Most tourists visit Borneo in the hope of seeing at least 1 wild Orangutan. But Borneo has a bad reputation with backpackers as being really expensive compared to the rest of Malaysia.
But as long as you avoid the pre organised day trips and use public transport, Borneo can be done on a very tight budget. We didn’t spend any more in Borneo than we did in the peninsula.
The average day trip to the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre costs around RM100 to RM120, but using public transport we did it for just RM18!
The K6 departs from Masjid Street in Kuching twice per day, 07:20 and 13:00 to coincide with feeding times at the centre. It waits outside then travels back to Kuching at 11:05 and 16:05. It takes about an hour and costs RM4 each way.
Feeding times are at 09:00 and 15:00. Tickets cost RM10 and can be used for the morning and afternoon feeding times if you decide to stay for both.
The park will close in between feedings so you will need to entertain yourself from 10:00 to 14:00. There is a small village where you can get some lunch a short walk away.
From the main entrance to the feeling area is about a 20 minute walk. Staff will remind you 30 minutes before the bus leaves for Kuching.
And now for the important bit, the monkeys! There are currently 22 orangutans living in the jungle surrounding the centre.
They are wild animals so their behaviour cannot be predicted, your not guaranteed to see anything at the wildlife centre. They will only come if there hungry and can’t find food in the jungle. It’s kind of like a soup kitchen for orangutan’s.
We visited during fruiting season when chances to see the animals were even more slim, however I vowed to visit the centre every single day until I saw at least one in its natural habitat.
We were really lucky and saw 5 during our very first visit, including a baby!
Seeing how effortlessly they move through the trees took my breath away, one minute they were there and the next minute they were gone. Our day at Semenggoh will stay with me forever.