sepilok rehabilitation centre

day trip
sepilok rehabilitation centre

“A close encounter with one of Borneo’s most important animal species”

Founded in 1964, the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sandakan on the east coast of Sabah spans 45sq km of protected land at the edge of the Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve. The world’s largest orangutan sanctuary provides medical care for orphaned orangutans as well as other wildlife species including sun bears, gibbons, Sumatran rhinos and the occasional pygmy elephant. In place of a mother, the centre uses a buddy system, whereby a younger orangutan is paired with an older one to help it develop the skills it would need to survive when reintroduced into the wild.

HIGHLIGHT

  • Observe orangutans up close in their natural habitat
  • Learn about conversation efforts and why orangutans are important to a healthy forest ecosystem
  • Visit Sandakan’s famous sites – Agnes Keith House

DAY ONE

The flight to Sandakan takes only 40 minutes from Kota Kinabalu, and your tour guide will greet you at the airport upon arrival. First is a screening of a video on the conservation efforts of the centre, and then a short trek along a boardwalk that leads to a viewing gallery and feeding platform to watch the feeding of the orangutans. Following this insightful session is lunch at a local restaurant, after which you will be taken on a tour of Sandakan with a stop at the market, the observation pavilion, the Chinese temple and water village.

What’s included?

  • Return transfer from the resort to the airport
  • Entrance fee
  • Tour guide
  • Lunch

What’s not included?

  • Return airfare from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan
  • Camera/video fee
  • Tips and gratuities (optional)
  • Raincoat, insect repellent

2 days 1 night
sepilok rehabilitation centre

DAY ONE

Guests have the option of doing a day trip, or staying one night in Sandakan and flying back to Kota Kinabalu the next day. The flight to Sandakan takes only 40 minutes, and your tour guide will greet you at the airport upon arrival. First is a screening of a video on the conservation efforts of the centre, and then a short trek along a boardwalk that leads to a viewing gallery and feeding platform to watch the feeding of the orangutans. Following this insightful session is lunch at a local restaurant, after which you will be taken on a tour of Sandakan with a stop at the market, the observation pavilion, the Chinese temple and water village.

ACCOMMODATION

Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan

This four-star hotel boasts views of Sandakan Bay and easy access to town. Rooms are welcoming and spacious – some of which have stunning sea views – and are fitted with all the mod-cons to ensure a comfortable stay. The hotel offers four F&B outlets to dine at: all-day dining restaurant, The Eatery, drink and snacks at The Best Brew and the Lobby Lounge, and cakes, coffees and smoothies at Wrapped. An infinity pool, fitness centre, business centre and private club lounge make up the facilities.

What’s included?

  • Return transfer from the resort to the airport
  • Entrance fee
  • Tour guide
  • Lunch

What’s not included?

  • Return airfare from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan
  • Camera/video fee
  • Tips and gratuities (optional)
  • Raincoat, insect repellent

2 days 1 night
sepilok & kinabatangan

“An enlightening encounter with Sabah’s wildlife”

At the edge of the Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve on the east coast of Sabah lies the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, founded in 1964 and spanning 45sq km of protected land. This is the world’s largest orangutan sanctuary, and it provides medical care for orphaned orangutans as well as other wildlife species including sun bears, gibbons, Sumatran rhinos and the occasional pygmy elephant. A short distance away meanders the Kinabatangan River, which is not only Sabah’s longest river but one of Borneo’s best places to observe wildlife. The swampy lowlands are home to the odd-nosed proboscis monkey and a sanctuary for saltwater crocodiles. A great variety of birds take residence amongst the tress, while pygmy elephants roam the forest floors.

  • Observe orangutans up close in their natural habitat and learn about why they are important to a healthy forest ecosystem

  • Explore the rich diversity of flora and fauna in the Kinabatangan region

  • Visit some of Sandakan’s famous attractions

DAY ONE

The flight to Sandakan from Kota Kinabalu takes 40 minutes, and upon arrival, you will be taken to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. First is a screening of a video on the conservation efforts of the centre, and then a short trek along a boardwalk that leads to a viewing gallery and feeding platform to watch the feeding of the orangutans. Following this insightful session, you will be whisked away by boat to the Sukau Rainforest Lodge on the banks of the Kinabatangan River, your base for viewing birds and wildlife in virgin mangrove, wetland and rainforest habitats. In the late afternoon, you will board a river cruise in search of species endemic to the region including orangutans and proboscis monkeys but also the Borneo pygmy elephant and various species of hornbills. Return to the lodge for a romantic candlelight dinner overlooking the riverbank accompanied with a lecture with slide show by a naturalist guide that will unveil more secrets of the rainforest.

DAY TWO

After a hearty breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to Kinabatangan and the lodge. You will head to Sandakan to have lunch before going for a short tour of the town. You will visit the market, the Agnes Keith Museum dedicated to the American author who lived and wrote here during the colonial period, and the Australian War Memorial.

