Found only on the rugged islands of Sumatra and Borneo, orangutans are one of the man's closest relatives, sharing 97% of our DNA. Unlike most other primate species, these endearing red-haired fellows are generally solitary beings, with males preferring their own company while females are usually only accompanied by their doe-eyed offspring. While loss of habitat due to deforestation has resulted in a sharp decline in population, there are still pockets of protected pristine rainforests for these primates to call home...
Gunung Leuser National Park, Indonesia
Gunung Leuser in Northern Sumatra is home to a wealth of exotic flora and fauna, including a healthy population of orangutans, so those who are willing to endure the often humid hiking conditions have a good chance of spotting these beautiful creatures, as well as other species including the charmingly quiffed Thomas Leaf monkey. For those who don't fancy the trekking, twice daily feeding sessions attract both semi-wild orangutans and semi-fit tourists.
Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia
Tanjung Puting National Park covers over 1,600 square miles, and is home to the largest population - estimated at around 6,000 - of orangutans on the planet. Spend days exploring the pandan free fringed waterways of the Sekonyer river aboard a private klotok (houseboat), drifting between a number of orangutan feeding posts where you'll be rewarded with a close up view of these incredible creatures.
The Danum Valley, Malaysian Borneo
For those who value their creature comforts, this 106,000 acre area of pristine tropical rainforest takes the top spot. The Danum Valley is one of the largest areas of protected rainforest in Malaysian Borneo. The verdant landscape here is filled with all manner of weird and wonderful wildlife, with over 120 species of mammal calling it home, including orangutans, as well as a supremely comfortable lodge.