Our main reason for coming to Borneo was to experience some of the worlds’ best diving, but we also had hopes of catching a glimpse of an orangutan. Our itinerary did not permit us enough time to visit the orangutan sanctuary so instead we visited Lok Kawi Wildlife Park outside of Kota Kinabalu.
The park was small enough to cover in one day and we wandered slowly through the heat and mosquitoes to admire each animal. My favourite displays were the orangutans and the elephants because they both exude so much expression from their eyes. The elephants drank from the pond, tossed around palm leaves, and even playfully fought tusk to tusk.
Nearby the orangutans displayed a similar playfulness as they swang around their open enclosement on ropes and branches. Orangutans are about 97 percent similar to humans and their interactions and actions fascinated me. A baby orangutan wobbled along behind its mother and warmed everyone’s hearts.
The exhibits were for the most part large and the animals seemed well stimulated. Other creatures in the park included sun bears, ostriches, cassowarys, proboscis monkeys, and tropical birds. Proboscis monkeys and orangutans are only native to Borneo and certain parts of Indonesia so it was quite a treat to see them in their home country.
The city of Kota Kinabalu itself was charming and we spent our days wandering the markets and malls trying to avoid the weather (crazy hot or pouring buckets). We only spent two afternoons in the city as it was our hub from Kuala Lumpur to Mabul Island but it was a pleasant place to kill some time in.