seems to be the only way you can do it?
    Thanks again!

    #7 Posted: 2/12/2011 - 17:30

  • asia4life

    Joined Travelfish
    30th November, 2011
    Location Sweden
    Posts: 19
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    At least 111

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Pleas avoid Kuching (posted by podus). yes it is cheap, but the rangers do not threat the Orangutan well, and the Rangers are terrified by the Orangutan everyday. The yelling to attract the Orangutan are not nice, and there is no logic behind the food/menu provided.

    You asked for Borneo advice, but if you can re-schedule, Sumatra and Bukit Langwa is not so bad. At least the offical Rangers working at the visitor centre are "good guys" knowing what they are doing and also explaining why.

    #8 Posted: 8/12/2011 - 02:14

  • tedbehr

    Joined Travelfish
    18th November, 2011
    Posts: 3

    Without a doubt the snorkeling is better in Borneo than in West Malaysia and worth the extra ringgit. A visit to Sapi Island should suffice if you only have a short time in Sabah and are based in KK. Otherwise head to Mabul island, off Semporna, for an incredible underwater experience.

    You might save a bit by booking the Mt Kinabalu climb from a travel agent based in Kota Kinabalu. A 3D/2N tour should cost less than RM1000 (about 300USD) per person. The official tourism Malaysia website lists the licensed travel agents and various specials.

    #9 Posted: 9/12/2011 - 16:17

  • Sumpit

    Joined Travelfish
    24th August, 2013
    Posts: 4

    Hi asia4life, you are a lousy liar. Did somebody pay you to say all those lies. Do you have any visual proofs to show that the rangers abuse the orang utans and what's wrong with the food(fruits) given to them?

    #10 Posted: 25/8/2013 - 00:18

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