Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
A visit to BSBCC is both educational and fun to learn about the plight of the mysterious sun bears.
Viewing the world’s smallest bears in their natural habitat is very rewarding because they are very elusive and difficult to spot in the wild. Although you cannot get in close contact with the bears, you can watch them through telescopes staff members carry and offer around.
BSBCC is located in Sepilok, which is about 23 kilometres from the nearest town of Sandakan and 17 kilometres from Sandakan Airport. It is opposite the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
Opening Days and Hours
The centre is open daily from 09:00 to 15:30.
Entry Fee and Bookings
The adult entrance fee is RM 15 (USD 3.65) for Malaysians and RM 30 (USD 7.30) for foreigners. For children below the age of 18, it is RM 2 (USD 0.49) for locals and RM 5 (USD 1.22) for non-Malaysians.
How to Get There
BSBCC is accessible by road with a 45-minute ride from Sandakan or 30-minute ride from the airport. Taxis and public buses are available from Sandakan town centre but you can only take private taxis from the airport. However, the bus does not stop directly at the centre so you will have to walk about 1.5 kilometres to reach it. A parking area is available.
The centre is suitable for people of all ages interested in wildlife and rainforests. The boardwalks and viewing platforms provide easy access around the BSBCC so it is well-suited for young children too.
Time to Spend
The centre is relatively small and you can finish exploring the section open to visitors within 10 minutes. However, you can easily spend 1 – 2 hours watching the sun bears and talking to the friendly staff members to learn about these dog-like mammals.
Popularity and Best Time to Go
Sun bears tend to take cover in the dense forest when the day gets too hot so the best time to visit is early in the morning or on a cloudy, even rainy, day.
Food is not allowed inside the centre but there is a small cafe at the entrance that serves local food. Chinese food is served at the Banana Cafe in Sepilok Jungle Resort about 5 minutes walk away. If you are looking for something more luxurious, the restaurant at the Sepilok Nature Resort serves both local and Western cuisines. It is only a 2-minute walk away also serves beer and cocktails.
- Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is next just door, a 2 min away,
- Rainforest Discovery Centre is 2kms away and can be reached by taxi in 5 mins
There are a few accommodations in Sepilok within walking distance of the centre. You can choose to stay at a hostel, bed and breakfast, mid-range eco-resort or a more high-end forest resort. There are no 5-star hotels near here.
Good to Know
Flash photography is not allowed as it might agitate the sun bears who had all gone through traumatic experiences.