Care for Orang Utans on the Peninsula

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
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founded in 1994
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Coordinator | Jennifer
Coordinator | Jennifer

High­lights

An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand. Plus lots of adventure activities to do in your free time.
You'll learn a lot from top experts. You'll gain new skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
You're making a difference! The enormous satisfaction of knowing your work is contributing to improving the lives of these previously abused or orphaned Orang Utans. Very rewarding!
You'll make friends for life, plus you'll expand your global network of contacts. And you'll have a huge boost for your CV or Résumé !
You're in Malaysia! An amazing culture and vibrant sights - a colorful country packed with exciting experiences waiting for you!
Help to care for and rehabilitate of rescued and abused Orang-Utans. During your program you’ll get stuck into enrichment, husbandry, organic planting, construction ... This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 14+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

The project site is located on a 35-acre island nestled within a 7000-acre freshwater lakeside. The Sanctuary started with only 3 rescued Orang-Utans, and is now currently home to 24 Orang-Utans.

They don’t often bring in new Orang- Utans to the sanctuary, only if the authorities rescue any Orang-Utans kept illegally in Peninsular Malaysia or if there is a need from the Sarawak Forestry Department.

The Orang-Utans are also not often released. The babies stay with their mothers for the first 4-5 years and then they need a few more years to learn how to find food for themselves. The sanctuary only releases an Orang-Utan when it's ready to survive in the wild. Volunteers are not really involved with releases, but you may witness the transfer or receipt of an Orang-Utan.

YOUR WORK CONTENT:

You'll be treated as a temporary staff member when with us and you should be prepared to participate in any and all jobs that are required for the Sanctuary’s maintenance and development. You may also get to witness events that are only the privilege of full-time members of staff. No special skills or experience is required and the majority of our volunteers don't have prior skills. However, if you do have any skills in the following, you'll be even more warmly welcomed and appreciated! Veterinary physician / builders / carpenters / welders / mechanics, etc.

Some of the work is physically demanding and takes place outdoors. The example shown below may differ slightly at different times and work is assigned depending on what's needed at the time you're there:

ENRICHMENT OF THE FACILITIES FOR THE ORANG-UTANS:
You'll be involved in the process of producing enrichment materials for the Orang-Utans. This promotes natural behaviours and will enhance their wellbeing. Doing these enrichment exercises also provides you with the opportunity to observe them from a safe distance and learning how they adapt and use the materials - a very rewarding exercise!

FEEDING AND CLEANING:
You’ll have the opportunity to help feed and interact with the Orang-utans several times a day with the support and assistance of the sanctuary staff. This will include preparing the food for the Orang-Utans, taking care to ensure that those on a special diet receive the type of food that has been specified for them. Both feeding and cleaning are done to specific schedules.

GENERAL HUSBANDRY:
Husbandry simply means cleaning, feeding and caring for captive animals. Everyday you will have to follow all of the rules and schedules for feeding and cleaning, and also give valuable assistance in farming and planting in order to ensure the Orang-Utans have the quality foods they need. You'll also help to care for the Orang-Utan exhibition area.

CONSTRUCTION:

  • Helping to build and erect climbing structures for the Orang-Utans. These are very necessary for them to build up their skills.
  • Helping to building boardwalks for easier tourist and keeper access around the centre.

MAINTENANCE:
The rainforest is a harsh environment for the longevity of any man-made structures. Therefore, anything that we build needs regular maintenance to ensure that it doesn't rust/rot/get eaten by termites within a couple of years. This work usually involves a lot of cleaning, painting and repairing.

These are the main tasks, construction and maintenance however, only occur when there is a need. The Sanctuary is maintained as natural as possible, therefore all man-made objects will be kept to minimal.

Your role is dedicated to helping prepare and train the Orang-utans to hone their survival skills, as they’ll hopefully be released into the wild one day.

Schedule:

The example of a regular day at the Sanctuary shown below may differ slightly at different times and work is assigned depending on what’s needed at the time you’re there.

