Semenggoh Wildlife Centre
The Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is the biggest Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sarawak; established in 1975 as a sanctuary for the injured and orphaned orangutans. Together with the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah this is the most well known rehabilitation center for tourists to visit. Tourists should not mistake both Semenggoh and Sepilok as actual tourist attractions; both wildlife centers are intended to rehabilitate orangutans and educate visitors at the same time. That said; nothing beats an encounter with a wild orangutan during a jungle trek in one of the national parks on Borneo. In comparison with Sepilok the wildlife center in Semenggoh is usually less crowded. As it is only a 30 minute drive from the city of Kuching; tourists can easily go to the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre.
"Any person found hunting, killing, capturing, selling, offer for sale, importing, exporting or be in procession of any trophy or flesh shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a term of imprisonment of 2 years and a fine of RM30,000." Sarawak's Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998 on the endangered orangutan.
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It is all about orangutans
The orangutans at the wildlife center are fed twice daily between 9am and 10am & between 3pm and 3.30pm; visitors can witness this from a special visitors' platform. However, the sighting of orangutans is not guaranteed as the animals are often able to find their own food in the surrounding forests (which, of course, is a good thing). Currently, there are 26 semi-wild orangutans at Semenggoh in total; roaming free within a 740 hectare forest reserve. There is also a visitor's information center where you can find more information about the orangutans in Malaysia and the dire situation they are in. The biggest problem orangutan's face is the destruction of their habitat due to logging, mining and forest fires, as well as fragmentation of their habitat by roads. Too often orangutans are forced out of their natural habitat. Rehabilitated animals are released into the wild whenever they are ready. The main goal of Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is: "To rehabilitate confiscated wildlife that have been incapacitated or handicapped due to prolonged captivity by humans with the objective of releasing them to the forests eventually." Of course this implies that visitors should never touch, hold, feed or play with the orangutans.
"The Bornean species of orangutans is labeled endangered; numerous wildlife organizations estimate the amount of Bornean orangutans somewhere between 27,000 and 69,000."
Map of Semenggoh Wildlife Centre
Below you can see a map of Semenggoh Wildlife Centre (GPS Coordinates 1°23’59"N 110°19’27"E). You can simply scroll through the map with your mouse. Use the markers on the left to zoom in or out of the map.
How to get to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre
Semenggoh Wildlife Centre can be reached by bus and taxi (or rental car). In Kuching; all taxi drivers know where to find the wildlife center. The following busses from the Kuching main bus terminal will take you to the nearby Forestry Department Botanical Research Centre: No. 6, 6A, 6B, 6C. Before entering the wildlife center you will have to pay the entrance fee of RM3 to get your valid entry permit. Inside you can pay RM40 for a guide (up to 5 people) that shows you around. Semenggoh Wildlife Centre is opened daily between 8am and 12.30pm & 2pm and 4pm. You can also arrange a tour package as there are many tour offices in Kuching that offer trips to Semenggoh.
Below a list with some hotels in and directly around the city of Kuching.
- Pullman Hotel *****
- Damai Beach Resort *****
- Riverside Majestic Hotel *****
- Merdeka Palace Hotel *****
- Grand Margherita Hotel ****
- Hilton Hotel ****
- Somerset Gateway Kuching ****
- Batik Boutique Hotel ****
- Batang Al Longhouse Hilton Resort ***
- Grand Continental Kuching Hotel ***
- Basaga Holiday Residences ***
- Tune Hotels Kuching Hotel **