Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, also sometimes called Lok Kawi Zoo, is a 70 hectare park jointly developed by Sabah Wildlife and Forestry Departments.
Said to have cost over RM30 million to develop, the park is located on the old road from Penampang to Papar, about 20 – 30 minutes drive Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
The wildlife park’s main aim is to educate the public about the endangered animals of Borneo, by giving those who might otherwise never see them, an opportunity to get a glimpse of Borneo’s wildlife up close.
Showcasing endangered animals such as Borneo Pigmy Elephants and Sumatran Rhinos, Lok Kawi Wildlife Park hopes to bring the exotic animals of Borneo to those who are either on a short stay in Sabah, or who perhaps have had no luck finding these animals in the wild.
The Lok Kawi Wildlife Park features a primate zone where Borneo’s popular animals can be found. The orang utang pen is home to several of Borneo’s best known icon at play, whilst their neighbours, Proboscis monkeys, are to be seen next door.
The Proboscis monkey harem is headed by a large male who lords it over 4 or 5 smaller females. Their holding area is glass enclosed, providing an excellent vantage point from where to observe these unique creatures.
Right next to the Proboscis monkey enclosure is a series of smaller enclosures that is home to a variety of hard-to-spot nocturnal and other forest creatures.
Although the enclosures are relatively small, it remains difficult to spot their residents, leaving you to realize how hard it must be to catch a glimpse of these elusive little critters in the wild.
Lok Kawi Zoo’s other interesting exhibits include the elephant pen, were several elephants can be seen going about the business of being, well, an elephant.
A very impressive aviary, at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, is home to a variety of Borneo and foreign birds as well as some small animals. The aviary is a large, untouched area of jungle, enclosed inside a giant, netted dome. A small river runs through the middle, recreating a very real piece of Borneo jungle.
Although the birds can fly freely, the aviary ensures that they are never far away. When you remain in one place long enough and things quiet down a bit, the residents of the aviary start to appear from the shrubs and branches, making the aviary come alive.
Lok Kawi Wildlife Park also has interesting visitors from overseas who you’d hardly associate with Borneo wildlife.
A 1.4km walkway stretches up into the low-lying hills and winds along the contours before circling back to the entrance gate.
Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is located less than 30 minutes drive from Kota Kinabalu and is a worthwhile destination for both young and old, locals and foreign visitors alike.