Want to See Orangutans? Run to These Two Islands

Visit these islands to see orangutans.
Photo by Stuart Jansen on Unsplash

Orangutans are one of the most beautiful and beloved animals on the planet. While they can be seen at zoos around the world, there are only two places where you can still see them in the wild: the southeast Asia islands of Borneo and Sumatra. These critically endangered great apes are highly protected, but there are still ways to see them in their natural habitats. Check out this guide to see where to go on these two islands in order to do so.


Sumatra is the home to around 14,000 wild orangutans, most of which are located in the northern part of the island. If you want to see them in their natural habitat, the best place to head to is Gunung Leuser National Park, just next to the town of Bukit Lawang. Orangutan tours set up by locals are your best shot to see these animals in the wild.


The Malaysian state of Sabah is the best place to see orangutans on the island of Borneo, as the majority of the island’s population of the animal resides here. Your best shot is on a three or four-day tour of the Kinabatangan River, where orangutans like to hang out on the banks. You can also try the Danum Valley and the Deramakot Forest Reserve, accessible by tours.