Volunteer at an award-winning Orangutan Volunteer Centre in beautiful Borneo
This multi-award-winning orangutan project based at Matang Wildlife Centre allows you the chance to get involved with the conservation and protection of one of the world's most fascinating and enchanting species – the Bornean orangutan.
Due to mass deforestation, mining and forest fires, the habitat of the area's orangutans is depleting and under constant threat. As a consequence, the species is increasingly endangered. Matang Wildlife Centre is a refuge for orangutans which have been left injured, orphaned or have been rescued, usually as a direct result of these threats. The centre works tirelessly to reverse this trend in a number of ways and is thoroughly enriched by the involvement of volunteers.
On this project you will enjoy the incredible rainforest surroundings of Kubah National Park as your backyard, and work as part of a team alongside the local facilitators to aid the centre through improving husbandry standards, providing enrichment for the orangutans and assisting with construction tasks. This allows the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (who manage the centre which is owned by the Sarawak government) to concentrate on the rehabilitation of the orangutans and the centre's other animals.
Volunteers on this project will help to look after the injured, orphaned and rescued Orangutans which come into the centre. Due to the constant changes in the number of Orangutans in the centre at any one time, volunteers are always needed to help; create enrichment toys, with the husbandry on site, and with any new construction projects that need to be completed.
As a volunteer you will be acting as pseudo staff, so will help make up the numbers of hands required to cover the busy working week at the sanctuary.
On this project you will have the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of activities. Your main focus however, will consist of providing enrichment and husbandry for the orangutans, sun bears, macaques, binturongs and other animals.
A major part of this project is creating enrichment. This is the process of providing the animals with stimulating environments, where they are provided with items and surroundings that encourage and promote natural behaviour. This will enhance the potential for release as well as improve the lives of the animals at the centre.
Another big part of the work on this project is husbandry for the orangutans, sun bears, macaques, binturongs and other animals. This includes feeding the animals as well as cleaning the wildlife cages and enclosures, an essential part of any wildlife centre.
Small construction tasks can also be part of this project as it is through these that the centre can continue to grow. The centre is then able to accept more animals and hope to be able to rehabilitate and release as many as possible. In the past, volunteers have been involved with the building of aviaries, gibbon cages, feeding platforms in the forest, boardwalks around the park and ranger stations in the national park.
Over the past few years volunteers have helped create an organic farm to grow food for the animals at the centre to enable it to become a more sustainable institution. The orangutan sanctuary is determined that the farm remain organic and though many people keep recommending a whole host of chemicals for keeping the weeds at bay, they continue to rely on the efforts of volunteers to keep it under control. The project staff feel it is definitely a realisable dream to have this and other orangutan centres organically grow all the food they need to keep their animals alive and healthy. Tending to the farm has, therefore, become a regular job for the volunteers.
As you can imagine maintenance is an on-going task and so you may be needed to help with painting, cleaning, varnishing and gardening and there is always work to be done! Volunteers provide crucial help in the maintenance of the project site, and without the added manpower the in-country team would not be able to continue their conservation efforts in the way they currently do!
The working week is Monday to Friday, giving you the weekends off. As you will have most likely travelled a long way to reach Borneo, we always suggest taking advantage of the weekends to explore the surrounding area - including Kubah National Park and Damai Beach, either by yourself or with your fellow volunteers. You can also look at visiting a long-house, meeting the Iban tribe, visiting nearby markets and social and interactive activities with locals and researchers. Interaction with the local communities is always encouraged so as to strengthen local relationships and continue to aid human animal conflict.
|Group Size||Up to 12 People|
|Meals||All Meals Included|
|Duration||14 - 28 Nights|
|Start Dates||5th and 19th of every month|
|Minimum Age||Minimum Age 17|
You will need to arrive at Kuching Airport on the start date of your project between 7am and 5pm, where you will be met by a project representative and transferred to your first nights accommodation where you will enjoy a welcome dinner with the project facilitators and other volunteers.
There is no visa required for most nationalities to enter Malaysia as a 90 day tourist visa is granted on arrival, however, please check the Malaysian Immigration website for detailed information.
The Malaysian currency is the Ringgit. The conversion rate is around 1 MYR to 0.19 GBP, 0.23 EUR and 0.31 USD.
Mark Wright - 2017
Xavier Julia Torne - 2017
Charlotte Chaloner - 2017
Sharon Evans - 2017
Chris Carr - 2017
Sue Morley - 2017
Mikaela Stanborough - 2017
Inge Vermeulen - 2017