Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary – Sabah, Malaysia

It’s been a while since my last Sabah post (Sepilok Jungle Resort – Checking in And Relaxing & Review), but seen as though I went recently it’s spurned me to continue.

Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary is somewhere everyone should visit at some point in their life, people come from all over the World to see it and alongside probably Sipadan, it’s one of the places that puts Malaysia on the map globally.

Now if you live in peninsular Malaysia and you haven’t been there it’s a bit of a shame right?

The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre was set up in 1964 to rehabilitate orphaned baby Orang Utan and at the time we visited there was about 80 in total living in the Sanctuary. Some in the wilder part and some still under rehabilitation.

The Orang Utans are fed twice a day at 10am and 3pm and you can go for either or both, if you’re a photographer I’d recommend the morning viewing as the light is slightly better. The light isn’t ideal at either time as it’s rather harsh and the feeding area is in shadow, so a fast telephoto would help (300mm f/2.8 please!).

You can expect it to be pretty busy at either feeding time. You can go in a little earlier (which the guide will recommend) to watch the introductory video. Entrance fee is RM5 for MyKad holders (locals) and RM30 for johnny foreigner (me). Cameras are charged at RM10 per camera.

Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary - Sabah, Malaysia

You can expect them apes to come flying out quit promptly about 5 minutes before the scheduled feeding time.

Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary - Sabah, Malaysia

They come in via ropes so it’s quite likely you’ll see some acrobatic maneuvers and playing around as well as the feeding.

Swinging Orang Utan

You can get some reasonably close up shots if you have a long enough lens (preferably on a body that can do high ISO). I shot with the not-so-expensive 70-300mm VR.

Orang Utan at Sepilok

You’ll find some of the Orang Utans (especially the juveniles) like to play for the audience.

Juvenile Orang Utan

And of course you should be able to capture some great feeding moments.

Orang Utan Feeding

And some interaction between the young and the old Orang Utans.

Old and Young Orang Utan

This is the dominant male, quite a scary looking chap.

Dominant Male Orang Utan

This cute little fella is not quite so dominant.

Juvenile Orang Utan Feeding

Don’t forget to take some time to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings too, it’s a stunning forest sanctuary.

Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary - Sabah, Malaysia

Definitely worth a visit, it’s a truly exhilarating experience seeing these fairly rare creatures im a semi-natural habitat.

If you haven’t been, start planning now 😀

More coming soon on Sandakan and KK, you can all the posts from this trip here:

Sabah 2008 Trip – Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu




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12 Responses to Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary – Sabah, Malaysia

  1. Erna May 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm #



    Sepilok used to be pretty infamous for a particularly naughty orangutan who once stripped a tourist of clothes.

  2. David May 27, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    LOL 269 views and only 1 comment about your mongkehs, nobody loves your mongkehs I guess =D

  3. trieiCrisis May 27, 2009 at 11:40 pm #

    I love those orang utans!! Was suppose to go there during my visit to Sabah but didn’t make it due to some unforecast circumstance. 🙂

  4. acidict May 27, 2009 at 11:51 pm #

    o.O cute little fella have tattoo on his leg

  5. YSMM May 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    Hi Shaolintiger:

    May i know what DSLR and lens are you using? your photos are awesome and i like it very much.

  6. ShaolinTiger May 28, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    Erna: Haha yah we were warned they might snatch things away if they take a fancy to it.

    David: Yah *sadface*

    trieiCrisis: Better make sure you visit there again!

    acidict: Yah for tracking purposes I think.

    YSMM: Read this here.

  7. KY May 29, 2009 at 12:22 am #

    oOOo you can benefit from 70-200 F2.8 VR? 😛

  8. Kalvin May 29, 2009 at 1:22 am #

    Nice photos shaolin. Well heard all about you from my friends. 🙂

  9. Myhorng May 30, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

    all posts like delayed quite a bit due to excessive guitar hero? LOL

  10. K.Lo June 1, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    ooo nice pics!

    I’m from Sabah by the way… woohuh!

  11. Joey Logano Fan June 4, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    Hehe Fun photos!!! =D I like how they use the ropes! =D

  12. ShaolinTiger June 4, 2009 at 1:04 pm #

    KY: Prefer 300mm f/2.8!

    Kalvin: Thanks, hope to see you here again.

    Myhorng: Haha excessive guitar hero, excessive chivas, excessive procrastination lol.

    K.Lo: Thanks 😀

    Joey Logano Fan: Yah, it’s very interesting to watch.