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50 Woman You Need to Know

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Herald Sun

Published on: 4-Mar-17
Publisher: Herald Sun

Jess McKelson, Ceo of Raw Wildlife Encounters was interviewed as part of a series to celebrate International Women's Day, of 50 Victorian women who are doing extraordinary things in their chosen fields. 


Tiger adventure in Indonesia awaits Northlanders

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The Northern Advocate

Published on: 24-Feb-17
Publisher: The Northern Advocate

A Northland-based animal activist is calling on conservation travellers to accompany her to Indonesia for real life patrols and 'camera-trapping' the endangered Sumatran tiger.

Raw Wildlife Encounters (RAW) and Stay Wild are offering an exclusive eight-day Tiger Patrol Adventure that begins with the rainforest of Batu Katak in north Sumatra, home of the elusive tiger.

Tangkahan - Where the Wild Things Roam

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Colours - Garuda Indonesia Inflight Magazine

Published on: 2-Jan-17
Publisher: Colours - Garuda Indonesia Inflight Magazine

Tangkahan is a remote village in Northern Sumatra and home to the Sumatran elephant, tiger, rhinoceros and orangutan, and the clouded leopard.

The 50 Hottest Holiday Deals for 2017

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Published on: 4-Nov-16
Publisher: Traveller

Named as one of the hottest family adventure holidays for 2017 - join our Wild Family Encounters in North Sumatra, Indonesia!

In The Shadow of Tavan Bodg Wild West Mongolia

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Lonely Planet

Published on: 2-Nov-16
Publisher: Lonely Planet

The rugged and remote far reaches of western Mongolia are a series of wild landscapes capped by glacier-wrapped mountains, divided by green river valleys and shadowed by soaring peaks. This area is home to the famous Kazakh eagle hunters and has some of the best preserved petroglyphs in the country.

Mongolia’s Gobi the place for desert dreams during Naadam Festival

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The Australian

Published on: 29-Oct-16
Publisher: The Australian

Thunder rumbles through the black clouds overhead unleashing raindrops so fat and heavy they feel like mini-punches striking my bare arms. Mongolia’s Gobi is not what I expected.

Top Ten Tips for Jungle Trekking

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The Travel Bug

Published on: 22-Aug-16
Publisher: The Travel Bug

The words “jungle trekking” can conjure up all sorts of images to the newbie trekker. Before my first jungle trekking experience in Sumatra back in 2009, I had no idea what to expect. I envisioned spiders the size of dinner plates, snakes hanging from every branch, hacking my way through choking vines with a machete, sweat pouring down my face as I gasped and scrambled my way through the forest covered in giant leeches.

Indonesia Jungle Fever

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NZ Herald

Published on: 22-May-16
Publisher: NZ Herald

Before this trip, the very idea of trekking through the jungle was outside my comfort zone. But fairly soon, I became aware that I was in expert hands. As evidenced by my tour, Raw Wildlife Encounters caters to everyone - from the adventurous single traveller, to families, honeymooners, couples - and me.

Orangutan conservation in Indonesia: Raw Wildlife Encounters let tourists help

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Published on: 5-Nov-15
Publisher: Traveller

That's where the likes of Raw Wildlife Encounters (RAW) comes in. The company started in 2009 by now 34-year-old Melburnian Jessica McKelson. RAW runs tours where travellers can encounter orangutans and learn about them, with a sizeable portion of the cost of their holiday going directly to helping conservation efforts.




Giving the gift of travel

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The Sun-Herald Traveller

Published on: 1-Nov-15
Publisher: The Sun-Herald Traveller

Many people would like to contribute in some way to the places they visit.But rolling up their sleeves and building schools and other volunteourism experiences may not be for them. 

In Sumatra, an oasis in a sea of oil palm

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Published on: 8-Jun-15
Publisher: Mongabay

Sumatra is estimated to have lost 85 percent of its forests in the past half century, primarily due to widespread conversion for oil palm and pulp plantations. In the village of Tangkahan, however, residents have managed to preserve their forests and create one of Indonesia's ecotourism hotspots.

