Semenggoh Nature Reserve
For over 20 years, the wardens at Semenggoh Nature Reserve have been training young orangutans, who had been orphaned or rescued from captivity, how to survive in the wild. The success of this programme has left the surrounding forest reserve with a thriving population of healthy adolescent and young adult orangutans, who are now breeding in the wild. The programme has since been transferred to Matang Wildlife Centre, but Semenggoh Nature Reserve is still home to its successful graduates, semi-wild orangutans and their babies. They spend most of their time roaming the forest but frequently come back to the Centre for a free meal. If it is the fruiting season in the forest, some or even all of them may not come to feed. This in itself is a good sign and another step on the way to full rehabilitation.
The best time to visit Semenggoh is during the morning and afternoon feeding sessions when there is a good chance of seeing semi-wild orangutan returning to the Centre for a free meal. Feeding takes place between 9.00-10.00am and between 3.00-4.00 pm.
Public buses ply the route daily, the last bus leaving for Kuching at 4pm. Catch either the 7.15am/1pm K6 bus at Mosque road to be in time for either of the feeding time. The fare is RM4 each way. As the viewing area is quite a distance from the ticketing entrance, allow yourself a 20-min lead time to arrive at the feeding area. The walk will take you through one of Sarawak’s biodiversity hotspots; primary lowland mixed dipterocarp forest with small patches of old secondary forests and kerangas forest.
What else to Do At Semenggoh Nature Reserve?
Other things to do at the Nature Reserve are; learn about the ape in the OrangUtan Gallery, visit the Interpretation Area or the Botanical Research Center. There are crocodile and gibbon enclosure for that dramatic close-up experience, a morbid one for sure at the crocodile enclosure.
For the intrepid traveller in you, wild orangutan spotting can be done in Batang Ai which is about 271km from the capital city of Kuching.
The highlight species are: Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker, Bornean Black-magpie, Long-billed Partridge, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Red-naped Trogan, Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Rufous-backed Kingfisher, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, Banded Kingfisher, Red-crowned Barbet, Red-throated barbet, Malaysian Honeyguide, Rufous Piculet, Hooded Pitta, Banded broadbill, Green Broadbill, Blue-winged Leafbird, Asian paradise Flycatcher, Crested jay, Reddish Scops Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, Sunda Frogmouth & etc.
About Semenggoh Nature Reserve
The Nature Reserve is managed by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation under the auspices of the Sarawak government. The Semenggoh Wildlife Center, where the orangutan experience is, lies within the Semenggoh Nature Reserve. It was established in 2003.
From Mosque Road station in Kuching, take City Public Link Bus (RM4/way) which stops outside the main gate. From here it is a 20 minute walk to the Centre. The last return bus to Kuching is at 1600 hrs. Visitors can also take a taxi from the main taxi stand in Kuching, or from outside their hotel. Local travel Agents also run guided tours to Semenggoh.