Seeing Colugo in peninsular Malaysia

Dear all

I’m planning a trip to peninsular Malaysia next year. I’m keen to see colugo, a species that I’ve never seen despite having spent about ten months in south-east Asia. A dig around the internet suggests that Langwaki is the best place to see them. Does anyone know if this is the case or there are other just as reliable spots? It’s not a place that I would visit otherwise.




  • Matt Brady

    Steve, like you I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Southeast Asia, and had never seen a Colugo. That is, until I spent an afternoon in Singapore a few years ago, visiting two nature reserves: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Bukit Batok Nature Park. I saw several Colugos in each park. I assume they persist because of the lack of natural predators and human persecution. If you can include it in your itinerary, a trip to Singapore would be well worth it.

    Good luck,

    Matt Brady
    Baton Rouge, LA

  • stevebabbs

    Thanks Matt, that might well be a cheaper and quicker option. I notice you said an ‘afternoon’. Did you see them during daylight hours?

    • Jon Hall

      Coke Smith has them living in his garden on Koh Lanta

    • Matt Brady

      Yes I did! I was really surprised, and figured I was seeing someone’s escaped or released pet at first, but I ended up seeing several, especially in Bukit Batok Nature Park. I was simply killing a few hours by birdwatching between flights. It was a hot and sunny day, hardly ideal birdwatching conditions, but the colugos were just hanging out. They were rather shy, though: the first one I encountered scuttled around the tree, keeping the trunk between itself and me. My guess is that they can afford to be diurnal in Singapore due to the lack of predators and human persecution, and the the size of the trees precludes many appropriately-sized cavities.

  • Steve Morgan

    The Langkawi Sheraton Beach Resort offers a 100% guaranteed opportunity to see them. Lounge back with a glass of red wine in the garden and watch the sun go down. The Colugos fly between the palm trees in front of you. Just about the easiest mammal watching you’ll ever enjoy!!

  • Geomalia

    In 2014, I saw two at Kuala Tahan (Taman Negara): one in the clearing at the Mutiara Resort, and one at a flowering tree in town (I think at the Durian Chalet).


  • Israel

    there are lots of places to see colugo easily. Partly it depends on your budget. Langkawi is a more expensive place than others.

    Penang Botanic Gardens are a good spot (use the trails through the forest sections).

    Bukit Fraser is good (best along the entry access road because you can look across the downhill side at the tree trunks, rather than having to look upwards).

    The grounds of Singapore Zoo is a very reliable spot, and also the Singapore Night Safari when they will be active.

    Bako National Park in Sarawak is reliable, in the trees around the HQ and accommodation.

    During the day colugos simply cling to tree trunks. Finding them involves no more than spending a lot of time walking around in forest looking at tree trunks. Places with disturbed or younger forest are easier – e.g. Taman Negara is really difficult because of the nature of the forest.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    Yep, I saw them along the access road to Bukit Fraser as well. Note that the ones on Borneo etc. might be split.

    • Israel

      luckily I’ve seen them in Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, and Sumatra, so I’m covered for the splits should I choose to follow them! Haven’t been to the Philippines yet though.

      • Vladimir Dinets

        The one in the Philippines is easy: just go to Raja Sikatuna NP on Bohol. Although there are also possible split there 🙂

  • Mikaail Kavanagh

    You’ve got a lot of good advice already!

    Just to add, if you want expert guidance for wildlife viewing in Malaysia, I suggest that you contact / +603 5612 1454. They are very professional and really know where to take you, how to interpret, etc.

  • Steve Babbs

    Many thanks for all the advice. As I’m going to Taman Negara and Bukit Fraser, I think I’ll concentrate on them. Looking back on my past spotlighting in the area – now over 20 years ago – I suspect I was too keen to get in the tall forest and probably should have spent more time looking at open areas, such as the campsites that I was often staying in.

    I’ll also have the advantage now of having seen most of the birds as will be less worried if I’m not out birding at first light every morning due to late nights the night before!

  • Israel

    note that colugos are much easier to find during the day than night, and you can actually see them properly then as well because they don’t move.

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