10 Best Wildlife Travel Experiences For 2015

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Discover Wildlife BBC

Published on: 16-Mar-15
Publisher: Discover Wildlife BBC

Raw Wildlife Encounters Sumatran Tours rated the 4th best wildlife travel experience for 2015 by BBC wildlife experts.

Travel deals: Experience close encounters with gorillas in the wild

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Published on: 22-Jan-15
Publisher: Traveller

Raw Wildlife Encounters (RWE) in partnership with The Jane Goodall Institute Australia and Raw Africa Eco-Tours give travellers the chance to experience close encounters with gorillas and chimps in the wild, while making sure that their travel dollars go to a good cause.

Media Release: Giving back was an important factor for Raw Wildlife Encounters travellers when deciding on their Cambodia tour.

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Published on: 3-Jan-15
Publisher: Raw Wildlife Encounters


Sydney, 3rd January, 2015: Raw Wildlife Encounters (RWE) first venture into Cambodia was a huge hit for RAW travellers whose focus was on immersing themselves into the local culture, and giving their time back to local charities.

RWE’s twelve day Free the Bears & Ancient Temples tour is a small group multi-day tour that takes travellers away from the everyday tour focus, and offers them an opportunity to share in the lives of the bears and people whose life work is to protect the bears of Asia.

The Sumatran Experience

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The Wandering Conservationist

Published on: 9-Jun-14
Publisher: The Wandering Conservationist

If I were to describe my time in Sumatra it would be amazing, enriching, life-changing, horrible, awful, tough, draining, upsetting, but something that has made me stronger and more mature, and I would never ever want to change any of it. Through my 2 months I witnessed the beautiful rainforest, its destruction and the battle to save it. I filmed wild animals in the pet trade, the oil palm plantations and the communities of people who need a heathy ecosystem to survive, and to top it off I managed to spend some time in a medical clinic with Dengue Fever (after a 2 hour drive out of the rainforest on the back of a motorbike, I said I wanted an experience!).

Take a walk on the wild side with Jess McKelson and the orangutans of Sumatra!

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Published on: 10-Mar-14
Publisher: Primary Perspectives

Harry and his family had the trip of a lifetime when they went to visit the orangutans in Sumatra with Raw Wildlife Encounters. So Harry decided to produce a fabulous Wild Side special all about his trip and the team’s special guest was Jess McKelson, International Project Manager of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program in Sumatra, Indonesia – and founder director of Raw Wildlife Encounters

Pack your bags for a holiday that helps - Travel in the raw

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Published on: 4-Mar-14
Publisher: The New Daily

If swimming and tubing in secluded waterholes, rainforest walks, hand-feeding and bathing elephants and discovering Sumatran cuisine through traditional banquets are your bag, sign up for the Earth 4 Orangutans trip with Raw Wildlife Encounters.

Travelling like you give a damn

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Published on: 28-Feb-14

Raw adventure: Fancy an intimate encounter with an endangered species, such as orangutans or elephants?

One option is to join a seven-day eco-tour run by Raw Wildlife Encounters and guided by New Zealander Amy Robbins. It’s heading to North Sumatra to help out the Earth 4 Orangutans project, including spending time with world-leading orangutan experts, local people and exotic wildlife.

Amy has 13 years’ experience looking after primates, previously working in Sumatra with orangutans, and is currently on maternity leave from her job as team leader of primates at Auckland Zoo. Amy says the whole experience will be educational – including being immersed in village life.

Melako Conservancy in Kenya

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Published on: 12-Oct-13
Publisher: Ten Play - Channel Ten - Bondi Vet

The greatest potential challenge for wildlife conservation is gaining support of local people, who will not only share their land but will be motivated to offer their support.

Sometimes you have to follow your passion!

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Published on: 8-Nov-13

Some people call it an epiphany, some call it a realisation, I called it a responsibility. Arriving back to Australia, it was clear to me that not many people knew much about Palm oil and where it came from. It was also evident that there was little understanding as to how prevalent its use was in everyday items but more importantly there was a lack of awareness of the impact that palm oil plantations have on the natural environment.

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