The 'learning' will be delivered by Siew Te Wong, CEO and Founder, the Bornean Sun Bear
Conservation Centre which is based next to the Orang Utan centre at nearby Sepilok. The Sun Bear is
the smallest bear in the world- but big enough to inflict serious damage, and critically endangered.
In the course of the week he will combine classroom and actual habitat visits, (2 days on Orang Utan,
2 on the Sun Bear and 2 on Rainforest Ecology), to create a wonderful learning environment that
allows participants to see these magnificent creatures up close and personal as an integral part of
The courses are accredited through the AWF
and an AWF
certificate will be issued on completion.
Aug 13th 27th Sept 3rd Costs, including 7 nights accommodation and all meals
on twin shared room basis, three AWF courses, (Orang Utan, Sun Bear and Rainforest
Ecology), and all entry fees is £995
They have two programmes that allow visitors to the study and enjoy the wildlife along the
The first is a three day 9two nights)package that includes 3 river cruises, a trip to the orang-
utan study site to see first-hand how research is done (only 300 visitors permitted a year),
a trip to the Gomantong Limestone caves to watch a million swifts and bats exchange their
aerial shifts with bat hawks swooping down to catch a few!, and a trip to the Sepilok orang-
utan rehabilitation in Sandakan.
There are two accommodation options: a family homestay or at a simple village B&B.
Cost for the package is £495 per person for 3-8 people. All costs include private overland
transport from Sandakan to Sukau and back, food and accommodation, entrance fees to the
Gomantong caves and Sepilok and also include a 10% community conservation fund.
The second, four day (three night) programme includes 4 river cruises, 2 trips to the
Gomantong caves (one in the morning for a beautiful walk amidst lowland primary forests
for bird watching), a trip to the study site and also a visit to the edible swift community
conservation project, and a trip to Sepilok.
The programme cost for 3-8 people is £695 pounds per person. This trip offers the possibility
of seeing elusive elephants if around. Sukau is probably the best place in South East Asia
to view large mammals. Some wildlife that can be almost guaranteed to be seen: Proboscis
monkeys along the river and its tributaries, long-tailed and pig-tailed Macaques, Maroon
Langurs, Egrets, Sea Eagles, Kingfishers, Oriental Darters, Hornbills. If lucky: Bearded Pigs,
Saltwater Crocodiles, Sabah's famous Pygmy Elephants, and Bornean Gibbons
Definitely the trip to the orang-utan study site to view orang-utans in the wild
and how research is being conducted by research assistants that all come from Sukau - and
see how sometimes communities and conservation are not on opposite ends! RAE would
like especially to highlight that research and conservation can bring sustainable revenue to a
community that lives next to a protected area.
About Red Ape Encounters
only utilises local based services such as boats and overland transport as well as village
homestays and B&B's and all local guides. RAE was founded to initiate a sustainable
community based orang-utan ecotourism experience that increases revenue to the community
through research and conservation activities.
Sukau has about ten lodges that are all owned by externally based businesses that employ
locals as basic wage employees and not even guides. RAE was formed in 2003 by HUTAN
and the Sabah Wildlife Dept along with DANIDA to increase sustainable tourism revenue
to the village. As stated above - all services engaged by RAE are from the village so tourist
dollars do stay within the community.
RAE additionally contributes 10-15% from proceeds through a community and conservation
fund that is made available to the community every year to initiate independent community
and conservation projects (putting up electric fences to prevent elephants from destroying
grave yards, supplying substitute material instead of illegally harvested wood bark for
fish and prawn traps, funding of a cultural troupe to keep alive musical traditions, school
scholarships, in the future- garbage disposal and waste management - Sukau does not
currently have one) etc..