Photo Flashbacks: Kota Kinabalu Nature Reserve with Kids 10


Several years ago (2012) we took a family holiday to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah staying at the Tanjung Aru Shangri-La.  Sabah is a Malaysian state located on the island of Bornio which is famous for its orangutan population.

A day trip that was available at this hotel was to take a shuttle bus to their sister hotel Shangri-La Rasa Ria to see the orangutans in their Nature Reserve.

Whilst we have seen orangutans at the Perth Zoo perched on top of metal polls, there is nothing like seeing them swing through the natural jungle vegetation where they should be living.

The Sharngri-La Rasa Ria Nature Reserve

We slather ourselves in insect repellent, walk along the mud trail through the dark green forest to the wooden viewing platform.

At 10am fresh fruits and vegetables are laid out on the feeding platform.

We can hear the orangutans before we see them, calling to each.  The trees start twitch and sway.

Then these beautiful orange animals come swinging high up through the trees

Kota Kinbalu Orangutans

Making their way down to the feeding table.

Kota Kinabalu orangutans

With tummies full the orangutans swing back up into the towering trees to (almost) perform for us.  Showcasing how effortlessly they make their way from one vine to the next.

Kota Kinabalu orang-utansBack down for a last takeaway bite.

Kota Kinabalu Orangutan

Before the screeching monkeys appear to take the remnants of the food.

Kota Kinabalu Nature reserve

And play with one another.

Kota Kinabalu Nature Reserve

All too soon the food is finished and the orangutans and monkeys swing back off into the distance.

We make our way back along the trail towards the resort and are fortunate enough to come across one of the baby orangutans with its handler.

Kota Kinabalu orangutan

Our shuttle bus back is not due to leave for another 2 hours.  We change into bathers from our packed swimming bag and are able to utilise the resort pool to cool down during the wait.

Shangri-la Rasa Ria Kota Kinabalu

And slip down the slide – A LOT.

Kota Kinabalu with kids

We have a spot of lunch on the sun lounges overlooking the sea.

Kota Kinabalu with kids

Then it’s time to take the shuttle back to our resort the Tanjung Aru Shangri-La for the remainder of our family holiday to Kota Kinabalu with kid(s).

kota kinabalu nature reserve

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* Please Note: that as of March 2016 the orangutan program came to a successful conclusion.  However the wildlife conservation program at the Nature Interpretation Center continues, contact Shangri-La Rasa Ria for details.


About Sally-Ann Brown

I am Sally-Ann the author of Toddlers on Tour. I am a wife and mother who has always had a passion for travel. I love sharing my experiences and lessons learned to help you have a better family holiday or day trip. Read "All About Me" under the "Home" tab to discover my story and what lead me to here.

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