Watching Red Giant Flying Squirrels at Sepilok, Sabah

Written by Wayne Tarman. Last updated .

Watching Red Giant Flying Squirrels at Sepilok, Sabah

Sepilok in Sabah is justifiably famous for its orangutan centre, one of the State’s most popular tourism attractions. But there is another special creature that lives at Sepilok – the red giant flying squirrel.

Seeing this wonderful animal in full flight has to be one of the best wildlife watching experiences in Sabah.

Like any wildlife watching you need a bit of luck but if you plan things and time things right your chances of seeing this entertaining animal are surprisingly good.

There are two places at Sepilok where you can see the red giant flying squirrel launch itself from a tree and glide over the rainforest. The canopy walkway at the Rainforest Discovery Centre is the main site to see these creatures in action. The other place where they make almost nightly appearances is the restaurant at the MY Nature Resort.

The Rainforest Discovery Centre

Red giant flying squirrelThe red giant flying squirrel is nocturnal so you have to get your timing right. There is only a short window of opportunity to see it. The squirrels usually emerge from their nests around dusk.

At the Rainforest Discovery Centre they often appear between 6-7 pm. However, on occasions they do appear earlier so it is worth heading to the centre when it is light enough to get some good photographs of the squirrels and enjoy the ‘air show’ before it gets dark. Aim to arrive at the centre around 4.30 pm and head to the last tower on the canopy walkway. Look out for a signboard on the left side of the walkway that tells you where the squirrels can be seen.

If you are lucky they will emerge around 5 pm. If not, wait patiently and enjoy the views and sounds of the rainforest. The walkway is a great spot for bird watching so look out for colourful birds in the treetops. If you have young kids maybe bring a sketchpad and pencils so they won’t get bored while you wait around. You might have to wait around for an hour or so but if you do you will be rewarded with a spectacular show with the squirrels launching themselves from tree to tree and gliding just metres above your head.

MY Nature Resort

Guests at MY Nature Resort don’t have to venture far to see a red giant flying squirrel. If you are looking for a relaxing flying squirrel experience then this is the place for you. Comfortable chairs, a cold beer and large viewing deck make for a rather enjoyable evening of wildlife watching.

There are several resident red giant flying squirrels at MY Nature Resort. One lives in a tree near the reception building located on the left of the entry road and  another lives in a tree next to the restaurant.

Some evenings you can see three or four of these wonderful animals at MY Nature Resort. The squirrels usually emerge between  630 pm and 7 pm. Hornbills are sometimes seen near the restaurant so there is no harm in grabbing a chair early. Aim to be at the viewing deck before 6 pm.

Our Sepilok Wildlife Experience tour includes 2 nights at MY Nature Resort and good chances of a seeing a red giant flying squirrel plus range of other wildlife. A number of our Kinabatangan River tours also include one night at MY Nature Resort.





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