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.

Volunteers will be helping out at an orangutan rescue centre near Kuching. The animals at the centre have been rescued from the cruel and illegal wildlife trade, and need a safe haven to live out the rest of their lives in a place as close to the wild as possible. The lucky few will be released back to the wild if possible.

No day will be the same, however every task that you complete will help the survival of the species. Tasks can include:

- food preparation
- feeding the animals
- creating enrichments for the animals
- building, painting and maintenance
- beach clean ups and sustainability projects

In addition to the orangutans, there are also sun bears, gibbons, crocodiles, cloud leopards and more!

Volunteers need to pack positivity, some general good fitness and hard work ethic.

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 receive a food budget to allow you to cook in your self-catering accommodation.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrive at Kuching Airport (KCH) on 5th or 19th of the month. Airport collection, welcome dinner and briefing.
Day 2:After breakfast, volunteers are transferred to the centre. You will be shown your accommodation and given a short orientation.
Day 3- 13:Get involved in the project tasks. 2 days off per week.
Day 14:If you are staying for 2 weeks, return to Kuching for last night meal with your group. If you are staying for 4 weeks, remain at the centre.
Day 15:Return transfer to the airport for those staying for 2 weeks.
Day 16-27:Continue with volunteer tasks until the end of your trip. 2 days off per week.
Day 28:Transfer to Kuching for final night meal with your group and overnight stay.
Day 29:Return transfer to the airport

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
US pricing:
The currency converter above works on todays exchange rate. We do take bookings in USD but the price is set at a rate confirmed months in advance and is typically above the current exchange rate. Please enquire for details.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Borneo orangutan conservation volunteering


Our projects 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.

Plastics - we are passionate about reducing plastic waste. We can provide volunteers with a reusable water bottle that keeps water cool for up to 24 hours - perfect in the hot climate. We give advice on how to travel with as little single use plastic as possible, as it is very hard to recycle in Borneo. Drinking water is provided so that no plastic bottles of water need to be bought. The project has invested in a plastic shredder to ensure that any unavoidable single use plastic can be shredded and reused.


Meeting local needs - Volunteers work alongside the professional animal carers and assist them with their daily tasks. During your time off you can explore the local area, which means that you are spending money and generating good business there. The project employs local staff, and local businesses benefit from volunteers such as supermarkets and internet cafes.

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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