Location : Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Penampang District, West Coast Division, Sabah, Malaysia.
Although we missed the train ride from Kota Kinabalu to Beaufort our short visit to Papar and the once a week market in the middle of town was rewarding. As we drove back towards Kota Kinabalu, I enquired from my local buddy Tom about Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. This prompted him to drive us there and it was his very first visit too. Might as well, as the park was situated along the Papar road and 20km to Kota Kinabalu. Tom disclosed he was pestered many times by his good friend working at the park to pay a visit as it was worth the money. Only RM10 entrance fee for locals and his friend was very right.
The park consists of two components: zoological and botanical. The main objective of the park is to become a family-oriented park and ensuring that you will get a glimpse of Sabah’s and Borneo’s most difficult to spot jungle creatures. I must admit this ‘giant zoo’ is worth a lot more than just RM10. Do bring along a spare shirt if it is a hot day as the long walk plus the humidity could drench you in sweat especially at the Botanical Garden. However, we were caught in the rain during our visit. So bring an umbrella just in case.
The Botanical garden
While waiting at the orangutan spot for the rain to stop we pulled out a packet of peanuts to snack and enjoying the orangutans’ antics with the sack using it as a raincoat. Entertaining it was. Unknowing to us, the mother with the clinging baby was all the time eyeing our packet of peanuts. As we were about to walk away she rushed towards us with the water barrier or moat separating us. She glanced into the water several times, quite determined to swim across. Honestly, at one point we thought it was going to do just that and attack us. We could be dead meat! We ran round the circular path with her in pursuit making the short cut and waiting for us at the other end. Luckily, she did not swim across as genetically orangutans are poor swimmers but it was enough to give us a stressful moment. So our advice is – ‘Never ever eat in front of an orangutan’.
Here comes the rain
Sunbathing after the rain went and the sun came
We noticed one of the 2 tigers was in serious psychological problem, pacing itself non-stop in the rain. This guy needs professional help. So was one of the pygmy elephants who just kept swinging its trunk all day long. There was hardly enough room for the 3 sun bears to hide from the rain and the soggy ground. The alpha male was enjoying the only high and dry concrete pipe while the other 2 were left looking miserable in the rain. Do something please LKWP!
Sun bear / Beruang madu
We noticed bears were very neat eaters
Pygmy elephants may be small in name but not in size
The hornbill section was our favourite and took up much of our time since we could never snap them at eye level in the wild. The 2 pairs of both rhinocerous and wreathed hornbills were very accommodating, striking different poses like pro models for us to shoot.
Hornbills are the most romantic and caring birds
The Greater bird of paradise was a pleasant surprise. Never expected to see my first here.
Greater Bird of Paradise
There are 2 shows performed daily (11am & 3.30pm) of which we did not know about because we did not do our homework before we came to visit. Checking out the video clips later on Youtube made us quite regretful. Here’s the link to one of them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ljNuEYuZ0w
The journey to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park takes 30 minutes to an hour’s drive from Kota Kinabalu, the estimated distance is 20 kilometers. For transportation, visitors can either drive or take a taxi from the city centre.