Semenggok Orangutan Wildlife Rehabilitation Feeding Area

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Published: September 30, 2006

Semenggok was a very enjoyable half day trip for me.

The trick is to arrive early in the morning. There are feeding times around 9am and 3pm, but there is a feeding area that is open beforehand in the morning. This other feeding area is actually a much better viewing area and allows you to get much closer. When I walked in I immediately noticed, Richie, the group leader, an impressive primal example of long hair and unleashed power. An orangutan is about 6 times stronger than a human. They are also the next smartest thing after a human. They are also the biggest animal to live in the trees and make a new nest from branches and leaves each night. Orangutans can also makes nests for a day time snooze.

Orangutans don't quite have the stealth of monkeys whilst making their way around the trees. Luckily they don't have to sneak up on fruit as 110kg swinging around in the trees makes for some noise and plenty of tree swaying.

When I was there, Richie was there first and then three of his women turned up with a baby each. They kept away from him and then later one mother and baby followed him towards the main feeding area. However, Richie was in no particular hurry, so all the people who rushed over to the 9am feeding area were rather disappointed to find no orangutans. I had a quick look and decided to head back and see Richie some more when the 9am feeding area was empty. He was already on the move at that time though and I watched him making his slow progress.

After a while he stopped moving at all. I was beginning to wonder if he was still there... but I figured he couldn't have snuck away. The guides were asking me where he was as obviously no other orangutans had turned up at the feeding area still. A lot of people left and then some others hung around. Those who waited were rewarded with seeing Richie come up nice and close and continue on his slow route to the 9am feeding area.

The mother and her baby who were following dropped down from the trees, so the remaining people rushed over to watch. I hung around and kept looking at Richie, he seemed much more interesting to me. This worked out pretty well because the mother made her way onto the trail and the 2 guides and myself were the only people between her and the way she wanted to go. After we moved off the track, she walked right past carrying her baby. Pretty cool.

After that, feeding time was over... so we never actually got to see any orangutans in the main feeding area.

During fruiting season there is less chance of seeing the orangutans because they have plenty of food they can find on their own.

To get there you can catch bus number 6 from near the Post office. It costs 2.80 RM for one way. I got a minibus that was taking some people there for 4 RM.

I advise heading to this spot early in your stay in Kuching so that perhaps you can have another visit to Semenggok if you don't see much on your first trip. The orangutans are certainly worth watching.

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