Orangutan volunteering in Borneo

Volunteer for one, two or four weeks at the Matang Wildlife Centre and help towards the rehabilitation and release of orangutans in Borneo. Hard work but incredibly rewarding
Help with the feeding of orangutans, sun bears, macaques, binturongs and other animals Assist with maintenance and construction tasks Get to know local people and workers at the sanctuary Share a twin room jungle chalet at the wildlife centre Optional opportunities to visit a long house and meet Iban tribe members
£795To£1995 excluding flights
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8 Days
Borneo, Malaysia
Small group
Group size
Up to 12 people
More info
Volunteers are able to partake in this project for one, two and four weeks.
Make enquiry

Description of Orangutan volunteering in Borneo

This one, two or four week multi-award-winning volunteering holiday in Borneo is set within the Matang Wildlife Centre. Volunteers will be assisting the centre's wonderful permanent team as they aim to rewild and release their current population of orangutans back into the rainforests of Malaysian Borneo. Regular tasks for volunteers include painting, cleaning and helping to build parts of the centre so as to provide a much richer and more exciting environment for the animals.

As part of this volunteering project you'll get to observe orangutans within as natural an environment as possible. Animal characteristics and habits differ, and you'll soon get to learn about the different personality traits as well as discovering how an orphaned orangutan can start out on the path to being released back into the wild. You'll also discover the importance of rainforest conservation and find out how you can make a difference for safeguarding Borneo's wildlife.

This is not a cuddle a monkey centre. No physical contact with orangutans by staff or volunteers is required. Respect for the rehabilitation process is integral for volunteers wishing to make a difference. Volunteers will, however, provide general care for the animals as well as physical assistance to ensure the centre is in the best possible shape for assisting animals in their ongoing rehabilitation and eventual release.

Work can be hard but it is also so rewarding and the surrounding natural environment is just a pleasure to call your workplace for a couple of weeks, or more.

Age restrictions: any volunteers aged between 15 to 18 will need to be accompanied by a parent. All other volunteers are welcome as long as they're over 18 and have a passion for the environment and don't mind getting stuck in to a variety of physical tasks and animal husbandry roles.


Price information

£795To£1995 excluding flights
Convert currency:
Volunteers are able to partake in this project for one, two and four weeks.
Make enquiry

Check dates

2023: 19 Jun, 4 Jul, 12 Jul, 5 Aug, 19 Aug, 4 Sep, 12 Sep, 19 Sep, 5 Oct, 19 Oct, 4 Nov, 12 Nov, 19 Nov, 5 Dec, 19 Dec
2024: 5 Jan, 19 Jan, 5 Feb, 19 Feb, 5 Mar, 19 Mar, 4 Apr, 12 Apr, 19 Apr, 5 May, 19 May, 5 Jun, 19 Jun, 4 Jul, 12 Jul, 19 Jul, 5 Aug, 19 Aug, 4 Sep, 12 Sep, 5 Oct, 19 Oct, 4 Nov, 12 Nov, 19 Nov, 5 Dec, 19 Dec

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Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.


This project, based in Borneo, involves work with a local wildlife centre to re-establish, rehabilitate and release orangutans into the wild. The orangutan sub-species, Pongo Pygmaeus Pygmaeus, is the most endangered of all the orangutan species and requires urgent action if it is to be saved from permanent extinction.

Many of the native orangutans that inhabit this area of Borneo are under threat from human intervention that disrupts their way of life and can often prove fatal. Baby orangutans are frequently left orphaned as their parents are slaughtered for meat, or killed due to the destruction of their natural habitat. Many orangutans are also captured to be sold in the pet trade, which often results in their mistreatment and abandonment when they become too much for their captors to handle.

This project strives to reverse this trend, and to repair the fractured relations between humans and orangutans that have such devastating consequences. Volunteers are vital to further the work with local people, Malaysian authorities and universities that the project carries out, working towards a sustainable solution to the problem of orangutan decline.

Through exhaustive work with communities and local authorities, this incredible species can be saved. As a volunteer, you will actively contribute to the day-to-day work involved in orangutan conservation, and play a vital role in the overall conservation of the most iconic species in this part of Borneo.


There is a common misconception that volunteering abroad must be a good thing and will positively benefit not just the volunteer but the host community and those involved. Unfortunately this is not always the case. The increased demand for volunteer placements in developing countries has been met by an influx of new projects and volunteer-sending organisations created purely to meet this demand. The result may cause devastating effects to local culture and result in the exploitation of both the volunteer and the host community.

This project strives to adhere to the strict Responsible Travel policy, and has been developed so that it addresses actual local needs and has the community’s needs at its heart. Understanding and respecting the host community is paramount to the success of any project as long term commitment, support and adoption of sound environment, economic and social practices. This project employs as many local people possible, making it sustainable socially as well as environmentally.

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