Family Volunteering in Borneo

From £595.00 £505.75

Help to restore the forest environment, meet indigenous tribespeople and encounter incredible orangutans with your family in Borneo



Project Description

By joining this wildlife safari in Borneo you and your family will become immersed in the local community and fascinating wildlife of the Borneo rainforest.

For the majority of this project you will be staying in the beautiful Sukau village from which you will take part in a variety of conservation activities. These will include taking boat trips on the Kinabatangan River in search or orangutans and pygmy elephants and helping to preserve the incredible 'corridor of life'. As well as wildlife conservation activities you will also spend time interacting with the local Orang Sungai villagers or ‘People of the River’. This will include helping to teach some of the local children in the school. This will give you a great understanding of their way of life and help them improve their english skills!

To round off the tour, you will be taken to visit the world famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to see these incredible animals up close!

Why This Project Needs Volunteers

Volunteers on this project aim to have a positive and constructive impact on the local environment by helping to rebuild habitats which have been destroyed, and teaching members of the local community about conservation. You’ll be helping plant trees, getting involved with teaching the local school children and observing the endangered wildlife along the river banks, so there’s plenty for you to be doing if you venture to Borneo!

This is a fantastic way to teach your children how rewarding it can be to volunteer, aswell as providing an opportunity for them to experience and witness first hand how important wildlife conservation is.

Without the participation of volunteers, the project will be short on man power and funding, both of which are vital for the continued success of the programme.


Day 1 - The Adventure Begins:
You will arrive into Sandakan International Airport where you will be met by the project facilitator and will take a private transfer to your first night's accommodation. This will be in a longhouse-style accommodation in Sepilok with unobstructed views of the surrounding forest. You will spend the night learning about the Corridor of Life and the project's aims. This is also where you will enjoy a welcome dinner with your project facilitator.
Day 2-5 - Project Days:
Today you will transfer to the project site at Sukau where, upon arrival, you will have a health & safety briefing, followed by an orientation and tour around the village. In the afternoon, you will begin your volunteer activities which you will continue for the next 4 days. Please see the above tab for more information. Accommodation here will be in a beautiful Bornean B&B.
Day 6 - Sepilok Orangutan Centre:
After saying goodbye to the local people of the Orang Sungai, you will travel from the project site at Sukau to the Rainforest Discovery Centre for a chance to put your recently acquired knowledge to the test, before travelling to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. This will be an incredible chance to see orangutans up close, and a truly once in a lifetime opportunity. Your final evening can be spent resting and relaxing in a comfortable city hotel in the heart of Sandakan.
Day 7- Final Day:
This will be your last day on the project and so you will take a private transfer from your hotel in the city to Sandakan Airport for your return flight, or to commence your independent travel plans.

What will I be doing?

Wildlife Observation

Wildlife Observation

This entails cruising in a boat along the river and its tributaries along the 'corridor of life', to observe the endangered wildlife roaming the forest along the river banks. On these trips, you will be on constant lookout for pygmy elephants and orangutans!

Habitat Restoration

Habitat Restoration

This will involve tree-planting, nursery care and seedling generation, clearing invasive species, and also tree growth data recording. This is crucial as currently along the banks there are areas with very few trees, so it is difficult for animals to pass from one section to another and if they do, it leaves them vulnerable. Therefore, tree planting will take place in sections identified as high priority, and you will work towards the creation of corridors to allow wildlife to move from one section to another.

Guided Jungle Trek

Guided Jungle Trek

The tropical rainforest of Borneo is the perfect setting for a family trek. The trek involves an introduction to the flora and fauna of the rainforest, and to what the rainforest traditionally offers the inhabitants in terms of medicine, food, and survival. This is a great chance to ask questions and to learn from an extremely experienced local guide.

School Interaction

School Interaction

As a family, you will spend half a day working with the local school children on conservation issues that they deal with on a daily basis. You will be provided with a framework and the project facilitator will guide you in the planning of this session. The idea is to share information about conservation activities, both in Borneo and in your home country, and also to give the local school children and yours own the chance to interact and understand different cultures.

Cultural and Community Interaction

Cultural and Community Interaction

Living and contributing to the Sukau community is a big part of this project. As most lunches and dinners will be served in the homes of individual villagers and local families, you may get to hear about their daily lives, chat with the children, learn their family structure, and see how the Orang Sungai have been living off the rivers and jungles for centuries.

Community Development

Community Development

This involves the development of a continuous project, working with the community of the local village. This offers another fun way to interact with the community on various levels whilst working on a conservation project.

Additional Information

Group Size Up to 6 People
Meals All Meals Included
Duration 6 Nights
Start Dates 6th April and 11th August 2018
Minimum Age Minimum Age 8
Getting There

You will need to arrive into Sandakan International Airport before 4pm on the start date of your project. You will be met by a project representative in the arrivals hall and transferred by road to your first night's accommodation. The next day you will travel to the project site at Sukau.

Visa Requirements

Most nationalities do not rquire a visa to enter Malaysia. A tourist visa is provided upon arrival at the airport for up to 90 days, however, please check the Malaysian Immigration website for more information.

Currency and Exchange Rates

The Malaysian currency is the Ringgit. The conversion rate is approximately 1 MYR to 0.19 GBP.

What's included in the price of the project?
  • A donation to the project
  • Airport transfers
  • Full orientation and support from the project facilitator
  • Accommodation and meals
  • Entrance fees to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
What's not included?
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas(if required)
  • Soft drinks and alcohol


Rebecca Glover - 2017

Our favourite memory was feeling that we have made a positive although small contribution to a very important cause. The kids loved the work, especially using a machete and I think they will remember this fondly!