After returning from Bako National Park, we had one more day here in the Kuching area before we fly to Gunung Mulu National Park. We spent this day visiting the Orang-Utans at the Semenggoh Nature Reserve and preparing for the next few days in the jungle.
Semi-Wild Orang-Utans at Semenggoh Nature Reserve
Orang-Utans are one of the much endangered species on this planet and except from zoos around the world, they can only be found on Borneo and Sumatra. Orang-Utans are especially fascinating to us humans as they are one of our closest relatives, as it is also reflected in the name. Orang is Malaysian and stands for people or human, and Utan stands for forest. So the name Orang-Utan has nothing to do with the color orange even though their fur looks orange.
At Semenggoh Nature Reserve, the Orang-Utans are semi-wild, meaning that they don’t live in a cage but in an open forest, however they are fed and taken care of by the park rangers. Some of the older monkeys there were freed from captivity, the younger generations however were born in the nature reserve and don’t know the concept of captivity.
For me as a tourist the fact that they are getting fed is welcome, because like this I had a chance to actually meet a few Orang-Utans at the time I was at the reserve. Finding an Orang-Utan that lives in complete wilderness is much more difficult. On the day of the visit, we saw around 4-5 different Orang-Utans. In the whole reserve there should be 28 of them.
Next Days in the Jungle
After the interesting visit to the Orang-Utans, we were heading back to Kuching to prepare for our upcoming 5 days in the middle of the rainforest at Gunung Mulu National Park. We needed to buy some dry food for the treks, a dry bag for protecting the electronic equipment from water when crossing rivers and also from tropical rainfall. As Kuching has a few malls, we found everything we needed and will head to Gunung Mulu National Park tomorrow.