Visiting The Orangutans At Semenggoh Wildlife Center In Sarawak
Updated September 2023, Visiting The Orangutans At Semenggoh Wildlife Center was originally written in August 2015
One of the main attractions for visiting Borneo for me was having the chance to see orangutans. After quite a bit of research (I know, very unlike me) trying to determine where we wanted to go while in Borneo, we decided to base ourselves out of Kuching in the Sarawak State of Malaysia.
Kuching was one of the easier jumping-off points for us to get to as part of a larger trip through Southeast Asia, that also offered access to many of the activities we wanted to take part in while in Borneo. This included self-guided jungle trekking in Bako National Park and the chance to see orangutans at the Semenggoh Wildlife Center.
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A Little About Semenggoh Wildlife Center
Semenggoh Wildlife Center was established in 1975 to provide rehabilitation for rescued, injured, and orphaned orangutans. The center now houses several orangutans that are possible to witness twice per day on the 750-hectare orangutan sanctuary.
The goal of the rehabilitation center is to reintroduce the orangutan back into the wild forest. Some orangutans do fully rehabilitate and leave Semenggoh to live fully in the wild, while some become somewhat permanent residents.
Borneon orangutans are a critically endangered species, native to the island of Borneo. Along with the Sumatran orangutan and the Tapanuli orangutan, the Borneon orangutan is the only great ape species native to Asia.
Orangutans share 97% DNA with humans. Palm oil plantations, deforestation, and hunting have all helped lead to the endangerment of Borneon orangutan. Their natural habitat has been reduced by approximately 55% over the last 20 years, resulting in a 50% decline in population. There are currently about 54,000 Borneon orangutans living in the wild.
Planning to visit Bako National Park too? Check out my guide to Bako National Park
There are two feeding times daily in which visitors are allowed into Semenggoh Wildlife Center to view the orangutans. The morning feeding time is from 9:00 am to 10:00 am and the afternoon feeding is from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
We had been recommended to visit during the morning feeding time, but we decided to give the afternoon a go (and have no complaints). Admission into Sarawak Wildlife Center is 10 ringgit per person, but additional donations are appreciated.
How To Get To Semenggoh Wildlife Center
Located just a little over 20 kilometers from the center of Kuching, Semenggoh Wildlife Center is quick and easy to get to. From the main bus terminal near the western end of the Kuching Waterfront, you’ll take bus 3A to Semenggoh. A bus ticket will cost 5 ringgit each way.
Alternatively, you could get a taxi to take you for 30 ringgit. Expect the journey to take about 40 minutes.
Plan your visit and grab a copy of Bradt Borneo
Other Important Semenggoh Information
- No flash photography
- No touching or taunting the animals, staying at least 6 meters away is recommended
- No wandering off of paths
- No food or drinks
If You Ever Find Yourself in Sarawak, Semenggoh Is a Must-See
Having the opportunity to witness orangutan in the jungle and the chance to learn more about these great apes and the problems they currently face is not to be missed. To find out more about Semenggoh Wildlife Center click here.
Have any questions about visiting Semenggoh?
Ask in the comments section below!