7 Must-Visit Places to See Orangutans in Their Natural Habitat

Apr 30, 2024 | Animal

Indonesia and Malaysia’s lush rainforests are not just home to a staggering array of wildlife but also serve as the last bastion for one of our closest relatives, the orangutans. These majestic great apes, with their soulful eyes and gentle demeanor, are facing a precarious future due to habitat loss and poaching. For those seeking a profound wildlife encounter and a chance to contribute to conservation efforts, visiting these seven must-visit places offers a glimpse into the world of orangutans in their natural habitat. 

Whether you’re traversing the rivers of Borneo’s Tanjung Puting National Park or trekking through the dense jungles of Sumatra’s Gunung Leuser National Park, each destination offers a unique opportunity to witness orangutans swinging through the treetops, foraging for food, and caring for their young. These experiences not only provide a deep appreciation for these incredible creatures but also underscore the urgent need for conservation to ensure their survival for generations to come.

7 Must-Visit Places to See Orangutans in Their Natural Habitat

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Orangutans, with their striking red fur and gentle demeanor, are among the most iconic and endangered species on Earth. Found only in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, these great apes are facing severe threats due to habitat loss and poaching. For wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists alike, witnessing orangutans in their natural habitat is a truly unforgettable experience. Here are seven must-visit places where you can see orangutans in the wild:

1. Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia

Bukit Lawang is a small village on the edge of the Gunung Leuser National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia. The village is known for its orangutan rehabilitation center, where visitors can see orangutans up close in a semi-wild environment. Trekking tours into the national park offer the chance to see wild orangutans in their natural habitat.

2. Tanjung Puting National Park, Borneo, Indonesia

Tanjung Puting National Park is one of the best places in the world to see orangutans in their natural habitat. Located in the Indonesian part of Borneo, this vast national park is home to a large population of wild orangutans. Visitors can take boat tours along the park’s rivers to see orangutans swinging through the trees and feeding on fruits.

Also read : Javan Rhino: A Lasting Legacy in the Heart of Java

3. Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia

Gunung Leuser National Park, located in northern Sumatra, is another great place to see orangutans in the wild. The park is part of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to not only orangutans but also other endangered species such as Sumatran tigers and elephants.

4. Semenggoh Nature Reserve, Sarawak, Malaysia

Semenggoh Nature Reserve, located near Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia, is a rehabilitation center for orangutans that have been orphaned or rescued from captivity. While the reserve is not a guaranteed spot to see wild orangutans, visitors have a good chance of seeing rehabilitated orangutans roaming freely in the reserve.

5. Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah, Malaysia

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, located near Sandakan in Sabah, Malaysia, is another excellent place to see orangutans up close. The center rehabilitates orphaned and injured orangutans with the goal of releasing them back into the wild. Visitors can observe orangutans being fed and playing in the reserve.

Also read : 10 Indigenous Animals That Define Indonesia’s Wilderness

6. Borneo Rainforest Lodge, Danum Valley, Borneo, Malaysia

The Borneo Rainforest Lodge in the Danum Valley Conservation Area offers a luxurious yet sustainable way to experience the Bornean rainforest and its wildlife, including orangutans. The lodge offers guided nature walks and wildlife spotting tours, providing visitors with the opportunity to see orangutans and other wildlife in their natural habitat.

7. Kinabatangan River, Sabah, Malaysia

The Kinabatangan River in Sabah, Malaysia, is a great place to see wildlife, including orangutans, in their natural habitat. Boat tours along the river offer the chance to see orangutans swinging through the trees, as well as other wildlife such as proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, and a variety of bird species.


Seeing orangutans in their natural habitat is a truly remarkable experience that highlights the importance of conservation efforts to protect these endangered great apes. By visiting these seven must-visit places, you not only have the opportunity to witness orangutans in the wild but also contribute to their conservation through ecotourism.

Writer | + posts

Alfath Dewantara is a renowned expert in wildlife and a prolific author. His expertise lies in the study and conservation of wildlife, and he has contributed significantly to the field through his research and writings.


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