Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lucas Jubb: Get to Semenggoh nature reserve and orangutan park

So you’ve flown to Borneo and landed in Kuching. No doubt top of your list is to visit Semenggoh national reserve to see the Oragnutans. The park at Semenggoh is great, easy to get to and cheap.

Semenggoh nature reserve protects, cares for and rehabilitates wild animals that have been injured, orphaned, mistreated in captivity or otherwise displaced. Semenggoh is solely focused on conservation and although there are two set times to visit the apes, tourism is not it’s main focus unlike parks in other parts of Borneo, such as Sabah.

Anyway if you are staying in Kuching centre, its very easy to get to the park. There is a public bus running two times every day. These bus times coincide with the viewing times in the park. Bus services run twice at, 7.30am and 1.30pm.

Get to the bus station

Any good hostel will know exactly where to send you to get the bus to the park. However incase they don’t have this information and you want to get there yourself or take a taxi, here’s how you get there. The bus station (it’s not much of a station, just a gathering of busses) is at the crossroads for Jalan Masjid, Jalan P. Ramlee and Jalan Garlek.

Look for the Suajana car park complex or the Gurdwara Sahib Sikh Temple. Theres a nice little street market here in the morning sellinf noodles, rice, curry puffs, spring rolls and other treats. The bus only costs 3RM and only takes an hour.

No. 6 which stops outside the main gate, from there it is a 20 minute walk to the Centre through the park.When you get off the bus make sure you ask the driver when he will be coming back.
There are only two busses leaving the park, and those also coincide with feeding times. Entrance to the park was 5-15RM which is very cheap for what you are about to see.

Feeding Time

So the deal with the park is that twice a day the staff offer food for the orangutans and you are invited to come and watch. Although most of the Orangutans live wild and eat wild fruit in the park, there are certain apes that are known to visit at feeding times.

Feeding times are 9am-10am and 3pm-4pm. You are not guarenteed to see any apes and should consider yourself very lucky if you do.

You will be given a talk by the park guide explaining how to act around the apes, safety in the park and general information about your visit.