The orangutans of Sepilok. Borneo, Malaysia.

The orangutans of Sepilok

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006

At 2pm, I head for the Sandakan Sepilok Center, right next to my hotel. Some tourists, but the place is not stuffed with people. I buy my ticket, watch the little eco-educational film projected in an air-conditioned room, and then follow the wooden footbridge that leads, through the jungle, to the platform where the monkeys are fed.

Sepilok Center: the video

A "landscaped" jungle for tourists

I am rather pleasantly surprised. Whatever you think of this center, you are not at the zoo or the circus.

This part of the jungle has been "landscaped" to allow visitors of all ages to see the monkeys from a large wooden platform. We do not wade in the wet leaves full of greedy leeches, phew!

Nevertheless, it is moist under the canopy of gigantic trees, I run. You turn your head back to see the top. It's dizzying. Some orangutans are already on their own platform, clinging to a large tree, which is connected to other trunks by large ropes.

The healers arrive shortly after, with buckets of bananas. They sit quietly, without a sudden gesture, in the middle of the monkeys, and begin the distribution, without ostentation.

The orangutans of Sepilok. Borneo, Malaysia.
At mealtime, orangutans tumble out of the jungle. They have huge arms, red hair and terribly human expressions ...
The orangutans of Sepilok. Borneo, Malaysia.
The platform of the monkeys ...
The orangutans of Sepilok. Borneo, Malaysia.
... and the platform of humans!

The atmosphere is peaceful, quiet. The people around me are commenting on the terribly human attitudes of orangutans, the arrival of new monkeys, who sway softly, with their huge arms, along the ropes. The show is fascinating.

I come back charmed by this little jungle escapade. Tomorrow, head to Semporna for the ultimate goal of this "diving" trip: the mythical Sipadan!

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006

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