Semenggoh Wildlife Centre

The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre

Barely 20 km south of the city of Kuching on Borneo is the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre in the state of Sarawak. The centre was founded in 1975 as an orphanage and for orangutans that were kept as pets. Today, over 20 apes live in the 749 ha forest area. The animals are semi-wild and some of them come out regularly for feeding.

General information about Semenggoh Wildlife Centre

The overall goal is to preserve and increase the population of orangutans on the island. The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre has also had some successes, with several offspring. The walk-in area is not particularly large, so the orangutans are not disturbed much. Some of the reintroduced orangutans come by regularly for a free meal, while others live completely self-sufficiently in the protected forest area. Only the platforms where they are handed their food are accessible to visitors at a distance. Various information boards draw attention to the precarious situation of the animals, whose DNA is 97 % the same as ours. The main problems: Deforestation (palm oil plantations) as well as mining and forest fires. The rangers who carry out the feeding are also happy to answer any questions. After the feeding, it is worthwhile to look to the right and left and to take the small trails, as they sometimes lead past special plants, even if they are quite run-down.
Opening hours:
Daily from 8:00 am to 10:00 am & 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

  • Tip: Be sure to pack mosquito spray and sunscreen.

Entrance to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre

The entrance fee for “foreigners” is 10 MYR (~ $ 2), which is quite humane. Locals pay half. Likewise, children and youths up to 18 years pay only 5 MYR and children up to 6 years are free. People with disabilities also pay only MYR 5.

How does the feeding work?

The feeding of the orangutans takes place twice a day. The animals are fed once at 9:00 am and once at 3:00 pm, although in our case it started at 2:00 pm. Therefore, you should arrive at the site around 14:00 at best. First the rangers call out to the animals and try to signal to them that the food is ready. One by one, 5 of the impressive apes showed themselves, including the leader Ganya. One after the other, the orangutans come onto the platform and stock up on food: Bananas, sweet potatoes, sugar cane and coconuts were mainly on the menu. Especially the opening of the coconuts seemed incredibly humane. First the fibrous shell is removed, then the coconut is smashed against the tree until the juice starts to flow. This is skillfully drunk until the nut is completely smashed and the pieces are eaten one by one.

3 Orang Utans

Directions to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre

The bottom line is that there are exactly 2 options here: Bus and taxi

Getting there by bus is super simple. The bus starts at Jalan Masjid. Our bus is K6. After about 45 minutes we reach the entrance of the park, from where we have to walk about 1 km to get to the feeding platforms. But don’t worry, even if you walk along the road the path is very beautiful and there are small side trails and beautiful plants to discover like orchids or carnivorous pitcher plants. The departure times of the buses are perfectly coordinated with the feeding times of the Wildlife Centre. There is a bus at 7:00 am for the morning feeding and one at 1:00 pm for the afternoon feeding. The return buses leave at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm respectively. The outward journey costs 1 MYR (~ €0.20) and the return journey was even free.

A Grab to the Wildlife Centre costs about 30-40 MYR (~ $6.50 to $8.50) each way.

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We are Julian & Naomi and we love to travel the world and immerse ourselves in other cultures. We have an adventurous, spartan, sustainable and reflective travel style. In our opinion, the greatest adventures are experienced when you do things on your own and try to live like a local. The taste of a country is best captured on the road
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