Borneo orangutan conservation volunteering

Description of Borneo orangutan conservation volunteering

Tragically, orangutan populations around the world are under severe threat due to illegal logging and habitat loss. These mighty and beautiful creatures are so endangered that extinction is possible if support is not provided. Become a volunteer in Malaysia with orangutans in a primate centre and out in the wilds of the Bornean jungle, striving to protect one of the world's most beloved creatures.

Our volunteer programme, designed to promote the welfare and survival of the orangutan population in Malaysia, lasts for 4 weeks and runs throughout the year . During your first 2 weeks you will will be volunteering in a primate centre situated on 54 acres of rainforest in mainland Malaysia. If you love animals, it is an exciting place to be. The centre is part of a larger complex, home to over 100 different animals, and works to improve the conditions of the orangutans within its care.

Volunteers will be joining and supporting a professional team to help care for and protect one of the world's most threatened and endangered species. No day will be the same here however every task that you complete will help the survival of the species. This can include assisting with the feeding process, food preparation and developing ideas for orangutan enrichment.

During the second two weeks, you will head to Malaysian Borneo to the Corridor if Life, the rainforest running alongside the Kinabatangan River. The main aim of this project will be to get involved with the reforestation of the area to help preserve and protect the bountiful wildlife that lives in the area. You will be lucky enough to see orangutans and pygmy elephants living in the wild too, with wildlife monitoring projects on a daily basis. We were very excited to see a mother and baby orangutan feeding on our first trip out!

Accommodation and food
You will be living on site in traditional houses with shared rooms. Toilets are western and water for showers is heated by the sun. The rooms are comfortable yet basic - and the surrounding area is stunning. You will be provided with a combination of food budgets and meals throughout your 4 weeks, allowing you to sample the delicious foods that this country has to offer.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) or Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA-2) on the 5th of the month. You will be collected at the airport and taken to twin share accommodation in Kuala Lumpur. There will be a welcome dinner and a briefing.
Day 2:After breakfast, volunteers are transferred to the primate centre. You will be shown your accommodation and given a short orientation.
Day 3- 16:You will be working at the primate centre during the weekdays. Volunteers are usually given the weekend off, but if there are changes to this then you will get two days off at another point in the week.
Day 17:On the 21st of the month volunteers are transferred from the centre and are taken to the Kuala Lumpur Airport (KLIA) to be flown to Sandakan Airport (SDK). On arrival, you will be met and taken to the dormitory. You will be given a welcome dinner and orientation before a well deserved sleep.
Day 18-26:You will be involved with the project at Sukau, observing wildlife, getting involved in habitat restoration, planting trees and getting involved with community and Education programmes in the local village.
Day 27Volunteers will depart Sukau after breakfast. You will get an opportunity to walk through the Rainforest Discovery Centre. After lunch, you will get to visit the world-famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. You will then be taken to your accommodation in Sandakan, where you have leisure time to enjoy the area.
Day 28:You will be taken to Sandakan airport to begin your journey home.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Borneo orangutan conservation volunteering


Our placements are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There’s plenty to gain personally from this challenge – a sense of achievement, broader horizons and some wonderful memories. But we make sure that both the local people and the environment benefit as well.

Wildlife- The centre is passionate about the well being of the animals in its care. Human contact with the orangutans is limited, ensuring that they do not become dependent on humans.

Environment - Our company takes an environmentally responsible attitude towards recycling and reusing of waste products. We also offset carbon emissions in our office (gas, electricity, business mileage) and encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme run in conjunction with Tree Aid. Our volunteers are given a pre-departure briefing where they are encouraged to minimise waste and to live in a way that will not have a detrimental effect on the country.

Water- participants are given initiatives to avoid wasting water. This includes sanitised hand gel, only boiling water that you need to use, keeping drinking water in the fridge instead of running the tap cold and not wasting shower water.


Meeting local needs - The whole project is geared towards helping the local community. Volunteers work alongside the professional animal carers and assist them with their daily tasks. At the weekends and in your free time you can explore the local area, which means that you are spending money and generating good business there.

Cultural sensitivity - Our pre-departure briefing includes a special session entitled ‘Responsible Tourism’ where we discuss cultural differences and sensitivities as well as advising volunteers on appropriate conduct. People are encouraged to learn some of the local language and briefed on what is considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and dressing.

Campaigning for change- the project works with the local community to educate about the importance of their work. Orang-utans are a protected species, however many are dying out in deforestation work. It is essential to work with locals to ensure that fewer orang-utans die each year.

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