ACCOMMODATION

Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Offering comfort and luxury in the midst of the Borneo rainforest is the award-winning eco-lodge, Sukau Rainforest Lodge. Perched on stilts near the Kinabatangan River’s edge and built from local hardwood, the whole property is connected by raised walkways and operates in harmony with the natural ecosystem. Rooms come with air-conditioning, ensuite bathrooms, and hot showers. There’s a restaurant and bar, as well as a spa and a dip pool for relaxation, and free WIFI connection.

What’s included?

  • Return transfer from the resort to the airport
  • Entrance fee to Sepilok
  • Tour guide
  • Meals as stated
  • Accommodation
  • River cruise

What’s not included?

  • Return airfare from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan
  • Video/camera usage fee
  • Tips and gratuities (optional)
  • Raincoat, insect repellent, binoculars, torchlight

3 days 2 night
sepilok,sukau & selingan

Selingan Turtle Island, Kinabatangan River & Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre

“A chance to meet the best of Borneo wildlife”

Sea turtle beach landings are nothing short of amazing to watch, and you can experience this at the Selingan Turtle Island, 40km off the coast of Sandakan in the Sulu Sea. Together with two other islands, Bakungan Kecil and Gulisan, Selingan provides a haven for the endangered green and hawksbill turtles. The largest of the three islands, Selingan houses the turtle park’s headquarters, a turtle hatchery, tourist accommodation and basic facilities. Turtle landings occur usually after dusk, and so an overnight stay is recommended. The best time to catch the turtles laying their eggs is between July and October.

The Kinabatangan River, Sabah’s longest river and one of Borneo’s best places to observe wildlife, is a must-do for nature enthusiasts. The swampy lowlands are home to the odd-nosed proboscis monkey and a sanctuary for saltwater crocodiles. A great variety of birds take residence in the tress, while pygmy elephants roam the forest floors.

Another must-visit is the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, located at the edge of the Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve near Sandakan. Spanning 45sq km of protected land, the world’s largest orangutan sanctuary provides medical care for orphaned orangutans as well as other wildlife species including sun bears, gibbons, Sumatran rhinos and the occasional injured pygmy elephant.

  • Watch turtles come ashore and lay their eggs, and witness the release of hatchlings into the sea
  • Visit Gomantong Caves, Sabah’s largest bird’s nest cave
  • Search for wildlife on Kinabatangan River in a cruise
  • Observe orangutans up close in their natural habitat, learn about conversation efforts and why orangutans are important to a healthy forest ecosystem
  • Visit Sandakan’s major sites

DAY ONE

The flight to Sandakan takes 40 minutes, and you will then proceed to the Crystal Quest Jetty to board the boat to Selingan Island, a journey that takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. After lunch, you have some leisure time to take a walk around the island or go snorkelling in the sea. After dinner is when turtle watching takes place – you will be alerted by the park rangers – along with a visit to the hatchery.

DAY TWO

It’s an early morning call time to return to Sandakan, where you will be whisked away to Gomantong Caves, the largest bird’s nest cave in Sabah home to swiftlets and bats. Then it’s onwards to the Sukau Rainforest Lodge on the Kinabatangan River, where lunch will be served followed by leisure time to explore your surrounds. In the late afternoon, board a river cruise in search of proboscis monkeys, other wildlife and various species of birds on the river banks. Dinner will be provided back at the resort.

DAY THREE

Today is the visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. First up will be a screening of a video on the conservation efforts at the centre, and then a short trek along a boardwalk that leads to a viewing gallery and feeding platform to watch the feeding of the orangutans. Following this insightful session is lunch at a local restaurant, after which you will be taken on a tour of Sandakan with a stop at the observation pavilion for a bird’s eye view of the town, and the central market for fresh produce and handicrafts. The ornate Chinese temple is next on the agenda, and then the Sim-Sim water village, where traditional houses inhabited by locals are built on stilts. This is the charming image you will leave with on your flight back to Kota Kinabalu.

ACCOMMODATION

Selingan Island Chalets

Rooms here are simple and basic but comfortable, with air-conditioning and an attached bath. There is a restaurant for meals.

SUKAU RAINFOREST LODGE

Offering comfort and luxury in the midst of the Borneo rainforest is the award-winning eco-lodge, Sukau Rainforest Lodge. The resort is perched on stilts near the Kinabatangan River, home to many of Borneo’s magnificent wildlife. This tranquil retreat is built from local hardwood, the whole property is connected by raised walkways and operates in harmony with the forest ecosystem. Rooms have air-conditioning and ensuite bathrooms with hot showers. There’s a restaurant and bar, as well as a spa and a dip pool for relaxation, and free WIFI connection.

What’s included?

  • Return transfer from the resort to the airport
  • Entrance fees
  • Tour guide
  • Meals as stated
  • Accommodations

What’s not included?

  • Return airfare from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan
  • Camera/video fee
  • Tips and gratuities (optional)
  • Raincoat, insect repellent