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Sarawak, Malaysia

Sarawak Map Orangutan Odysseys

Matang Wildlife Centre is located in Sarawak, the largest state in Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. More specifically, it’s located in Kubah National Park, Sarawak’s main center for wildlife rehabilitation. A rescue centre managed by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Matang Wildlife Centre is responsible for rescuing and rehabilitating orangutans and other animals, and releasing them back into the wild.

The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, also located in Sarawak, rehabilitates wild animals kept previously as pets, as well as injured and orphaned animals, and then releases them back into the wild. They have successfully cared for over 1,000 endangered animals and are most recognized for their work rehabilitating orangutans. Due to their success, the number of animals released back into the wild significantly increased putting the forest at maximum capacity. Therefore, plans to rehabilitate orangutans were transferred to the Matang Wildlife Centre. As a result, Semenggoh changed its focus to studying orangutan biology and behaviour. It has also become a safe-haven to dozens of semi-wild orangutans who were graduates of the rehabilitation programme, as well as home to numerous baby orangutans born in the wild to rehabilitated mothers.

In eastern Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, is Batang Ai National Park. Surrounded by tropical rainforests, the park is home to a number of rare and protected animals such as orangutans, gibbons and hornbills. As with most transportation on the island, access is by boat and just over an hour’s ride upriver. The park is a beautiful combination of lush dipterocarp forests and swooping trees surrounding the artificial lake.

The rivers are fast flowing, clear and very refreshing. During dry periods, the water level gets quite low and visitors have to help push their boats upstream – an enjoyable and unique experience.

Ibans, the original inhabitants of Borneo, live in longhouses, another major attraction upriver for visitors. Guests can experience the authentic longhouse ambiance and local crafts, such as Pua Kumbu, the Iban traditional cloth used to decorate houses.

For visitors wishing to stay nearby, Hilton Longhouse Resort and several other local longhouses, offer accommodations just outside the park. Guests are encouraged to use the boating facilities available, as boat funds are used to give back to the community.

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