Volunteer with bears in Borneo

“Two weeks volunteering at a sun bear rehabilitation centre in Sabah state, Malaysian Borneo. Accommodation in self-catering jungle longhouse. Be prepared to get dirty. But be prepared for superb wildlife adventure. ”

Highlights

Rehabilitation of sun bears | Sabah rainforest | Sabah wildlife | Habitat construction | Working with renowned sun bear conservation organisation | Accommodation in traditional Borneo longhouse | Jungle treks

Description of Volunteer with bears in Borneo

Volunteer at a sun bear rescue and rehabilitation centre in Borneo to help bring the world's smallest bear back to the wild - and to keep this species alive. Often considered to be the “cutest” bear in the world due to its size, the tiny sun bear is sadly threatened with extinction thanks to habitat loss and captivity.

Sun bears are often taken illegally from the wild at a young age to be imprisoned as pets. As they grow older and more wild, they create havoc in homes and are chained and beaten. Rescued from this cruel captivity, they now have the opportunity to start a new life living in freedom at this inspiring sanctuary. Become a part of this incredible journey of rescue and rehabilitation, giving these beautiful bears the life they deserve.

Currently providing a home to more than 35 sun bears, you will be volunteering at an inspiring haven for these mistreated bears. Work alongside staff to help with feeding, food preparation, enrichment, habitat construction and monitoring.

This is a fantastic project for all animal and nature lovers, allowing you to live in a beautiful location helping an endangered animal from extinction.

Accommodation and food
You will be living a short distance away from the centre in a volunteer house on the edge of the jungle. The setting is absolutely stunning. You will be sharing a room between two with a safe, storage and mosquito net provided. There is a well-equipped kitchen on site where you can do. A food budget is provided to help you to save money.

There are western toilets and refreshingly cool showers. There is a lake and country park just next to the guesthouse, which is beautiful in the early mornings and evenings.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1: Arrive to Sandakan on the 5th of the month. You will be collected from the airport and taken up to your rainforest accommodation. You will enjoy a welcome meal and induction on your first evening.
Day 2:Meet the team at the sun bear rehabilitation centre and get stuck into the project.
Day 3+:You will be volunteering 5 days per week with 2 days off to enjoy the local area and all that it offers.
Last day:Trips are for either 2 or 4 weeks. On your last day you will be taken back to Sandakan airport in time for your flight.

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.
Accessible overview:
There are challenges associated with volunteer travel, and these can make accessible travel difficult. However, we are very keen to chat with travellers with specific needs to see if we can make a trip possible.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Volunteer with bears in Borneo

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

We are committed to reducing carbon emissions on all of our projects. Here’s how:

• For each participant that goes away with us, we plant a tree in Africa with our charity partners Tree Aid
• Where food is provided, it is locally produced and sourced, reducing food miles, supporting local industry and reducing single-use plastic
• As a traveller you will learn about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, both pre-departure and through your volunteer project
• Accommodation is on-site, reducing the reliance on transport. When volunteers wish to go off site, this is encouraged to be in groups using local drivers
• Where possible, and without jeopardising safety or service, transfers are done on a shared basis to reduce carbon emissions

Environment

Protecting local wildlife
The sanctuary is passionate about the well being of the animals in its care. Human contact with the sun bears is limited, ensuring that they do not become dependent on humans. They are well fed, well cared for and encouraged to live out in the wild. Volunteers are dissuaded from wearing sun cream and insect repllent, which cause problems for the bears. Instead volunteers should wear long-sleeved clothing to avoid sun burn and bites.

Protecting the world
We insist that all participants bring their own water bottles when they travel with us, and clean free water is always available. We have even created a water bottle that can be purchased before departure and encourage people to use it at all stages of their journey including at the airport, on flights and whilst on their project. We are striving for all of our projects to be free of single use plastic.

Community

Campaigning for change
The project works with the local community to educate about the importance of their work. Sun bears are a protected species, however many are dying out in deforestation work or due to being kept in captivity. It is essential to work with locals to ensure that fewer sun bears die each year.

Supporting the local economy
The project helps the local economy and community. Our participants spend money on food and leisure in the local area, staff are employed from the area to work as volunteer coordinators, and rent is paid to the local guest house.

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 cultural 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.

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