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Semenggoh Sarawak

Semenggoh Sarawak (Malaysia)

Practical information about Semenggoh Sarawak

  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
40 minutes from Kuching by bus
When to go
Between March and October
Minimum stay
Half a day

Reviews of Semenggoh Sarawak

Travel writer
14 travel articles

The Semenggoh Nature Reserve is one of the places where it's possible to see orang-utans.

My suggestion:
in the fruits season, the orang-utans don't necessarily come to the feeding session, depending on what they can find to eat in the forest. So avoid visiting the reserve between November and February.

When visiting Malaysia I spent several days in Kuching. While staying in the city I was able to make a visit to the nearby Semenggoh Nature Reserve. The bus I caught from the centre of Kuching dropped me right opposite the entrance. There are several departure times during the day, but only one of them will get you there in time to see the morning feeding session. The entry ticket entitles you to attend two such feeding sessions (morning and afternoon). This reserve is less well-known than the Sepilok one and therefore does not get as busy.

Because the orang-utans live semi-wild, there is no guarantee that you will actually get to see them. I was lucky enough to see one in the morning however. A ranger put some fruit out on a platform and an orang-utan came and helped itself to it. It's really impressive seeing how effortlessly they get around in the trees. Just as I was about to go to the afternoon feeding session it began to rain very heavily. I didn't get to see a thing therefore.

An orang-utan enjoying its meal
Arthur Joffrin Travel writer
38 travel articles

Families and animal lovers will adore this natural reserve, where you can see some of the world's last orangutans living in the wild. 

My suggestion:
Make sure you take a pair of binoculars and a powerful zoom lens, so you can see and record these wonderful monkeys, even when they're high up in the trees.

Borneo is one of the last places in the world where you can see orangutans, a species that, sadly, is on the brink of extinction. The destruction of primary rainsforests, to make way for huge palm oil plantations, has resulted in a drastic reduction of the orangutan population. Today you'll have a hard time seeing them in their original habitats and reserves like Semenggoh are increasingly giving them a second chance of survival.   

Leaving from Kuching, I arrived at the centre, where twice a day tourists can come during feeding time and watch them from specially built observation platforms. Although being fed means they are less feral, they do still live in a natural environment and, therefore, have the liberty to do as they please. This means that you're not always guaranteed to see them. 

I managed to watch two young orangutans eat their meal before spotting an adult female swinging from branch to branch about 20m above the ground. When she finally sat down to eat I saw that she had her baby clinging to her stomach! 

The Semenggoh Sarawak Natural Reserve provides a dual service - a tourist attraction combined with the conservation of animals who live in complete liberty. It's certainly a great reason for taking a trip to Malaysia.

One learns by mimicking - Semenggoh Natural Reserve