The Malay word orangutan means "person of the forest". These long-haired, orangish primates, found only in Sumatra and Borneo, are highly intelligent and are close relatives of humans.
At the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre one can watch the orangutan up close in their natural habitat. Set up in 1964 in the lush 4,300-hectare Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve to rehabilitate orphaned orangutan, the centre attracts tourists and researchers alike. A boardwalk leads you to a viewing gallery and feeding platform where these primates are fed milk and bananas twice a day at 10.00am and 3.00pm. Feeding time also attracts long-tailed macaques to the area. After rehabilitation, they are released back to the forest.
For the more adventurous, there is a mangrove forest track. You will need to get a permit from the Forestry Department before trekking the 5km trail which runs through Sepilok Laut. You should also arrange for a boat return or accommodation (chalets) in the forest.
Aside from orangutans, over 200 species of birds and a variety of wild plants can be found within the forest reserve.