Borneo and the orangutan are inextricably linked. Some of them live in the beautiful green rainforests of Borneo. But unfortunately, some of the orangutans still fall into the hands of merchants, or have become orphan due to different circumstances. Among others at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre on Sarawak, these orangutans are collected and taken care of with much love.
If you are in the vicinity of Kuching on Sarawak, be sure to visit this rehabilitation and its special residents. Find below all the information you need for your visit to the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre.
What does the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre?
The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is a rehabilitation centre and already has collected 1000 wild animals, birds and reptiles since 1975. For example, these animals were found injured in the jungle, were rescued from the hands of merchants or were even illegally kept as pets.
Among the wildlife are also the orangutans. As part of the orangutan rehabilitation program they are looked after and prepared for a return to the adjacent Semenggoh Nature Reserve. Collecting the orangutans is also so successful that the capacity of the nature reserve to collect orangutans has already been reached. So the semi-wild orangutans are also taken to other nature reserves, to be looked after there.
The centre also focuses on research into wildlife, educating people in the field of animal conservation and is also engaged in special breeding programs for endangered species.
Where can you find the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre?
The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is part of the Semenggoh Nature Reserve and is located in western Borneo, Malaysia, 29km south of Kuching.
What does a visit to the rehabilitation centre look like?
If the semi-wild orangutans cannot find enough food in the jungle, they will come to the rehabilitation centre around feeding time to get some fruit. In the so-called fruit season (December-January) there is even a chance that you will not even see the orangutans at all. Then, there is enough food for them to find and they do not need extra food. So there is no guarantee that you will see them.
While you are waiting for the orangutans to show up, you will get a briefing from a caretaker. During this briefing you will be informed about the rehabilitation centre, the orangutans and what to do in case an orangutan decides to come and see you from close by.
Orangutans are and remain wild animals. Therefore, there is always a chance that if an orangutan feels threatened, it will attack. But do not worry, the caretakers are there to guide the monkeys and to guide you and prevent such situations.
After the briefing, it is time to wait on hopefully a visit of one or more orangutans. Several caretakers are looking out for the orangutans and are busy with walkie-talkies to inform you immediately when an orangutan has been spotted.
Because Ritchie is the most impatient of all orangutans and can become annoying when he is not fed fast enough, Ritchie is always the first to be expected. This is not just a little monkey, but a big male orangutan, which will look around quietly while he searches for his treat of the day.
It is truly a special experience when you see a semi-wild orangutan getting closer and closer and you are able to watch these animals enjoying their breakfast or lunch for about 30 meters distance.
As soon as Ritchie has returned back to the jungle, the caretakers declare that everything is “safe” and you may walk to a viewing platform which is located further down and which looks out onto the feeding platform. The feeding platform is loaded with fruit and together with a caretaker (which produces all kinds of primal sounds) you are looking at the trees with great concentration, standing at the special viewing platform.
If you are lucky, you will even spot orangutans outside the feeding platforms and feeding times.
And yes, after a long time of waiting, you will finally see some trees moving back and forth, and you will slowly see orangutans swing down one of the ropes to the feeding platform. The orangutans will now enjoy their treat, while you will enjoy an up-close encounter with these beautiful animals!
Outside the orangutans, you can also see a number of crocodiles in the park and you can take another six walks through the gardens of the park, varying from 5-30 minutes.
TIP: Do not go on an organized tour, but take a local bus or taxi. This allows you to stay longer (within opening hours) without constantly checking your watch to be back to the bus on time.
How long do you need for a visit?
A visit to the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre takes about 1-2 hours, depending on if and how long the orangutans show up. When they visit the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, you will definitely want to stay longer, until the guides indicate that it is time to go or when your transport is departing to Kuching.
Opening hours Semenggoh Wildlife Centre
Daily from 09.00-10.00h (09.00-10.00am) and from 15.00-16.00h (03.00-04.00pm). You need to leave the gate of the rehabilitation centre at the latest at 16.45h (04.45pm).
Feeding times Semenggoh Wildlife Centre
Daily at 09.00h (09.00am) and 15.00h (03.00pm).
Entrance fees Semenggoh Wildlife Centre
|Type of visitor||Entrance fee|
|Adult 18 years and older||MYR 10 / € 2|
|Child age 6-18||MYR 5 / € 1|
|Child age 0-6||free of charge|
|With your entrance ticket it is allowed to attend both feeds.|
Transport to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre
From the Jalan Masjid bus station, in a side street of the Kuching City Mosque, bus 6 departs two times a day to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre (duration: 60 minutes). From the bus stop, just outside the main entrance, it is a 20-minute walk to the rehabilitation centre. The ticket costs MYR 3 / € 0.60 per person and can be bought from the bus driver in the bus.
- Feeding at 09.00h (09.00am): take the bus at 07.20h (07.20am), return at 11.05h (11.05am).
- Feeding at 15.00h (03.00pm): take the bus at 13.00h (01.00pm), return at 16.05h (04.05pm)
Or grab an Uber or taxi if you want to stay longer.
MYR 20-26 / € 4-5,25 one way. Duration: 40-45 minutes.
MYR 30 / € 6 one way. Duration: 40-45 minutes.
MYR 120-150 / € 24,50-31 return including waiting time at the rehabilitation centre.
There are no accommodations near the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. For your visit to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, the best option is to stay in Kuching, 29km north of the rehabilitation centre. You can choose from various hostels, budget hotels and very affordable luxury hotels.
Check In Lodge is located on 1.2km from the Kuching Waterfront.
The hostel features a mixed dormitory, double or quadruple rooms with a shared bathroom or private bathroom and air conditioning. There is also a small indoor swimming pool.
The Tune Hotel Waterfront Kuching is a budget hotel on the waterfront of Kuching.
You can stay in one of the 140 simple rooms with private bathroom, fan and air conditioning.
Please note that not all the rooms have a window!
Waterfront Hotel Kuching is 200 meters from the Waterfront and features 208 modern rooms. All rooms are en-suite, air conditioned and overlook the city centre or the Sarawak River. There is also a swimming pool. Grand Margherita is a 4-star hotel in the centre of Kuching with modern rooms. All rooms are en-suite and air conditioned.
You will also find an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center and spa.
Waterfront Hotel Kuching is 200 meters from the Waterfront and features 208 modern rooms.
All rooms are en-suite, air conditioned and overlook the city centre or the Sarawak River. There is also a swimming pool.
Grand Margherita is a 4-star hotel in the centre of Kuching with modern rooms.
All rooms are en-suite and air conditioned.
As of September 1, 2017, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in Malaysia has introduced a Malaysian tourist tax. The so-called tourist tax, TTX. This means that all foreign travelers have to pay a surcharge of MYR 10 / € 2 per room per night, whether you are staying in a hostel or in a luxury hotel. This surcharge must be paid on site at check-in or check-out.
Residents of Malaysia are excluded from paying this surcharge.
Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre (Sabah)
Beside the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre in western Borneo, another rehabilitation centre is located in the east of Borneo. The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sepilok on Sabah. Also, this rehabilitation centre can be visited and I personally think this centre is a little more touristy. But if you are in the vicinity of Sepilok and you want to see more orangutans, be sure to visit this rehabilitation centre.
Have you visited the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre while traveling on Borneo?
All times and prices listed above are subject to changes.