Rainforest Discovery Centre Sepilok

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Growing up and living in the city, a visit to Rainforest Discovery Centre is definitely an eye opening experience for you and your family. Learn all about the origins of the ancient rainforest, trek down the marked jungle trails, explore series of aerial walkways through the emerald green rainforest canopy and discover plants, animals and beautiful birds found nowhere else on the planet. It is one of the top environmental education centres in Sabah and the most accessible natural rainforest. The Rainforest Discovery Centre is really more of a park, where visitors can go to learn about flora and fauna of Borneo island, while discovering exotic birds of Sabah.

Located 23 kilometres just out of Sandakan town, Rainforest Discovery Centre {RDC} is about 4300 hectares wide of rainforest park. It is situated at the edge of Sepilok-Kabili Forest Reserve, which is also home to the world famous Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. The environmental centre is managed by Sabah Forestry Department and was open to the public since 2006, to create public awareness and importance of conserving the rainforest, as well as mother natures resources. It is considered to be one of the best outdoor education to learn the rich biodiversity of rainforest ecosystem.

The Rainforest Discovery Centre are comprised of a few interesting areas for you to explore. The first main visitors building is where you get to explore the interior of the centre, that exhibits information regarding the flora and fauna all around Sabah. It features fascinating information of wildlife including butterflies and insects, samples of plants of Borneo, beautiful photographs of exotic tropical birds and even a life size replicas of animals such as a whopping 15 feet crocodile, that might surprise you. The birders and flora enthusiast will definitely enjoy their time here, particularly the orchid lovers.

The next area in the Rainforest Discovery Centre is the Rainforest Discovery Trail, where you get to see the natural flora and fauna of Borneo. There are quite an amazing selection of flora in the centre, especially in the Plant Discovery Garden that covers around 3 acres of land. It has displays of about 250 species of native orchids, pitchers plants, arid land plants, aquatic plants, economic crops and some impressive tropical american plants. Watch the pitchers plants up close, as the insect eating plants attracts small insects with their nectar at the slippery rim around the mouth of the pitcher. Or observe the rare and beautiful orchids which can only be found in Borneo. So, don’t miss to bring your camera along, to capture the blooming orchids and other colourful flowers.

Besides the leisure garden, get ready with your walking shoes for another adventure as there are a handful of jungle trails in the Rainforest Discovery Centre. Visitors can walk along the trails and become acquainted with all of the towering trees around them for example the Sepilok Giant, a 1000 years old yellow Seraya tree and the Mengaris tree, one of the tallest tree in Borneo. While exploring the jungle trails, visitors can also refer to the informative panels along the path which has description about the unique residents of the Sepilok forest reserve. Do pay attention to your surrounding, as you might just be able to catch a glimpse at some of the wildlife roaming around the area.

The pristine lowland dipterocarp and mangrove forest of Rainforest Discovery Centre is famous for its astounding 300 species of birds. It is the bird watcher’s paradise as numerous of rare and colourful birds can be found here, as well as many varieties of plants, trees and insects. It has gained birders recognition worldwide for its iconic Bristlehead, Black Hornbill, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Black and Crimson Pitta, Blue-headed Pitta, Giant Pitta, Kingfisher, Spiderhunter, Leafbirds, Trogon and many more. Therefore, the main attraction of Rainforest Discovery Centre is of course the canopy walkway. Visitors can climb to the top of the observation towers and spying on these exotic Bornean birds, while take in the breathtaking view from the 347 metre long and 25 metre high steel walkway. There are two observation towers in the park, named as a Bristlehead Tower and Trogon Tower and a single column shelter called the Sunbird. The top platform of the towers is about 17 metres above the ground, where Many birds, wildlife, insects and fruits live high on the trees. It is a perfect viewing point for the birders and wildlife spotting. The canopy walkway itself is 2 metres wide, which is very sturdy and able to support the weight of a large crowd. It was designed not only to be safe for the adults but also for the young children.

During fruiting season, you will see many birds and wildlife coming to the Rainforest Discovery Centre for feeding. And due to the tourist friendly canopy walkway and nearby forest reserve, Rainforest Discovery Centre is truly a haven for nature photographers and bird watchers. At the end of the year, there are usually an annual Borneo Bird Festival held by the RDC that attract birders from all over the world. For that reason, don’t forget your binocular, so you won’t miss the fun!