Trip Start May 18, 2003
272Trip End Ongoing
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After a long wait for the local bus (which only ended when we started a special 'bus dance' to the tune of "The wheels on the bus go round round round...") and a fifty minute journey (RM2 fare) south of Kuching we arrived at the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (RM3 entrance fee). This is a huge (over 600 hectre) wildlife reserve that supports many endangered species. The twenty minute walk into the centre goes past some excellent landscaped gardens that follow different themes, and the sound of exotic birds accompany you on the walk. Of course the main draw here is the chance to see orang-utans in their natural habitat, so tempting as it was to stop and admire the views we pressed on.
At the centre itself they no longer have orang-utans in controlled enclosures as there are sufficient orang-utans in the wild that train newcomers how to climb trees and forage for food
There were a couple of hours to kill before the 3pm feeding time so a short walk around the centre revealed that they also keep four crocodiles here too. They were all in separate enclosures but one of the cages did not have a padlock on, only a piece of wire tied around the posts!
Walking in the jungle here is so removed from anything I have seen before. Everywhere you look there are such amazing sights and the jungle sounds are so intense at times. When we got to the feeding platform huge butterflies were circling around the floor, occasionally landing and flexing their wings before making another circuit. The trees were very tall and produced a welcome canopy over a hundred feet tall that kept the temperature fairly cool on the ground.
Fifteen minutes before feeding time we could see something moving high up in the distance
The manager of the centre mentioned that they do take on volunteer staff from time to time so if any of you are interested in spending some time here (Caroline take note) contact the Forest Department of Sarawak at the following address:
Forest Department Sarawak,
Wisma Sumber Alam,
Jalan Stadium, Petra Jaya,
93660 Kuching, Sarawak,
Tel : 6 082 319102 / 319103
Fax : 6 082 441377