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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We saw a silver leaf monkey, some really colourful kingfishers, a few different hornbills, and more snakes.
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.
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.
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.
Where we stayed in Sepilok: Sepilok Forest Edge Resort
Where we stayed in Kinabatangan River: The Last Frontier Resort