Your working hours will usually be from 9:15am to 14:30pm. You’ll be transported to and from your project and you’ll work from Monday – Friday, having the weekends off to explore the local area and relax.

You’ll have a lunch break in the middle of the day (45-60 minutes) which’ll give you a chance to take a rest from the midday heat. You can take additional breaks when needed outside of the lunch break.

This is a great opportunity for you to learn and gain wonderful experience and, as is the case with all our conservation placements, you'll get out of it what you put into it and the centre will be very appreciative of your efforts while you’re with them.

Typical day

Typical Day/Week:
The schedule is subject to change and may vary but here is a typical dayweek description to give you an idea.

Week 1:

  • Monday: After reaching Taiping, you'll receive an Orientation and be given an exposure into intercultural learning in Taiping on the first day. You'Ll also get to know more about Malayan people’s culture and traditions.
  • Tuesday to Friday: Your day will begin on the project and you'll be deeply involved in the various activities. You'll carry out a variety of tasks including husbandry, construction work, enrichment and maintenance. The “best” jobs are not saved for the participants - you will be treated as pseudo staff-members during the duration of your program and you'll be asked for assistance wherever the need may arise at the sanctuary.
  • Weekend: Saturday and Sunday: These are your off days to relax, explore and savour the culture.

Week 2:

  • Days 8-12, Monday to Friday: Continue volunteering and helping with tasks similar to Week 1.
  • Day 13, Saturday: It’s the end of your volunteering! No doubt lots of tears! Or if you’re lucky enough to be volunteering with us for longer than 2 weeks, you’ll be able to explore Perak and its sights and sounds for the weekend.

Week 3 and Onwards:

  • Monday to Friday: The following week you'll continue with your work as per the required activities at the sanctuary.
  • Saturday: This will either be your last day or, if you're staying on the project, you'll have the weekend for relaxation, exploring or doing whatever takes your fancy!

Free-time activities

Taiping is one of the oldest towns in the state of the Perak. The project is located at Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island, within the idyllic setting of Bukit Merah Laketown Resort, an eco-friendly 7000-acre freshwater lakeside vacation getaway in Semanggol, Perak. The Laketown Resort is a 15 minute taxi ride from Taiping, and Taiping is located roughly 3-4 hour drive north of Kuala Lumpur (roughly 300Km).

Our suggested Bucket List of items to do in Perak:

• Drink tea at the Boh Sungei Palas Tea Estate
• Visit the royal town of Kuala Kangsar where the wooden Royal Museum was built without any nails
• Explore the kilometre long Gua Tempurung limestone cave
• Tour Sam Poh Tong, Perak Tong and KeK Lok Tong Cave Temples
• Pay your respects to World War ll veterans at the Taiping War Cemetery/Memorial
• Eat at Port Weld / Kuala Sepetang – Seafood Restaurant
• Relax in the Taiping Lake Gardens
• Take a boat tour into Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve
• Get some sun on Coral Beach.

Our suggested Bucket List of items to do in Penang:

• Take a ride in a Trishaws and visit Clan Jetties Floating Village
• Experience the Goddess of Mercy Temple
• Ride the funicular up Penang Hill where you will find a spectacular view of the island and the mainland.
• Immerse yourself in the tastes and smells of a Tropical Spice Garden
• Explore the Blue Mansion
• Visit a Tropical Fruit Farm

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Diving/
Snorkling
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Climbing
Hiking

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 14 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Required Documents
CV
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You should have a genuine love of animals. You should also be physically fit and able to work in humid conditions.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 14:30

What's Included

Services by Travellers Worldwide
The fees include:
Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Meeting you at Penang International Airport
Transfer to your project site
Accommodation
Food: Monday-Friday breakfast & lunch, Saturday & Sunday breakfast only (12 meals per week)
Daily transport to and from your Project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion
The fees don't include flights, insurance and return transfer to the airport.
Airport Pickup at Penang International Airport

On arrival at Penang International Airport, you'll be met in the Penang Airport Arrival Hall by a member of the in-country project team. They will then take you through to your accommodation, ensure that you're settled in and introduce you to everyone.

