Work on enrichment with captive orangutans and sun bears at the world renowned Samboja Lestari rescue centre.
This project is located at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Sanctuary in Borneo and it gives you the chance to work on enrichment ideas for some of the 200+ orangutans that reside at the project site.
The main aim of this project is to assist in orangutan rehabilitation. By helping with enrichment making, husbandry and small construction projects it means a lot of the staff can be used in areas such as forest school and nursery where they can help teach the young orangutans the skills they need to survive in the wild. This means that they can be released quicker and still have a good chance of survival in the wild.
This project has helped to release a large number of orangutans back into the wild and this is due to the success of the rehabilitation process that takes place at Samboja, and the release sites which are secured by BOSF Indonesia, the charity partner of the project.
This project is perfect for anyone who wants to completely understand orangutan conservation and work alongside people who manage every aspect of rescue, rehabilitation and release.
Volunteers on this project help to work towards the rehabilitation and eventual release of the Orangutans and Sun Bears living at the project site. As there are always new animals being bought into the site, it is crucial that there is a steady stream of volunteers to help with enrichment, husbandry, and general sanctuary upkeep.
Due to the volume of animals needing to be looked after at this site, and the limited space available, unfortunately a number of Samboja's animals have to be kept in cages. This is far from ideal, and the project continues to develop and build as many outdoor areas for the animals as possible, but this does require a lot of man power and funding – which is why your participation is so crucial!
Your main activities whilst volunteering with orangutans at Samboja Lestari include husbandry, enrichment, reforestation, maintenance and construction work for both the orangutans and the sun bears resident here. You will be treated as pseudo-staff whilst on the project, meaning full participation in all of the centre's work.
You’ll head over to the orangutan islands to observe these great apes and collect vital behavioural data on them whilst also monitoring their health and general well-being. You’ll do this by completing a circuit of the islands on a small boat, offering a great chance for some beautiful photographs. Just make sure not to drop your camera!
Whilst on the project you will have the chance to create enrichment to stimulate and benefit the orangutans resident here, whilst also helping to encourage natural behaviour. Creativity is encouraged here, so if you have an idea which you think the apes would enjoy please put it forward! You will also be preparing the food and delivering this to the orangutan islands.
Some of your time will be spent cleaning the orangutan enclosures and the fruit store where food for the orangutans and sun bears is prepared. You will also take part in leaf collection (for the orangutans to build their nests) and this will involve regular treks out into the jungle - make sure you have packed your walking boots and are ready to really get stuck in!
You’ll be helping with construction and repair work, two on-going tasks at the centre and ones which always require volunteer assistance. You could be involved with the maintenance of the rainforest environment, building/maintenance of platforms on the orangutan islands, or the upkeep of the sun bear enclosures, to name but a few examples.
You will be able to work within the sun bear area during your time here, where around 50 sun bears reside! Volunteers help with general enclosure maintenance and the enrichment of these magnificent bears - one of the world's rarest and smallest bear species.
As a popular part of the volunteer experience, you will have the opportunity to walk high up in the forest canopy, keeping your eyes peeled for all kinds of flora and fauna. You may even spot a pair of singing gibbons, if you’re lucky! This is a fantastic way to appreciate the diversity of the Bornean jungle – you won’t forget this experience in a hurry.
An afternoon centred around relaxation is spent on the Black River. You will board a local boat and travel along the winding river in search of the endangered proboscis monkey, famous for its oversized nose. During your journey, you will travel through a local fishing village, which will offer you the chance to see how local people live, and you'll travel briefly out to sea to watch the sunset.
During your stay, you will have the opportunity to visit the local night market. Why not take this opportunity to enjoy some local Indonesian cuisine? With plenty of options to go around, you'll be spoilt for choice.
|Group Size||Up to 12 People|
|Meals||All Meals Included|
|Duration||12 - 26 Nights|
|Start Dates||Set dates between April and October|
|Minimum Age||Minimum Age 17 (Or From 15 Years Old With An Adult)|
You need to arrive into Balikpapan Airport on your project start date between 9am - 5pm or you can be collected from a hotel close to the airport. Jakarta International Airport offers a large number of flights to Balikpapan. Once in Balikpapan, you will be met by a project representative who will then transfer you to Samboja Lestari.
You will need a tourist visa to join this project. You will be able to get one of these on arrival in Indonesia, but please note that you may have to pay for it. The fee is currently $25 for a 30-day visa.
The currency of Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). As of June 2015, the exchange rate was £1 to IDR20,958.
Deborah Hills - 2020
Julie Allen - 2019
Eve Winiarski - 2019
Susan Sandberg - 2019
Deborah Griffiths - 2018
Caroline Pasovsky - 2018
Holly Dibden - 2018
Philip Mason - 2018
Cathy Page - 2018
Tanya Petrovic - 2018
Philippa Cole - 2018
Sarah Dugmore - 2018
Sebastien Durelli - 2017
Kerry Gourley - 2017
Sarah Gillett - 2017
Sharon Lynne - 2017
Marion Franke - 2017
Katherine Spooner - 2017