Sepilok and the Kinabatangan River – Sabah, Malaysian Borneo – May, 2014

Going to see the Orangutans on Borneo had been on our bucket list for what seemed like forever! We finally made it a reality and they were incredible to see. We visited the Sepilok Rehabilitation Center, which is a reserve for orphaned orangutans and they are living wild in the reserve so seeing them is never a guarantee. We were lucky on our visit and saw a number of them including a mom and baby. We saw a couple of young orangutans playing in a nest and it’s fascinating how they build their nests up in the trees so that they can rest during the day and sleep at night, they will even arrange leaves to make a mattress and pillow. There are other animals that frequent the reserve and while we were there we saw a pig tailed macaque – the only one we saw while on Borneo.

DSC_0144 DSC_0158 DSC_0163 DSC_0274 DSC_0487 DSC_0517 DSC_0557 DSC_0568 DSC_0354

Speaking of other animals, we saw this viper up in a tree while we were patiently waiting for the orangutans to show up.


We did see one orangutan outside of the reserve on one of our river trips (this is one time when I really wished I had one of those huge zooms). We count ourselves very lucky because these guys are really hard to see up in the trees.

Next door to Sepilok Rehabilitation Center is the Sunbear Conservation Center. All the sunbears at the center have been rescued (some from appalling conditions where they have been kept in cages) and once rehabilitated, they will be released back into the wild. The fellow that started the conservation center is so passionate about these bears, it was really great hanging out with him and chatting about his work. He said the bears literally go crazy when it rains and it just so happened that it started raining while we were there and he was right, the bears starting running all over the place chasing each other and climbing trees – it was hilarious watching them.

DSC_0422 DSC_0448

While in Sepilok we visited the Rainforest Discovery Center and did a nice long canopy walk there. It was beautiful being in the rainforest. We saw some interesting birds and a huge bee hive.

DSC_0026 DSC_0039 DSC_0068 DSC_0013 DSC_0688 DSC_0031

Back at our resort there was a photographer that had a white board out and he was taking photo’s of some of the insects, he invited us over to have a look so I took a few pictures myself. I’m not really a bug person but I have to admit there are some really interesting critters out there.

DSC_0078 DSC_0591 DSC_0054 DSC_0066 DSC_0762

After a few days in Sepilok we moved on to the Kinabatangan River for a few days of river cruising to see the wildlife. We saw so many Proboscis monkeys along the river. They are really crazy, they jump huge distances between trees, sometimes it looks like they are not going to make it, but they do. They are also really shy, if they see that you’re looking at them, they will all turn around and put their backs to you – they were so funny.

DSC_0728 DSC_0669 DSC_0878 DSC_0733 DSC_0855 DSC_0891

We saw a silver leaf monkey, some really colourful kingfishers, a few different hornbills, and more snakes.

DSC_0935 DSC_0628 DSC_0698 DSC_0701 DSC_0684 DSC_0692 DSC_0653 DSC_0710 DSC_0714

We sure got our exercise here though, to access our lodge we had to climb 600 stairs through the jungle. This meant every time we did a river excursion (twice per day) we had to go down the 600 stairs and then after our excursion back up 600 stairs. We were totally okay with this because right after we were climbing Mt. Kinabalu so this was good training for us. After all of that stair climbing we worked up quite the appetites and this lodge made us some mouthwatering dishes, the food was fantastic at this place.

DSC_0760 DSC_0761 DSC_0792

Every morning there was a mist that would hang over the lodge and surrounding area, it was so beautiful. I have never seen so many different types of butterflies and they were fluttering around everywhere. Each day in the afternoon a wild boar would show up for a visit right next to the lodge, I think it was curious about us because it would just stand there and stare.

DSC_0747 DSC_0765 DSC_0767 DSC_0753 DSC_0771 DSC_0776 DSC_0778 DSC_0808  DSC_0071 DSC_0145DSC_0804

We spent a considerable amount of time on the deck watching the flying lizard – they are crazy fast and I was lucky to get one photo of him.


Our time in Sepilok and the Kinabatangan river will be forever imprinted in our memories. We had an amazing time here.

DSC_0785 DSC_0788 DSC_0791 DSC_0631 DSC_0715

Where we stayed in Sepilok: Sepilok Forest Edge Resort 

Where we stayed in Kinabatangan River: The Last Frontier Resort 

Written by: Tammy Hermann…Live~Love~Travel

Tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sepilok and the Kinabatangan River – Sabah, Malaysian Borneo – May, 2014

  1. Lorraine says:

    Amazing pictures it is so nice to travel through your eyes and comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.