Induction & Orientation: During the first few days of your stay you'll be given a general induction so that you can learn about the local area, plus you'll be given useful information, such as how to get around using public transport, bank facilities, etc.

You'll also receive an induction at your project; this will generally take place within a day or two after your arrival. Your induction will give you a chance to meet the people at the project, familiarise yourself with the journey to-and-from your accommodation to the project and back, get a feel for the project and see the type of work you may undertake.

Accommodation

You’ll be staying in the bustling town of Taiping, Perak which is one of the oldest towns in Malaysia. A short drive & boat ride from the project, it’s conveniently located for you to experience the sights and sounds of Malaysian day to day life.

Your accommodation is at a local homestay, like a volunteer house, which is a really social spot as you’ll share it with other volunteers! It has a great communal space, where you can eat, relax and socialise in the evenings! A good way to end a busy working day at the sanctuary.

You’ll share a dorm style room with between 2 and 5 other volunteers, which is a great opportunity to really get to know each and make new friends from different countries. Each room has a fan to help keep you cool and there are Western bathroom and toilets and hot water for you to take advantage of! Twin or private rooms are available at an extra cost.

Wi-Fi / Internet: Wi-Fi / Internet: Free Wi fi is available at the accommodation and the project office, so you can easily stay in touch with your friends and family.

If you’re travelling as a couple or with a friend, please inform us at the time of booking so that we can ensure that you can share a room.

Dorm Room Guest Family
Food & Beverages

Food is provided on this project. On Monday to Friday, you'll have breakfast & lunch prepared for you, but evening meals are not included. On Saturday & Sunday, you'll receive breakfast only, thus giving you the freedom to explore further afield on your time off.

We've found that most of our volunteers prefer the freedom of choosing their evening meal if they want to go out, but also having the option to use the homestay kitchen to create a lovely home cooked meal. Taiping is known for its amazing street food, so you're in for a treat when you explore what there is on offer for local cuisine! There are many options for food within a short walk of the accommodation.

Most dietary requirements can be catered for and the meals provided are all vegetarian (but vegans can also be catered for).

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Penang International Airport (PEN) in Penang. We assist you to find cheap flights to Malaysia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Malaysia provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Malaysia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Malaysia.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

Programs start all year round, on Mondays, with arrivals on Sundays and departures on Saturdays, so you can choose your own start date.

What happens when you arrive?

On arrival at Penang International Airport, you'll be met in the Penang Airport Arrival Hall by a member of the in-country project team. They will then take you through to your accommodation, ensure that you're settled in and introduce you to everyone.

Induction & Orientation: During the first few days of your stay you'll be given a general induction so that you can learn about the local area, plus you'll be given useful information, such as how to get around using public transport, bank facilities, etc.

You'll also receive an induction at your project; this will generally take place within a day or two after your arrival. Your induction will give you a chance to meet the people at the project, familiarise yourself with the journey to-and-from your accommodation to the project and back, get a feel for the project and see the type of work you may undertake.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
1 - 4 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in GBP (USD)
1 week (min. stay)
£880 ($1,170)
2 weeks
£1,380 ($1,835)
3 weeks
£1,880 ($2,500)
4 weeks (max. stay)
£2,380 ($3,165)
Average fees
£738 ($981) /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Travellers Worldwide will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Travellers Worldwide during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if Travellers Worldwide cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Travellers Worldwide.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

  Asia South-Eastern Asia Malaysia  Taiping, Jalan Wan Rashdi

Care for Orang Utans on the Peninsula

Help to care for and rehabilitate of rescued and abused Orang-Utans. During your program you’ll get stuck into enrichment, husbandry, organic planting, construction ...

$738/week

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