Just a little bit over a 2 hours flight from Kuala Lumpur, plus a 45 minutes boat ride delivers a life time of an experience, of watching Orangutans in wild. Ironically, a close relative to Human Kind but on the brink of extinction because of their close relations with us unkind! There are very few options to visit these primates in it’s wild state, but with a short flight from KL, a visit to Borneo Rainforest is possible.
Borneo is a huge island, right below South China Sea , that is split among 3 countries – Indonesia, Malaysia and Burnei. Orangutans are found only in Borneo, except a different sub-species, Sumantran Orangutan, that are found in the Sumatra island of Indonesia (Recently a third sub-species (althought in small numbers) was also found in Sumatra – called Tapanuli Orangutan).
There are 2 places to visit in Borneo for Orangutan which are easily accessible for comfortable ecotourism – Danum Valley situated in the primary forest at the south east corner of Malaysian Borneo, near Lahad Datu and the other on Kinabatangan River, in the secondary/tertiary rainforest at the north eastern edge of Malaysian Borneo, near Sandakan. Also, a visit to any part of Borneo is not just only about Orangutans, it is filled with great biodiversity of birds, mammals and amphibians plus amazing culture, food and tribes that is rarely found anywhere on Earth.
An enjoyable and relaxing trip to see Orangutan will take up to 5 to 6 days, split between majority on Kinabatangan river and couple of days in Danum Valley. In this part of Malaysia, especially for an authentic experience consider getting a package at one of the lodges.
Tip: A trip can be shorten by only visiting Kinabatangan river and omitting Danum Valley. Although both are equally amazing with their own beauty attached to it, but Kinabatangan is easier to access.