If your holidays to Malaysia have never included a visit to Sarawak, a state that covers most of the northern part of the Borneo island, then boy are you missing out on a host of experiences. And if you are a wildlife lover, including Sarawak in your itinerary list is a must! The rich biodiversity found here will leave you stunned—Orangutans, proboscis monkeys, Giant hornbills, and Irrawaddy dolphins… welcome to the tip of the iceberg in the wild, wild Sarawak world.
Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre: The centre located within the Semenggoh Nature Reserve, this place is solely dedicated to studying the biology and behaviour of Orangutans. A visit here will let you catch sight of many a semi-wild orangutan, the primates are a part of the rehabilitation programme here.
If you are based in Kuala Lumpur, major towns such as Sabah in Borneo are serviced by buses and you can catch a connecting bus from there to Sarawak. Check redbus.my for greater convenience.
Bako National Park: All of 2,727 hectares, Bako National Park is the oldest national park in Sarawak. While it may not be quite popular, it has an incredible number of almost every kind of vegetation found here and some of the wildlife species you will get to witness and photograph include Long-tailed macaques, Silvered langurs, 275 rare species of proboscis monkeys, Otters, and much more.
Matang Wildlife Centre: Apart from Orangutans, the main attraction here are the Sun bears, Sambar deer, Civet cats, as well as avian life like the Sea eagles, Hornbills, etc.
The location and history of Sarawak has resulted in a broad diversity of ethnicity, culture and languages. Among the indigenous peoples of Sarawak, outside influences have led to many changes over time. The Iban tribal culture in Sarawak centred on the concept of the warrior and the ability to take heads from other tribes in battle. This practice, central as it was to the Iban people, was made illegal under James Brooke's rule and ultimately faded away although reminders of the practice are still seen in some long houses.