Orangutan Wildlife Center

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
Agency
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founded in 2003
The Great Projects
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Coordinator | Hannah
Coordinator | Hannah
Aid the rehabilitation and eventual release of orangutans by volunteering at this incredible wildlife centre, located in Malaysian Borneo. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Groups

Visit the award-winning Matang Wildlife Centre in Malaysian Borneo to aid conservation and protection of one of the world's most fascinating and enchanting species: the orangutan.

About the Program

Due to mass deforestation, mining and forest fires, orangutan habitats in Malaysia are depleting and are also under constant threat. As a consequence, the species is increasingly endangered. The Matang Wildlife Centre is a refuge for orangutans which have been left injured, orphaned or likewise, 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 the volunteers. Taking part in this program allows you to actively participate in the efforts of the impressive Matang Wildlife Centre alongside its fantastic team, helping to improve the lives of the orangutans whilst working towards their future protection.

As a volunteer on this program, you will enjoy the incredible rainforest surroundings of Kubah National Park as you work alongside sanctuary staff, assisting in a number of tasks along the way. You will help to improve husbandry standards, provide enrichment for the orangutans, and assist with construction tasks among others.

Everyone involved with the Matang Wildlife Centre is dedicated to managing and promoting responsible tourism, with volunteering experiences like this one aiming to work in the best interests of the animals and environment. Your support will help the Matang Wildlife Centre to work towards its aims, and you'll also earn a lifetime of memories along the way.

Typical day

First Days 

You will need to arrive at Kuching Airport on the start date of your program between the hours of 7am and 5pm, where you will be met by a program representative in the arrivals hall and transferred to your first night's accommodation. On the first night there is a welcome dinner, where you will meet all of your fellow volunteers and the program facilitators. After breakfast the following morning, you and the rest of your group will take a private transfer to the Matang Wildlife Centre. Here, after settling in, you will meet the project staff and take a full tour of the centre.

Regular Days

Work varies on a day to day basis, as well as depending on the season and on how many volunteers are on site. However, typical tasks include the following:

Enrichment: 

A major part of this program is creating enrichment. This is the process of providing the animals with stimulating environments, items and surroundings designed to encourage and promote their natural behaviours. This will enhance their potential for release, as well as improve their quality of life while they still reside at the centre.

Husbandry:

Another big part of the work on this program 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.

Construction:

Small construction tasks can also be part of this program as without such work, the centre would struggle to grow. Thanks to previous construction efforts, the centre has been able to accept more animals in the hopes of being 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.

Organic Farming:

Over the past few years, volunteers have helped create an organic farm to grow food for the animals at the centre, enabling it to become a more sustainable institution. The orangutan sanctuary is determined that the farm remain organic and they continue to rely on the efforts of volunteers to keep it under control. The program staff feel it is definitely an attainable dream for this and other orangutan centres to 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, but please note it is not always guaranteed.

Maintenance:

Due to the humid rainforest environment and a range of animal interaction, maintenance of buildings and structures is an on-going task. You may be needed to help with painting, cleaning, varnishing and gardening, among other elements of maintenance - there is always work to be done!

Last Days

On the penultimate day of the program, you will transfer back to the Basaga Guesthouse for your final night’s stay and a farewell dinner in the evening with the program staff and your fellow volunteers. Depending on your departure flight time the following day, you may have time for a lie-in or even to see Kuching one last time before you take a private transfer to the airport, either for your return flight or to continue your independent travel plans.

Free-time activities

During your time on this programme, you will receive two consecutive days off (usually Saturday and Sunday, though this cannot be guaranteed). As you will have most likely travelled a long way to Borneo, we always suggest taking advantage of the your spare time 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 to strengthen local relationships and continue to aid human animal conflict.

Diving/
Snorkling
Safari/
Zoo
Hiking

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
The construction work undertaken on this orangutan program does involve physical labour, often in humid conditions, and so requires you to have a moderate level of fitness. The other tasks however are not particularly physically strenuous, but a fair level of fitness is advised. You do not need any specific skills or experience, just a commitment to the program and its aims, the ability to work as part of a team and an upbeat, positive attitude towards the program and orangutan conservation.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by The Great Projects

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF THE PROJECT?

  • A monetary contribution to the project itself
  • Private transfers to and from the airport
  • Full orientation and support from the project managers
  • Accommodation
  • Activities on the project site
  • Food allowance

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED?

  • Any flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Soft drinks and all alcoholic beverages
  • Any additional trips undertaken other than in the planned itinerary

Airport Pickup at Kuching International Airport

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 in the arrivals hall and transferred by road to your first night's accommodation.

Accommodation

Matang Wildlife Centre provides ten houses for staff and volunteers to live in. Each house has two or three bedrooms, a communal living space, kitchen, toilet, shower and veranda area. There is a maximum of four to a house and rooms are based on twin-sharing. The houses feature mains electricity and a fan in each room. There are also showers, but please be aware there is no hot water. You will be staying in self-catered accommodations with basic kitchen appliances such as a gas hob (two-ring burner), fridge/freezer, kettle and toaster.
These wooden houses are original structures from the construction of the centre in 1997. They are government owned and have undergone precious little maintenance over their years of wear and tear in the jungle. Please do not expect shiny, new and pristine lodgings – expect well-used, jungle cabins and an authentic Bornean experience!

Bungalow
Food & Beverages

On the first and final night at Basaga Guesthouse meals are provided in the restaurant.
Whilst at Matang Wildlife Centre you will be responsible for preparing your food and drinks in the kitchen of the house in which you are staying. As part of the cost of the project you will receive a weekly allowance for food and water and weekly supermarket trips are also included!

Internet Access
Limited 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 Kuching International Airport (KCH) in Kuching. 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

This project runs throughout the year and has possible durations of 7, 14 or 28 nights. The possible start dates are as follows:

7 nights:

  • 4th April 2020
  • 12th April 2020
  • 4th September 2020
  • 12th September 2020
14 nights:
  • 5th or 19th of each month, except 5th April and 5th September 2020
28 nights:
  • 5th of each month, except 5th April and 5th September 2020

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
2 - 5 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in GBP (USD)
8 days (min. stay)
£795 ($1,010)
15 days
£1,280 ($1,626)
29 days (max. stay)
£1,995 ($2,534)
Average fees
£589 ($748) /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Great Projects 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 The Great Projects 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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We refund your fees if The Great Projects cancels your trip
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All program fees are charged directly by The Great Projects.

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Orangutan Wildlife Center

Aid the rehabilitation and eventual release of orangutans by volunteering at this incredible wildlife centre, located in Malaysian Borneo.

$589/week

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