Orangutans

Sepilok Travel Blog

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The bus to Sandakan was about 6 hours one a two lane winding road through the hills and rainforest of Sabah.  The island is beautiful and green everywhere.  Most of the trees were palm trees and palm oil plantations are very popular.  I got to drive by Mount Kinabalu.  Quite the sight to see!  I thought about getting off the bus at the National Park, but when we got there it was raining.  I didn’t feel like hiking in the rain. 

I asked when I bought my ticket and when they collected my ticket to be dropped off at the Sepilok junction, about a half hour before Sandakan.  That request was ignored, forgotten, or misunderstood as I ended up all the way in Sandakan.

  They wanted me to pay 30 ringgit to take a taxi back (it only cost me 35 ringgit to get from KK to Sandakan in the first place).  I told them no and they needed to take me back, seeing as the bus was turning around to go back to KK anyway.  They did, but it took an extra hour and a half total between driving and waiting time. 

I found my new guesthouse which was decent.  The people were cold and not very helpful, but at least the accommodations were acceptable.  I was within a five minute walk of the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center.  I walked there to see if I could join a night walk.  It was a little bit of a hassle, but was able to do it.  I decided to exert some of my traveling frustrations on a run.

  Besides being hot and humid, it was nice to have a little exercise.  I cleaned up, had dinner and headed to the night walk.  The first thing we saw was a green pit viper in a tree.  Then we headed into the center and of course, it started to pour- why wouldn’t it!?  The couple I was with, the guide and I found a little shelter under a tree.  We also found a small sunbird under there too.  The rain let up a little so we continued on to a proper covering.  We waited there for awhile seeing a centipede and a tiny frog.  The rain didn’t look like it was letting up so we called it quits on the walk.  The couple was going on a longer trek in the next day and I didn’t want to get sick before diving.  Walking out we saw a wild boar.  The weather cleared for almost enough time to get back to the guesthouse, but not quite.  We could have used another minute!

The next morning, I got up to actually go see the orangutans.

  I was there in time for the morning feeding.  I saw three different orangutans and one had a baby clutched to her side.  There were also a lot of macaques (and a few babies) there for the feeding of mostly milk and bananas.  On the way out we saw two millipedes on top of each other!  I was going to take a little walk in the forest there, but it looked like it was going to rain.  You are supposed to tell the rangers if you are going for a walk just so they know.  I was headed to tell them and guess what!?  It started to pour.  I decided to opt out of the walk and catch a city bus back to Sandakan.  In Sandakan I was able to catch a car to Lahad Datu.  From Lahad Datu I was able to get a mini van to Semporna.

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Sepilok
photo by: pinqa