Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Travel Guide Asia Malaysia Malaysian Borneo Sabah Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre



SV07 - Sepilok - Orang5

SV07 - Sepilok - Orang5

© agc_cwm

The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre was founded 1964 with the aim of returning orphaned, injured or displaced orangutans into the wild.

When orangutans are admitted to the centre they are given a full health inspection and then are quarantined to prevent any diseases from spreading. In the wild the mother teaches the young orangutans how to find food, build nests, and even climb properly. However, the orphaned orangutans do not have this opportunity. They spend time in the 'nursery' with staff members learning these necessary skills. Once the orangutans have learned these skills they are moved to the 'outdoor nursery' where their dependence on the centre for food and emotional support is slowly decreased and their freedom is increased.

In the jungle near the centre there are five feeding platforms at various distances, with Platform A being the closest to the centre. The orangutans are introduced to the jungle near the centre where they are able to forage for food but are still able to return to a feeding platform if necessary. As well, as they gain independence and confidence the orangutans can venture further into the jungle to the deeper feeding platforms, thus relying less on the centre. Eventually, they will integrate fully into the wild orangutan population.

Visitors to the centre can see the feeding process at the platform A, where their natural diet is supplemented twice a day with milk, fruit, and sugarcane. Remember that the number of orangutans you can see will vary from 0 to a lot depending on the day, weather, how many have been released recently, etc.

The Sepilok Orangutan Appeal UK is an

organisation dedicated to assisting the orangutans of Malaysian Borneo. [1]

. Through this organization you are able to adopt an orangutan for around US$ 35-40 a year which will then help the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre. The Appeal does not give this money directly to the centre; instead, they identify a specific project that can help the centre, for example building an exercise enclosure for the orphans.



Opening Hours

The Centre is open Sunday to Thursday and Saturday from 9:00am - 12:00pm and from 2:00pm - 4:00 pm. Friday from 9:00am - 11:00am and 2:00pm to 4:00pm. The feeding times are 10:00am and 3:00pm. It is important to arrive early to get a good spot to view the feeding.

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Admission is MYR 30 per person and MYR 10 for the use of a camera. Admissions allows you to view two feeding sessions, either in one day or the afternoon feeding one day and the morning feeding the next day.



Getting There

The centre is located 23 kilometres from Sandakan. There are daily flights from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan and from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan with both Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia.

MASwings has connecting to flights to and from Kota Kinabalu, Tawau and Kudat.

By Car

The most convenient way to reach the centre from Sandakan is to take a taxi. Purchase a taxi coupon at the airport before you leave.

By Bus

The centre is reachable from Sandakan by public bus number 14. This bus leaves the bus terminal in front of the Nak Hotel and its final stop is the rehabilitation centre.

If travelling to Sandakan by bus from the southeastern part of Sabah, e.g. Tawau, Lahad Datu it is possible for the bus to drop you off at the Jalan Sepilok junction. From there you can hail a taxi or take a public bus to your hotel. As well, depending on your hotel you may be able to arrange for them to pick up at the junction. Arrange this with your hotel before being dropped off at the junction.




Rehabilitation Centre cafeteria is located on site and this cafeteria serves breakfast, sandwiches, ice cream and drinks. There are a few tables in the cafeteria which may fill up during busy times. During these times some food may sell out as well.

Most hotels and B&B's near the rehabilitation centre serve breakfast, lunch and dinner as well.




The terrace restaurant at the Sepilok Jungle Resort (see below) is a popular place for travellers to gather, meet new people and have a relaxing drink at the end of the day.




Most visitors going only to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre stay close to the centre and not in Sandakan.


  • Sepilok Jungle Resort is located a 10-minute walk to the rehabilitation centre. There 4 bed dorm rooms, single private and twin private rooms, with well maintained boardwalks that wind past ponds, plants, trees, that connect all the rooms. The boardwalk is a prime location for birdwatching. The large cafe at the Jungle resort is a good meeting point for friends or a place to have a relaxing drink at the end of the day.


  • Sepilok Nature Resort is the hotel for people looking for luxury when visiting Sepilok. It is located on Jln Sepilok, the road to Sepilok, and within walking distance to the rehabilitation centre.



  1. 1 Sepilok Orangutan Appeal UK Brochure

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This is version 21. Last edited at 12:42 on May 11, 10 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

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