Faecal samples from 163 captive and semi-captive individuals, 61 samples from wild individuals and 38 samples from captive groups of Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) in Kalimantan, Indonesia, were collected during one rainy season (November 2005–May 2006) and screened for intestinal parasites using sodium acetate-acetic acid-formalin-concentration (SAFC), sedimentation, flotation, McMaster- and Baermann techniques. We aimed to identify factors influencing infection risk for specific intestinal parasites in wild orangutans and individuals living in captivity. Various genera of Protozoa (including Entamoeba, Endolimax, Iodamoeba, Balantidium, Giardia and Blastocystis), nematodes (such as Strongyloides, Trichuris, Ascaris, Enterobius, Trichostrongylus and hookworms) and one trematode (a dicrocoeliid) were identified. For the first time, the cestode Hymenolepis was detected in orangutans. Highest prevalences were found for Strongyloides (individuals 37%; groups 58%), hookworms (41%; 58%), Balantidium (40%; 61%), Entamoeba coli (29%; 53%) and a trichostrongylid (13%; 32%). In re-introduction centres, infants were at higher risk of infection with Strongyloides than adults. Infection risk for hookworms was significantly higher in wild males compared with females. In groups, the centres themselves had a significant influence on the infection risk for Balantidium. Ranging patterns of wild orangutans, overcrowding in captivity and a shift of age composition in favour of immatures seemed to be the most likely factors leading to these results.