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Audley Traveller

Orangutans in Borneo

We would like to spend some time with the orangutans in Borneo. We love all animals and wildlife and this has been a passion of mine for some time, as these creatures are beautiful and so loving and deserve the very best care people can give them. Any advice you can give us on the best times to go and places to stay would be appreciated?

Pam Goucher, 6 January 2014
Orang-utan in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Malaysian Borneo

Answer

Arguably the best place to see the orangutans in Borneo is the state of Sabah, specifically the Kinabatangan River. Here, rehabilitated orangutans live in a wild environment, frequently approaching the river banks where sightings are common. The Danum Valley and the Tabin Wildlife Reserve also offer fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities.

There are also sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers in the country – in both Sabah and Sarawak. These offer closer encounters with the orangutans and great photographic prospects. However it's worth noting that you'll never be in a position to directly interact with them due to health risks to the animal, and your own safety!

Borneo is a year-round destination, with the rainfall increasing during our (UK) winter months. The school holiday period sees an increase in both price and number of visitors, so if you are flexible I'd favor a travel date of May, June or September.

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