In the local language “orang-utan” means the “men of the jungle” and they are the ones that feature in the dense jungle of Borneo, with its orange plumage, movements and relaxed and confident presence.
Are spread almost everywhere in the island of Borneo, both Malaysia and Indonesian side where their habitat was not yet destroyed by men, by logging for exotic woods trade or by the massive planting of palm trees for palm oil production. But as these creatures are not easy to find and the jungle not let easily being invade, the options was to visit the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, located a few kilometers south from Kuching.
This center is housed in a nature reserve collects orang-utans victims or left orphans by man actions, keeping the animals in the wild, only providing food in two specific locations, to which the animals flock in search of easy food especially during the season where there’s less fruit on the trees around the park.
The presence of these mammals, totally relaxed and accustomed to human presence attracts all the attention of a few dozen people gathered at the point of observation, hearing the clicking of many cameras and i-phones, trying to catch the clumsy movements of the younger animals. The presence of these ” men of the jungle ” is not guaranteed, nor the number that each day is shown next to the feeding area, since they are in total freedom. On this day, in the middle of December, there were two of these lovely creatures, a female and a juvenile, in which the latter was keen to show some of their skills hanging on ropes and eating bananas upside down.
But the visit is not limited only to the “men of the jungle” may be wandering the various trails of the park without the need to travel long distances to feel the contact with nature and the power of the jungle. The constant humidity you feel, makes the pace slow and the body heavy, but gives time to enjoy the small details of the plant world that takes on a special glow and magical colors under the light filtered through the canopy of tall trees that hide the blue sky.
How to get to Semenggoh Park
The Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is located 32 km south from Kuching, being easy reach by public transport. Buses leave the small terminal in downtown Kuching (Jalan Masjid or Mosque Jalang) and ends just opposite the entrance to the Semenggoh Park. Hence it is necessary to walk a paved road to the area where orangutans are feed, which takes about 15 minutes.
The bus leaves from Kuching to: 07.20h, 09.50h, 15.00h, 13:00h
On returning to Kuching the bus part of the Semenggoh: 08.20h, 11.05h, 16.05h 14.05h
The journey takes about 1 hour.
The bus ticket costs 4 RM.
To have opportunity to see the orang-utans should go at times when food is distributed:
Morning: 9.00 h
Afternoon: 15:00 h
However the park is open longer and worth a visit:
Morning: 8.00 to 11:00 h
Afternoon: 14.00 until 16.00
Ticket: 10 RM