elephants and orangutans?

Mar 29th, 2011, 06:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 6
elephants and orangutans?

Hi, all. My wife and I are spending 6 weeks in SEA in June - July. Currently, we are planning to spend 6 nights in Kuching, with the primary goal of seeing wildlife. But I was just reading about the Kinabatangan River and I'm considering spending my time up there. Please help!

Our current plan in Kuching is to visit Semenggoh to see orangutans, Gunung Gading to see the rafflesia (my wife is a botanist!), and overnight in Bako to see proboscis monkeys, and maybe a longhouse or homestay as well.

But my research into Kinabatangan got me very excited. I would LOVE to see elephants in the wild, and would LOVE to see orangutans in the wild! Also, it seems we could visit the rafflesia center near KK to get a chance at seeing the largest flower (though I know that rafflesia blooms erratically and is not a sure thing at any of these places).

That said, I understand that these are wild animals. I know there is no guarantee of seeing any animals anywhere, but it seems to be almost guaranteed to see orangutans at Semenggoh and proboscis monkeys at Bako.

So, here's where I need advice:
Should I stick with a sure thing in Kuching? Or should I switch to Kinabatangan where I MIGHT see elephants and orangutans in the wild?
How low (or high) is the chance of seeing big animals in Kinabatangan?
How easy is it to see a rafflesia near Kinabatangan? Do I need to go to KK to the rafflesia center?

b_o_b is offline  
Mar 29th, 2011, 06:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,630
No guarantee of seeing rafflesia in bloom anywhere, as you know. But there are places in both Sabah and Sarawak that have the plants. When one blooms, everyone knows about it.

Yes, you can guarantee seing orangutans at Semenggoh, but they are not in the wild, as you know. The best place to see orangutans in the wild is the Danum Valley. You would stay at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge. I have an old report on this (click on my name and you'll find it), and there are several others who have been there recently.

This thread on Thorntree may help you decide where to go:

That's actually what convinced me to go to the BRL. We planned our trip so we could see the orangutans at Semenggoh if we didn't see any at the BRL. But we did, indeed, see orangutans at the BRL.

If you have 6 weeks in SE Asia, I'd highly recommend that you spend more time in Malaysian Borneo. Consider a week in Sabah and a week in Sarawak.
Kathie is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 09:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 549
I am currently at BRL (was checking email and decided to do a little web surfing before the afternoon walk) and was at the Sukau Lodge a few days ago on the Kinabatangan River. It is never a guarantee that you'll see anything, but on the boat ride to our lodge on the Kinabatangan, we saw a herd of 15 Pygmy elephants, a very large crocodile and some proboscis monkeys. On the next day we saw many more proboscis, rhinoceros hornbills as well as pied and black hornbills, and glimpses of gibbons. We did not see orangutans except at Sepilok. We are currently on the search for orangutans at BRL, but haven't seen any yet. Some people have done, but none so far today. Our very wonderful guide is trying his damnedest taking us on all manner of rarely used and muddy trails in the hopes of finding us one. The lodge is fabulous and well worth it in any event. I will have a more detailed report later.
susncrg is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 03:48 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 441
Look up KI tours on the web. I did a Kinabatangan tour with them and they went out of their way to find us animals. Proboscis monkeys, pigmy elephants, crocs, lots of birds, long tailed macaques. I also went to Kuching, Bako and Semenggoh. All highly recommended. You'll see lots of smaller monkeys at Bako too! Watch your food. They are greased lightning.
silverwool is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 07:11 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,179
Another vote for the Borneo Rainforest Lodge. We were enticed to go in January by Kathie's great trip report. We loved it.
We saw one young male orang, several pygmy elephants one night, many wonderful birds including hornbills,and other cool mammals.
glover is offline  

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