Wanderlust Wednesday – Orangutans in Borneo

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Of Primates and Soul Mates – Finding Primitivity in Borneo

Visiting Borneo on the southeastern coast of Malaysia was a trip back in time and civilization. Not that the so-called creature comforts were missing, honestly, they were beside the point.

But rather the immersion into nature and being close up to wild animals in their habitat, seeing that their gestures and mimicry are so similar to our human behavior.

The Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary is located in Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia in the lush 4,300 hectare large Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. The Rehabilitation Center there was founded in 1964 to rehabilitate orphaned orangutans in Borneo. Some return to the wilds and some remain there their entire lives.

A walkway leads you through the indigenous mangrove forest, past giant trees with leaves bigger than two human heads, to the feeding platform. The moisture, greenness, sounds and smells are overwhelming. The birds chatter, the amphibians rustle through the underbrush and ferns, and you just know the orangutans and other monkeys are all around you before you catch a first glimpse of their russet fur.

Orangutans in Borneo

What struck me most when I viewed this picture I took there – were the humans. Their coloring was similar, their expressions, yes maybe even their “seen it all” type of boredom. The empty stares, the expressionless faces.

I loved seeing the animals in their natural habitat but I could have spent many hours watching the other primates and have been equally fascinated.

Borneo is truly amazing with deep jungles, pristine islands and awesome diving, a place to return too again and again to step back into simplicity and nature.

Karin is a US and French citizen and has been living and working in Germany for over 30 years. She started her world travels at the age of 3 and I hasn’t stopped yet. Since childhood she has spoken several languages (English, French, German and some Spanish) and has worked full-time in the airline industry for 35 years so far. She is an avid cook in love with all things gourmet and has been successfully publishing my food blog at www.yumandmore.com.

Karin Stienemeier



5 Responses to “Wanderlust Wednesday – Orangutans in Borneo”

  1. Maria November 20, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Oh yeah, this is some serious awesomesauce – “I loved seeing the animals in their natural habitat but I could have spent many hours watching the other primates and have been equally fascinated”

    People watching around animals is always a great time!

    • karin@yumandmore November 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

      yup a great passtime I agree!

  2. Raj kumar November 21, 2013 at 2:21 am #

    Wow! amazing to reading this… we see animals many place but seeing them at they habitat will be great.

  3. Lina @ Divergent Travelers December 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Awesome post! This is at the top of my list on our upcoming RTW. We will not be missing Borneo and a trek to the Orangutans!

  4. Rob@ Nairobi Kenya Day Tours December 22, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    I have always loved orangutans for their humble demenour. They look like aged sages. I would love to see one after seeing all apes in Africa.

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