Phone: +61 409 162 946
Imagine. Witness. Explore.

The Great Orangutan & Pygmy Elephant Project

12-Day Volunteer with elephants and orangutans in Malaysia Borneo!

From GBP 1195 per person


Take 5% off - Valid until OCTOBER 31st. All prices are in GBP and are calculated on the day of exchange rate.
Explore Borneo's lush rainforest in search of wild orangutan and the rare pygmy elephant.
Departs 21st of each month


Available Anytime!

Based in the mystical Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain Rainforest in Sabah, this orangutan project completely encompasses the awe-inspiring diversity and dynamism of Borneo's wildlife. The area in which volunteers work is situated within WWF's protected 'Corridor of Life', a region of enormous importance in balancing land-development and the needs of its indigenous communities and wildlife. This orangutan project allows complete immersion into the natural wonder of the unique habitat, aiming to work on the reforestation of the environment, to help orangutans and pygmy elephants in Borneo to thrive.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

  • This Volunteer program is available for 12 days only. Options to exend your stay and participate in other activities are available upon request. 
  • The start date is 21st of each month
  • All prices are in GBP and will be converted in AUD on the day of exchange. The entire 100% deposit is required to participate in this experience. (please note exchange rate conversions will be calculated into the cost)  
  • Minimum age of 18 years old
  • http://www.thegreatprojects.com/terms-and-conditions

Volunteers will stay in the small village of Sukau for the duration of the project, a rural, indigenous community with a population of approximately just 1,000. The charming, hospitable 'Orang Sungai' ('People of the River'), are always keen to share their way of life and welcome guests into their community. In return, volunteers will assist with educating the local population on the importance of conservation and implementing more sustainable ways of living.

The main part of the programme will be centred on activities in and around Sukau village or along the Kinabatangan River, but all volunteers will also spend time working with Borneo orangutan sanctuary staff, assisting with wildlife monitoring through river-cruises and rainforest-treks. As well as orangutans and pygmy elephants, the orangutan wildlife sanctuary in which the project is based is also home to singing gibbons and hornbills - making it a wildlife-spotting haven.

Activities include:

Developing knowledge
Volunteers will learn about orangutans within the rehabilitation stage and also come to understand the process of releasing them back to the wild. Through this you will recognise and compare these situations with that of captive animals, and those with threatened habitats.



Wildlife Monitoring
The principal focus of the project is to work towards the conservation of the orangutans and pygmy elephants in Borneo. This is achieved mainly through monitoring their numbers and patterns, as well as those of other animals in the habitat.

 

 

Boat trips
In order to see as much wildlife as possible, some of the monitoring/data collection will be conducted from a boat whilst cruising along the river.



Reforestation
Another essentially important method of preserving the local environment is through reforestation. Part of every volunteer’s time will therefore be spent planting new trees and tending to the pygmy elephant and orangutan habitat - so as to help their numbers slowly increase. Doing so is a vital part of the crusade to ensure the survival of these unique and magnificent animals.


Spending time with the ‘Orang Sungai’
Orangutan volunteers will also work with this welcoming and friendly community, living along the river bank. Educating the community and providing them with economic motivation for conservation is one of the best ways of protecting local wildlife, and all volunteers will contribute to this education effort. There is also an opportunity to work with local school children, educating them about the importance of conservation for their home environment and way of life.


Trekking
You will be taken on numerous treks so as to spot an extensive range of flora and fauna inland, as well as learn about the lush and mysterious rainforests of Sabah. Intrepid travellers rejoice - these are truly memorable experiences which you will be able to remember for a lifetime!

 

ACCOMMODATION

For the first night in Sepilok, volunteers stay in dorms in a traditional longhouse.

Volunteers will stay in the Sukau village local B&B, in shared rooms. There is also ample opportunity to spend time in the homes of the villagers and join them for meals.

For the last night in Sandakan, volunteers stay in a comfortable and basic hotel room in the town.

MEALS AND BEVERAGES

All meals and beverages are provided and are included in the price of the project. The meals are prepared by local villagers, and some nights volunteers cook together.

VACCINATIONS

The vaccinations required will depend on the medical history of each volunteer. We recommend that you consult your GP regarding your own immunisation needs. In conjunction with this, we would also recommend that you check Smart Traveller website.

FITNESS & SKILLS

This project requires physical work in order to partake in the restoration efforts, and so a moderate level of fitness is advised. The physical work is not overly exerting but is necessary most days. No specific skills are required to volunteer for this project, however a love of animals, strong work-ethic and ability to work in a team are vital.

NO CONTACT POLICY

We are often asked whether or not volunteers will have the chance to touch or play with the orangutans whilst on this project. Our answer to this question is, and will always be no, and this is for good reason.

Orangutans are highly susceptible to human diseases and something as minor as the common cold can prove fatal to these Great Apes. Also an environment of constant change, with new volunteers going to the project every two or four weeks and being in contact with the orangutans would be very detrimental to the Orangutans wellbeing. With no consistency in their lives behavioural problems arise. They also have a tendency to begin to trust humans which is damaging should they be released back into the wild, as they will become easy targets for poachers. Finally, an orangutan is around 7 times stronger than an adult male human so a no contact policy is just as crucial for volunteer wellbeing as orangutan welfare.

That is not to say that as a volunteer you will have no interaction with the orangutans, it simply means that you will have no direct contact with them. You will still observe them on a daily basis and see how your contribution to their husbandry and enrichment makes a real difference in these great apes’ lives.


Volunteer with wildlife!

You have the experience to volunteer at some amazing locations within the dates that are provided. Here is your chance to take on a new enriching experience and'give back' with the program actitivites.  

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Level 2: Medium - Explore!

If you are in good health and your level of fitness is average, you can have a great time on this trip. The usual trekking distance is 3 to 5 kilometres at a time. Some of the terrain may be steep; in which case, if you feel that you are unable to participate, we provide optional activities for you to enjoy. Camping and other outdoor activities are also included that are not physically strenuous.


This project requires physical work in order to partake in the restoration efforts, and so a moderate level of fitness is advised. The physical work is not overly exerting but is necessary most days. No specific skills are required to volunteer for this project, however a love of animals, strong work-ethic and ability to work in a team are vital.

Best Time of Year to Travel

21st of each month

Volunteer with wildlife!

You have the experience to volunteer at some amazing locations within the dates that are provided. Here is your chance to take on a new enriching experience and'give back' with the program actitivites.  

Don't forget your Travel Insurance!
You can access some great rates with SureSave
Or contact us and we'll arrange everything...
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