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Sepilok is a small town in Sabah, Borneo that is 26 km from Sandakan. It is most famous for its Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. It also features Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and Rainforest Discovery Centre.



Get in


By bus

  • From Kota Kinabalu: Catch the bus to Sandakan from Inanam station in KK (RM43.5, ~6 hours). Ask the driver to drop you off at Sepilok. From Sepilok road junction take a taxi to the park or any nearby hotel, RM5 per person, taxi drivers usually wait at the Sepilok road junction.
  • From Semporna: Catch the Tung Ma bus to Sandakan (RM40, 5 hr) and catch a taxi from there to Sepilok.
  • From Sandakan: Bus 14 leaves ~hourly from the minibus station in Sandakan from 09:00 to 14:00, with the last bus leaving the park at 16:00. RM6 one way (2016).

By car


The road from Sandakan is well signed making for an easy journey for those self-driving.

By taxi


Taxi from Sandakan center costs approx RM 50 one way and RM 100 for a return trip (2016). Arrangements can be made in advance with your accommodation in Sepilok for a car to meet you at the Sandakan airport, 45 MYR one way per car; the same price will be charged if arranging taxi via taxi booth in the airport (2022).

Taxi ride to Labuk Bay to see proboscis monkeys costs RM45 per person return. Taxi to Sukau (starting point for boat trips on Kinabatangan river) cost RM50 per person one way.


  • 1 Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (Situated on the edge of a forest reserve. Taxis can be found out front: RM40 to Sandakan), +60 8821 5353, . 09:00-12:00 & 14:00-16:00. Exhibition Hall: Sa-Th 09:00-16:30. Established in 1964, its purpose is to rescue orphaned and abandoned juvenile orangutans and teach them to fend for themselves. The best time to visit is at feeding times (10AM and 3PM) when orangutans and monkeys such as the long-tailed macaques are likely to appear for the bananas and sugar cane. Feeding times may be delayed due to rain.

    An informative video about the work of the centre is played at 9AM and after the morning feeding. Within the reserve, the visitor is restricted to the boardwalks leading to the feeding area and outdoor nursery (the best place to watch young orangutan if they’re there, as they exercise / play on the ropes and with each other). Visitors can only bring cameras into the reserve. Bags, water, and food must be left in the free lockers near the entrance. You can buy drinks and souvenirs from the outdoor nursery. There is an average cafe outside the reserve by the car park. As the centre is in a rainforest, you may want to apply insect repellent before you go in, but you can’t put on any inside. Keep an eye out for signs of rain. There is no shelter at the feeding area, but the nearby outdoor nursery viewing room has a roof and air conditioning.

    Expect that morning feeding time will be crowded with tour buses full of travelers from Kota Kinabalu, all keenly jostling for that perfect photo. For those with the luxury of time, the afternoon has the added delight of likely seeing a larger number of the animals in a more personal, peaceful atmosphere.

    Each ticket is valid all day, so you could arrive for the 9AM video, see the morning feeding, visit the sun bear centre next door, have lunch nearby, and return for the afternoon feeding.
    Adults: foreigner RM 30, Malaysian RM 5. Youth 17 years and younger: foreigner RM 15, Malaysian RM 2. Camera fee: RM 10 (2019). Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre (Q1584292) on Wikidata Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre on Wikipedia
    2 Orangutan feeding area 3 Orangutan baby area
  • 4 Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (next to the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre), +60 89-534 491. 09:00-15:30. The only sun bear sanctuary in the world with about 40 bears living there. Divided into several separated areas so child bears can live apart from the adult ones (as older ones often bully younger), as well as to separate adults that try to fight each other. Bears tend to hide in the shade during the heat hours and start being very active once sun is not very high or hidden by the clouds, so it's better to get there not on a very hot day or in the morning. Centre itself is not very big, 30-40 minutes will be enough to see everything inside. Adults Malaysian RM 15, foreigner RM 50. Children aged 12-17 Malaysian RM 2, foreigner RM 5. Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (Q18205266) on Wikidata Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre on Wikipedia 5 Sunbear feeding area
  • 6 Rainforest Discovery Centre. 08:00-19:00, ticket counter closes at 17:00. An environmental education centre situated within the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. Its primary function is to create public awareness and appreciation of the importance of conserving forests, as well as the sustainable use of forest resources. RDC has a 347 m-long canopy walkway strung between huge towers that allows great views of the forest canopy and is also good for bird-watchers. Adults RM 20, children 5-17 years old RM 7.

Further afield

  • 7 Taman Hiburan Jalil Alip Theme Park, 1, Jalan Jalil Alip (a 5-min detour drive), +60 89-531 346. A local recreation park popular among locals, to fish, paddle boats and feed local species of deer and crocodiles in their individual sanctuaries in the park.



