Destinations

Where is the best place to see wild orangutans?

unique advice on the best place to see orangutans in borneo

There are only two places left in the world where orangutans can be found in the wild, these are the northern parts of Sumatra in Indonesia and also throughout the island of Borneo which is made up of Sabah and Sarawak (both Malaysian states), Kalimantan (Indonesian) and the small State of Brunei Darussalam.

The Malaysian state of Sabah is our preferred destination for wildlife safaris as it has some fantastic national parks and protected areas where there is an abundance of wildlife, making the chances of seeing some of Borneo’s incredible flora and fauna very high. Areas such as the Kinabatangan River and the Danum Valley make for perfect wildlife safaris, these areas are teeming with wildlife and provide the best places to see orang-utans in the wild. Sabah also has a fairly good road system which keeps travel times between destinations down and makes for a more comfortable journey. There is also a wide variety of accommodation ranging from standard lodges to your more luxurious eco-friendly hotels. 

Borneo has some fantastic beach locations which are accessible and makes for a perfect end to a wildlife safari. 

Either on the mainland or a short boat trip to an offshore island provides you with a great place to relax or explore the many coral reefs.

Sumatra is quite different; road systems are often very bad and can make journeys very long and uncomfortable and the levels of accommodation are normally of a poorer quality but still at similar prices. The Gunung Leuser National Park is the last remaining area in Sumatra where you can find orang-utans and although they are definitely there, population figures are very low. It is reported that the park is home to between 2,000 – 3,000 orang-utans but with the size of the park nearly 8,000 sq km it should hold closer to 7,000 apes.

Once you have worked out where you want to go, now check out the best time to see orangutans in the wild.

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