Borneo Orangutanbaby

25km west of the waterside town of Sandakan is Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, a rehabilitation centre which runs popular pay-to-volunteer programmes.

Founded in 1964, the first rehab centre for orphaned orangutans in the world, Sepilok provides medical care for orphaned and displaced orangutans, along with dozens of other species, including elephants, gibbons and sun bears.

Alongside their four-week volunteering schemes, Sepilok is a popular day trip from Sandakan. Feeding time is the main attraction here, with the centre operating feeding platforms that draw in the released orangutans, especially when food is scarce in the wild. Guests can follow the boardwalks to spot orangutans in the trees, passing through an area where they can watch young orangutans playing on swings and climbing.

The centre is easily accessible by car, taxi or by bus from Sandakan.


A guide to spotting orangutans in Sabah

Borneo is the only island in the world that is home to three nations: Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesian Kalimantan. Sabah is one of the two Malaysian Borneo states in the northern part of the island. It was part of the British protectorate of North Borneo until more

14 days

The best of Sarawak

Orangutans, rainforests and beaches
View itinerary

Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary Tours

Kota Kinabalu, Kinabatangan Wildlife Reserve, Danum Valley

Off The Beaten Track in Borneo

Kota Kinabalu, Sepilok and the Kinabatangan River

15 daysFrom £4,000
Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Bako National Park (and 3 more)

Beach and Wildlife

Explore Borneo's national parks and beaches

14 daysFrom £4,000
Borneo, Malaysia

Luxury, Adventure & Boutique Beach

Explore Borneo's beaches and cities

15 daysFrom £4,000
Borneo, Malaysia

Borneo Highlights and Langkawi beach

15 days exploring Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia

15 daysFrom £4,000
Borneo, Malaysia

Malaysia's Wildlife and Nature Encompassed

Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Gaya Island

20 daysFrom £4,000
Borneo, Malaysia

The Contrasts of Malaysia

Experience wildlife and cities in Malaysia

19 daysFrom £4,000

Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary Travel Companies

Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia

Experience Travel Group

Immersive Holidays That Give Back

Why Horizon Guides?

Impartial guidebooks

Impartial travel guides

Our guides are written by the leading experts in their destinations. We never take payment for positive coverage so you can count on us for impartial travel advice.

Expert itineraries

Expert itineraries

Suggested itineraries and routes to help you scratch beneath the surface, avoid the tourist traps, and plan an authentic, responsible and enjoyable journey.

Specialist advice

Specialist advice

Get friendly, expert travel advice and custom itineraries from some of the world's best tour operators, with no spam, pressure or commitment to book.