Sepilok – Orangutan town.

Day 29, Wednesday 25 Jan 2012, Sepilok

I took half a pill last night as I had had a couple of bad nights in Semporna, trying to sleep on the bed of rocks and was subsequently very tired. I had a good eight hours sleep and after a warm (but pathetic) shower I was feeling much perkier. I have a small sweat rash which developed a few days ago and was fine while diving but it has gotten worse again on the bus trip to Sepilok, I will have to take some care over the next few days. (is this too much info ?)

I had an omelette and loads of coffee for my included breakfast then headed over to the Seplilok Orangutan Research Centre, (SORC). The reason I stayed at the resort is due to its location next door to SORC and I can go to both feeding sessions on the one day entry – which, I will say, was four times the price of Semmengoh, near Kuching – Sepilok is a rip off !   As an aside in no way does the resort resemble what I would call a resort, I would post a picture of my room, but will save the photo upload time for more important things ! so if you think I am staying in the lap of luxury, think again.

I got to SORC just as 5 buses dumped their load of mainly bewildered, mainly elderly and mainly European tourists off. Bugger ! The walk to the feeding area was long and slow and I will say for captain impatient here, very painful, as the oldies staggered their way along the slippery boardwalk. However I did get an OK spot to take photos and now know where to go for better photo opportunities at thr afternoon session.

We saw two female orang-utans with their babies which was pretty cool, they came to the station one at a time and fed themselves. One of them also fed her baby. I took a lot of photos, most of which were rubbish, but a few keepers ! It is hard to shoot with a long lens at slow speeds in a crowd !



Once the orang-utans had left the feed station was invaded by a troop of monkeys who amused the reducing crowd with their antics, great fun.

After an hour I wandered back to the entrance, grabbed a shot of a nice sized spider and a tree viper (not its head) sitting in a tree.


As I left this little guy popped up for a wee snack.

I went back to my room for a lie down and to wait for the three pm feeding, which I will go to early to secure a better spot!

Just as I was about to head off at two for the feeding the heavens opened ! with umbrella in hand I walked over anyway and secured a reasonable spot, much nearer to the platform. There were significantly less people this afternoon which was great as the orang-utans didn’t really play ball to start with and hid away from my perfect possie. The rain stopped for a brief minute as the first two came out and then started again for the remainder of my time there. It is quite hard to take photos while
holding an umbrella, the light was pretty bad so lots of noise in the afternoon shots. The two orang-utans from this morning were back again this afternoon along with a young male. They were a lot less active this afternoon and I am putting it down to the rain. Just before I left I knocked my glasses from my pocket over the edge and had to get one of the guides to go down and get them , Doh !

As in humans, the young male was impatient for his food…

I had to skip lunch today as I am running out of cash. Last night I was told the fare to the airport is 18rm, but….. I was told this morning there is a two person minimum and as I am the only one it will be 36rm – I call rort, AGAIN !

After my dissatisfaction I still ended up drinking three beers, eating a plate of chips and then a calamari curry and having to use the credit card. But at least I got to use heaps of free wi-fi, it doesn’t work in my hovel room.


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Wannabe writer and photographer. Interested in travel and place. From Auckland, New Zealand.

4 thoughts on “Sepilok – Orangutan town.”

  1. If you only saw one mum and one bub, I think it is fruiting season there too. They were all over the place when I was there. Don’t worry though, Thaipusam in KL will make up for this. After marking it in my diary for so many years, I still haven’t made it happen yet due to “other priorities”.

    1. Saw 2 mums with bubs and a young male, definitely more than semmengoh, but semmengoh is way better ! I think they come out more in the afternoon when there are less tourists, however it was however it was hosing down and they were not that interested in moving from under shelter !

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