There are a couple of trails within the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre area, but only the 1.1 km 1 Bird trail is possible without a special permit, although this trail is closed until further notice as of Oct 2016. Similarly, there are many trails in the Rainforest Discovery Centre. These also require permits which can be obtained at the entrance ticket booth.

  • Kabili Trail (Starts at the Rainforest Discovery Center.). An 8km (16km round trip) hike to see the mangroves. The turnaround point is at the Sepilok Laut Reception Centre. This is a good spot to have lunch, but bring your own food and drink, because there is none to be found along the trip. There are several shelters with benches along the hike. RM15 on top of the RDC entrance fee, pay at the ticketing counter.



The fundraising shop at Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre sells postcards, fluffy monkey toys and other touristy merchandise.

Cafeteria near the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre entrance has a small shop inside, also there is a smallish 1 shop on the road junction leading to RDC. Both are very small and has very limited variety of products. The nearest big supermarket is "Giant", taxi ride there costs 35 RM one way/60 RM return.

No banks or ATMs are available in Sepilok. The closest ATM is at the Mile 8 settlement, and a taxi ride there costs RM 30 one way, RM 40 return (2016).

Eat and drink


Sabah Vegetables are a local specialty. When stir-fried with garlic or other herbs/spices these ferns are tasty and have a texture like crunchy bok choy or asparagus.

Most of the hotels have their own restaurants.

  • 1 Kantin Sepilok. M-F 12:00-16:00. Located on the territory of the Forest Research Centre and caters mainly for its workers, however, anyone from outside can eat there as well. The menu is rather limited, usually they have only couple of options available at one time, most often they have rojak and chicken soup, also fried bananas and some snacks. Food is very tasty. Meals RM 6-8, drinks RM 1-2.
  • 2 Lepak Lounge. Till 17:09. As long as it's located inside of the Rainforest Discovery Centre, anyone wishing to dine here needs to buy entrance ticket to RDC. There are always 5-6 types of meals available, such as chicken soup, fried rice, and fried chicken. The food is good, the service is fast. Meals RM 10, juices RM 5-7.
  • 3 Cafeteria (right next to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre entrance). Serves simple food like fried rice. It also has a small shop inside selling snacks, fruits, drinks. This place can get very busy at lunchtime as tour groups finish at the conservation centres. Meals RM 15-20, drinks RM 4-8.


  • 1 Sepilok Nature Resort, +60 89-673 999. 3 star hotel with chalet-style accommodation. RM 240.
  • 2 Sepilok Jungle Resort, Mile 14, Jalan Rambutan, +60 89-533 031. Pleasant if pricey resort set in the jungle around two small lakes, a few minutes walk from the orangutan and sun bear conservation centres. Has a murky but refreshing swimming pool and reasonable food at the onsite Banana Cafe / Restaurant. Note that this accommodation venue is not suitable for those who are mobility impaired as there are boardwalks and bridges connecting the main buildings. Wifi is free and surprisingly fast for Sabah.
  • 3 Sepilok Forest Edge Resort. Nice looking spacious rooms ornamented with wood. It also hosts restaurant and a bar. Double RM 243+, dorms RM 42.
  • 4 Sepilok Bed & Breakfast, Jln. Fabia, Sandakan, +60 89-534 050, . Chalets, lodges and suites available in a variety of sizes. Dorm room also available. 2.7km from Sepilok. RM 120.
  • 5 Uncle Tan B&B, Mile 14, Jalan Sepilok. Dorms RM 50+ per person.

Outside of town

  • 6 Paganakan Dii Tropical Retreat (at Taman Jalil Alip), +60 12 868 1005. Retreat set on top of a hill overlooking a distance of over 5km in radius and the nearby Labuk Road forest reserve. For those wishing to experience a contemporary interpretation of traditional stilt house living, and enjoying a serenity rare among the Sepilok doorstep offerings. Using recycled & rare timber, reject scraps from sawmills and redefining the use of simple and commonplace objects, the structures are created to highlight a unique, tropical design style. Only 5mins drive from Sepilok. Look for a signboard with a hornbill sitting on it. Doubles RM 180, dorms RM 35.

Stay safe


Go next

  • 8 Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, Off Jalan Labuk. 8AM–6PM. Tours which take in Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary often also visit the nearby Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. It is possible to drive there by Grab. The drivers propose that they wait for a long time for return, but for a higher price. Organizing a return trip by own for Grab or taxi involves a long wait. It is also possible to drive by car in the park, which is recommended due to the long distances. There are feedings at two points at different set times, mainly with biscuits. Although the sanctuary is close to the sea, but it is not possible to walk there. 9 Feeding area A 10 Feeding area B
  • Sandakan. The practical departure point for those travelling by air.

This city travel guide to Sepilok is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.